One of the best things about running (or racing) on a trail for the first time is that you get to explore something different from other trails that you have previously ran on. There will be surprises that await you which could either be a gorgeous scenery, a breath-taking mountainscape, an on-rushing river crossing or a steep muddy hill which you have to scale up.
The Immuvit Fearless Challenge 10k and 5k Trail Run last Sunday at the La Mesa Nature Reserve offered both great scenery and challenges. A first timer at the La Mesa Nature Reserve, i was blown-away by the course and the serene panorama of the place.
Never mind if i wasn’t able to complete most of the obstacles that were set up at last Sunday’s 10k trail course cum obstacle challenge, as i was there simply to RUN and enjoy the trails with my ever dependable digital camera in tow.
Sequestered on a quiet corner of Quezon City bordering Bulacan province, this moderately challenging course passes some woodlands, meadows, wooden bridges which feasted our eyes to one of the most beautiful trail courses here in Metro Manila and the challenge it presented not only on the tough muddy terrain but also to the man-made obstacles that were laid-up for runners to conquer.
This was my first venture here at the La Mesa Reserve and i was virtually in awe of its vastness which dwarfs that of the much smaller La Mesa Eco-Park.
Here are some of the highlights as i give a short description of the race and the trails:
The start area was a precursor of what runners would expect running this course. Set amidst a backdrop of 20 to 30-foot tall trees and luscious greenery, the scene was like a mecca-like gathering of trail runners… wooden shade structures for runners to change into their gears, a temporary stage where a band was playing and another stage where awards and other programs would be presented.
There were about 7 to 8 waves of about 30 to 40 runners each that were flagged-off at about 15 minute intervals so as not to crowd-out the obstacles.
A huge part of the route were on double-track trails and they were very well-maintained. Due to the constant rains that occurred a few days before the race, most of the tracks were wet and muddied. Runners threaded on the side or at the middle grassy portion although the faster runners didn’t care where to step on. They just flew by!
The race course was fully served by well-stocked water stations at about 1 km intervals that i didn’t find any use of the hydration belt i was wearing. I was able to talk with some of the volunteers manning these stations and they told me that they had already set up the stations a little past midnight, 5 hours before race time.
The course was well-marked and manned by aides. There would be a tarpaulin sign that would indicate an incoming obstacle and these were posted a hundred meters before the actual obstacle.
Though these trails are not as challenging as those of nearby trail races like the Tanay Discovery Trails nor the Timberland Heights, this will still challenge hardened trail runners–and reward them with some of the most picturesque views!
More pictures on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/renevillarta
Many thanks to Sherleen Ricafort of Outbound Communications for providing us the ride and food at the venue. Also to Team Reebok led by Blas and to Without Limits for a well-organized run!