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Official Result: 4th West To East 280K Ultra Marathon Race

9 04 2018

4th West To East 280K Ultra Marathon Race (Road/PAU Grand Slam Event 200+K)

6:00 AM March 29, 2018 To 2:00 PM March 31, 2018

Starting Place: Ramos Beach Resort, Patar Road, Bolinao, Pangasinan

Finish Line Area: Seaside Resort, Barangay Tanguigue, Dingalan, Aurora

Course Cut-Off Time: 56 Hours (Intermediate Cut-Off Time: 10 Hours Every 50 Kilometers)

Number of Starters: 7 Runners

Number of Finishers: 3 Runners

Percentage of Finish: 42.85%

West To East 280K Starters @ Bolinao Beach

RANK          NAME                FINISH TIME (Hrs)

  1. Gibo Malvar (Overall Champion) — 52:52:01
  2. Roberto Vocal Jr (1st Runner-Up, Overall) — 55:16:34
  3. Rod Losabia (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) — 55:40:29

Champion Gibo Malvar

Overall 1st Runner-Up Roberto Vocal Jr

Overall 2nd Runner-Up Rod Losabia

Mandatory Ritual @ The Finish Line (Pouring Sea Water From The West To The East Coast)

Congratulations To All The Finishers!

Note: Pictures By Dhan Punsalan

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Race Report: 2018 Old Spanish Trail (OST) 50K Trail Run

23 02 2018

I was registered to join the Four Lakes 100K Ultra Trail Race and I was ready and trained to finish this race within the cut-off time of 30 hours. I did finish this race two years ago with a time of 26+hours when the cut-off time was then 28 hours. Mentally and physically, I was prepared to finish this race as this was considered as one of my training races in preparation for the 2018 Madeira Island Ultra Trail (MIUT) Race in Madeira, Portugal to be held in April 28, 2018.

In addition to finishing the BDM 102 Ultra in 15:20+hours three weeks earlier, the Four Lakes 100 Race would be a follow-up training race for me leading to the MIUT Race. In between these two races, I had my daily recovery runs and a Mountain Repeats workout in my favorite Mt Roosevelt’s Loop #3 in my Playground two weeks before race day.

Halfway towards Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya, I received an information from one of my nieces that my Father died from his sleep in the morning of Friday, few hours before the start of the race. As I travel to the venue of the race, I called my brother and sisters and made some suggestion about the schedule of Viewing and Funeral for our Father as most of our plan, in case of his untimely death, had been finalized long before while he was still alive. The plan was immediately implemented hours after our Dad’s death and I just kept peace and silence to myself and focused mentally to finish race where I had registered.

The race promptly started at 3:00 AM of Saturday and I started the race at the back of the pack. Knowing that 100K is a very long race and that Four Lakes 100’s race route is new to myself and everybody, I thought of being conservative on the first half of the race with the intention/objective of arriving each Checkpoint/Aid Station within the prescribed cut-off time. My smart strategy for the first half is to conserve my legs’ energy by using my Trekking Poles on the first ascent of the course with the hope that I could still run on the descents of the 2nd half of the course.

I was happy to have reached the summit/peak of Mt Ugo earlier than the first time I joined this race. I would start to run on the descent from the peak of Mt Ugo and alternately, hike and jog until I reached the Domolpos Aid Station. I ate two pieces of local “Suman” and refilled my Hydration Bottles with water and electrolyte powdered mix which was enough to provide me the much energy to reach the first Checkpoint at Kayapa East Market. I took my time to eat some food and refill my bottles even if I still have 25 minutes of buffer time from the cut-off time of 8 hours.

I was not in a hurry to reach the dreaded ascent at Amelong Labeng as I made up my mind not to stop or take a very long rest in one of the 3 waiting sheds along the said route. On my first finish in this race, I had a lot of rests and stops along this route that I had to engage in a very long conversation with some of the runners then, not knowing that they are participants in the shorter Old Spanish 50K Trail Run. For this year, I had to maintain my slow trek on this route using my trekking poles with some 5-10-second rests to catch up my breath. On the last waiting shed, I had to sit and ate some rice balls stashed in my Race Belt but I did not stay long as more runners were seen coming up to my direction.

