As I wanted (for so long) to try Trail Running, my other commitment(s) keeps on conflicting with my weekends
so I do not really have that time to try Trail Running. I’m keeping my weekends dedicated for long runs as per RUPM on October 2, 2016 – Yay 42km! Mag ma-marathon si Ati! But as my curiosity arise, I just wanted to see how the Trail Runners (future me, hello!) prepare for their Run, the Do’s and Don’ts during the race day, and what to expect on the trail so I approached my Trail Runner friend JAI that I wanted to take photos on his next Trail Run and he agreed and said his next Trail Run is on April 17,2016 The 3rd Leg of Conquer Trail Adventure Series and he also (later on) informed the Race Director of my assistance in picture taking. Of course trail running is literally running on a trail, what I’m more concern is the practicalities as a (future) Trail Runner myself. I’m really excited on this event!!
The venue of the Leg 3: Conquer Trail Adventure Series was in Tanay and I have to be there before the 50km Category’s briefing (~11pm of April 16) starts. So I rushed there from work (Saturday), I rode a bus bound to Tanay and rode a jeep bound to Brgy.Sampaloc on where a tricycle going to Tanay Adventure Camp is available. I arrived there at exactly 10:45pm but the Briefing has been moved on 12:00am ( April 17 – Sunday) since a lot of runners was still on their way to TAC due to heavy traffic and that gave me some free time to meet the RD – race director – Sir Jigs and the trail runners joining the 50km category.
On the day before, April 16, 2016, I was deciding whether to use trail running shoes or the ever comfy crocs and as the word “comfy” means I decided to wear crocs that day. I’m not comfortable using rubber shoes, trail shoes or running shoes on a casual day, I simply don’t like the tightness on my feet when using those shoes – they’re making my feet suffocated. I only carry a small backpack thus making it impossible to bring an extra pair as a backup. Guess what happened next? I regret not bringing those extra shoes.
- After their briefing, the 50km Category’s Gun started at exactly 1:00am; I took some pictures and proceed at the Barracks to take some rest. Sir Jigs advised me that a truck service will arrive at 5:00am going to the Outreach which I might hitch on the way to Aid Station 3. The 25km Category’s Gun started around 3:00am-4:00am, I really lost track of the time, I was so tired and sleepy that moment so wasn’t able to take pictures of them.
I woke up at exactly 4:30am and ate my “Penoy” I bought on my way going to TAC the last night. I was warned by other runners (while waiting for their briefing) that marshals must be prepared with their own packed foods. It happened last year that some marshals on aid stations were not able to take their breakfast past 12:00nn or the marshals’ relief food was already spoiled when it arrived. I know I did not sign for that or I don’t know anything about these but I think I could handle skipping 1-2 meals in a single day (I have cookies on my bag) so that news didn’t manage to lose my excitement! The truck did not arrived at 5:00am, I ate breakfast together with Team Maranat – marshals on the Outreach – and waited for the truck to arrive at 6:30am.
Later on, I was not able to ride on the truck going to the outreach but instead I hitched at Sir Jigs’ car together with Kuya Leo and his wife, Ate Scarlett, going to the Aid Station 3. We need to deliver the marshal’s breakfast on AS (Aid Station) 3 and fetch marshals at AS 4 (1st aid station) since the entire runners already passed the AS 4 (1st aid station). Along the way, we reach the part on where the roughness of the trail was so much for the car to handle so we decided to just trek to the supposedly AS3. After approximately 1.5hours of trekking, we already doubted if we’re on the right way since Sir Jig’s instruction did not include any trekking part. We turned our back when we arrived at the part where there were assaults and we actually climbing a steep part of the mountain. Guess what? We’re really got lost! The next station was 2-3km away from our place (said the local). It was a nice experience trekking or running along the trail with the runners but I felt uneasy! I’m wearing crocs and on my maong pants! The hell! We were fetched by the AS3 marshal on our way back to our car. Yes, we passed the AS3 and trekked for about 1.5hours, the good thing is that we decided not to go further at some point along the trail. Luckily I’m prepared and brought 1.5L of water which is exactly for the three of us, 500mL each! The scorching heat really hits me! Plus the unpreparedness! Ugh! We crossed 3 rivers during our lost-moment.
I wasn’t able to finish the said event. It is said that the last trail runner might arrive at around 3pm and I have to be at home at 12nn for other commitments. Me and Faye went home earlier ~11am.
Congratulations to all the runners! Hope to join you soon!
- During the race day, it is advisable to free that day and be at the place a few hours earlier than your Gun start. I can’t imagine me running straight from work. Exhausting! Just simply reserve that day po.
- Prepare what the organizer’s required you: flash light, phone, water, first aid, trail food, etc. Aside on them checking those requirements, you will really need it.
- Being a marshal on the aid station is really a tough job. During the gun start of 50km category ~1am, they must be at their station say at least 1-2 hours before the gun start making it 11pm? If you are a marshal yourself, you must be on your point at 11pm and the breakfast will arrived at ~9am? Hmm??
- Organizing this kind of event is so much to handle. So many precautions, notes, emergencies might happened so a lot of contingencies must be planned ahead. Also a lot of man power needed on this event. Marshals on the outreach program, marshals on different aid stations, marshals on call for service, marshals must be left on the Finish line, and many more!
- Be prepared! Like hiking a day-hikeable mountain. Trail food, hydration, sunscreen, toiletries, clothes, thermal blanket etc. You will never know what the place might or might not offer you. I was lucky (since I’m not prepared) that this event was in a nicer place. It has barracks where I slept (a real bed), with a nice Comfort rooms, a warm breakfast. Based on the previous legs, I saw them assembling at a basketball court (Where and How will I sleep on a court!) I’m really blessed to document this Leg 3 and not the earlier legs. Hahah!
- Trail running has fewer participants compared to road running. It might compose of a total of a few hundred numbers of participants on all categories making them “closer” friends since it’s a small community.
- Trail running might have a 15hours cut off time compared to strictly implemented cut off times on road running.
- It’s cold there in Tanay. I remembered turning off my fan while my whole body is covered with blanket. I was really surprised on the cold temperature there since I’m accustomed in high temperature here in Metro Manila this summer.
ADDITIONAL PICTURES & PEGS
April 16, 2016 (SATURDAY)
- 730pm bus bound to Tanay Rizal
P56, from Life Homes Pasig,City
- 950pm arrived at Tanay
P27, jeepney to Brgy Sampaloc, 17kms, ~30-45mins.
P20, tricycle to Tanay Adventure Camp – TAC, ~2 mins
- 1045pm arrived at Tanay Adventure Camp
April 17, 2016 (SUNDAY)
- 1200am Getting Ready w/ Runners
- 1250am Briefing
- 100am Gun Start, 50km Category
- 115am Back at Barrack to Sleep
- 615am Service going to AS3
- 700am Arrived at last possible Car Park Spot along the Trail
- 815am Stop Trekking and turned Back to Car Park Spot
- 930am Arrived at Car Park Spot
- 930am OTW to AS4
- 1000am Arrived back to TAC
Picture pegs w/ Jai and Faye
- 1100am out from TAC otw Home
Instead of bringing your camera outside, let your camera take you outdoors. – rosnof