Recce is a British English term while Recon is a North American English/Australian English term of the word Reconnaissance. The word is defined as:
“Reconnaissance is a mission to obtain information by visual observation of other detection methods, about the activities and resources of the enemy or potential enemy, or about the meteorologic, hydrographic, or geographic characteristics of a particular area”. (From Reconnaissance: US Army Field Manual 7-92; Chapter 4)
In ultra trail running, the conduct of reconnaissance on the race course is a “must” if one has to establish full confidence to finish the race or even establish a better performance in the race. For elite and/or top-rated ultra runners, they make it a point to run through the course as part of their recce/recon. The “race course” is the “enemy” for every runner and he/she needs all the data about the enemy and defeats it at all costs. Conducting a recon run is no longer a “secret” among Champions. It is the Way of the Champions!
When brothers Gerald and Cresenciano Sabal won as Team Champion in the Mt Apo Boulder Face International Challenge last March of this year, I personally asked Gerald Sabal to consider competing for the 2013 Vibram Hongkong 100K Trail Run (HK100) and improve the past performance of the Pinoy elite runners in the said race. I got a positive reply from Gerald and the support of Andre Blumberg from Hongkong continues for the exposure of Pinoy runners in international running competitions.
In order to gain confidence and familiarity of the HK100 trail course, I brought Gerald Sabal to Hongkong last July this year with Andre Blumberg as our Host and Guide. We had a night run and a day run in two successive days along the second half and most difficult portions of the course. Our recce/recon was very fruitful as Gerald was able to experience the climate and to see for himself the condition and elevation of the course.
Marcelo’s continuous winnings in my ultra races in every month and for being the Champion in the 1st PAU National Championship in Guimaras, Andre Blumberg of Hongkong asked me if Marcelo could also join Gerald Sabal for the 2013 HK100 Trail Run. I immediately approved of the proposal. So, for the 2013 HK100 Trail Run, Andre Blumberg of Hongkong had sponsored for the Registration Fees, Round-Trip Tickets and Accommodation for Gerald Sabal and Marcelo Bautista. Andre Blumberg had been consistently the “Good Samaritan” of our elite Ultrarunners.
If you are wondering why an international runner, as an individual, is the one who have been initiating and offering support to our elite ultrarunners to international races, I am also wondering why? Instead of asking him why he is doing this support, we should ask ourselves and our corporate entities in the country why we are not supporting our elite runners to international exposure.
Two weeks ago, Andre Blumberg came to the country to participate in the 2nd edition of the Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run and he brought with him running kit/apparel, equipment, and nutrition for Marcelo and Gerald. The two runners had been adapting and “breaking-in” on the nutrition & equipment provided by Andre as they are now training in Baguio City/Benguet Province. Their “new” nutrition is giving them better performance in their training.
For the past two weeks, Gerald and Marcelo had been training hard in the mountains in Baguio/Benguet (Mts. Cabuyao & Santo Tomas); stairs running & repeats at the Lourdes Grotto; trail running loops at the Camp John Hay Complex; speed drills & stretching workouts; and LSDs to Ambuklao Dam and back to Baguio City. Such training is geared towards teamwork, nutrition & hydration strategy, pacing, dependability of running equipment, high altitude, strength-endurance, and most of all, running in a cold environment.
Gerald and Marcelo had been consistently running in Baguio City/Benguet when the temperature is at its lowest (starting at 2:00 AM up to 6:00 AM). Going up to the peak of Mount Santo Tomas on the early morning (4 AM) on Christmas Day gave them a cold temperature with gusty winds experience, the same situation they will experience at the peak of Tai Mo San (900+ masl), the highest elevation of the HK100 course! So far, their acclimatization training had been very successful. Their cold environment is geared towards being able to run with light apparel with the 8-10 degrees Celsius temperature on Race Day.
The two runners will arrive in Hongkong with at least two days to recon the course and acclimatize to the prevailing climate/weather in the area. There will be NO special foods (5-Star Hotel Buffet) for them before the race and no NEW running kit/equipment to be used for the race. More sleep and rest will be waiting for them in Hongkong prior to the conduct of the race.
Target goal for the two runners? Hoping and praying that they will land on the Top 15 Finishers and with a Finish Time of Sub-11 Hours.
Let us join hands in supporting Gerald and Marcelo in the 2013 Hongkong 100K Trail Run and to their future International Ultrarunning Races!
To Andre, thank you very much for being the “Good Samaritan” to our elite ultrarunners!