Digging Deep @ Amelong Labeng (Photo By GlairoldRecella Photography)

Finally, I reached the Elementary School where I had to refill my bottles and make my Electrolyte Mix drink. As the heat of the sun was too hot when I was in this area, I had to douse my head, neck, arms and upper body with the cold flowing water coming from the faucet and it was refreshing and invigorating. I had to leave the place immediately as most of the runners were approaching my position. It was a repeat of my first finish when going up to the Tower Antenna at Amelong Labeng with the intense heat coming from the sun. I had to persevere and trust my training at this point where I would “power hike” with the aid of my trekking poles until I reached the peak of the mountain where the Tower Antennas are located. I started to run and jog on my way down to the Highway but along the way, I would here some mysterious sounds behind me as if somebody was trying to pass me but I could not see anybody. As I ran faster on the descents, such sound would never leave and then suddenly, I hear somebody calling my name “Ben” as the wind blows behind my back. I could not believe experiencing this as I don’t believe in “ghosts” or paranormal activity throughout my life. I knew I was neither dehydrated nor “bonking” on my nutrition needs at this moment. As I continued my running, I remember those stories we shared each other with my brother about our Father on the early portions of the race. We were both laughing about these stories while were were running. (Note: My brother was one of the runners of the OST 50K Trail Run). I felt guilty that here I was in the mountains running a race while my Dad was being prepared for viewing. At this point, I started to think and decide to shorten my race and be with my Dad.

Having Fun @ The Old Spanish Trail (Photo By GlairoldRecella Photography)

Two kilometers before reaching the 2nd Checkpoint in Castillo, I called the RD and requested him that I am going to downgrade to the OST 50K Race because of the “paramdam” I’ve experienced on top of Amelong Labeng. The RD approved my request. I reached Castillo in 12:15 hours which is almost 2 hours ahead of the cut-off time in this Checkpoint for the Four Lakes 100 Trail Run. From Castillo, the route is all descending 4+kilometers to the finish line.

I finished the OST 50K Trail Run in 13:08+hours without any pain in my legs and body.





Official Result: 4th Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race

13 02 2018

2018/4th Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race (Solo, Single Stage)

10:00 PM February 8, 2018 to 12:00 Midnight February 10, 2018

Start Line: Rizal Park, Luneta, Metro Manila

Finish Line: Rizal Park (Burnham Park), Baguio City

Course Cut-Off Time: 50 Hours with Intermediate Cut-Off Time of 10 Hours Every 50 Kilometers

Number Of Starters: 18 Runner

Number Of Finishers: 11 Runners

Percentage Of Finishers: 61.11%

RANK        NAME                     TIME (Hrs)

  1. Rolando Espina (Overall Champion & New Course Record) —35:43:11
  2. Ronnel Valero (1st Runner-Up, Overall) —42:48:18
  3. Jivee Tolentino (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) —42:48:37
  4. Elmar Bob Tolete — 48:06:22
  5. Frederick Peñalosa — 48:13:01
  6. Sam Maniaul — 48:48:34
  7. Jeremy Blas — 48:50:51
  8. Gibo Malvar — 48:55:02
  9. Kristian Caleon — 49:00:34
  10. Reden Rodriguez — 49:40:51
  11. Oliver Cavinta — 49:42:28

Overall Champion & New Course Record Holder Rolando Espina

Overall 1st Runner-Up Ronnel Valero

Overall 2nd Runner-Up Jivee Tolentino

Congratulations To All The Finishers!

 





Race Report: 10th Edition Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race

5 02 2018

“Enjoy Every Step”….From Coach John Fitzgerald, CTS

I am proud to say that I am the only Race Director and Organizer of Ultra Marathon Races in the Philippines who runs its own event. It started with my “Pilot” Event then which is now the Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race (BDM 102). I would think then that running beyond a Marathon Distance was impossible and crazy to think among the local runners. It was like breaking the borders and exploring the impossible when I thought of having a solo and single stage running event of the historic Bataan Death March route from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga. But the hard-headed in me and making my dreams possible, everything was planned out and implemented and the rest is history. But for all the local runners to see and prove that such event can be done, I have to “set the example” and run the first edition of this race with the rest of the participants.

