What I talk About After Reading, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” By Haruki Murakami While Taking TransCebu 105 Ultramarathon The 2nd Time.

As someone who is very much interested in running and writing his thoughts on paper I automatically picked up at the bookstore the book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” by Haruki Murakami. As I began to read a few pages I learned that at his peak at the age of late 40s Murakami normally finishes a full marathon with an average time of three hours and a half – that is the Milo National Marathon Finals Qualifier time for 18-33 years old. By the time he finished his running memoir in 2007 he was 58 years old, still runs an average of 186 miles a week and finishes marathon at four hours.  He was not quite happy about the latter of course. Comparing that with myself, I normally and dismally finish marathons at about six hours and a half. Mind you, these were on good days. Sometimes I hit six hour and forty five to seven when I am with another runner who was probably doing a lot worse than I am. When I managed to finish two five hours and forty minutes at Milo National Marathon and at the event, Yes To Fitness Run it was like an historic moment for me and therefore quite ecstatic with the achievement that I dare not ruin it by incurring a much slower time the next time, so I don’t anymore join the same two race events again. So, what could be my reaction to Murakami’s marathon finish time? Of course, I thought, “Wow! Can you believe this guy?” He’s a very accomplished fiction writer after all.

 

He began his running career when he was thirty three at the same time he began writing novels. The two actually feed each other in Murakami’s case and as a result he is quite accomplished in both.  I am forty six years old, lately I couldn’t barely finish 2 kilometers run a day because I would rather go back to sleep or view posts at FB at the time in the morning I assigned for myself my running time. So, yeah! I cannot see myself in Murakami’s shoes or even graced by his shadow in terms of discipline in trying to attain a certain degree of perfection at this chosen passion called running. I am instead quite satisfied in seeing myself cross the finish arch no matter how long it took me and in what manner of ranking I managed to end up with. As a result of my haphazard approach to training, I took a beating in the form of compiling DNFs just as what happened with me with my second take last July 23-24, 2016 of the Trans Cebu Ultramarathon where I signed up as one of the 71 participants of the 105 kilometers category.

 

If only I stuck to my words or to what I can actually do more comfortably, I wouldn’t bother trying to enlist myself to a race that runs a hundred kilometers or more. So far, I managed not to be tempted to send a letter of intent to Baldrunner to signify my interest to join BDM 102. I also snubbed the 120 kilometers Bonifacio Ultra event by Run Mania that my peers were able to successfully finished. But last year I couldn’t resist trying the 105 kilometers Tarayem Sasanggasot mainly for the reason that I am tracing a line which I hope would include Laoag to Vigan and connect them with the other places in Luzon that I had already run at. It would have been fabulous if I had actually finished the race and not something that had left a bitter taste and a cursed thirst for revenge. Now, I did it again. I was already happy that last year I survived to see the finish banner of one of the most difficult run event in the country, the Trans Cebu Ultramarathon where I signed up under 55 kilometers. I could have moved on and put this experience behind me. After all who wants to relive a nightmare? I got my finisher’s loot that I could view until I reduced them to dust. I could gloat as much as I wanted for the rest of my life for the successful finish which was quite a feat already. But like most of the tragic heroes of the Greek mythology I was fooled by fate or hubris into another adventure which turned out to be actually right through the Strait of Messina between Scylla and Charybdis. I signed up under the 105 kilometer with the confidence I will not go home in shame. I don’t know if it was just a reason I invented for myself or actually real that the true reason I signed up was because a fellow runner wanted to experience Trans Cebu Ultra and I volunteered to accompany him on his epic voyage while I try to make TCU my coming out moment into the 100 and plus kilometers distance run once I conquer the event. What could possibly go wrong with my decision to enlist this year when I already conquered the most difficult portion of the 105 kilometers which happened to be the second half, the same race route of the 55k category that I ran the year before?   It turned out everything. First my companion didn’t sign up for the race. Then upon arriving in Cebu since I was way too early and would therefore not be allowed yet to check in to my hotel accommodation, I tried to waste away the time by walking from Lapu-Lapu City, Mactan going to Cebu City which was about 10 kilometers. Later in the afternoon from the hotel I walked again to Ayala Terraces Mall and wandered about until I tired myself. The following day was more walking since I don’t have other places to go except to wait for the afternoon race briefing. The race briefing was located at Busay Multi-Purpose Hall 3 kilometers of uphill from Lahug Public Market which once again I walked to get to. In short even before the race started later in the evening I was actually beat.

