Event Host Details
7 Eleven – Trail 2016, February 21, 2016 SUNDAY at Timberland Heights, San Mateo Rizal and 1500 Bikers joined the Trail event.

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Biker’s Records (STRAVA based)
My first Bike Trail – 39.5km
Moving Time – 4:56:59
Elevation Gain – 914M
Avg. Speed – 8kph

 

How I get there
I did the “padyak all the way” from home to the Venue but I strongly suggest using your car to maintain your “fresh Legs” before the event. But hey! It’s only a 17km away from (my) home.
I said to myself that I would never carry my bike on car but I talk shit(ed) myself and I am guilty of doing it during an ocular ride.
This is my first time joining a Trail Event and biking in Timberland Heights San Mateo is not that unfamiliar with me.

I arrived at the main venue around 5:30am and waited patiently for the event to start. The event presenter that day was full of energy, it seemed like he drank a lot of red bull!

Red Bull girls moving around carrying their Big Red Bull Bag to offer bikers a drink – I drank (once) and I’ll never gonna do that again on an empty stomach!! It’s actually my first time to taste a red bull drink; it tastes like a stronger version of Gatorade.

Same with their #711Run2016, the #711Trail2016 event actually followed their proposed time. Kudos to them, seriously! Each of the waves was released by their respective time, each batch taken by three. Batch 1 for Wave A,B and C, Batch 2 for Wave D,E, and F and so on. Batch 1 started at exactly 6:30am and followed by Batch 2 (waiting at the Staging Area and so on) with 5minutes interval each batch. Last Batch – Wave L (my wave) and M started at exactly 7:25am. The race begins right after the gate of Timberland Heights. Last year’s batches reached until Batch T (said the other biker I go together with along the Trail).
Covering the Wall 2 before hitting the trail is just right for a 10-15minutes warm up aside on placing a big gap differences among the bikers.

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Before releasing of the Bikers, right after the staging area, a simple signing-in was made, a marshal holds the paper which has a print of bib numbers and you just have to sign beside yours.
Race number was used so if you’re worrying that you are not the one who bought the kit or you’re not the one whose name on registration, fret no more! That is not a big deal and definitely will not stop you on joining the race.

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Yes or No Trail was the entrance of the race in Blue Zone and that also was a gap-placer since a lot of bikers did not attempt to reach the top by their effort(Wave L); they just stopped at the middle and decided to push their bikes. My Cannondale Trail 7 did it successfully though. Blue zone composed mainly of single-track up hills and down hills.

I particularly placed a gap between me and the biker in front of me to avoid collision.

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Feeling after Trail
Feeling accomplished and proud! Not everyone reached the cut off but a little bit sad because I was ran out of free lunch (supposedly breakfast). 🍴😣

Unforgettable Moment/What I enjoyed Most

All the Hydration stations! What a relief to be recharged by cold drinks!

When I arrived at the first water station in Pintong Bokawe Gate, I got confused with the directions since bikers from 6 different directions were arriving/exit. It served as a major junction for (1) Ka Vergel (2) Exit from Ka-Vergel Loop (3) entering Roller Coaster, (4) Exit of Roller Coaster – from private (5) Way to Roxas (6) from my direction (exit from blue zone)

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During Recon

 

Hitting the road again downhill to the finish line!

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Entering the Ka-Vergel Trail, I can say that the track there is a perfect practice place for motocross drivers. The trail there is literally on my knee-length in deep! I can’t really ride my bike and opted to push it during the uphill, I’m holding my handle bar way too much higher than my height, it’s almost 1.5x my height! It looks like a dried version of Puray.

 

Riding on Black Diamond, this part of the Trail did not have any marshal at all (or none on the time I hit the trail), but that trail stands out of the rest. Its track is composed of mainly loose grounds! When riding my bike, I continuously slide down even if my brake is on full stop, so full stopping is not an option here. Just assisting my brakes works fine but there were spots that I don’t have a choice but to go down and just to push my bike.

Guess what, my merrell shoes were slipping too! That’s how loose the ground there, even the shoes made for mountain hiking is skidding. In uphills, I can’t really pedal it with my bike, so I opted to push my way up.

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River crossing, a typical Rizal Mountain characteristic. Sadly there were no cameras around to take some photos of us.

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River Crossing

 

Biker’s Note

7 Eleven organizes their event (Trail) yearly during the 3rd Weekend of February so you might wanna take note of that date.

I arrived at San Mateo – Wall 1 around 5am and lot of private vehicles were passing (me) and when I arrived at the Main Gate of the village, there were no more parking space around  by that time.

Red Bull girls were pretty so instead of taking their offered drinks they were being offered for picture taking by the bikers.😂

During the Registration, be sure on which Batch your riding characteristics belong. How? Do the recon along with your Tracking app.

On my way to the Trail Entrance of Blue Zone (still hitting on wall 2), I felt (for the 1st time in biking) difficulty in breathing on which I experienced only on first few kilometers in running. It was because I pedal too hard just to be on the same pace with other bikers which I did wrong. I just have to maintain my own breathing rhythms.

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Blue zone composed mainly of single-track up hills and down hills. You might find it hard to overtake a pile of bikers pushing their bikes so you won’t have a choice but to get down with your bike and push it too.

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During the downhill, I certainly stand and lean forward on my bike since the track is a little bit rocky and shaky, it got my legs (Lateralis / Femoris) all worn out by standing all the way and what’s after a downhill? Yes, an uphill! I don’t have a choice, but to pedal and use my legs (again). Legs are seriously in great use all these times!

