Words the RD gave to everybody. Prior to gunstart. And it seemed to have greatly affected me. It played like a chant in my mind – all throughout the race. I never knew how the race will be. The only thing I am sure of is that I will finish the course – no matter what.
01:30am – off we go.
With an 8kgs backpack, I started to walk. I am just making sure I have everything I will need. I mean EVERYTHING. I started too slow. I was the last runner on the walk after the first turn from the Parade Ground. It was almost pit black when I reached the road to the trail. Of course, I am confident of the route. I know it and memorized it by heart.
My 1st 5K split is 49 minutes 33 seconds. You will see more details of my splits in the map. Just click on the YELLOW PIN to see the pacing and elevations.
02:49am – I was able to reach AS1 (KM 7). Finally, catched up with 3 runners. Finally seeing other people! LOLS.
By this time I am already hot. I did make a lot of jogs just to catch up to anyone. I am also confident of my fast walk (just in case).
The climb up the ramp to Sapang Bato is really something. It will make you catch your breath.
My 2nd 5K split (meters before we climb the stairs to the trails) is 54 minutes 29 seconds.
Now what happened after we enter the river is something worth mentioning. I thought (my bad!) the one ahead of me is carefully following the markers like I do. So I just followed. There – to my surprise. We were in never land. I told them that we are in the wrong way and that we have to go back. I will find the marker myself. So off I lead with Ronald Robles as my 2nd pair of eyes. By this time, a lot of people turned out. They got lost even before Sacobia River.
It was a 2K (1K off and back) until I saw the marker that leads to the right way. I shouted to everybody and off we go again.
My 3rd 5K (KM 13) split now is at 1 hour 14 minutes and 17 seconds.
By the time we reached the Pasig-Potrero river crossing, It was already a clearly lit morning. I was also surprised to find a different river with waist-deep water. I stopped to change shoes and socks. This proves to be a very wise decision as you would find out later.
My 4th 5K split (KM 18) is 1 hour 26 minutes 38 seconds. Lots of ascending hills.
As we reached the flat part of the route going to Sapang Uwak, Ronald stopped to fix his shoes. I continued to run. Happy to be in a very nice pace.
My 5th 5K split (KM 23) is 40 minutes 31 seconds. This is also AS3 is located. I run and aimed at reaching it by 6:45am. I was able to. The RD and BR is also there. I took a bite of Biko, a bottle of Red Dragon, refilled my 2 bottles, left my heavy bag and head on to the tougher part of the race. The never-ending-rolling-hills-to-the-falls.
Now this part is a bit puzzling. I am on my way to the 6th 5K split. That means 30K already less the overshot 2K. So 28K. The AS4 is located @ KM27 before the falls. From AS4 down to the falls and back is a good 3K. My record proved to be too short – in terms of the exact location of the Aid Stations. Dang.
My 6th split (supposedly KM 27 where the AS4 is) is 1 hour 4 minutes 37 seconds. And I m way too far to AS4!
I do like the rolling hills. Not for the ascending part, but for every downhills. It’s my strength.
My 7th 5K split (now a 35K) but is only at KM 27 of the route (ang laki ng sobra ng overshoot!) is 1 hour 15 minutes 43 seconds. Here I feasted on a Tasty Bread with loads of NUTELLA and Peanut Butter. Alternate eating them while seated. Such joy it is for me. 3K to go and I will be mid-way the entire race.
I left my other bottle at the Aid Station. I brought one to use to fetch cold water in the falls. A brief shot, a few cold water in my shins, calves and legs, I climbed back.
My 8th 5K (now a 40K run for me – but on the 32nd KM of the actual race) split is 1 hour 24 minutes 18 seconds. A bit slow due to the slow climb up from the falls. I made it fast going down despite the muddy-slippery trail. But going up took me a lot of rests…
Now I’m a bit fast going down the hills. 🙂 Going back is a joy to me.
My 9th 5K (now a 45K run but on the actual 37th KM of the route) split is 55 minutes 47 seconds. This I think is the most beautiful part of the 60K route. Also, one of the hardest climbs after you go down. It’s also where we encountered INSOLENT motocross riders. They rode like they own the road. They smoked us with dusts!
My 10th 5K split (now a 50K for me but only the 42nd Km of the route) is 1 hour 11 25 seconds. I stopped at a Sari Sari store after AS3 to buy a Mountain Dew. Then off to pass the tunnels. I am still alone here, after Jael passed me.
My 11th 5K split (now a 55K for me but only 47th KM of the race) is 1 hour 12 minutes 38 seconds. I was with Mike, Harold and Jing here. Crossing the waist-deep river altogether.
My last 4K before my phone died is at 59.42K. I am already in the Last 10K of the route which is in Sapang Bato right after you passed thru some climbs and descend on the stairs again. I stopped to buy another Mountain Dew at a nearby store in the Village.
See map below.
Good thing, the RD was kind enough to add another hour for the cut-off.
Caught up with Jon Las Bruce in this part of the route as we enter the long-dry-dusty-road to AS1.
Time check: Last 7K to Finish Line with exactly 2 hours to go.
I did not stop at the last station for anything except the photo. 🙂 I want the run to end. I am really hungry at this point. I am left with 1 bottle of water. It’s enough to see me through…I thought.
I ran as much as I could along the Sacobia River. I was singing praises and shouts of joy at this point. I know the route very well that my soul is ahead of me in everyway. I see myself crossing the finish line at a good time and at a good speed.
I stopped to remove the sand in my shoes and socks. Then, gather myself to push for a well deserved finish.
This is one hard trail.
Not for the faint hearted.
Not for the unprepared.
Not for the strong willed.
Not for everybody, in short.
Best Shot of the Day is at least 100 meters, more or less to the Finish Line.
I ran a total of 69.5 kms to finish a 60K hard trail. All for a shirt!
All glory and honor to the Lord God Almighty!