 

I was grateful that the event had less acquaintance of mine running except for Magina and Joe whom I previously met at the events 2nd Puerto Galera Ultra and 3rd Taal Volcano Island 25k Trail Run. It was bit easier for me to make my decision that would only allow me to reach the 62nd kilometer of the race. The race participated by about 13 foreigners in the 105k and 7 in the 55k started at the City Hall of City of Naga, Cebu 23 kilometers from Cebu City at 10:00 pm.  I started out quite well without being bothered by chest compressions I complained in my other runs but just the same I tried to have my pace a bit slow so that I could acclimate my body with the activity. I ran the flat but winding paved road thinking I was at the middle of the pack of runners. However, when my headlamp did not function and I got irked I stopped to have a look at what was wrong with it. It turned out the battery was simply placed at the wrong end of the polarity. By the time I got back to the road I was passing by stationary motorbike riding marshals which got me into thinking there were still indeed other runners behind me. At around the 10th kilometer I learned that I was the 61st runner to have passed the AS. The news came as a shock as I didn’t saw that many runners pass me by but then again when I stopped I couldn’t see the right side of the road which was not lighted well. When I resumed my run I suddenly felt my legs becoming heavier and was having difficulty maintaining running so I resorted to what would have Murakami condemn me in hell for, I walked. It was becoming apparent with me that I was experiencing fatigue at this early juncture of the race. Somewhere at the middle of the 20th kilometer I passed by four runners who were sleeping at the porch of a sari-sari store. I even got to overtake another runner in spite of my pace. I thought I had covered so much already that when I reached an Aid Station located in Toledo City I thought it was the 40th kilometers already. It turned out it was just the 33rd. My spirit dropped and my exhaustion fed my frustration. At that time I was no longer convinced I could finish the first 50 kilometers in 6 and a half hours as distance seem to dragged on. I reached the 49th kilometers in Balamban which double as the drop bag area for the 105k runners and starting area for the 55k which had just gotten out as I was coming in. My time was 8 hours and a half. I learned that one of the foreign participants of the 105k had dropped the race upon reaching Balamban. Another one, a young runner of 18 from Samar had quitted the race at kilometer 33. At this point I was still pretty much hopeful of finishing the race as I saw there were other runners from the 105k that had not left the area yet, while there were those who were just arriving. But as I left Balamban and hit the road I felt the sun was pouring its searing hot rays upon the road like it was angry or something. I have not made it yet to about 500 meters and already I felt tapped out. I tried to quench the fatigue with liquids from the stores along the way but nothing seem to wear the feeling off. I thought to myself I made it out of Mayon 360 without surrendering to the hot temperature surely this heat could also be surmountable. The route was basically rolling. Each uphill I encounter was sapping me out of my precious resolve to go on. Other runners were beginning to appear from behind me. They were actually encouraging me to go on when at some point I mentioned I might not be able to finish the race. Then when I managed to gather the five of them up in a waiting shed I had groupie shot with them with my phone camera. This was my first time to bring along a “selfie stick” to hold my cellular phone so I can take photos with it. My original plan was to document this portion of the race. It turned out that the two photographs and a couple of selfies along the road were my only proof I ran in this event. On the way to Canson X Resort probably the 57th kilometer there was a good Samaritan from the resort who handed out cold water to drink. Another runner from behind me caught up with us. The time at this point was nearing 10:00 in the morning. I remember taking this portion last year at around 7:30 am. This uphill led to another series of uphill which had the view of the sea and Negros Island at the backdrop. This then lead to a DPWH Station that doubled as Aid Station. I was taking this road on an inch by inch pace so, I calculated that even if I managed to push myself to go on beyond this portion I might finish the race beyond the cut-off time of 24 hours. But even this would not be bad. What actually made me accepted my fate that quitting was inevitable was that I know how difficult the remaining route was. I was trying to match the other uphill with what I felt my body was giving at that time and it was a resounding mismatch. At that point I was just trying to get to the DPWH Station so that I can formally retire from the race, have refreshments and get picked up by the organizer. However, upon reaching the Station there were no refreshments left, the only person waiting there was the Station’s keeper and worst, no possible pick up since the organizers couldn’t be contacted with except by sending SMS message. Even quitting was not given to me on a silver platter. I spotted another runner approaching the Station. Together we tried to make it to the 62nd kilometers where another Aid Station awaits. It was the Aid Station at the mouth of a detour that would take runners to the site of the plane crash where President Magsaysay died. The temperature dropped a bit and even threatened to rain. I felt that I was being lured to abandon my desire to quit the race even though I already sent a message that I was quitting and I was at the DPWH Station.  After all if it took me 11 hours to reach the 60 kilometers 13 hours to accomplish the remaining 45 kilometers may still prove to be viable. About 500 meters before reaching the 62nd kilometers rescue came in the guise of a white van. I leaped for joy when I saw it and quickly ran to it leaving behind the other runner. At about 1:00 pm I was at the finish area at Busay Multi-purpose Hall having lunch. The agony of defeat would have been lessen if only I had a chance to leave the venue early but I was not spared of the humiliation of seeing almost everyone finish the race and being seen by them because my baggage was not yet brought back to the finish area until the late afternoon, a sort of adding salt to injury.

