Comparing to last year's Merrell Adventure Run at Wawa, Montalban where I almost dreaded the race (read the story here) and disliked the organizer (sorry Sir Thumbie), this time, the Merrell Adventure Run 2011 held at the Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal, exceeded my expectations and I could say, even the expectations of the more than 1,500 runners who participated in the said event.
With only less than an hour of sleep, I arrived at the venue around 4AM together with some Employees/Runners of Agatep (thanks to you as always). It was still early and I have much time to roam around. The temperature was so cool, and the rain shower would come and go every once in a while that kept the ground and the trail course of Timberland wet.
I went to the starting line just to get a glimpse of what lays ahead for the runners, and what first struck my eyes were - mud and muddy-waters! And a few meters ahead of the starting line, all I could see is darkness with some leaves and grass on the sideways. I shivered with excitement coupled with the cool breeze of air. Still having plenty of time, I went to the booth of Alaska which was the first booth that was able to set-up that early, already serving pan-de-sal breakfast and Alaska Milk and Choco for the early-bird runners.
|The blue sky promises a great day ahead|
At the starting line after the 21k gun-start fired, the 10k runners were gathered. There I met some aNR-UP Heartbreakers and other co-runners from the Six:30 running group.
I fell down twice on the entire course, once on my right butt on a muddy downhill going to the river, and the second one was on my left butt on another muddy slope. Slipped a few times, got almost overthrown as I sped down losing control of my strides. Thankfully there were small trees and branches that I was able to grab, while overturning my body to the opposite direction as I hold on. Single track of trails from moderately-easy to traverse to the most challenging one that it almost looks like a "kumonoy" were also unavoidable.
The entire course gave me new knowledge in running the trails, muddy trails specifically. I learned that the techniques in road running (proper form, proper stride) will not always be applicable. Somehow, I was only able to maintain a proper breathing most of the time.
To get past on the muddy trails, you will need not just your forefoot nor your midfoot, but you will need all the parts of your feet even your knees and legs on the ground. Your toes will also play a vital role to help you grip, and you may even crawl if you must. Leg, core, and over-all body strength are also essential to keep you running and protected from injuries. Also most of the time, the sidetracks of the trails have more grip so it'll be a better choice to run on it rather than on the middle-track where all you could see are skid marks or buried shoes. Sometimes, you don't have to run the trails also, side-to-side skipping and leaping will let you easily pass through a flat but muddy trail. And when you fall down, your body's agility and the strength of your hands, arms and shoulder will be your saving partner to help you easily get up if you don't want somebody to notice your butt-hampering moment.
|The starting line was creepier in the dark|
Some photos of the trail
|Seems like it will lead to nowhere|
|There's a flat, relaxing course after all|
|I call this the snake's trail|
|Breath-taking views of the cloud|
|Even dogs enjoy the trails|
|Go barefoot, or go sole-less|
|Runners refreshing on the shower|
|Wounds like this gives you a happy mark|
|The people from Euro RSG Agatep PR|
|with Ms. Katrina Ong, her Father and brother|
What else can I say, but to give everyone a pat on the shoulder. The race was superb, hydrations (from LightWater - really light indeed) are more than enough, plenty of friendly and helpful Marshalls throughout the entire course, and a very good choice of date and venue.
All hail to Merrell Team for such a great adventure;
Two thumb's up to Sir Thumbie Remigio (Adrenaline MultiSports Group) for a successfully organized and well-deserved race;
High-five to Sir Jeff for the given opportunity to be part of this year's adventure run;
Kisses to the "angels" (Nicole, Glaiza, Ei, etc.) of Euro RSCG Agatep PR who let me hitch on their ride for the past two years of Merrell's Adventure Run;
A muddy-hug also to all my co-runners who braved the adventure;
To Ms. Katrina Ong (Zoo York Marketing), nice meeting you again and your family, and congratulations to you also.
|Media Special Award: 2nd Place, got consumable goodies from|
sponsors and a Spyder Fringe shades