I am considering myself as a candidate for the position of Chief Administrator of the Philippine Retirement Authority!
Keep on running!
Western Pangasinan 63K Ultra Marathon Run (Sual To Bolinao)
4:00 AM May 12, 2013
Number Of Starters: 11
Number Of Finishers: 9
|1||Henry Laron (Champion)||7:45:16|
|2||Edrick Nicdao (1st Runner-Up)||9:19:44|
|3||Celito Jose Macachor (2nd Runner-Up)||9:36:32|
|7||Gerardine Kun (Champion, Lady)||11:10:30|
|8||Rexcie Jane Saldivar (1st Runner-Up, Lady)||11:57:46|
4:00 AM May 1, 2013/Tagaytay City To Nasugbu, Batangas
|1||Rogel Anajao (Champion, CR)||140||3:45:30|
|2||Arland Macasieb (1st Runner-Up, CR)||169||3:49:25|
|3||Enrique Sundiang (2nd Runner-Up)||2||4:07:38|
|6||Simon Pavel Miranda||311||4:34:20|
|7||Christian Velson Ticzon||205||4:48:21|
|9||Jayson Ikan Escobar||53||4:59:55|
|10||Rey San Victores||75||5:03:06|
|11||Jojo Macaranas Jr.||104||5:03:14|
|12||Salustiano A. Ramos||139||5:03:58|
|13||Rei A. Salangsang||148||5:07:01|
|17||Karl T. Reformina||183||5:13:50|
|18||John Paul Navarrete||25||5:16:17|
|19||Mart Ervin Nato||175||5:18:12|
|21||Roel C Opina||173||5:20:45|
|24||Beda Abugan Jr.||5||5:24:09|
|27||Juan Carlo F. Igos||169||5:27:58|
|29||Mark Andrew Melgar||96||5:35:20|
|30||Daphne Codilla (Champion)||F||42||5:36:49|
|32||Christian Albert Pabatao||205||5:38:59|
|38||Einstein Calaoa Jr||148||5:43:11|
|42||Gia Estrella (1st Runner-Up)||F||21||5:47:12|
|45||Cherrie Jardiniano (2nd Runner-Up)||F||136||5:51:47|
|59||Charles Vincent Aguila||49||6:06:56|
|65||Marie Monica Sarte||F||31||6:09:00|
|71||Lent Joseph Evangelista||213||6:13:16|
|75||Romeo Santos Jr.||43||6:22:02|
|83||Ian Herbert Monforte||199||6:32:19|
|91||Mark Jay Sidamon||209||6:39:48|
|92||Riccoe Michael Pore||170||6:39:54|
|96||John Paolo Reynes||26||6:42:47|
|100||Eduardo De Guzman||66||6:50:20|
|106||Eric John Galeos||56||6:51:20|
|113||Cristylyne Dela Cruz||F||82||6:53:40|
|119||Jorell Marlon Rendon||33||6:59:57|
|120||Doc Minnie Tomas||F||11||7:00:48|
|123||Efracio Castro Jr.||127||7:04:41|
|143||Wilson John Barbon||149||7:27:56|
|154||Jocelyn Ong Ramos||F||145||7:41:09|
|155||John Jed Natividad||68||7:41:31|
|169||Ken Michael Ulay||78||7:50:22|
|171||Rolando Ramirez Jr.||48||7:51:47|
|172||Mark Anthony Belaniso||15||7:52:49|
|188||Jonathan Isaac Sana||17||8:10:25|
|189||Nikki De Dios||F||93||8:11:23|
|190||Lydia De Guzman||F||76||8:13:15|
|201||Darius Ian Manlagnit||158||8:38:10|
|208||King Mark Patricio||72||9:18:52|
I have observed that the last year’s TNF 100 Phil (2012) results were nowhere to be found in the TNF 100 Phil website. I wonder why there is no data on the past editions of the TNF 100 with regards to its results.