Fast Forward. While I was in Europe after I finished the Jungfrau Marathon Race last year, I received an e-mail from the John Medinger, President of the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run stating that the 10th Edition of the BDM 102 was selected as one of the 2019 Qualifying Races for the Western States 100- Mile Run. I was shocked and amazed that a Road Race in Asia is considered as a qualifying race in the most prestigious 100-mile Trail Race in the USA and in the whole world. It is for this main reason why I decided to join this event after nine years older than when I first ran it. The second reason why I decided to join the race is to find out the present state or condition of my running body after being under the watchful eyes of a Professional Coaching Service in the USA which is the CTS (Carmichael Training System) for the past six months. And lastly, as a part of my training to “kickstart” my 2018 Ultra Racing Season in preparation for my first international event for the year, the Madeira Island Ultra Trail Race (MIUT) in Portugal on the last weekend of April.

Planning for the 10th Edition of the BDM 102 had started since the months of April & May last year. And I firmly believed that my Race Staff and Volunteers would be there to administer and supervise the race while I was running the race. Slowly and surely, everything was in place and ready to be implemented on Race Day. Everything that can be controlled during the race was properly attended to except for the some surprises to include the assistance of the Local Government of Mariveles, Bataan in providing us with Public Address System and Lighting System for the whole Starting Area which is the BDM Shrine where the BDM Km #0 is located. Such assistance contributed to a “Party” environment for all the Runners and their Support Crew. It also made me more relaxed and comfortable in calling the attention and delivering my last detailed briefing to everybody before the Gunstart! The best surprise of them all was the weather during the night and day as most of the runners were covered with clouds and overcast sky. It even drizzled in some parts of the route and it was the first time to have experienced a rain at the Finish Line! I knew somebody up there was also with us in celebrating the 10th edition of this historic Bataan Death March Ultra Marathon Race.

Opening Ceremony & Short Program

I was asked by the local Police to delay the start by 30 minutes as most of the workers in the factories within the Mariveles Export Processing Zone will be leaving their respective factory/place of work at exactly 10:00 PM. The delay of 30 minutes will enable our runners and Support Vehicles free from traffic on the first 7 kilometers of the route as most of the workers traveling with their personal vehicle on this section of the Highway should have cleared the roads. The Zigzag Road from Km 2 to Km 7 is too narrow and the only long ascending portion of the route and with Big Cargo trucks, Commercial Buses and Private Vehicles on the road, extra safety was needed. The PNP made sure that only the runners would be on that section until the last runner had passed when they would open it again to regular traffic.

20 minutes before the Gun Start, we had our simple Opening Ceremony which consisted of a Prayer, Singing of National Anthem from the Main Actor-Countries of the Historic Bataan Death March and my usual Last Briefing and reminders on the Rules and Regulations of the Race. The short Prayer was done by Ronnel Go, one of my trusted and loyal PAU ultra runners; the Star Spangled Banner was sang by our US runners—Ann Sweat; Kim Travella; and Philip Bouve, all of whom are Veterans in their respective US Armed Services. Nobody from Japan was present and my Filipino ultra runner who teaches the Japanese dialect did not join the race, thus, we did not sing the Japanese National Anthem. Obviously, everybody sang our National Anthem proudly and loudly. I have also acknowledged the presence of 3 runners who came from Singapore—Wai Thing Law; Yang Wai Yee; and Jonathan Suerte. After some group picture at the BDM Km Post #0, the countdown started and all the runners were excited to start the journey.

Mandatory Group Picture @ BDM Km Post #0 (Photo By Dhan Punsalan)

At exactly 10:30 PM of Saturday, January 27, the race started with 244 runners with 48 Female Runners. I started the two Race Timing devices on my hand and waited for the last runner to leave the Shrine before I started the run. I was the last runner to leave the Starting Line.

