TNF 100: Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Join

Having established itself as one of the Philippines’ premier off road ultra running events, the 2015 TNF 100 Philippines is set to attract participants from across the world that will come to compete alongside fellow runners on this new spellbinding route.

TNF 100 Philippines’ main attraction is that all main trails have never been used in past races and as with previous TNF 100 events, you get to challenge climbing on mountain passes located in Tagaytay and Batangas. They traverse the foothills, ridges of mountains and climb atop the crater of Taal Volcano so all participants will be able to enjoy the views of the mountains, lake and vistas surrounding it.

The Taal Volcano which is often described as one of the smallest volcanoes in the world, is actually one of the largest. The entire Tagaytay ridge is the crater’s edge and the Taal Lake is the caldera of the volcano. The little ‘volcano’ you see in the centre of the lake is merely a ‘vent’! It is unique because Taal volcano is known as the largest island within a lake on an island within a lake on an island! –

As with past TNF 100 Philippines events, there will be a high level of support and hydration stations en route.

Here are 10 reasons why you should join this year’s TNF100 Philippines which will have its starting area at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna:

1. Previous years’ wins do not define this year’s race.#TOP1Asia’s 1st and Longest Running Ultra Trail Marathon Series now spans 9 countries. Be part of the global community that breaks all boundaries and never stops exploring!

2. Pain is temporary pride is forever. #TOP2As early as now, we congratulate all #TNF100Ph2015registrants. See you on the trails. Let’s make a legendary history on June 12-13. Break all boundaries!

3. See Taal Volcano like never before. #TOP3#TNF100Ph2015 prides itself for bringing participants to previously unexplored terrain. Get a unique vantage point of Taal as a bonus! Get your slot now.

4. Another reason to join #TNF100Ph2015? It’s historical. A surprise landmark from the 70’s appears from the fire roads at KM 16. You can’t miss it! Registration still ongoing. Visit any TNF stores today! #TOP4

5. Don’t come back with just words to tell. Share your experience at the trails as it happens. Re-discover yourself at KM 68 with wilderness as the background? Only at #TNF100Ph2015!

6. Match your words with actions. You say you conquer trails? #TOP6#TNF100Ph2015 is your chance to prove it. Register online via http://bit.ly/1H8iqlZ or visit any TNF stores near you. “Early bird” registration ends on May 15. Hurry!

7. Strength is the product of struggle. #TOP7The long running tandem of  #TheNorthFace Athletes, Coach Gado and blind runner Aga Casidsid, challenge the limit of human potential as they plan to conquer their first 100KM trail run. How about you? Will you conquer #TNF100Ph2015  too?

8. Represent the country! #TNF100Ph2015 gunstart happens on Independence Day—June 12. #TOP8 Showcase Pinoy endurance against nationalities from the world over and break boundaries all together.

9. True to being innovators in the industry#TNF100Ph2015 will be the 1st Ultra Trail Marathon to offer real time tracking through your own mobile phones! #TOP9Now your family, friends and supporters can see your progress real time as you conquer the trails!

10. Be the first to explore the trails! #TOP10 Hardcore pioneers got first dibs at Nasugbu, Clark, CamSur and Baguio—Benguet, the new course of#TNF100Ph2015 Nuvali—Tagaytay—Batangas is the most accessible yet. Don’t miss the chance to claim, “I am one of the firsts!”

Dare to Break All Boundaries
The North Face 100 2015

Press Release

On its 7th year, The North Face 100, Asia’s 1st Trail Running Ultra Marathon Series and the Philippines’ mother of all trail runs continue to break boundaries and challenge everyone to Never Stop Exploring.

After 3 years of high altitude running and massive elevation gains, 215 ushers in a “fast course” where speed and multi –terrain adaptability play much bigger roles. This provides a welcome opportunity for ultra road runners to try and experience the trails in a more accessible, controlled yet still challenging environment.

The outdoor pioneers have shown that with fundamental skills, proper training, and reliable equipment extreme trails can be conquered, now we challenge the greater majority to level up their game, be counted among the ranks of trail runners and be one of The North Face in Breaking All Boundaries.