I will now post the TNF 100 Phil result in my blog as a reference for those who finished in this year’s event/edition, as well as, a reference for future participants in the said event.
|Rank||Bib #||Name||Gun Time|
|6||1148||Aldean Philip Lim||17:56:55|
|7||1107||Mark Carlo Villafuerte||17:57:09|
|17||1115||Agustin Lan – Aoan||21:31:24|
|19||1145||Yee Chuan Te||21:41:24|
|22||1259||Dianne Van Deren||22:17:07|
|25||1204||Mark Bryan Grey||23:13:07|
|29||1111||Jojo Dela Cruz||24:36:26|
|30||1005||Mel John Tezon||24:49:45|
|31||1201||Maria Josephine Liao||24:49:45|
|45||1199||Kirk Patrick Ang||26:55:06|
|46||1246||Melchor Jr Azanes||26:55:06|
|50||1283||Name For Verification||26:57:19|
|51||1301||Earl Warren Navor||27:12:59|
|62||1303||Name For Verification||28:11:25|
|70||1119||Khristian Ray Sobejana||28:29:42|
|78||1113||Name For Verification||28:44:23|
|83||1073||Name For Verification||28:54:16|
|84||1197||Calvin John Escandor||28:55:56|
|86||1009||Marc Conrad Molina||29:00:21|
|87||1222||Chin Ann Tan||29:03:49|
|90||1215||Ricardo Jr Cabusao||29:11:19|
|96||1007||Sitor Torsina Situmorang||29:24:02|
|102||1078||Michael Reuben Calunsod||29:39:14|
For the FIRST time in the history of the Tagaytay To Nasugbu (T2N) 50K Ultra Run, there will be a Final Briefing and Carbo-Loading Party to all Registered Runners ONLY.
The T2N 50K Final Briefing & CLP will be held at the Galileia Events Place/100 Miles Cafe (catering by 100 Miles Cafe) which is located at Fort Pointe, Bonifacio Global City.
The activity will start at 6:00 PM and ends at 9:00 PM on April 29, 2013 (Monday). Registered runners will have to bring their BPI Bank Deposit Slip for them to redeem their Race Bib and Free 100 Miles Cafe T-Shirt. Only those who will be present in the Final Briefing will receive the said T-Shirt. No Proxy will be allowed for the distribution of the 100 Miles Cafe T-Shirt.
For those “newbies” in ultra marathon races, they have to bring a copy of their Medical Certificate or Letter/Certification of Approval from their Family Doctor that they are allowed to join in long distance running/endurance sports.
There will be FREE Food & Drinks For Registered Runners ONLY. Non-registered attendees shall order from 100 Miles Cafe on separate billing.
Runners who would not be able to attend the Final Briefing & CLP will redeem their Race Packet on Race Day, WITHOUT the 100 Miles Cafe T-Shirt.
See you at the Final Briefing & CLP. Good luck to everybody!
As early as January 4, 2010, I made an appeal/wish in my blog for the establishment of a “Runners’ Museum & Library”.
This is the exact wordings of my 2010 Running Wish—-“A Runners Library & Museum—A place where runners could share their running “collections” and a place where runners would meet and make their research. A place where we could see the Hall of Fame in Athletics!”
After a year, I made a follow-up blog to remind my readers about my wish for the benefit of the growing number of runners as the years passed. The following is the link of such wish:
I made a specific wish to Coach Rio (I am not sure if he is reading my blog then!) and to other runners to come up with an “cooperative effort” where every runner could share in the realization of my wish. But nobody made the move and I thought that if I have a wish to attain, it is upon me to make the MOVE and start initiating such effort. However, I could see that each runner, blogger, race organizer, and race director have their own personal interest to focus on. And as for me as the “initiator” of this idea through my blog, I simply kept silent on the said wish.
After two years, I was surprised to see on Facebook about the “100 Miles Cafe” concept that my ultra running friend, Jael Wenceslao, had posted in one of his rare “status” at the PUMAGs (Pinoy Ultra Marathoners Group) Page on Facebook.
