NIKE We Run Manila: Pre-Race Release and Event Reminders

Here’s some last minute pre-race reminders for those joining Sunday’s NIKE We Run Manila, 2012!

WE RUN MANILA 10K – RACE DAY
December 2, 2012 (Sun)
4:00 am Assembly
5:30 am Gun Start
Starting point: Seaside Boulevard cor. Bayshore Ave, Mall of Asia activity area (see map below)

*Late comers who arrive at the starting line after 5:45 am will not be allowed to race.

PROGRAM FLOW
4:00 am             Baggage Depository Opens
4:30 am             Race Village Opens/Start Pen Opens
5:00 am             Runners Warm-up and Stand-by
5:30 am             Gunstart
6:30 am             Race Village Elements Open (Concessionaires, Massage, Photo   Booths)
8:00 am             Runners have to finish by this time to qualify for the Finisher’s Entitlement
8:15 am             Program Begins
– Host Opening Spiels
– Never The Strangers Set
– Sponge Cola Set
9:15 am             Prize Presentation for Individual Categories
9:45 am             Prize Presentation for School Category
10:00 am           Chicosci Set
10:30 am           Host Closing Spiels
11:15 am           Closing

13,000 Runners to Own Manila in the Nike We Run MNL 10K

Race kit collection from November 27 to 30, from 10 am until 10 pm at Bonifacio High Street

PHILIPPINES, 26 November 2012 –(Press Release)

On Sunday, 2 December, close to 13,000 runners will be up bright and early to take part in the Nike We Run MNL 10K race. It will flag off at the SM Mall of Asia activity area, at the corner of Seaside Boulevard and Bayshore Avenue. The runners will be part of Nike’s global We Run race movement which will see a total of 395,000 runners from 32 cities participating, forging a new global community of runners through Nike’s most connected race series yet with innovative Nike+ technology.

Nike’s We Run MNL 10K race will bring the streets of Pasay City to life with 13,000 high energy runners expected to make tracks all over the SM Mall of Asia’s grounds. Set against the remarkable view of Manila Bay, the race will see runners pass through the commercialized area of the Mall of Asia with the SMX Convention Center and the latest icon of the area, the eye-shaped SM Bay City Arena. Runners are set to leave the urban commercial scenery and head towards the fields along Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, before taking a turn on Pacific Avenue to race back to the finish line.

At the finish line, runners can look forward to completing their Nike experience at the race village located at Seaside Boulevard, connecting with fellow running enthusiasts and athletes to celebrate their running achievements. Runners can also recharge and relax at the massage booth, as well as enjoy the refreshments from the juice bar.  There will be a concert, hosted by Nike influencers Drew Arellano and Mia Bayuga, featuring bands such as Chicosci, Never The Strangers and Spongecola to keep the adrenaline pumping after the run.

All finishers will receive a Finisher’s T-Shirt to commemorate the event and their running experience. Adapting the global We Run design, and customized for the Philippines, runners are identified globally with the black Nike Dri-Fit race tee featuring a distinct volt green collar piping and a striking graphic in volt green. Runners who complete the run will also receive a finisher’s tee to proudly wear their achievement.

In line with this, the race kit collection will be on November 27 to 30 from 10 am until 10 pm at the Bonifacio High Street activity grounds in front of Nike Park Fort, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Runners are reminded to bring their IDs and a printed copy of their confirmation slip to collect their race packs.

The Nike We Run race series is Nike’s most connected race series yet with innovative Nike+ technology. The race series kicked off on September 1 in Prague Czech Republic, and will conclude on December 15 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/NikeRunningPH or follow us on twitter via @NikePH.

Dancing On The Trails Of Daranak

“Trail running is like dancing on the trails. If you stumble, make it part of the dance.” –rv

The Daranak 21k Trail Run has billed itself as the most challenging in the 3 legs of the Nature’s Trail Discovery Runs in Tanay and that proved to be an understatement! The race was grueling, one of the toughest trail race i have ever encountered and i am still limping from my aching quads and hamstrings in run-walking those uphill climbs.

I had expected this to be a difficult course but it was far more torturous than i anticipated, specially on those ridiculous technical climbs and descents. Well that was just the hardest part but for most of the other runners who did the shorter distances, it was a run full of thrills and adventure:

Here is a short synopsis of the race:

THE START:

4:50 am : June and i arrived at Daranak Resort and there were already full of cars lined-up on the streets leading to the entrance. We were asked to park on the right-most edge of the road as vehicles were arriving in droves.