So whether you are an aspiring trail running beginner or a seasoned racer looking for new challenges, unparalleled experience is offered in each competition of this season’s largest trail running series.

Break All Boundaries, and Never Stop Exploring!

The North Face 100 was made possible in partnership with NUVALI, SEDA Hotel Nuvali, AXN, Gatorade & Summit as it’s official hydration sponsors, the Primer Group of Companies, R.O.X., Department of Tourism, LGUs of Laguna, Cavite and Batangas, Tagaytay Highlands, Municipalities of Canlubang, Tagaytay and Talisay . Thanks also to our media partners Business Mirror, Business World, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, MB Sports Digest, Speed Magazine, and Men’s
Health.

The North Face is exclusively distributed in the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia by the Primer Group of Companies.

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K2C 50K: My ‘Rathoner’ Experience

The scene in front of the Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit, Cavite last night, December 29, felt like New Year’s eve, people were on the streets reveling on some kind of festivity that was happening except that there were no deafening noise of fireworks, no church bells ringing, no hooting of horns, no banging and booming of pots and pans.

Minutes before the start

Instead, residents were greeted with the tumultuous presence of runners! And when me and the more than 600 of us took off at the starting line in front of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s ancestral home to tackle the Kawit to Calamba 53k Ultramarathon (K2C), it was like a “parada of runners” invading Kawit’s streets with different blinking lights adorning our foreheads, waists and caps to illuminate and guide us for the dark streets ahead that also looked like Christmas decors on our bodies.

When Judith Staples of Soleus, Head of the most popular GPS running watch in the country invited me to join this race, i was a bit hesitant knowing that my training has not been sufficient to tackle the distance. But then, the ribbing  and pressure mounted by friends followed and insisted that they too have not been training well but are joining just the same, so i gave in! Talk about peer pressure!

Goofing off with running friends while preparing our gear for the race

I’ve heard good things about Runmania Events, the organizers of this race that have been staging various ultra races in the south of Manila and attracting hordes of both regular and newbie ultra runners. I’m running their race for the first time and will soon find that out.

I arrived at the race venue 3 hours early with friends Vladz, Carlo and his friend, Michelle with the facade of the late Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo’s home all lit up in glitters and color. It was Christmas atmosphere on the parade grounds as we waited in line at the grandstand to claim our bib nos.  The energy and excitement from the grounds was just awesome.

With Team Soleus

The 11:00pm start was a bit delayed because people were still lining up to get their numbers but as soon as the race started, our huge journey to Rizal’s home town also began and we were all very excited!

The route is a mixed-bag of sorts. From the neighborly street near the shrine up to busy Tirona and Aguinaldo Highways, it was a challenge keeping up pace specially in dark areas where i had to adjust my headlamp many times and watch-out for drunks that come out of bars. I almost bump on one who was oblivious of the runners as he crossed our path.

At the 7th km mark, I had to leave my hydration backpack on our support car as the right strap was sliding off my shoulder so i used my reserved belt bag instead. I never worried about running out of water as the water stations were adequate as it came at every 5-7 kms as expected…and it was ice cold water at that! At around 11k, i made a pit stop at a Shell Gas station as i was experiencing some stomach discomfort and felt relieved after, even if i lost about several minutes of time there.

The best routes were in Daang Hari and Daang Reyna where the roads were quiet and you run in many diverse subdivisions. There were marshals stationed along strategic cross-roads and with them were route markers so you’ll never get lost along the way. The PAR running team was amazing as they offered their water and chocolates to any runner who happens to pass-by their aid stations. Thank you guys!

By KM35, i was already feeling exhausted which was probably my lack of long runs while training. The longest i ever did was a 27k LSD done 2 weeks before this race and i felt my energy dwindling when i reached past 32k. At km42, my thighs and quads were already screaming in pain so my walks became longer and the run part shorter. Thankful that a friend, Ener Galang decided to pace with me at this point and the stories we exchanged sort of distracted us from our discomforts.

The best thing that probably happened along the route was at an aid station when marshals were passing out ice cream in cones! That was really refreshing! While handing them out, they would ask your race number so you probably can’t get more than one piece. I could have probably finished 5 of those as it came at a time when you felt already exhausted, hungry and dehydrated!