 

In spite of my quite a pole away from Murakami’s running accomplishments I still felt a certain kinship with him. I also view running as a metaphor of life. My failures at finishing a race were much similar with how it is with my life. I am not as accomplished as Murakami. I fail a great deal yet I never allow these failures to discourage me from joining another event. The same thing I told the young runner from Samar who quitted ahead of me and whom I road with at the van. He was so angry with his quitting that he said he doesn’t want to run anymore. He is just 18 year old.  A whole life is still ahead of him.   I couldn’t beat Murakami’s finish time even if at the present at his age of 67 if he still does runs he could still make me eat his dust. However, I can still top his probably around 34 marathon finish medals which he earned with his 1 marathon a year. In spite of being slow I currently have 27 marathon finish medals tucked under my belly, I mean belt, which means 27 successful tries. I may not be as good as Murakami but in my own struggles I still do prevail. That I think is the more important aspect of running a marathon. Come the following week I will again attempt to capture a medal in the 40th National Milo Marathon which I tried to avoid joining because of the cut-off time of 6 hours. But if I did it once maybe I can still do it again so that this could assuage my defeat at TCU105 which I was promising I would not return to again.

 

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Triumphant Taking Of The Taal Volcano Island 360 25k Trail Run

 

If there was one welcome development arose from Prince Multi Sports Event, Inc.’ penchant to change events schedule on short notice, that was that I finally got a chance to participate at the 3rd Taal Volcano Island 360 25k Trail Challenge after missing it for 2 years. This was at the expense of giving away my slot at GNC Run though and perhaps to the dismay of some PMSEI patrons who backed out from joining the run due to other conflicts with schedules the change had wrought. Smarting from the previous year’s experience of having 16 DNF from its 128 participants, PMSEI change the event’s schedule from its original May 1, 2016 to its current schedule of July 3, 2016 in consideration that the extreme hot temperature of May might prove to be too much for the participants to take. It turn out this decision was sound since this year only 2 from the 72 participants had DNF. As a result of the former, Rolly who DNF last year, was able to exact vengeance with his conquering the trail. While there were like Jake on his third year and Yuri on his second returned to contend with a much more benign temperature Taal Volcano island in their love to run around the trail of the country’s smallest and 2nd most active volcano.