Months later, I was invited to see for myself where this establishment is located. I would not like to describe in details on what to see and expect in this place.
It may not the exact ideal “Library & Museum” concept that I was thinking but it’s purpose as a place where runners, endurance athletes, their guests and families, relatives and friends could meet and share their ”stories” to one another and at the same time a place where lectures, forums, and meetings would be conducted, is very fitting for the said place. But I know, in a few months, this place will transform into a “Library & Museum” for all runners/endurance athletes!
Finally, 100 Miles Cafe will be officially opened with a simple ceremony where runners and other endurance athletes are invited.
See you at the Starting Line @ 100 Miles Cafe, 12 Noon, tomorrow, Friday, April 26, 2013!
Congratulations To Jael and to the Wenceslao Family!
For the benefit of those readers and newbie participants in this race who do not know what is in store for them in the next 46 kilometers of the race from the AS5 @ the Bridal Veil Falls in Camp 1, Tuba, Benguet up to the Finish Line, I will continue with this Race Report and transform it as a Recon Report of such part of the course.
AS5 To AS6 (Camp 1 To Barangay Tabaan Sur)
Crossing the Hanging Bridge at the Bridal Veil Fall in Camp 1, Tuba, Benguet along Kennon Road officially starts another challenging uphill climb which is considered as the most challenging part of the course. Based from my capabilities, I considered the AS4 to AS5, 12-Kilometer downhill route, from Barangay Alang to Camp 1 as the most difficult and hardest part of the course due to the downhill nature of the route and the heat of the sun in the early afternoon.
I am really weak in downhill running as I try to shorten my strides and put more braking efforts to my feet once they land on the ground for the simple reason that I don’t want to put more pressure to my aching and old knees and quad muscles. I have not yet fully strengthen my leg muscles since I was injured on my left knee two years ago. But I’ve started going to the gym for the past months but it became inconsistent after I had my tripping accidents.
However, my strength lies more on power hiking on uphill climbs and could keep up with the pace of younger trail runners. But after coming down from Barangay Alang, my strength just simply dwindled down and I knew it will take some more time and power-enhancing calories to regain my strength.
So let’s go back to the description of the route. After crossing the hanging bridge at the Bridal Veil Falls, it is a single track trail that is continuously uphill until it reaches a wider dirt road where you can see a house directly across such road. Turn right on the wider road until the road ends on the backyard of a house. There is a single track road on the left of the house that goes uphill that leads to a building structure which is a Chapel. On the left side of the chapel is a single-track trail that leads to another continuous uphill climb which is about 2-3 kilometers. Some of the trails are located on the edge of vegetable gardens being maintained by the locals.
The single track uphill trail leads to a wider dirt road where you have to turn right. My HR usually reaches to almost 200 beats per minute before I would reach this wide dirt road. This wider dirt road is a downhill where one could easily jog until you reach a wooden gate and a house with a store. Follow this road and always take the left turn if there is a Y-road/intersection. If you turn right, most likely you will be going back to Kennon Road. Those left turn intersection will lead you to another uphill climb—the direction you have to take to reach the summit/peak of Mount Santo Tomas.
There will be a concrete uphill road that will finally bring you to the Barangay Hall of Tabaan Sur, Tuba, Benguet. At this point, you have reached AS6 which has a distance of 10 kilometers from the Bridal Veil Falls. If you ask me, it would take me 3-4 hours to cover such distance with pure hiking.
AS6 To AS7 (Brgy Tabaan Sur To Mt Santo Tomas)
This is the route from the Barangay Hall of Tabaan Sur to the road that leads to the peak of Mount Santo Tomas which is few meters from the Power Antenna located at the peak of the mountain. The road leads to the 2nd Chapel and later to a Citrus Plantation. After the Citrus Plantation, it is a continuous assault on a single-track trail to the peak of Mount Santo Tomas and one has to pass the last Vegetable Garden before the uphill assault. However, there are flatter parts of the course but the trail is too narrow that every runner should be careful for any missteps. It will be dark and nighttime on this part of the course that a runner must have a very strong headlight to be able to see the different TNF markers stapled on the trees and inserted on the blades of the grasses on both sides of the trail.