I finished the race in about 8 hrs and 3 minutes and recorded in my Soleus Fit GPS a total distance of 52.8 kms. I came in at 379th out of 674 runners. I was surprised to see an ultra race this huge, and the organizers say this is the biggest ultra race staged so far in the country.

Finish Line of the K2C 50k Ultramarathon

When everything was over, the finishing experience was smooth and organized as you would expect.  The finish line tape, medals, nice dri-fit shirt and huge trophy were systematically given to all the finishers with properly rationed food and drinks for everyone.

There’s really very little negative to say about this ultra race although that’s not probably what you’ll be thinking when you reach km45 when your lungs and legs will be screaming in agony! The only negative i can think of is the claiming of the race packets a few hours before race time. With more than 600 runners, they should have distributed it days earlier so as not to delay the actual gun start.

But this is minor compared to the over-all experience which was great, and it’s pretty amazing how much planning, sweat, and security went into organizing this race. And i would highly recommend events of RunMania to anyone who is running their 1st or nth Ultramarathon.

Thanks to Judith Staples of Team Soleus and Pat Maranan and company of RunMania for this opportunity to run this race! To my co-runners Carlo, Bel and Vladz–you guys are great and to our support team Jarry, Edgar, Flor, Michi Ko and Michelle–you all are the best! Last but not the least, my team, Team 90%, my partners in crime!

Leaving you with some of the pictures during the run. (Thanks to my photographer friends).

This medal forms part of another medal, the other being an earlier race staged also by RunMania. I missed the earlier one.

With Flor, Bel and Michi Ko

With Lucky Jackie and Running Jack-PapaDyak

With my running partners

With Zaldy and Gia of Ayala Triads

Paced with this great guy during the last 11 kms, Ener Galang

With multi-awarded runner, long time friend and ultra finisher, Mommy Nora Del Rosario

With Mayette of Ekek Runners

Receiving my medal and the guy on the right seems impressed! 😉

BDM160: Pacers or Companionship?

Chito (left) and Mel

Sometimes, its hard to imagine what running friends are getting into when they enter a 100 mile race (160kms) on a route where thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were forced-marched during WWII and died on their way to Camp McDonnel. This event, now etched as the infamous Bataan Death March is now going to be revisited by about a hundred runners thru the Bataan Death March 160km Ultramarathon.

From my circle of close running mates, Mel Severino and Chito Carreon will be up to the challenge and complete the race, by hook or by crook. But both are seasoned ultra-marathoners and have been nipping the heels of other ultra runners since they joined ultra events two years ago. This is essentially a test of humans against distance and yet from the beginning, these two are poised to finish the race in an unchartered distance of 160kms probably living out their strange dreams out of their near twisted minds!:-)

We have now been tasked to help these two in realizing their dreams so we are now officially their support crew and help them as Pacers from kilometer 102 up to km 160 at the finish in Capas, Tarlac. Not only will we act as pacers but our task will also include feeding, massage and tending to other needs of these two destitute runners on their last 12 hours of running and that will be some grand fete.

Last night, we gathered and organized our team to plot out our strategies to ensure that they reach the finish line alive! We shall have two vehicles loaded with supplies and some cold beer waiting for them, assuming that they arrive. For an event that celebrates individual determination in the face of a lonely struggle, we are sharing our endless support and boost their spirits and hope for their survival! By the time they reach the 102km mark, when they are in the throes of exhaustion, when their calf muscles turn into stone and when feet transforms to sponges, we shall start our pacing and perform CPR as need be..

Support Team Leader Leo going over the list and strategies to be implemented

Pacing is hardly the operative word as they would hardly be able to run when they reach the 102km mark on their way to the finish. What these guys need is “companionship”, somebody who can boost their moral and spirit, somebody they can lean on in time of collapse and a light that would guide them in their ordeal.

So to Mel, Chito and to my other running friends running this ultramarathon, good luck in your 30-hour journey!

Team "Dilaw", the support crew

Good luck to both of you!