5:10 am: We were greeted at the entrance by Norphy’s Ceasar Valderamma and told to proceed to the convention area where runners collected their race packets. June got his race packet and also took hold of Chito’s who we expected to arrive soon. Chito didn’t make it to the venue.

5:45: It was no less than Mr. Manny Santos, PIMCO Prexy and race organizer who started the countdown while Ceasar Valderamma fired the starting pistol.
During the test run we did weeks earlier, i had expected that we were to proceed to the river directly after the gun start but the organizers seem to have changed the plan.

Instead, we headed directly to the entrance bridge then out to the main street where we parked our cars and to some rough roads leading to a wide bridge. Runners stopped to take pictures. It was so wide a bridge for a river that looked like a single-track trail!

The view from the bridge (Photo by Jeffrey Ubalde)

Approaching the bridge while runners took some pictures

Past the bridge and going uphill

TO THE BATCAVE!

Runners were in for a treat when we approached the Calinawan Cave. I was a little concerned when my headlamp was going kaput when i tested it at home so had to change the batteries. I kept it in a small case attached to my hydration belt and as soon as we entered the cave, i wore it right back and it lit brightly as i turned it on.

I can hear the giggles of some runners when they maneuvered along the dark pathways and some even had to stop to observe the stalactites above them. This became like a school field trip instead of a race! No one could overtake so one has to toe the line and wait to move in tandem with the others.

To the cave entrance

Surprisingly, the walk to the cave was very orderly, no pushing nor shoving. There were marshals who guided the runners inside. Nice job!

The ground was mostly dry this time unlike our test run a month ago which was muddy and slippery inside

There were narrow passages that each runner has to wait to get through

The view inside

THE RIVER CROSSING:

This has got to be my least-liked part of the race when aside from crossing those rivers, you have to climb very wet boulders, secure your footing and cling to whatever your hands can grip on to avoid falling. This was the most dangerous part of the route and saw some runners slip on the rocks and fall down the river.

One scary part was one female runner stepped into a very deep part of the river and was swept by the strong currents and couldn’t hold on to anything. She was dragged a few meters and into a marshal who was standing on top of a boulder watching the proceedings. The marshal held on to an arm of the lady but couldn’t get her to stand up as if her foot was stucked underneath!

The lady was already screaming. She was gasping for air! Other runners scrambled to help and it took another minute before they could pull her up. This was one close call (pictures below).

The river trekking took forever and glad that it ended when it did!

Steep ravine at the edges of the trail that lead to the river

A long winding trail where you could already hear the gushing river at the other side

The first view of the river that greeted the runners

We had to criss-cross the river to avoid the strong currents

Climbing over slippery rocks was not an easy task

Clinging on rocks and getting the correct footing was the order of the day

A runner and a marshal rescues this female runner from being swept by the strong currents

Another runner to the rescue until she was finally pulled-out. The dangers of river crossing.

The river trek was slow. Getting up and down those rocks was a journey in itself

Glad to have avoided that downhill stream

River crossing na, may rock climbing pa!

Rock formations were a plenty during the river crossing. Must be centuries old

Part where a lot of runners slipped and tumbled

These bamboo poles were deemed useless because they were slippery when you tried to step over them

Stairs To OUR LADY OF RAWANG:

The only technique needed to conquer these flight of stairs is to put one foot forward in front of the other, one step after another until you reach the top. Easier said than done as i was going into zombie-mode just half-way this 346 flight of steps.

June poses while scaling the 340 step Grotto stairs

UPHILL CLIMB TO THE TOP:

Climbing up those mountain ranges was one tough battle all 21k runners had to endure and it had to be the most challenging of all legs of the Nature Trail Discover Tanay series. Your quads are going to hate you because they will keep on pounding while climbing on those continuous rocky trails! Many of the rocks had jagged edges and one false move can cut you up real bad.

I had slight cuts and scratches on my legs when moving about on the uphill trails and most of the runners who i encountered during the climb had their share of bruises and cuts too. I saw a runner who was lying down on the ground in pain, apparently of severe leg cramps and was being helped by two other runners.

None of the hard training could have prepared me for the torturous run up Masungi mountain and it was a long 5 kilometer trek to reach the peak! The trails up were priceless though and it had some of the most picturesque views in trail running.