Once a runner reached a remnant of cable wires used in the transport of logs from the mountain, one has to turn right to a steep and short switchback downhill trail. Once you are down to a flatter trail, this trail will lead you to a wider trail and you are about one kilometer from the peak of Mt Santo Tomas
A runner would barely notice the old and abandoned PLDT relay station building after going through an uphill climb. From this old building and group of tower/antenna, one has to be on the road that leads to the summit of the mountain and AS7 is within reach. I am not sure if I can manage to cover this part of the course in 3-4 hours which is 9 kilometers in distance.
AS7 To AS8 (Mt Santo Tomas To Cabuyao)
This is the paved road from the peak of Mount Santo Tomas to the lower nearby mountain of Cabuyao which is seen from afar as downhill but on the last kilometer to the Cabuyao Aid Station, a runner will expect a slight uphill climb which is the last one in the mountain. Don’t be fooled with the distance of 2.9 kilometers as stated in the Course Map in between these two Aid Stations. Actually, the distance is 4 kilometers. So, if you still have 30 minutes remaining of your cut-off time before 1:00 AM, you have to run for your life as if somebody is chasing to kill you and give your 101% effort on this part of the course. Once you are safe at AS8, everything will be an easy and slow ride up to the finish line.
AS8 To AS9 (Cabuyao To Camp 6)
This is a rocky, very steep and tricky single track downhill trail for the first 4 kilometers and most of the runners will be slower and some will stumble, slide and accidentally kneel to the loose small rocks or grasses on the sides of the trail. This where you will feel your legs to be trembling from fatigue on every step you take on those rocks, small and big ones! But for the remaining parts of the trail, it will be flatter on the side of the mountain as you pass the water impounding & pumping facility and the hanging bridges in the area. The sounds of the passing vehicles along Kennon Road will be nice music to your ears and the lights from the houses at Camp 6 would be the most satisfying sight that you would see after running/jogging and hiking in the mountains for the past 9-10 hours! You will be happy if you can reach AS9 which is your entry to Kennon Road in 3-4 hours. You will cross your last hanging bridge here after crossing some hanging bridges on this leg of the course. The distance covered on this portion of the course is almost 8 kilometers.
AS9 To AS10 (Camp 6 To Airport Road)
The uphill climb at Camp 6 to the northern side of PMA/Fort Del Pilar will be the last “torture” portion of the course. The runners will be running along alleys in-between rows of houses built on the side of the mountain. Finally, concrete uphill steps outside the group of houses will officially start one’s last “torture” climb on the race course. The trails to take here are the ones that leads to a higher elevation and these trails are always turning to the right!
All the runners’ feeling here is to ask themselves if they can still make it to the finish line within the cut-off time or for them to simply declare DNF in the race but on the other side of their negative thoughts, runners would be happy that after this uphill climb, all the remaining parts of the route will be relatively flat. It is just a matter of mental toughness, patience and self-determination that will propel each runner to reach the Finish Line. They will be happy that it is already daybreak for the next day and the weather is cooler and the sights around are more refreshing.
There are two things that I like in this place. First, when I hear the barking of dogs from the quarters of the Officers assigned in PMA and, and secondly, when I reach & stop for a drink break on a hose that has a continuous flow of cold water which is few meters away from AS10. This part of the course has a distance of almost 6 kilometers with the first half as the steepest parts.
