The first reason why I DNFd in this race was because of my being dumb and hard-headed. In the middle of March of last year, I had a bad slip and fall on a paved road that caused some injuries to my right leg, knee, and head. The trauma that hit my knees to the ground resulted to a pain that made me limp in my walk and run. Despite of what had happened, I joined the Mt Ugo 42K Trail Marathon without any plans of joining it and I was able to withstand the pain on my right knee and was able to finish the race.
Two weeks before the conduct of the TNF 100, while “road testing” my Hoka One One Bondi B Speed, I had another slip and fall and my right knee which was recovering from my previous injury, hit the ground first and the pain I felt during the Mt Ugo 42K Trail Marathon came back. I was forced to rest the following days and prepared for my last recon run on the TNF course on the following weekend.
We were lost during our last recon run one week before the race and I was exhausted and tired. What was supposed to be an easy 20K trail hike, it became a 35K strenuous hike among our group. Being exhausted and tired one week before the race was a Big NO as part of the training preparation for such a very challenging event.
On race day, I was still strong and determined to finish the race when I reached AS1 as I had some “buffer” time on the prescribed cut-off time. While I was on my way to the Philex Ridge, I was still on a fighting mode in the company of Bong Alindada until we reached the Aid Station in Barangay Alang. From that point, everything is a rolling terrain with more declines until one reaches the halfway point along Kennon Road.
The Barangay Alang to Twin Peaks Falls was my downfall. The pain on my right knee was getting more severe; it was too hot; I was experiencing exhaustion due to dehydration and faulty nutrition; and the paved steep road in going down to the next Aid Station was too harmful to my legs and knees that I had to slow down.
I still have less than one hour as a “buffer” time before the prescribed cut-off time but my rest and eating period were extended as I stayed longer at the Aid Station for my much-needed rest and recovery. My time for my body to rest and recover was very slow as I tried to ingest more solid foods to my body.
I left the Aid Station with a very small margin of buffer time but after hiking for about 500 meters, there was some traffic among the runners along a single track trail due to carabaos staying on the trail. Due to the brief stop, I became lazy but I forced to continue with the hike. As the sun was setting down on the west and getting darker, I finally decided to throw the towel and declare myself as DNF.
For this year, I will be back to finish this race!