Three hours had gone by when i finally reached the peak at about 1,600 masl. Not much excitement up there where i saw runners who were either eating, resting and taking pictures of the vast Laguna de Bay below. Here we were given a green ribbon signifying that we had reached the turn-around point and had to get back on the same route.

The downhill journey was harsher on our thighs as the pounding doubled, causing me to cramp on both thighs at the 16th km mark. The heat was enormous and I had to stop several times to massage my thighs and the ambulance waiting on the 18th km mark was no big help as they had no liniments nor knowledgeable personnel to give your leg a brief massage.

I noticed at this mark that runners should turn right and make a 2.5 km. circular loop before heading back to where the ambulance stood in the other direction. However i saw many runners skip this loop and immediately turned left without completing the loop. Marshals should have been stationed to man this checkpoint but it was only the ambulance truck that was there.

I finished the 22.1k race in 5:46, a PW (personal worst) but still below the given cut-off time of 6 hours.

Over-all, it was a great race, very challenging and one beautiful race route!

I’ll leave you with some pictures June and i took at the trails:

The start of our mountain trek

The single track trails were nice and easy during the early part but became very technical during those climbs up those mountains in background

Views of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges

Another view at close range

The 5-km uphill trek was both torture to the quads and feet.

Rocky single track uphill trek

On one of the mellower trails

One of the many picturesque trails

Blue skies and hot weather. Got hotter during the latter part

June signals that he is still alive!

Love this part of the trail…

…while June zooms along

Another rocky part

A wide trail

At the peak

Background is Laguna De Bay

Tough race! Congrats to all!

With Goldy, the “Precious” one

With Aquiz, the running photographer

With popular runner Marie Joyce Negapatan

With Manghusi (JR)

Guess what? PIMCO Sports, organizers of this event is going to hold another trail run, the Love A Tree International 50k-trail ultra-marathon on February 10, 2013 which will be held on a new route, also along these great trails of Tanay. An accompanying 6k, 12k and 24k race will be held here simultaneously.

Details will be posted on their Facebook account and website. Yikes, another trail run to look forward to!

Sin Tax P16.00 Run: December 16, 2012

This may be the cheapest registration fee for a local run i have ever encountered and organized by no less than the Runrio group themselves. For a measly sum of P16.00, runners can enjoy a well-organized race and includes a Runrio visor to all finishers.

The Sin Tax Run is a 6 KM run will take place on December 16, 2012 at the Seaside Boulevard, Mall Of Asia and the run is about supporting the pending sin tax reform bill in order to rationalize taxes on tobacco and liquor products. Taxes collected will be used to bankroll the government’s universal health care program that intends to provide better medical services for the poorest sectors of Philippine society.

This bill makes vice more expensive while at the same time raising more money for health care programs.

Only 5,00 runners will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis and is expected to be filled-up in a few days. A big surprise here is the hefty prize money that winners in the local and foreign divisions will received.

Check this out, then go out now and register!

Coach Rio explaining the mechanics of the Sin Tax Run

The Tetra Pack RFR Run: Race Recap

I was still being annoyed by the slight pain that i felt on my right foot, a day before i was to run the Tetra Pack 21k yesterday. Although fully swollen the Sunday before after i had sprained it during the Rock and Road Trail marathon, the swelling subsided and the healing came very quickly after a series of hot and cold compress with massages thrown in for good measure.

I was able to run Thursday and Friday, though gingerly at first and seemed that the treatment responded well. The slight pain came early Saturday afternoon when i did some toe raises to strengthen the foot further. Sheesh..the things i do unnecessarily at times. Felt some slight twinges till evening so i had it iced again, pop an Ibuprofen (Alaxan FR) hoping it will be gone the next day for the race.

That morning, i managed to get up early, did the usual morning rituals and was about to put on my Brooks Trance when i suddenly became aware that the pain on the foot was gone, felt no discomfort whatsoever, nada! Very promising day and i hoped it would carry on like this in the actual race.

I arrived at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) at about 4am with still 30 minutes before gun time and noticed a large crowd who were also running the 21k race. It was a little past 4:30 when the gun sounded off and we were in for a roller-coaster ride around BGC.

I like the way they utilized roads that were seldom used around High Street and the course snaked through it before we were led to Kalayaan flyover leading to Buendia Avenue which was another smart move. The earlier we were sent to Buendia Ave., the less congestion and gridlocks for motorists, the better it was also for runners to avoid the heat.