AS10 To Finish (Airport Road To Camp John Hay)
I consider this as one’s “cool down” run where you can jog and walk alternately all the way on the side road of the airport/runway and into the subdivision after leaving the airport area. After some trails and painted/numbered pine trees, you are in a slightly uphill course until you reach the periphery of Barangay Scout Barrio. From there, a tour on the different trails inside Camp John Hay will be ahead of you. No matter if the distance is 5, 6, or 7 kilometers and there is no need to complain and ask from the marshals/volunteers if the Finish Line is near or how many kilometers more to go before you reach the Finish Line. What matters most is that you are going to make it within the cut-off time of 30 hours and start to imagine that Finisher’s Medal to be awarded to you once you cross the finish line. And most of all, think of a story line and description on what will be the composition of your “status” on Facebook! You have 11 kilometers to compose your story and “status” on Facebook along this last leg of the course.
It is not enough to rely on this Recon Report if you want to really know the exact situation and terrain of the course. One has to actually recon the place and get familiarity of what to expect. Familiarity of the place will greatly contribute to one’s confidence to finish the race. However, one has to consider again other factors such as: physical & mental preparation; nutrition; hydration; apparel/equipment; and pacing.
I understand that on Race Day, the trail will be properly marked with TNF Logo markers and reflectorized paints and strips and there is NO need for a detailed description of the trails. But I think this description that I made in this post will be a great help for those who will start their training in a few weeks time. You might laugh but I will be ONE of those who will start such training as soon as possible!
Whether it will be the same course for next year or not, the “basics” are still the same—-uphills; downhills; “fueling” yourself; and the high altitude elevation of the course.
Keep on running!
(Next—Part 4: Lessons Learned; Observations; and Things To Be Improved)
I arrived in Baguio City on Thursday afternoon and went directly to PMA/Fort del Pilar where the PMA Alumni House: Nakar Hall is located. This place had been my official place to stay whenever I am in Baguio City in preparation and training for the 2013 TNF 100. It is a special privilege to be always booked in Room #1 of the said Hall.
On Friday morning, I was able to prepare for my drop bag and the things I will be needing for the race. Everything was set and I was excited to attend my first TNF 100 Final Briefng and Carbo Loading Party at the Azelea Residences in Baguio City which starts at 3:00 PM of the said day.
Race Briefing & CLP
Five minutes before 3:00 PM, I was already inside the venue with lots of new faces and few of the ultra runners that I know of. I observed that TNF 100 is more of a mountaineering event because of the presence of more mountaineers. I have the impression that more mountaineers were inside the venue than the number of ultra runners that I know of based from their attendance of the ultra races that I organize and direct.
It came immediately into my mind that TNF does not screen their runners for the ultra distances (50K & 100K) as compared to my screening requirements before a newbie would run his/her first ultra marathon race which is the 50K. My events usually ask the runner if he/she finished an official Marathon Race (42K) and that a Medical Certificate is mandatory to be submitted to me before he/she can join an ultra marathon event. So, obviously, TNF does not care if you are a mountaineer and could only finish a half-marathon race and you are registered as one of the 50K or 100K runners. But in the West/USA, TNF Races are heavily attended by trail ultra runners.
I hate when the scheduled time of the event is not followed as announced. For me, joining races is about discipline and observation of good manners and right conduct (GMRC). If I announce that the time of the briefing is on this particular time, I usually start the briefing on the said time of the briefing with or without the participants. There should be no reason for a schedule to be delayed or for the participants/audience to be late for the said activity. Well, after 45 minutes from the scheduled time of start, the briefing started with the introduction of the people in front and seated on the stage.
The Regional Director of the Department of Tourism; a TNF Lady Ambassador; Baguio City Sports Representative; Neville Manaois (Technical Race Director); and Jundell Llagas were the people at the stage. Jundell acted as the Emcee and each of them delivered their piece—a Prayer/Invocation from The TNF Lady Ambassador; a Race Route Briefing was delivered by a guy whom I think does not know what he was talking about; and later Neville Manaois for the technical details of the race.