 

From the wharf fronting the public market of Talisay, Batangas, we were ferried to the volcano island via a 25 minutes boat ride on an outrigger. We docked in front of the Tourism Office and waited for the 7:00 am gun start. Among the participants who were familiar with me joining the event were Omeng, Jake, Joni and Jay. Another worth mentioning participant was the one-legged Renson running on crutches whom I saw action at the 2nd Conquer Jagged Peak. Upon gun start runners headed off towards Taal volcano or Mt. Taboro’s famous crater located 2.5 kilometers from the Starting area via the Daang Kastila. Upon hitting the uphill I felt a sting of pain impinging in my chest area. I had to resort to walking while pondering whether this was already a sign that I am heading off to an early retirement from running. Renson the one legged runner passed me by as I confront the uphill perspiring from the effort. I was pretty sure I would end up the last person to finish the race. Aside from seeing occasional spurt of sulphuric mist emerging from the fissure along the path, the route to the crater of Mt. Tabaro had been planted with Stations of the Cross. This was probably to further increase tourist influx by adding another reason for visiting Mt. Tabaro other than viewing its crater by turning the place as a possible religious destination for devotees especially on Lenten season. Currently, tourists on horseback were given additional treat by witnessing runners assaulting to and from the viewing deck. While their presence was an added obstacle for runners to deal with since the path trod by runners was not wide enough to allow for two-way traffic to occur.

 

Upon reaching the view deck I had myself posing in front of a photographer whom I thought was part of the organizer’s staff. The crater at the time I was photographed was covered with mist and therefore the view of 2 kilometers wide sulphur high lake and the island called Vulcan Point was obscured from the view. From the literatures I read online the whole island has about 47 different overlapping cones and craters. But the crater of Mt. Tabaro, which tourist visit is the active one having had 33 historically recorded explosions. Mt. Tabaro is also considered one of the lowest volcanoes in the world. On my way down, I saw I was not after all the last runner. There were still at least around 8 more I could see trailing behind me. At this point the pain that initially slowed me down had dissipated and I was able to run the downhill as I try to chase to runners ahead of me. I never got to come close the two I was chasing. The first Aid Station was at the 5th kilometers, which was also a junction directing runners to turn left towards the town occupying the fringes of the 23 square kilometer island. Prince instructed the runners not to veer beyond 100 meters away from the sight of the sea at the right side to avoid being led back to the crater.  Some children met me along the way wit high five. The path was a mixture of cemented portion and then dirt road. To avoid getting lost I followed one of the crew of ABS-CBN News on horseback who was trying to meet up with the cameraman who went ahead at the Aid Station at the 7.5 kilometers. Although I initially had my pace upped eventually I resorted to brisk walking since I was still able to catch up with the other runners on this pace. Soon a couple of runners coming from behind me paced along with me. They were coming from a wrong turn taken and doubled back. We reached the 7.5th kilometer where the ABS-CBN camera was shooting the scene. There were around ten of us converging at this AS. This further galvanized my idea that I don’t have to exhaust so much effort in running. From the AS instead of running along the base of Binintiang Malaki, the foliage covered volcano people see jutting up the island from Talisay, we were directed towards a wooded trail to get to the other side of the island. Initially, we encountered along the trail a fork that had us guessing which path to take. After walking back to the AS I asked the marshal which road to take and I was told to take the left one. The other trail probably led to the summit of the extinct Binintiang Malaki, which last erupted in 1715. The path we took soon brought us up to an elevated area, which was worrying us whether we did indeed took the proper route. Our apprehension finally was doused when we caught sight of the sea again. After descending runners once again were running along the beach. At this point we thinned out as the other runners sprinted ahead while I was left tagging along a pair of runners whom I first saw at the shuttle service pick up area in Makati.