With all those excitement, conversation with the runners, “photo-ops” or pictorials with individual runners and running groups, briefing, opening program, and giving instructions to my staff and volunteers, I forgot to prepare myself for those detailed things that I have to do minutes before the start of a race when I am a runner. I felt hungry immediately as soon as I had my first step of the race! I brought out one of my Power Bars from my Race Belt and started eating and walking on my first kilometer. No worries as I planned to hike on the ascending portion/s of the route.

As the event was getting nearer, I would review my notes and my thoughts and I thought of what would be my outcome goal in this race. When my Coach sent me a message two days before the race, expressed in three 3 simple words, “Enjoy Every Step”, I smiled and conditioned myself mentally that I will Finish the race and enjoy every step along the course. And that what I was expected to do from Start to Finish—Enjoy Every Step! However, at the back of my mind, a warrior’s voice aka “Devil’s Voice” would say, “Pass as many runners as you can!” So, from the very start, it was a fight between my Coach words aka “Angel’s Voice” and the “Devil’s Voice” in me!

I always advise the “newbies” in the BDM 102 that they should hike the first 7 kilometers of the route. Not heeding to this advise would compromise of what would be their running condition and ranking on the last 25-30K before the Finish Line and ultimately, on what kind of Finisher’s Medal they will receive as soon as they cross the Finish Line. After jogging the first 2 kilometers of the route which is flat, I started to power hike up to Kilometer #7. As I hiked, I was able to pass the slower runners and I would greet them and converse with them for encouragement.

Started As The Last Runner

An arrangement was made that I would be supported during the race by two Support Vehicles and Crew of two of my PAU Lady Ultrarunners. They would alternately provide me with the necessary food and hydration aside from their respective dedicated runner. Everything went fine and perfect on this kind of arrangement during the race.

From Km 8, everything was downhill and I took advantage of maintaining my “endurance run” pace with a relaxed, comfortable and steady speed and leg turn-over. I made sure that I was running with a speed of 5 miles per hour or 8 kilometers per hour. I was thinking that I should reach the first Checkpoint (Km 14) in less than 2 hours and not faster than 1:40 hours. Finally, I reached Km 14 in 1:44:44 hours and I was ranked #142. I was able to pass, at least, 100 runners as I came from behind in less than 2 hours!

After 2 kilometers from the first checkpoint, it was already a “roller-coaster” on the elevation of the course along the Roman Highway, you have hills and ascending portions of the course but you will be rewarded with some descents until you reach the second checkpoint at Km 23. I was surprised to know that I was ranked #66 with a time of almost 3 hours. At this point, I was having a speed of 5 to 5.3 miles per hour and I knew I was going faster as I tend to have the desire to pass every that runner that I see in front of me! The devil was really taking over into my mind!

Along The Km 68-83 Stretch

From this checkpoint, the next 9-kilometer stretch of this route is free from any vehicles except for the Support Vehicles parked on the right side of the road and their Support Crew waiting for their runner waiting on the left side of the road. Most parts of this stretch is well-lighted with street lamps, most specially in the center of each municipality or town one has to pass. I would pass more runners on this stretch until I came out to the Roman Highway at Km 31. At the 3rd Checkpoint in Km 32, I was ranked #58 with a time of 4:12:25 hours! I was able to catch up with the Singaporean Lady Runner Wai Thing Law and her Filipino companion, Jonathan Suerte and told them that there will be no more hills to climb up to the finish line. I guess, I lied because I did not take into consideration on those ascending approaches of bridges to cross up to the Finish Line.

After the Km 32 Checkpoint, it seems there are no longer runners in front of me as I was running without any “target” or reference point in terms of determining if I was going fast or slow on my pace/speed. This was the time that I thought the race was becoming boring. Not until I was in the company of Gibo Malvar, one of PAU’s candidate for the PAU Grand Slam Award for 2017 and it will be his second time to get such an award. He could be the ONLY PAU Runner who will have the distinction of coveting this Award in two successive years. Gibo and I paced with each other until I told him to get ahead after 5 kilometers. I would later catch him again at Km 45, eating some egg pie with Aldrin Pallera, another strong and consistent PAU Runner. These two runners caught and passed me before reaching Km 50 Checkpoint.