During the Open Forum, I was the first one to ask some concerns—clerical errors in the cellphone numbers on their Powerpoint Presentation; protocol on the use of trekking poles; how many drop bags are allowed; and what to expect once a Finisher crosses the Finish Line for the 50K & 100K races. I still had one more question to ask but I opted not to ask it. I really wanted to know if the “Big Boss” of the Primer Group was there to witness the event on Race Day and during the Awarding Ceremony.
Race Day (3:00 AM, April 20, 2013)
Together with my ultra friends, we arrived at the Assembly Area, 45 minutes before the Gun Start. There was Live Band on a stage; photographers; runners (100K & 50K); and spectators who happen to be family and friends of the runners. All runners were advised to register to the Marshals and have a check-up on the mandatory items to be brought by each runner during the race. In a few seconds, my things were checked and recorded to be complete.
I saw some of the active officers of the Philippine Army joining the race and I had some conversations with them. Other runners would ask for picture/pose with me and I accepted their request. More runners from the Visayas and Mindanao approached me for some pictures. They said that it was their first time to meet me in person and they wanted to have a picture with me.
Fifteen minutes before the start, I went to my usual position at the Starting Area—the rear portion of the pack! This is where I saw the “usual suspects” in ultra running in the country and we had some greetings and short conversation with each other. At least, we know each other’s capabilities and we respect each other. As for me, I just tell them verbally and through my body language that I was there not to compete with them but to compete with myself and the race course. I just hope that most of the “usual suspects” will still be running and competing in ultras with the same age as mine today—-next month i will be 61 years old!
After a simple countdown from 10 to “Go”, the race started at exactly 3:00 AM and I started to walk to cross the starting line from the rear. Everything was asphalt for the first 4-5 kilometers where runners ran towards the Gate at the Baguio Country Club and then taking those roads on residential areas that lead to South Drive. From South Drive, the runners would enter the Old Gate 1 of Camp John Hay which is now called the Pinagbenga Park. After a few meters, runners would veer off right from the asphalted road towards the trail. I was power walking for the first 5 kilometers and I was happy that I registered one hour for the effort. With simple math, I expect to reach AS3 in Ampucao in 6 hours, my target for the race for the distance of 30 kilometers.
Before I reached the AS1, the lead runners of the 50K race were already behind me and overtaking me with a very fast pace. After about 10 runners of the 50K had passed me, I observed that these runners don’t have the simple manners of warning the runner in front of them before they pass such runner. So, I shouted that if they should pass a runner in front of them, they should say, “On Your Left” or “On your Right”. These runners should be taught first on trail running manners/protocol before they could run such trail running events. It would be embarassing for a Pinoy ultra trail runner if he competes in international trail races without him/her knowing these basics!
Finally, I reached AS1 and I observed the runners in front of me to have stopped to eat their food. I just took a small bottle with water and drank the remaining water in the bottle and resumed my run & walk. Ed Escalante, an ultra runner in my races, was behind me and told me that he will be on my back on the whole stretch of the race. So, I had somebody to talk to during the early part of the race until we reached AS2. Both of us would run if I started to run and walk if I started to walk. I told him that we should eat while walking and just refill our bottles in the Aid Stations and leave the place immediately. Ed was a good companion along the course.
After I made my refill at AS2, one of the volunteers approached me and asked about my age! I told him I was 61. At this point, I suspected already that I am the oldest participant in the said event! At this point, I registered as Runner #181 out of the 240 runners that started the race. So far, so good. I could still manage an average speed of 5 kilometers per hour and my target of 6 hours to reach Ampucao was still on schedule.
When I entered the gate of Sangilo Mines, Ed Escalante is nowhere on my back. He just completely disappeared from my sight and the other runners in front of me for about hundreds of meters were within my sight and about to overtake them.
While I was power walking on the incline portions inside the said mining area, I saw the ABS-CBN Sports Unlimited staff trying to take a photo/film coverage of me and as I passed their position, one of the cameramen, approached me and conducted an interview while walking. It was a brief one but it would be great if it will be shown in the said program one of these days!