 

When we reached the 10th kilometer of the route where another Aid Station was situated there were other runners resting and taking refreshments. I took this opportunity to establish some distance from the other runners. I soon entered a path that led me away from the sight of the beach and into a bit of interior of the island. It did not dawn to me the taller mountain I saw somewhere in front of me was probably the crater of the 311 meters high Mt. Taboro from another side. Once again I was worried that I might have taken the wrong turn since I was just simply following established pathway and sometime relied on the people I asked where the other runners ahead had passed. The path soon led me back along the beach and into the next Aid Station, which was the 12.5th kilometer of the route. At this Aid Station I learned that the one legged Renson was ahead of me. Although, I didn’t see anyone behind me, I was expecting there were other runners close by at my tail. In fact, I thought I had seen the couple I was tagging along earlier before I got to the current AS. The instruction given me was to follow the yellow ribbons tied on grasses and trees marking the path. The yellow ribbons initially were easily seen, but pretty soon I was being led to a sandy path that even with gaiters sands still found its way inside my shoes. The sun was already beaming angrily but not as ferocious as I imagine it might had been for those who braved the first two leg of this event. I came to a portion where the landscape seemed to resemble that of the surface of Mars minus the reddish colored environment. I regretted that I did not brought with me a camera to capture the scene, which was pretty much outlandish. Like the impression left by Neil Armstrong at the surface of the moon, I saw the shoe impressions left by other runners ahead of me. I took to following these on occasions I can’t find the yellow ribbons. Then I got to a portion whose ground was more flat and solid punctured by sparse growth of taller grasses, I imagined it the savanna that the Homo-Erectus had to cross to look for meal. The promised yellow ribbons were even harder to find and more distant from one another. I soon reached another wooded area. It was even harder to find the yellow ribbons, which had blended with the foliage. I had to rely on impressions of the soles of shoes against the ground to lead me to the right path. I eventually reached the 15th kilometer where another Aid Station was located. This time I was instructed to climb the uphill but veered towards the right. When I tried to follow as instructed I kept heading towards the direction where no visible trail could be found. Instead end up among the bushes with the long thorns of Aroma plants prickling the sole of my shoes. The previous year there were a lot of runners that got lost in this area because there were no markers along the way. They ended up reaching the other side of Mt. Tabaro. I almost given up and was about to climb down to ask the marshal at the previous AS for directions when I noticed a waving flag behind the bushes. This led to another flag and before long I was being led toward downhill following the fine black sand that I assumed to be previous lava flow that was part of the 1965 eruption.

 

At the end of this trail was the shoreline again. Running along this portion kind of remind me the beach run at Salomon’s Anvaya Cove leg and last 3 kilometers of the Ku Ika Ika Run in La Union. The sand was soft and difficult to run on so I tried to run along the portion closer to the water where I thought the sand was more compact. It worked in some portion. I notice among the impressions left by other runners ahead of me were barefoot marks. I remember one of the runners was running the whole route barefooted. Further at the bent perhaps 2 kilometers ahead I saw an almost silhouette of another runner which I guessed was Omeng. He soon disappeared around the bend. Along the coast I noticed a boat with Coast Guard probably watching over the runners. I soon entered a barangay and in one of the shed I chance upon three runners resting. Gaudelia the female runner among the three asked me if I had seen Renson along the way. Apparently, I passed him by without me seeing him. The other runner whose name I did not caught bolted out while the remaining three of us rested. Soon another runner Jay whom I saw running at the event 2nd Puerto Galera Ultramarathon a week ago, caught up with us. He told us that he was initially at the front probably 13th until he got lost along the way. It was only after more than an hour when he finally found his way back to the path that led to the peopled area of San Nicholas. The four of us ran together seeking the AS at the 17.5 kilometer. When we found it we were rewarded with soda and some ice. The next AS which was supposedly the 20th kilometers turned out to be our longest 2.5 kilometers interval. With the distance we thought we had already covered we thought that probably there was no more AS and that the finish line would be the next stop that we would find. But whenever we asked the people how much further to the finish area we were told that we hadn’t gone halfway yet. When we reached the AS at what the tarpaulin says the 20th kilometers we got cold water waiting for us. We felt quite a bit disappointed that in spite of the perceived length we covered this was just the 20th kilometers. At this point Jay went ahead leaving Sidney, Gaudelia and I behind. Once again we felt the distance to the next AS quite distant. When we reached the 22.5 kilometers we were told by the marshal manning the post that the finish area was just about 20 minutes trek. By the time we saw the wharf in front of the Tourism Office many of the participants were already boarding the outriggers and where leaving the island. I finished the race 44th from the 72 participants with a time of 5 hours and 43 minutes. 28 runners were behind me in spite of my walking most of the way. Renson came 53rd. Omeng was just ahead of me by a couple of minutes. The couple I ran along for a while whom I thought was following me close by were the two participants who DNF the race. But the video they took along the way superbly described the journey each of the finishers took. Taal Volcano was my second crater to run on a trail event. The first one was Mt. Pinatubo.