This year’s Trail event focuses on the cut-off time a biker can finish the race. Cut off was place at the 28km (6km from finish line) before proceeding with the IMBA Trail and the Black Diamond Trail [pictures]. The organizers made possible the bikers from Waves K-L-M can have a finisher medal and bikers from Waves H-I-J (if they did not reach their cut off) cannot.

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Upon analyzing the trail’s flow, it’s a nice move from the one who made the race route [Hi Kuya Jason], why? First, is the buffering of bikers in Wall 2 before entering Blue Zone, past after it, is a wide open trail that can hold the bikers simultaneously on which can truly test their endurance if they can over take other bikers right after hitting the Blue Zone, followed by another single track route, by another (again) a wide open track, etcetera etcetera.

I met Kuya Jason on the green zone entrance on my ocular visit last January 31 and I asked him if a woman can hit the trail[if I can hit the trail], and he certainly said yes without seeing my bike and the next thing I know – I registered!

I strongly suggest using Gloves(or upgrade a good grip), during my recon there was (once) a time at Blue Zone that I almost got loose of my handle bar because of underestimation of the trail. I overlooked a bump and thought it was a shallow one but as I passed and felt it, it really caused me a cold sweat because I’m biking on a ridge! It really can cause my death (o.a)

Ride smart! I only have Alivio group set used on my mountain bike and that doesn’t stop me from riding, it is not really on the group set. It’s on the rider’s mindset! If your group set cannot do it anymore, just take a short break and ride again! I’m also using stock tires, yes, it keeps on skidding almost on smallest rocks or root, but I can use that skidding in order to change my direction and drift my bike.

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If you think riding your bike is hard, pushing or dragging it Up/down is harder!

Lot of trail (esp private) was closed during regular days and it only opened on the race day itslef. But doing the Recon really would help a lot on what to expect on the trail.

During my recon ride, together  with my newly found biker friends were literally got lost. No blinds and definitely no marshals.

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711Trail2016 has Fewer sponsorship than 711Run2016, but on top of my wishlist sponsor is Salonpas. Every rider put salonpas (liniment) almost everytime they took rest.

Suggestion for Quitters Lane, for those who does not want anymore to continue with the race and for them to skip the race and just to take a rest outside the track.
A lot of (tired) bikers just wait on the side taking a rest because they can’t do the race anymore, guess what, they don’t have much of a choice especially if they were got caught on the trail that has no marhal available. They have to push through until the exit of the trail.

Feels
I ran out of free food. I did not know what happened there but we’re only 1500 bikers, how come that the “Finisher Medal and other stuff” were given at the booth after the race but not the food? It’s not that I expect too much of it, but if that’s the case – they were not that organize after all.
Is it because I am a weak biker, I arrived past (too) late and their food might spoil?

 

All of the booths were packing already when I arrived back at the venue (past 12 pm). It seems that they only have limited number of hours agreed with the Timberland Heights; I just don’t know what happened to the baggage of other bikers that’s been checked in.

 

Few trash bins around so bikers opted to just throw their cans or trash on the side.

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The first hydration station ran out of water. Bikers have to buy bottled drink on stores.

 

Near the cut off area, green zone, at around 12nn it rained. I seriously had to stopped and secure first my cellphone in thinking that the rain might continue until the race. And I thought what will happen in Black Diamond if it continued. I find it challenging to ride the Black Diamond on its dry state, I don’t know what to expect when it rains. I just pray that the drizzling would stop, if not I can’t seriously continue on black diamond.

 

I saw and witnessed how a fat bike has the advantage on the trail.  But still sticking on my mtb.

 

They have portalets near the Event area’s stage, 3 cubicles for men and 3 cubicles for women. It would be nice to have portalets in each hydration water but I guess women bikers (which are of concern of private portalets) is not that many for them to do it.

 

Marshal’s placing was carefully chosen. A lot of marshal(s) were placed at the blue zone and it became less and less depending on the difficulty of the trail. A and B lanes feature of the event only applied at Blue Zone.

Riding on the trail mainly focuses on your balancing skills.

During Blue zone recon ride, We seriously got lost before we exit the trail, this is due to lack of blinds and arrows provided by the event.

After the event, I’ve felt a less effective grip (using forefinger and Thumb). My fingers were literally shaking, at first I thought this is due to the fact that Im hungry but its the 2nd day after the race still the same less effective grip I’m experiencing. This is due to the pressure  I applied by pressing the brakes during the race, I don’t know what exercise to help  their recovery probably just have to wait for them to feel better.

 

Training/Preparations
Carb loading 3 days before the event

Body conditioning mainly on stationary bike (additional 5mins.)

I visited the blue zone and black diamond (only) during my recon ride and 15km was recorded on my Strava

Addtional weights on my Leg Press workout

I practiced using a lower level of my saddle week before the race. I felt something was off all the time

Try not to exert to much beyond your ordinary pacing.

Additional weights on my Curls which results to good and effective maneuvering skills of my bike.

 

External Links:

http://www.trail711.com/

 

Biker’s Message

I’m a woman yes, but that doesn’t change the fact that I love bicycles and

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that will not keep me away from hitting the trail.

Kudos to all the Marshal I passed by and politely answered my tiring question “How many percent at this point?” and they just encourage you that you can do it! It especially worked since I’m on my own, alone.

My cardio and presses did not go to waste. I seriously benefited from it during the race.

Thanks for all the biker’s I get along with on the trail, I’m sorry not to get your names/not to remember your names, I know we will meet on the trail again!

 

Pictures

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Disclaimer:

All pictures were taken during my ocular / recon ride except shots from green zone.

 

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