As we started for more incline trails, I was able to pass more runners but on the downhill parts, I would be overtaken by these younger kids whom I think were so serious in the race. They don’t bother to look at you, greet you, smile at you, or simply say something that they notice you. Except for those ultra runners that I know, others were too serious during the race. Maybe, they are mad at me or maybe their ego were affected when they saw me overtaking them on the incline portions of the route. They could not accept that an old man was there easily overtaking them on the trails.
One thing that I was proud of doing in this race from start up to the time I declared myself as DNF was to greet and say “Thank You For Being Here” to each of the Volunteers and Marshals that I saw and passed along the route, to include those who were stationed in the Aid Stations. I would even start a conversation by asking “What is your appetizer with alcoholic drinks (“pulutan”) for the day/tonight?” Most of the volunteers/marshals would start to smile and laugh and answer my question. Those interactions with the marshals and their smiles made me stronger during the race.
On my way down towards a populated area before AS2, I saw an international runner who happens to be from Indonesia who was “crawling”/using his hands to hold the ground as he descended from a higher ground along the trail. I asked him if he has any problem with his sight/vision or his headlight why he was “crawling”. He said he was okey and he allowed us (with Ed Escalante) to pass him. I told him that he should not be shy to tell us if he has any problems as we can easily contact the marshals/volunteers along the way.
At this point, I was very religious with my nutrition strategy to ingest solid foods every two hours and I did not feel any tiredness or weakness on my body. My hydration strategy was maintained and I took some sips of Gatorade. I knew I could reach the AS3/Ampucao within 6 hours!
When I saw the concrete road on top of the last peak/mountain from Ampucao, I already knew that I was only 3 kilometers away from AS3. I reached AS3 in 9:15+ hours! I was registered as Runner #178 to arrive at AS3. I was slowly improving my ranking.
AS3 To AS4
After a 15-minute “pit stop” at AS3 where I drank Coke, ate a ripe banana and a cup full of hot noodles with soup, and ate some of the dried fruits from my stashed food in my pack, I resumed my run & walk with Bong Alindada. It was impossible to run & jog on those three (3) successive peaks before reaching the Philex Ridge and the entrance to the “mossy forest”. It was more impossible to run after these three peaks as the trail was too narrow and full of rocks and most of them were on steep downhill portions of the mountain.
I started to walk and hike slower when I reached the rocky portions of the Philex Ridge. Bong Alindada would ultimately became my unofficial pacer as he positioned himself behind me and I considered him as my “phantom” chaser on my back which worked for me. As soon as I saw his figure on my back, I would make my pace faster but such effort made me perspire some more and I was starting to consume the two bottles that I filled up at AS3.
I did not realize that the next AS4 would be as far as almost 12 kilometers, where the next water station is located. I tried to minimize the intake of water and made sure that the two bottles will be enough for me up to AS4.
Before we entered the “mossy forest”, Bong told me that we have to reach AS4 by 1:00 PM and my watch flashed that it was already 11:45 AM. We had to cover a distance of 7 kilometers inside the “mossy forest” in 1:15 hours which was a tall order to accomplish with two rope rapelling areas to pass through and loose and slippery/tricky trails inside the forest. I knew, it would take us 1:30 hours to travel along the forest and get out from it.
After those two rope rapelling stations, I was already in need of water but I tried my best to maintain the pace as I lead at least 4 runners along the trail inside the forest. At least, we reached the house where Bong told me where a water hose was located but only to find out that the water is contaminated with dirt and debris. With my frustration, Bong assured me that it will take us only 500 meters more before we reach the AS4.
I was already dehydrated while brisk walking on the last 500 meters and I thought the actual distance was becoming more than a kilometer. I tried to control my anger for not bringing more water and underestimated the distance from AS3 to AS4. At this point, I forgot everything about my nutrition strategy as I didn’t have enough water to flush the food in my mouth through my throat. Relentless forward and patience did the trick until a final clearing was seen at the end of the forest.