Late Summer Runescapade At Puerto Galera

After almost two years I am once again treading the road of Puerto Galera as a participant of the 2nd Puerto Galera 50k and 25k Run organized by Prince Multi Sports Event, Inc. which was held June 27, 2016. After running 25k in the 1st edition of this event held November 29, 2014 I thought that would be the last run I would be doing in Puerto Galera. However, when the 50k Nueva Ecija Ultramarathon also by PMSEI failed to transpired last year and I could not get cash refund for my registration to it, I decided to transfer my registration from the latter to the Puerto Galera run under 50k category. Another problem arose aside from the cancelation of the Nueva Ecija Run was the sudden and late rescheduling of the PMSEI events 2nd Puerto Galera Run and 3rd Taal Volcano Trail Run to the dates that run smack with World Vision Run and GNC Run respectively which in both I am also registered. As a result I had to give up my race kits for World Vision Run and GNC Run so that I can run at the two PMSEI events.

 

Unlike in the previous version of the Puerto Galera Run, I along with running acquaintances Victor, Albert, Arniel and the spouses of the latter two were accommodated at White Beach Resort since aside for the beach area there was more suited for swimming than that of Sabang White Beach was originally only 10 minutes away from the previous Start/Finish Area at the Municipal Office of Puerto Galera. However, PMSEI did not just change the date of the event, but also the Start/Finish area which now was relocated at Sabang Beach 35 minutes from our accommodation. Another unanticipated change I encountered with this race was whereas before I came to Sabang via a ferryboat, this year I rode with Victor on his running buddy and boss, Lyndon’s SUV which had us hopping on a RO/RO and landing at Calapan, Mindoro Oriental about 60 kilometers from Puerto Galera. The crossing of the sea took a little more than 2 hours while the road travel had us spending another more than two hours along the zigzagging Calapan-Pueto Galera Western Nautical Highway. Originally the provision stuffed SUV which cost Lyndon P3,000.00 to ferry across the sea was intended as support vehicle. But Lyndon incurred a foot injury and could not come along with us to Puerto Galera while Victor downgraded to 25k there was no need for the SUV to dog any of us during the race.

 