I finally reached Km 50 Checkpoint with a ranking of #42 with a time of 6:28:34 hours. I could see a lot of runners resting, eating, and having their massage with their Support Crew. This is where almost all the Support Vehicles wait for their runners. I did not stop as the my Support Vehicles were still few kilometers behind me taking care of their respective runner. One of the Support Vehicles/my Support Crew was able to refill my hydration bottle and I was able to stash some food in my Race Belt before reaching Km 50.

I was in the company of Wai Thing Law and Jonathan Suerte after passing Km 50 with few meters ahead or sometimes few meters behind me. It was a “see-saw” race between us until they left me for good at Km 57 when I started to incorporate power hiking with my run. Another runner in an orange shirt passed me before entering the town of Hermosa, Bataan and even if he was fast, I could still see him from a distance and use him as my reference point of my pace/speed. It was already daybreak and it started to drizzle when I was in Hermosa.

BDM 102 Never Gets Easier

I could still see the orange shirt of the runner ahead of me when I finally reached again the Roman Highway at Km 67. A PNP Checkpoint personnel was there to make sure every runner would be able to cross the Highway safely. I started to run again once I was on the left side of the road from this point. I knew the iconic BDM Km 68 post at the Layac Junction in Dinalupihan, Bataan was just one kilometer ahead of me.

I knew what to expect on the road stretch from Km 68 to Km 83. It is a 15-kilometer stretch where you meet every kind of vehicle on the fast highway of the San Fernando-Olongapo route. During the first edition, all of the runners had to cover their nose and face to prevent the dust from getting into your face/eyes and into their lungs. This stretch of road was under construction and being cemented at that time. The strategy to maintain your sanity in running on this section is to jog, run, and hike with a rest of power hiking! But with the heat of the sun, it will slow you down tremendously if you don’t be friends with ice water, wet small towel with ice cubes placed on top of your head or ice bandana tied around your neck or regular dousing of cold water on ones head, face, neck and upper body. However, in this year’s edition, the weather was so kind to everybody that I could feel a cold breeze coming from the East (in front of me) until I reached the commercial district of Lubao, Pampanga. It is just a matter of time that I would reach the Lubao Bridge (Km 82). It was on this stretch that some of the runners would be able to pass me and I would console myself with a reason that these runners are half younger than my age.

Enjoy Every Step On The Last 2 Kilometers

I finally reached Km 83 Checkpoint with a ranking of #53 with a time of 9:58:15 hours. My speed had decreased tremendously as I started to hike longer than jogging. From 5.3 miles per hour, I would estimate that I was averaging a 4-4.5 miles per hour speed at this point. One runner was on sight in front of me and I tried to use him as my reference point but to no avail. He just disappeared after a few minutes. At Km 90, fatigue and some tightness on my legs started to slow my pace and I knew more runners would be passing me. It was good that these runners are my PAU regular runners that they were kind enough to share their support-logistics to me aside from the designated Support Vehicle and Crew for me.

The plan to finish the race in 14 hours or less than 15 hours was nowhere in sight when I reached Km 100. The “angel voice” in my mind returned and reminded me to enjoy every step up to the finish line. I started to jog, run, and power hike on the last 2 kilometers and on the last turn towards the Finish Line, I saw the Finish Line Arc and some energy brought me back to jog all the way to the waiting crowd.

Approaching The Finish Line

I finished the 10th edition of the Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race with a ranking of #60 among the 212 finishers with a time of 15:20:08 hours. At first, I was sad that I was not able to improve my time of 15:18:45 hours when I was 9 years younger but I realized that with every year that a person gets older, his body mass and VO2 max deteriorates or decreases making him slower and weaker. But with my performance in this race, I would conclude that I have not aged or never got older since the day I first ran this event.

The first thing that I did when I reached home was to immediately send an e-mail to my Coach and told him of my performance. He replied immediately with the following:

“For you to run the same time as you did at the 1st edition of BDM shows your fitness right now. More focus on quality efforts over quantity has helped improve fitness. Not placing such a high emphasis on hard workouts and just as much focus on the recovery process (rest days) has allowed you to be more fresh and rested for workouts. As you age, you lose muscle mass and your aerobic capacity is lowered. Focusing on high intensity intervals and consistency with a strength routine is required to continue to make improvements.