@ AS4/Barangay Alang, Tuba, Benguet
Finally, we were approaching AS4 in Barangay Alang. I took one big bottle of water and drank as much water as I could and made some refill in my two bottles. I think I was able to ingest three pieces of Pan De Coco (Coconut Bread) which was the only food offered in the said station. I forgot to take out my stashed solid foods in my pack for the added nutrition as I glanced my watch with a time of 1:15 PM. Bong said that we were late by 15 minutes to reach the said AS4 but he was very positive that we can regain our lost time if we start to jog all the way to AS5. I forced myself to smile but I knew from the stories of past runners that this stretch is the longest and hardest part of the course and I was wondering what could had been the reason of difficulty for this part of the route.
At this point, I could be Runner #172 to arrive at AS4 based from the runners that I counted from the Philex Ridge to the “mossy forest”. I was happy that I was still passing other runners along the route.
As Bong and I jogged and walked along the rocky trail, I realized that the incline of the road was very steep where the legs would put some “braking” pressure and put more tension to my knees and quads. After walking for about 30 minutes, I started to run/jog/walk on this portion but the heat of the sun at 1:30 to 2:30 PM was so intense that I started to perspire profusely. I think I ran continuously for about 3 kilometers and then power walk for the rest of the way. I panicked when I saw in my watch that it was already 3:00 PM, my target arrival at AS5. Looking at the horizon, I could see my eye level to be within the level of the mountain in front of me and I knew I was still far from my destination.
I started to slow down because of the heat of the sun and tried to dip my Patagonia Cap into a flowing water along the road but I was surprised to find out that the cap is made of water-proof material. Instead of making the cap to be wet and give coldness to my head, It scooped some water to be poured to my head! The heat of the sun, heat of the paved road, and steep downhill incline of the road sapped the strength on my quads, legs and knees!
Not following my nutrition strategy to eat every two hours; the heat around me; and the steep downhill construction of the road contributed my body to get weaker and weaker as I reached AS5. It was too late when I brought down my pack, took a brief rest on the side of the road, and ate dried fruits and some bite foods at least 2 kilometers from AS5. Finally, I reached AS5 at 4:20 PM, more than 1 hour & 20 minutes from my target time of arrival. I covered the downhill route with a distance of almost 12.5 kilometers in 2 hours and 5 minutes! I was back as Runner #178 to reach AS5!
My entire body was hot and I was exhausted! I just wanted to drink an ice cold Coke and completely forget everything on how to deal with a hot body in a race. Why is it that I was NOT able to recall what I did when Gilbert Gray instructed me to place an ice-soaked towel on my nape,head and face during the last 3 kilometers of the Bandit 50K Trail Run? I could have rubbed the same ice-soaked towel to my aching quads and knees and wait for the pain to subside even for a few minutes.
I was not prepared for the heat on that day! The PAGASA weather forecast predicted some moderate and slight rains in the late morning up to the early afternoon on Race Day and because of this forecast, I prepared for the rain to come!
I could still withstand the pain on my right knee where I had my abrasions/wounds due to my double tripping incident but I felt the weakness in my body after 20 minutes when I crossed the hanging bridge at the Bridal Veil Falls with the hope to reach AS8 (Cabuyao) in 8 hours. I knew that my legs were already wasted at this point that I have to make the final decision to call my staff to return to AS6 and end the race with a DNF.
I did not want myself to be limping with my right leg as useless and inutile for the next weeks to come. I have more adventure runs to finish and experience in the next weeks to come. There will be some other day or days to accomplish and finish the TNF 100 Phil and if that time will come, I guess, it will still have the same honor and privilege to be the ONLY OLDEST ULTRA RUNNER (which means the ONLY SENIOR CITIZEN) to have finished the said event. And for sure, it will take a lot of more years before such accomplishment would be broken!
Part 3: Lessons Learned; Suggestions; Things To Be Improved.
(Note: Pictures To Be Inserted Soon!)