Being in this same starting line at the Timberland All-Terra 10k Trail run is deja vu all over again. It has been almost a year since i ran this trail race and the 4th edition held yesterday brought back memories on running these enormous trails of Timberland Heights, San Mateo, Rizal once more.
This is not an easy trail to run.. much more, race it! Despite the perfect weather and the ideal condition of the trails which was pretty dry and dusty, the route–the same used as that of last year’s race, was consistently undulating and the numerous uphill climbs took a toll for a lot of runners that we had to walk and hike the steep inclines which measured from 50 to 100 meters at a time.
The route inside The Timberland trails were mostly single track that once runners in front of you decide to walk the inclines, it would be near impossible to overtake. Some of the trails were rocky and quite technical that you really had to watch your step. Many times, my ankles twisted slightly and were it not for the stability trail shoe i was wearing, i could have slipped off a branch or on some rocks.
Still the route inside was refreshingly cool and shady and parts were really scenic specially on hill tops where the only thing you could hear were runners trying to catch their breath. The hills eventually got to me and even if i was just hiking the inclines, my heartbeat was pounding rapidly as i tried to figure out how i was going to push myself up while looking down on where i should land each foot! I was really exasperated at the effort and the experience is very humbling!
With regards to the water stations, i think Raul and Edmund (organizers of the race) should consider additional tables, cups and plenty more water next time as they seem to be gone when the middle of the pack runners like myself approach the stations for refreshments. The last water station past the 8th km mark had completely dried out. Good thing i still had Gatorade in my fuel belt.
Over-all, the race was great, well-organized and had a friendly, low-key vibe in it. Though the race was a bit of a struggle for me, it was still a joyful adventure and if trail running wasn’t challenging, i don’t think it would be as rewarding as it is…running as nature intended.