I had no real plan for this race because i promised myself to treat this as an LSD run and was still wary that the foot wasn’t going to hold well enough. Miraculously, it did and i had an easy time running towards Kalayaan Flyover until we reached the turn-around point near Osmena Highway at the 8th km mark. Water station was well supplied and they even had coconut juice which i didn’t care to touch as it might just react with the Gatorade that i took along.

There were enough marshals on the course and even saw friends who volunteered at the water stations and gave encouragements while we sped along. The last 4 kilometers saw us run on the northern east-side of BGC where the foreign schools were located then down to 8th Avenue at the entrance near Lexus Motors before going back to the finish.

At the last 4km stretch

I saw all of the running photographers huddled at the last 300 meters before the finish and runners trying to make a go for it were trying to look their best (me included) while others completely stopped and posed! I nearly hit one runner when she suddenly applied the brakes in front of me to pose, slightly bumping her with my shoulder. She hardly moved when i bumped and i thought she was made of steel!

A few hundred meters before the finish line

I finished the race in 2:31:02 and was greeted by friends who finished the race earlier.

I have only good things to say about this race as it was well-organized by Hyper Sports, everybody was friendly at the booths were i got a finishers shirt and the fun part was the awarding ceremonies where Running host, Boy Ramos exchange goofy commentaries with actor-comedian Bearwin Meily to the amusement of their foreigner sponsor. Nice one guys!

At the awarding ceremonies

I hope Tetra Pack sponsors another run next year and this race is surely one that shouldn’t be missed!

With Noy and Dianne after the race

With the omnipresent Ms. Mars of PF

Thanks Running Fotogs for the pics!

It’s Another Trip To The Skyway!

Lured by the prospect of running the whole gamut of the SLEX Skyway from Alabang and back, more than 13,000 runners took to this highway last February to raise money for the planting of 39,000 mangroves in Zamboanga de Sibugay.

This marathon will be back on February 3, 2013 and will offer the same traffic-free, well-organized race,  and has an atmosphere that’s always extremely friendly and welcoming. There will be perks if you join this marathon so hurry up and register as slots will be expected to fill-up soon!

With the ageless, Pat Concepcion, Condura’s Marathon Ambassador

Mr. Ton Concepcion, brains behind the Condura Marathon

Here are the details of the race:

5 NEW REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD RUN THE CONDURA SKYWAY MARATHON

  1. RUN FOR FREE.   Buy a pair of Asics running shoes and register in any race distance for FREE!  (Terms & Conditions apply.  Participating Asics outlets :  Greenbelt 3,  Solenad Nuvali and Zalora.com)
  2. RUN FOR THE MANGROVES. Plant 3 trees under your name and help build a mangroves forest in Zamboanga de Sibugay. A total of 39,000 seedlings have already been planted in Kabasalan Town in 2012 through runners donation.
  3. RUN NEW DISTANCES.  Introducing the 6k and 3.8k race distances for the adventurous fun runners!
  4. GET A QUICK DRY SHIRT DESIGNED BY TEAM MANILA.

All registered runners get a cool “I RAN FOR THE MANGROVES” top; while 42k runners get an exclusive “I CONQUERED THE SKYWAY” finishers shirt.

5.  RUN AND GET A COOL MEDAL.  Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned runner, completing your chosen distance makes you an absolute winner in our book.  You deserve a medal whichever distance you finish!

CONDURA SKYWAY MARATHON KICKS OFF 2013 WITH MORE REASONS TO RUN (Press Release)

The premier marathon event in the country, the Condura Skyway Marathon, Run for the Mangroves 2013 goes to the starting line on February 3, 2013 in Filinvest City,  Alabang. It will be the curtain-raiser for the new running year of 2013 – perfect timing for those who are serious in getting back to form after the long series of holidays and merry-making and for those who finally would like to get off that couch and find the fun and fulfilment in running.

Organized by Condura Skyway Marathon’s Founder and Chief Organizing Officer, Ton Concepcion and its running ambassador Patrick Concepcion,  the sixth edition of this much-anticipated yearly race event by runners for runners once again is out to prove that it is worthy of its bid to be the premier running event in Asia Pacific.

This year, the race will have the usual 10k, 21k and full 42k marathon categories plus the new 3.8k, 6k which are especially meant for the fun and adventurous runners who are not yet ready to take on the mid to long distance-races.

