Trail Chronicles #14 : A Glimpse Of The NTDR III 50k Trail Route

The Sto. Nino trails descending to the town of Laiban have been previously used many times during Pimco’s Love A Tree race series and it’s easy to see why this route has been a staple for trail runners, specially those running Pimco’s longer distances from 21k to 50k races here in Tanay, Rizal.

Being here with other trail runners in the early morning is forgetting that you’re just an hour away from Manila. The small communities that compasses the area: Baranggays Cuyambay, San Andres, Sto. Nino and Laiban gives you a lot of variety. Here you have wooded areas, single track paths, rough roads, rivers, waterfalls, meadows and wetland areas to keep you interested.

Last Sunday when many of my trail running friends were roughing it out at the TNF 100 trail race in Baguio City, me and several others who opted to stay in Manila went to Tanay to attend PIMCO’s last test run and try out some parts of their 50k route for their May 25 Nature’s Trail Discovery Run III, Leg 1. You can check out my previous blogs on the 10 and 21k routes (here) and (here 2). It was my first trail run since the Salomon X-Trail Run a month ago and it was great getting re-oriented back in rural settings.

We went out for a 20km run and we had our shoes wet for most of the time trekking the various rivers that surrounded Sto. Nino. This course threads on rolling terrain, some elevations but the inclines were minimal. It alternated between access roads, crushed gravel, dirt paths and the ever present rivers–they’re always there.

This is one of my favorite routes!  If you like discovering the undiscovered, running along a river and meandering in the heart of Tanay’s rural community, then the NTDR Trail Run is for you. 

Here’s a glimpse of the NTDR III, Leg 1 50k race route:

 

 

For more details about the race/how to register, check out their website: http://www.pimcosportingevents.net/#!ntdr-ii-3rd-leg/c1py8

(Thanks to Emn Muncal for some of the pics!)

Nat Geo Run 2014: A Short Race Recap

A high five to all the runners for this years Nat Geo Run 2014!

Temperatures last Sunday was on an all-time high and we surely felt it even before the 12:00 midnight gun start of their inaugural marathon race, as i was already sweating! Except for the temperature, there’s really not much negative to say about this year’s edition of the race although that’s not definitely what i thought when i had to stop about 5 times just to have my cramping thigh muscles sprayed with liniment oil by the medics!

With friends before the run

There were lots of nice things going on at the Nat Geo Run and it is just something to experience for yourself.

For me, some of them were:

  • Nice route and getting back to Bayani Road was a breath of change scenery at Fort Bonifacio. Although this route was very well used back in 2010-2011 races, it sort of disappeared from the racing scene thereafter for reasons i’m not aware of and it was great seeing the Heritage Park once again.
  • The entire course was absolutely packed with runners and though it was a bit crowded, it never hindered the movement of runners doing the full marathon when they merged with the 21k, 10k and 5k runners.
  • Aid and water/Pocari stations were aplenty, more than i was expecting. There were great water marshals who were working their arses off and they were doing the best they could to service the 12,000 runners on the race route. All were very courteous and saw to it that each runner were being provided for.

  • We have been told by the organizers to bring our own water bottles as they won’t provide water cups but still allotted some for runners who didn’t bring hydration containers with them. I’ve always been wary of water running out along the course so i always bring my own hydration belt in case there’s a stretch without water on aid stations. This time however, i had rarely used my own water bottle as there were more than enough on the water stations and ice-cold at that!
  • Was able to pace Jham Mariano, a co-blogger who was running his very first marathon during the 1st 15kms and although not too confident in his training prior to this race, he was able to finish in a respectable time.

With first time marathoner Jham Mariano

  • My acid-reflux was again bothering me and managed to contain it only after the 16th km. My thighs went ballistic and it was cramping during the 2nd half of the race. Good thing that medics, who were completely equipped with first-aid remedies were on every 2 kms of the course. They sprayed liniment and even massaged my cramping thighs!
  • Had severe problems with chafing along my inner thighs (near the groin) that after the race, blood was prevalent on my shorts and under-wear. I was grimacing in pain when i took my shower.
  • Great to see my running mates Carol and Gemma finish strongly on their half-marathon race. Carol even finished 8th over-all among the females.

With Carol

Nearing the finish line

With Carol and Doc Gemma

I cannot stress enough how well organized this inaugural Nat Geo Marathon turned out to be. Ice-cold water and Pocari almost every two kilometers, enthusiastic and courteous marshals–they did a hell of a job, the ever present medics, all made a huge difference for making this race an over-all success.

This is my 16th marathon and what an experience it was!