I’m beyond excited to see what else you can accomplish this season!”

Thank you, Coach John. I really enjoyed every step along the course as I finished the 10th edition of the Bataan Death March 102K Ultra Marathon Race!

Congratulation to all the Finishers and a greetings of “Good Job” to all my BR’s/PAU Staff and Volunteers for yet another successful edition of the BDM 102.

2019 QUALIFYING RACE





Official Result: 3rd Naic To Nasugbu 50K Ultra Marathon Race

2 01 2018

3rd Naic To Nasugbu 50K Ultra Marathon Race (2017)

Starting Area & Time: Naic Public Plaza (Covered Court), Naic, Cavite/4:00 AM December 30, 2017

Finish Area & Time: PETRON Gasoline Station (Owned By Retired Lt General Obaniana, AFP), Nasugbu, Batangas

Cut-Off Time: 10 Hours

Number Of Starters: 29 Runners

Number Of Finishers: 29 Finishers

Percentage Of Finisher: 100%

RANK     NAME         TIME (Hrs)

  1. Thomas Combisen (Overall Champion)—5:29:29
  2. Felmer Hiponia (1st Runner-Up, Overall/Male)—5:46:20
  3. Jeff Salera (2nd Runner-Up, Overall/Male)—6:43:55
  4. Desrie Balla — 6:48:23
  5. Tess Leono (Female Champion) — 7:09:29
  6. Rasette Pesuelo (1st Runner-Up, Female) — 7:21:31
  7. Karl Ocampo — 7:30:33
  8. Jennylee Pascua (2nd Runner-Up, Female) — 7:40:16
  9. Eugene Mendoza — 7:51:42
  10. Bien Alcala — 7:53:17
  11. Joy Eder (Female) — 7:56:07
  12. Efren Olpindo — 8:04:25
  13. Albert Villamayor — 8:05:45
  14. Kathleen Piñero (Female) — 8:12:15
  15. Vicente Zapanta, Jr — 8:16:04
  16. Thess Santos (Female) — 8:40:45
  17. Cecilia Lalisan (Female) — 8:42:35
  18. Binky Musngi (Female) — 8:50:44
  19. Bob Tolete — 8:50:45
  20. Joseph Nebrida — 8:57:50
  21. Max Sanchez — 9:01:15
  22. Aris De Leon — 9:02:14
  23. Reese Rogel (Female) — 9:23:36
  24. Anna Odessa Albarracin (Female) — 9:27:11
  25. Lou Maghuyop (Female) — 9:30:47
  26. Jun Ramirez — 9:31:13
  27. Johnson Lontoc — 9:36:52
  28. Abegaile Par (Female) — 9:49:15
  29. Sabrina Oliveros (Female) — 9:50:04
Naic To Nasugbu 2017 Champion

Overall Champion Thomas Combisen

Naic To Nasugbu 2017 Female

Female Champion Tess Leono

Congratulations To All The Finishers!





Official Results: 2017 Taklang Damulag 100-Mile & 50-Mile Endurance Races

12 12 2017

7th Edition: Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Ultra Race

5:00 AM December 9, 2017 to 3:00 PM December 10, 2017

SOCOM Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija)

Course Cut-Off Time: 34 Hours

Number of Starters: 17 Runners

Number of Finishers: 5 Runners

Percentage of Finish: 29.4%

2017 Takla Starters

17 Runners Started For The 100-Mile Race & 3 Runners For The 50-Mile Race

RANK            NAME                  TIME (Hrs)

  1. Thomas Combisen (Overall Champion) —30:22:45
  2. Gibo Malvar (1st Runner-Up, Overall) —33:40:37
  3. Graciáno Santos (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) —33:40:38
  4. Elmar Bob Tolete ———33:41:35
  5. Badong Sietereales ——33:50:25