By the first hour of February 3, 2013, the Condura Skyway Marathon will again make the Skyway as the runners’ playground.  Originating from the Filinvest City in Alabang, runners of all distances will be taken to the Skyway as a major part of their race route – a major attraction that promises runners of an exclusive, traffic-free, clean and well-lit race environment.

Apart from the challenge and fun that this race has in-store for runners, participating in this race will also mean taking part in the Condura Skyway Marathon advocacy of helping with the reforestation of the Mangroves in Zamboanga de Sibugay in partnership with Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (PTFCF) . Each runner through their registration, will get to donate three mangrove seedlings which will be planted in his/her name. In 2012, the first year that Condura Skyway Marathon adopted the mangroves reforestation project to its cause, a total of 39,000 seedlings have already been planted in Kabasalan Town through runners’ donation.

A very special treat also awaits interested Condura Skyway Marathon 2013 participants!  Get a chance to register for FREE to any race category upon buying a pair of an ASICS running shoes.

Registration to the race is from November 15 to December 23, 2012 at the Asics Registration Center in Greenbelt 3 Ayala Mall in Makati City. Each participant will receive, as part of the registration, an “I RAN FOR THE MANGROVES” quick-dry shirt designed for the event by Team Manila.

Whether a participant is a newbie or a seasoned runner, completing their chosen distance makes them an absolute winner  since each runner will receive a cool Finisher’s Medal whichever distance they have completed! For full marathon finishers, an “I CONQUERED THE SKYWAY” finisher’s shirt exclusively designed by Team Manila will also be given to them.

The Condura Skyway Marathon, Run for the Mangroves 2013 is Co-Title Sponsored by Skyway and presented by sports apparel and shoe sponsor Asics, hydration sponsor 100 Plus and venue sponsor Filinvest City. For more information on the race and its advocacy visit the official website www.conduraskywaymarathon.com or the official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/conduraskywaymarathon

About the Condura Skyway Marathon

The Condura Skyway Marathon is an annual running event open to amateur and professional runners. From its simple beginnings in 2007 as a short-distance Condura Run race event in Metro Manila, the Condura Skyway Marathon has grown to be one of the biggest, premier running event in the country attracting more than ten thousand runners across the country who are interested to have a Skyway running experience.

4th Quezon City International Marathon (QCIM): December 2, 2012

If you’re not running T2N or the Nike-We Love Manila Run, the 4th Quezon City International Marathon, to be held on December 2, 2012 is still open for registration. This is a great way to start the December Christmas season and deplete your reserves so you can feast-up on your holiday eating binge!

QCIM is one of the most popular marathon races in the calendar, mainly because it traverses the widest avenue in the country but also transports you inside idyllic La Mesa Reservoir that helps the kilometers pass. This year, the route also passes Quezon Avenue all the way to the underpass of EDSA and back.

Like the previous years, Pacers for the 42k and 21k distances will be employed to guide you on your projected finish times. Also this year, the race will be organized by one of the top race organizers in the country, Without Limits Sports Events led by Mr. Ian Alacar.

This race is ideal for those who wants to run a marathon at very reasonable registration fees.

SMDC - Quezon City International Marathon 2012

SMDC – Quezon City International Marathon 2012
Quezon City Memorial Circle
December 2, 2012
LOCAL: 5K / 10K / 21K / 42K
INTERNATIONAL: 5K / 10K / 21K / 42K
SMDC-Quezon City International Marathon 2012 is slated on Dec. 2, 2012.

Activity area will be held in Quezon Memorial Circle, route includes Quezon Avenue, Commomwealth Avenue, UP Diliman, and La Mesa.

4th Quezon City International Marathon “QCIM” 2012
December 2, 2012
Commonwealth Avenue and La Mesa Eco-Park
5K/10K/21K/42K

Registration Fees:
LOCAL
5k – P400
10k – P500
21k – P600
42k – P800

INTERNATIONAL
5k – $18 or P750
10k – $24 or P1,000
21k – $48 or P2,000
42k – $72 or P3,000

Registration Sites:

