When I first ran at the two trail run events, “Merrell Adventure Run 2011” and the “Camaya Coast Aquathlon” the categories I joined at were both in the 10 Kilometers categories. The Camaya Coast Aquathlon claimed the toughest trail run I had between the two. The trail run at the Camaya Coast Aquathlon had about 3 kilometers of uphill run, fair amount of downhill run, flat surfaces and sandy beach shore run. The entirety of the race was done between the time of 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with the sun streaming its April heat upon the route.
Now come the 21k trail run I recently had courtesy of the Nature’s Trail Discovery Run held at Barangay San Andres, Tanay, Rizal last May 27, 2012. This by far my toughest trail run (here I go again with the claim). The race featured uphill run including more than 45 degrees inclined trail that summits Bangkaan to a view overlooking sea of fog swallowing valleys and hill below. Then after hydrating and eating banana the race took us to a steep inclined down slope trail that left the runner almost with only sliding amidst carabao grass and mud as the viable option to negotiate the route.
Aside from the mountain trail, the rest of the route which covered the four barangays of San Andres, Sto. Nino, Cayabu and Tinucan, were featured with rice fields, four river and a hanging bridge crossings and dirt roads under the watchful eyes of armed military soldiers but less from race marshals.
By the 12th kilometers of the leg of the race my legs were buckling and threatening to quit on me. I was reduced to hiking until I was almost at the last 200 meters of the race. Well, I was not running at the last 4 kilometers of the race because when I caught up with two other runners we end up chatting about our other previous runs and other topics under the sun that we forgot we were in a run event and not in a sight-seeing trip. Two other runners even joined our excursion. It was only after finally some other runners who already finished the race and some race officials who came looking for stragglers and after their prompting us to run the few meters to the finish line that we decided to give it a dash the last 200 meters of the race. By the time I crossed the finish line four hours and probably past quarter had passed since I left the Starting area. Yes I still got my finisher medal and my name and finished ranking will be taken by Philippine Trail Runner Association (PTRA) to be use in the Philippines Ranking of Trail Runners. But my pride had been greatly bruised that I want to do it again to redeem myself given a chance on September 2. Oh, wait there’s still the Merrell Adventure Run 2012 the week after.