***Unofficial Finisher: Jovencio Luspian — 34:17:25

2017 Takla Champ

Overall Champion Thomas Combisen

2017 Takla 1st RunnerUp

Overall 1st Runner-Up Gibo Malvar

2017 Takla 2nd RunnerUp

Overall 2nd Runner-Up Graciano Santos

2017 Takla Finishers

Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Race Finishers


 

7th Edition: Taklang Damulag 50-Mile Endurance Ultra Race

5:00 AM to 9:00 PM December 9, 2017

SOCOM Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija)

Course Cut-Off Time: 16 Hours

Number of Starters: 3 Runners

Number of Finishers: 3 Runners

Percentage of Finish: 100%

RANK     NAME                 TIME (Hrs)

  1. Joey Odhuno (Overall Champion) — 13:33:45
  2. JC Igos (1st Runner-Up, Overall) — 15:06:30
  3. Frederick Espinosa (2nd Runner-Up, Overall) — 15:31:54
2017 Takla 50Milers

Taklang Damulag 50-Mile Podium & Finishers

Congratulations To All The Finishers!

 





Race Report: 2017 Miyamit Falls 42K Trail Run (4th Edition)

13 10 2017

Race Report: 2017 Miyamit Falls 42K Trail Run (4th Edition)

I was one of the “pioneers” of this trail race and I published a Race Report about it. That was four years ago and had been a trail runner for two years when this event was conducted.

I did not have any plans of joining this year’s edition but I thought of exposing my running buddy and training partner for a race, for the first time, which is very near my Playground. It was still within the Registration Period when I sent a message to the Race Director, Atty Jonnifer Lacanlale, of my intention to join in this year’s edition of the event with another runner. He gladly accommodated my request and I informed my training partner (aka Official Kodaker) that I have registered him to compete in a Trail Marathon.

Whatever my training for the day is the same training that we had to do and run together. For the past months and weeks since the middle of June of this year, my training partner was exposed to the training program/schedule that I got from my Professional Coaching Services. If the schedule calls for “hill repeats”, he would do so but with a faster speed/pace than me. If my schedule calls for a “tempo run repeats”, he would stay with me for the first repetition and ask him to just hold my camera and take pictures of me while doing my intense and hard “tempo repeats” in the mountain. If I do my “strides”, he would quicken his pace as he is always positioned behind me in my runs.

Knowing that he has the strength and speed for the race, I taught and advised him on tactics and race strategy during a race. I advised him to position himself on the 3rd or 4th guy from the front, with his eyes on the leading runner on the first half of the race. If he has still the strength and speed on the second half, that is the time to make a move. On a final advise, I told him not to talk or engage in any conversation with those guys in front of him or to anybody. He should be focused on getting in front by all means before reaching the finish line. However, if he can not keep up with the pace of the top runners, I advised him to conserve his energy on the first half (climb to the peak/turn-around) and then go as fast as he can on the downhill going to the Finish Line. And that was what he did! He finished #6 Overall and he was happy. And the Coach is happy, too!

Leo 02

Leo Taruc, My Training Partner & Kodaker (Photo By Glairold Recella)

Four years had passed when I joined the First Edition of this event and I finished #36 out of 115 finishers with a time of 7:58+hours then at the age of 61 years old and two years after I’ve transformed myself from a road runner to a trail runner. It is not bad to condition my mind that I would improve my time in this year’s edition. I announced on my Facebook Wall that I will try to improve my time in this event, even for some few minutes! I was wrong!

At exactly 5:30 AM of Sunday, October 1, the race started at the Alviera Recreational Center in Porac, Pampanga and the runners were combination of those doing the 42K and 26K distances. I call the 42K runners as the “bravest ones” in this event! As for me, running without “trekking poles”, is again my “bravest and dumbest” decision in this race! It should be noted that I finished the CM50 for four times without the aid of trekking poles because I was simply “hard-headed”! I guess, as I become older in this kind of sports of Trail Running, it is already a mandatory on my part to bring trekking poles with me if the event allows the runners to have them as a running gear.