RUNNEX Office

UP Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman

SMDC Showrooms
– SM MOA – Field Residences Showroom
– SM Megamall – Blue Residences Showroom
– SM North EDSA – Grass Residences Showroom
Chris Sports
– SM North Annex
– SM Megamall
– SM MOA
– SM Manila
– SM Fairview
Fitness and Athletics
9th Ave., COr 28th St., BGC
Altera Bike Shop
Club 650, Libis
MC Home Depot, Julia Vargas, Ortigas
Guidelines
1. Singlet sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL. Availability of sizes is first come, first serve and while supplies last.
2. Registration Period: October 15, 2012 – November 26, 2012
3. Registration fees:
LOCAL
5k – P400
10k – P500
21k – P600
42k – P800
INTERNATIONAL
5k – $18 or P750
10k – $24 or P1,000
21k – $48 or P2,000
42k – $72 or P3,000
4. Race kit includes:
a. Race singlet,
b. Race Bib with B-TAG chip (Chrono Track timing system),
c. Safety Pins
5. Race/Event Date: December 2, 2012 (Sunday)
6. Assembly Time and Program Start:
7. Start Line Venue: Quezon Memorial Circle, Liwasang Aurora
8. Race route : visit http://www.withoutlimits.ph for route information
9. Registration refund is not applicable.
10. Change of singlet sizes upon availability only and until supplies last
11. Finishers Medals will be given to 21km & 42km finishers
12. Finishers’ loot bag for all participants will be available.
13. International runners must present valid passport
14. Promo:
Residents, schools, companies and organizations based inQuezon City may avail of a P50.00 discount by presenting any valid ID (school ID, SSS, Company ID with QC address, Postal ID, Driver’s License) upon registration.
Only one promo/discount per person only.
16. There will be no onsite registration. (Registration on the race day is not available.)
17. Registration Partners:
– Chris Sports SM North Annex
– Chris Sports SM Megamall
– Chris Sports SM Fairview
– Chris Sports SM MOA
– Chris Sports SM Manila
– Fitness & Athletics BGC, 9th Avenue corner 28th Street
– All Terra Cyclery Club 650, Eastwood Libis
– All Terra Cyclery MC Home Depot, Julia Vargas, Ortigas
– Runnex Office, UP Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman
– SM MOA – Field Residences Showroom
– SM Megamall – Blue Residences Showroom
– SM North EDSA – Grass Residences Showroom
(Registration Period: October 15 – Nov. 26, 2012)
18. For inquiries, contact Without Limits office, 383 7658 or email secretariat@withoutlimits.ph / http://www.runnex.org
FOR EVENT-RELATED INQUIRIES: (office hours only, 9am-5pm)
Call (02) 3837658

Of Headlamps, Trails And Injuries

If it isn’t hard enough to run on muddy, ragged semi-technical trails, how much more if you run the same in complete darkness even if you have your head-lights on? More so, if it’s the first time you’re running on trails in the dark.

While i was running the Rock and Road Trail Marathon (RnR T42) yesterday which started at about 3:15am, the beams of my Energizer headlamps seem to be always propelling upwards so i had to adjust it several times: pulling the lens balls downwards, sliding it lower in parallel to my eyelids, reversing my cap so the visor wouldn’t block the lights and even placing it down to my neck. Still, i couldn’t get the right position where i wanted the trajectory of the lights to be…just a few steps ahead where i could plant my foot next.

I was getting impatient, so what i did was to just remove the headlamps from my head, hold it in my hand and focus it to where i wanted it to be, near the ground! That partly solved the problem! Having poor eyesight at night, it was probably better if i had brought a small flashlight instead, which was steadier to hold like what teammate Chito did. Later on, i would learn about his own dilemma.

I arrived with Chito at Nuvali at about 2:30am, just enough time for us to claim our 42k race packets and it was a breeze getting our bibs even with the long line that was emerging inside the Nuvali Club House. After a short while, RnR Race Director Jonel Mendoza gave a final briefing taking up with the runners the race route marks, no-cup hydration stations, among others and wished us all good luck.

This is before the race with Mam Judith, Chito, Ronnel and my damn headlights!

We were fired-off at about 3:15am and only our headlamps and flashlights provided the illumination on the trails ahead. I was running beside Chito during the first few minutes until runners in front of me slowed down to walk on a part which had ditches and earth diggings but when our running resumed, i noticed him way out in front already in his illuminated Team 90% shirt, his flash-light swaying back and forth.

It was at this point that i was tinkering with my headlamp, trying to figure out the best positioning i could get from it. It cost me a few minutes trying to adjust and re-adjust the damn thing! I felt ok when we reached the first water station at a main highway at 5kms where they offered unlimited C-2 drinks! After a few hundred meters on the main road, were were again led inside the trails by no less than Jonel himself, encouraging the runners to stay on course and be safe.