The Welcome Arch at Sabang Pier served as the Start/Finish of both category of the race. From the latter upon gun start at 2:00 am the 22 50k category participants immediately encountered steep uphill going out of Sabang Town proper. From the onset it was already clear I would be among the stragglers since most of the runners seemed to have sprinted the uphill. Nars a runner I first met at PMSEI’s Makiling 360 and 1 of the 4 women 50k participant was also struggling brought about by her lack of sleep and 2 week long coughing. We would be pacing each other until a little before the 30th kilometers. The portion of the route ran for about 4.5 kilometers after which about a kilometer runners passed by the Municipal Office of Puerto Galera and about 300 meters to a junction where the Aid Station 1 was located. Runners of the 50k took the route heading off towards White Beach. Initially we could still see a runner ahead of us who was supposedly also suffering injury according to Nars. But pretty soon he either speed up or our pace was terribly slow we soon lose sight of his blinker. In a little more moments we began encountering runners who had already made their turn at the U-turn. Among them the 67 year-old longhaired Moses running fourth when we saw him. While Batanguena Runner led the women followed by Nancy whom I met in one of the Cordillera Series of Team Malaya. According to Prince the U-turn at the White Beach was about 9 kilometers away from the town proper of Puerto Galera but this was of course not accurate. Upon reaching the Aid Station 2, which also served as the U-turn at White Beach I noticed a banner stating 10km tacked at the table containing the hydration. In my mind my estimate distance was roughly 15 km from the Start already. Runners double back towards the town returning towards the previous Aid Station 1 marked as the 20 km according to the banner pinned at the table of the hydration but probably the 24th kilometers for the 50k already. From here the 50 k runners took the same route the first two of eight 25k runners took. We had not ran farther from the Aid Station when another runner from the 25k this time a female overtook us. This route was the same route I took two years ago when I ran under the 25k although at that time most of the way was still laid in darkness and I could not noticed the seaside view and Mangrove Park in Barangay Tabinay. In the current run event Nars and I had a chance to stop, marvel and have photo taken with the sea as background along the way. The uphill that followed the highest gain of which was about 150 meters could not easily be missed even if one wanted to. Before long Albert and Victor who were running the 25k were also overtaking us and a bit later met us again on their way back from their U-turn.

 

Convinced that there were still 50k runners just a couple of kilometers ahead of us and could still be caught up, I tried to quickened my pace. I reached the Aid Station at the 30th kilometer without Nars tagging me. From this location the Tamaraw Falls, which I thought was the U-turn of 50k was about 2-3 kilometers more. About a kilometer before the Tamaraw Falls I met most of the 50k runners including our traveling companion Arniel. Still thinking that Tamaraw Falls was the U-turn I was greatly encouraged that I could still close the gap further with the rest of the 50k runners once I reached Tamaraw Falls. At Tamaraw Falls I had my photo taken with the Falls behind me. It was only on this trip that I realized that the Tamaraw Falls was actually located near the entrance of Puerto Galera coming from Calapan. This was probably about 10 kilometers from the Aid Station 2. After hydrating with soda and a visit to the toilet I was ready to turn back towards where I came from when the runner Nars and I were earlier chasing motioned me to continue running farther ahead for the actual 50k U-turn. After about 2 kilometers of downhill I spotted the Aid Station marked as 40 kilometers but probably once again should be taken with a grain of salt. I also saw another runner who was just returning from the U-turn. I will dog this runner but never overtaking him until at the last 2 kilometers of the race where I took the lead from him and from 2 other runners. While at the Aid Station and having slices of apple, I learned from Prince himself that at least three of the runners ahead did not reached the 50 k U-turn and instead turned back from Tamaraw Falls. Getting back was pretty much as uneventful as the previous one with the only difference was that I am much happier that this race will soon be over. In the remaining Aid Stations I kept on catching up with the last runner ahead of me. When I finally took the lead from him and from two other runners I tried to keep my pace up relenting only on the last uphill. But as soon as I reached the last downhill I ran fast that I almost had a cramp on my left calf. I finished the race with a time of 8 hours and 57 minute and 18th out of 22 participants. PMSEI was lately disappointing quite a lot of runners from race event not materializing on its original schedule to not materializing at all; from distributing properly the finishers’ loot to marshaling the race route; and even sometime the quality of the finishers’ loot. I am among those that was feeling disgruntled. I still had two more events registered under the organizer and was thinking that as soon these events over I just might not anymore join its events. For now the medal I got from this race although was similar with the one given on the 2nd Bulacan 360 Ultramarathon and the fabric of the finisher shirt had improved. I was enough to assuage my disappointment. I hope the next two run I have with them would be a turning of new page for this event organizer. For the moment at least before parting ways with PMSEI I had the pleasant experience of covering most part of Puerto Galera on foot.