From the Starting Line, I jogged and ran comfortably, making the flat and downhill sections going to Barangay Sapang Uwak (1.5 to 2 kilometers) as my “warm-up” run which is equivalent to my 20-minute of “warm-up” runs during my daily workouts. As I approached the center of the Barangay, I was still running comfortably as the road became steeper. I am glad that we took the original route where almost one kilometer of the steepest portion after the Barangay Hall had been cemented/paved. But the steepness of the road was still brutal to the runners’ legs! A Lady Runner would curse and shout the F-word as I passed her. I really don’t know if she was cursing me or cursing herself or cursing the road! There was no need to look back to see her face or engage in a conversation with her!

There was a lot of new faces in this event and most of them were my first time to see them. I saw some of the “usual suspects” and I know by their names and most of them are “loyalists” to this event. It was also a good observation that I saw a lot of runners wearing the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 but I was glad I was wearing a different shoes! The color of the my Speedgoat 2 does not match with the color of my Running Kit! Hahaha!

2017 Miyamit 42K Profile

Miyamit Falls 42K Elevation Profile (From Training Peaks)

I tried hard to reach the Miyamit Falls within two hours but I failed! I reached the falls at 2:28+hours and went back to AS3 where I filled my hydration bottle before proceeding to the Peak/Turn-around point which is another 10 kilometers! It took me another 2:30+ hours to reach the Peak/Turn-Around point. On my way back to AS3, I have to stop and eat my Pack Meal on a flowing stream where I have to sit on a rock and drink some water. I think I was able to rest for about 20 minutes just to regain my strength and rehydrate my tired body. I even went to extent of pouring cold water from the stream to my head and whole body to cool off and dip my legs to the flowing water. My decision to rest, re-hydrating, taking a dip to the cold water, and eating my packed meal gave me the strength to run all the way to the AS3. It took me another two hours to reach AS3 from the Peak/Turn-Around Point.

I knew already at this point that I could no longer improve my previous time of sub-8 hours! Instead, I took some time to talk with my friend, Joma Sison, who was manning the AS3, and eat some food served at the Aid Station and drank the Sprite soft drinks he reserved for me! Thank you, Joma for being there despite the inclement weather and slippery/muddy road! At this point, I was already raining and my feet would compete with the flowing water on the trail as I ran down towards Barangay Sapang Uwak. I have to stop and refill my hydration bottle for the next two Aid Stations and pour some water to my head and face! There are also sections of the trail that I would run through some deep and shallow muds. And that is part of the fun and challenge in trail running.

From the second to the last Aid Station to the Finish, I knew that my quads will be challenged on those steep downhill road towards Barangay Sapang Uwak and I was prepared for the beating! I continued to run and took some small successive steps on those steep portions of the road until I reached the flatter sections at the center of the Barangay. From the steel bridge, I knew that I have at least 1.5 kilometers to the Finish Line!

MF 42 06

Approaching The Finish Line! (Photo By Glairold Recella)

I finally crossed the Finish Line in 8:58:30 hours, which is One Hour slower that my previous time! My performance is still on passing grade, considering that the cut-off time for the event is 10 hours! Aside from the inclement weather; muddy and slippery condition of the trail; extended rests on the stream; and staying more time in the Aid Stations, I think my age is catching up on me! However, I am happy that I finished this race; served as one of my training runs for a longer race in the future; and being the Oldest Finisher in this Badass Trail Running Event!

I highly recommend this trail running event to everybody but there is a need for a race-specific training schedule and workout for this event. A 3-month trail running schedule/training preparation with lots of elevation gain and downhill running would best prepare anybody to finish this event within the prescribed cut-off time of 10 hours.

Congratulations to Atty Jonnifer Lacanlale and his Team for coming up on this yearly Badass Trail Running Event. It is one of the well-organized trail races that we have in the country today!

Running Gears:

The North Face Orange Shirt; The North Face Cap; The North Face Trail Shorts; AMIHAN Go Lite Race Belt; Taiwan’s Beast Hydration Bottle; The North Face Compression Socks; New Balance Vazee Summit Trail Shoes; Adidas Gloves; 2017 UTMB Buff; San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Run Buff; Miami Sunglass; and IPhone5

Nutrition: XO Coffee Candies; Cloud9 Chocolate; SkyFlakes Condensada; Goya Chocolate Pops; and Meal Pack








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