Parts of the trails were slippery, parts were really bumpy and without the lights, you wouldn’t know if the path would turn left or right. At times, i focused my lenses 10 meters in front to see where the trails were heading but most of the time, it was pointed just a meter in front just to see what and where you’re stepping at. A good deal of concentration is really needed to feel your way in the dark.

At the about the 7 km mark, i missed to focus my headlamp downwards when my feet stepped on several pointed objects which had me scream in pain. To regain my balance, i had to use my left foot to hit the brakes but instead, it slid-off because of the mud and twisted my ankle at a very tight position.

I immediately felt the pain on my right foot, particularly on the medial side of my plantar. I walked for a few minutes to see if the pain would subside. It didn’t. I started running to see it would be tolerable but the pain seem to get worse the more i put pressure to it. Now, “Houston, we have a problem!”

From the 7th to the 10th kilometer, i was virtually a zombie, jogging some parts but mostly limping and my mind and feet now at odds whether to continue with finishing the marathon or not. And i will have to decide when i reach the turn-around point of the 21k race distance (at 10.5 km mark).

I was really limping when i reached the turn-around point (2nd water station) as the marshal noticed and was asking if i was alright. I said that i stepped on something sharp and was experiencing pain on both feet. I knew that i won’t be able to continue with the rest of the distance and the marshals could do nothing as well as we were in the middle of nowhere.

Since this was the 21k turn-around point, i asked if i could just be allowed to turn-around and finish the 21k distance as i would DNF the 42k race anyway. He paused for a while not knowing what to say and looked at his co-marshals. He then asked if i would be able to continue the rest of the 10.5 km return and when i said i could easily manage that, he finally said, “GO!”

That was a big psychological boost for me. 10.5 kilometers is nothing, i’ve run through all sorts of pain before and know that i’ll manage to return…somehow.

I was able to power walk my way back, sometimes alternating it with runs whenever i see flat surfaces. The pain was not as intense during the first half but it was there, sometimes twinging when i land at the smallest twist of my foot.

I arrive at the Club House, site of the start and finish, 4 hours 23 minutes for the 21.7km journey. I purposely did not cross the finish line as i didn’t finish my intended distance but went straight to the club house instead to look for some ice cubes so i could apply it on my foot. When i went to the front porch, Jonel saw me and was surprised why i had already arrived! I explained what happened and pointed to my injured foot. But what completely surprised me was somebody who looked familiar sitting beside Jonel. I think he was shocked to see me but not as shocked as i was because it was unexpected of him!

This person i saw, of all people, was Chito, esteemed veteran of ultra-running, sitting in a chair, looking dejected with a bagful of ice placed on top of his left foot! He had arrived even before i did! Seem that he had sprained his left foot on the 16th kilometer but still managed to arrive at the 21k turn-around point. From there, he was unable to continue and was whisked to the starting line in a pick-up vehicle.

Photo: DNF at km 21!- Nuvali rock & road 42k trail run- twisted and swollen left feet starting at km 16 so I have to run-walk the last 5kms..with Ultra runner George Dolores

From Chito’s FB Timeline: “DNF at km 21!- Nuvali rock & road 42k trail run- twisted and swollen left feet starting at km 16 so I have to run-walk the last 5kms..with Ultra runner George Dolores”

We both stared at each other then we both burst into laughter! Like a chorus, we asked each other, “What happened to you?” “Damn the both of you”, retorted Jonel, “you just made an LSD out of my race then got injured!” Another round of laughter!

But nothing was funny at all, not any of the agonizing kilometers we went through, not of the injuries we both sustained. Tough luck for both of us, injury chooses no one.

Well, despite our setbacks at the trails, we were still in good spirits, that something more positive will come out of these and lessons will be learned. After the run, we both had a few bottles of our favorite brew at Kowloon House and reminisced, laughed and rued our experiences.

My right foot is now bandaged temporarily, swelling of ankle has subsided a little and applying ice on both heels and ankles  whenever i can in the hope i may be able to run normally again in a few days time.

My right foot early yesterday morning

Quick relief…Salompas!

With Chito and Ray Abenojar

Thanks to Jonel and Conz Mendoza for caring after us and providing our needs after the race. Mabuhay kayo!

C2 Models, Jonel and Conz