I got up and gave up my hope of getting sleep at 1:45AM and decided to just have a very early breakfast of CornSiLog (corned-beef, sinangag, and sunny-side-up egg) at a nearby tapsilogan. I always get sleepy after a good meal so I filled my corned-beef and egg with 2-teaspoonfuls of chili-sauce for hopes of helping me stay awake until the gun-start.
Getting ready at 3:25AM, I headed-out to our pick-up point at Shell station in-front of UP Technohub in Commonwealth Ave. - by foot. Walked 2-kilometers and jogged the remaining 1-kilometer just to still keep me awake. This gave me a good warm-up 2-hours before the gun-start (and then it cooled me down)! At past 4:00AM, the shuttle van where Sir Rene and I hitched arrived to pick us up together with other runners, two members from Team Total Fitness, Bloggers Nonoy and Carl, and Ms. Sherleen of Outbound Communications.
When we arrived at the race venue in La Mesa Nature Forest Reserve, the cool-air, green trees, and the hazy dawn so relaxes me that I feel like lying down on the benches provided at the media tent. Aarrrrrr!!! Before I finally lie down and get that dreaded sweet dreams, I stood up and left the chair where I was sitting and grabbed my camera to take some shots of the surroundings while waiting for the gun-start. It was already around 5:20AM when the first batch of runners from the shuttle-busses arrived.
Then... alas, as the runners filled the area, I knew that the sleepy head in me was already over and it was time for an adrenaline-pushing 10K, Spartan, obstacle race!
At 6:00AM, the 1st wave of the 10K took off. I would've liked to join the 1st wave but we were assigned for the 4th wave with gun-start of 6:30AM, at the same time, I'd like to experience the warm-up exercises led by Rip:60 Trainers and Coaches which were helpful enough to activate our chest, hips, and legs. A Capoiera-dance was also introduced (I love that!).
|5th wave of 5K Runners doing their warm-up|
1st Obstacle - Fire jump
A few meters downwards from the starting line, runners will get a 10-minute glimpse of the tarp while waiting for the gun-start that reads "Fire jump" and a limited view of what that fire jump is. When one of my colleagues asked me how will the fire jump be, I told him to my limited knowledge that runners will have to run and jump over more than a few meters of coal-fired pavement. I guess that answer was enough to put him in fear and back-out instead of registering for the race (sorry, my bad)!
|The fire-jump (photo courtesy of Team USB)|
From here on, the trail route was a rolling up and downhills of approximately 30 to 60-meters elevation change.
At less than 2-kilometers, I got surprised with the very-low crawl obstacle, much below I think than my knees. I was having self-doubt if I should crawl underneath or jump over it but it was obvious that I really have to crawl as there was a net that prevented us to step over it, unless we'd try to perform a long jump. :)
My handheld hydration bottle was tucked at the back of my shorts and it gets hooked at the strings that holds the net so instead of crawling from my chest, I just crawled from my right shoulder. There were no mud at this crawl as the ground was covered with tarpaulin to avoid the stones and rocks from surely knocking our elbows and knees. It was from this obstacle that I bruised my left-knee.
The log hurdles was of varying height of around 5 or 6 logs spaced evenly. Situated at around the 3rd or so kilometer, the logs wouldn't just test your shoulder strength but also your legs' agility. Pull yourself up from the chest-leveled ones (optional: bear-hug the logs before going down) and just jump over those that are just below-the-knees.
If you think that you've already passed from these tree-hugging, well, here's another surprise: There's another set of logs waiting after a few more kilometers. And these logs are not the same from the first as these set was much higher that they-say-it's only chest-high but I say it's way above-my-chest and it's actually on my neck (the disadvantage of having shorter legs).
(How many obstacles were there so far?)
|On my butt (photo courtesy of Team USB)|
The slide down however, wasn't as friendly as the climb, some even doubted their ability if they could go down after they have reached the wall's peak. The smooth tarps of the wall going down was a good cover to accelerate you faster and bump your precious butts on the ground. It was on this slide down that I bruised my two elbows and my right-knee. Now all the four major-joints of my body is bruised!
This 4x5 matrix of tires was the easiest among the obstacles so far. Learning from my previous Urban obstacle races, I didn't hop on the tires by pair, and instead, I just hop on a straight line of 5-tires, then I was gone.
Mad, errr Mud Wall
After some more running in the mud, a number of short wooden-bridge crossings, stream crossing, and a river crossing (they said that it's just above-the-crotch deep, but I say and I think that Noel and Kyx would agree with me, it was chest-deep, really), comes another unique obstacle experience - a 20-foot Mud wall climb.
There were also knotted-ropes to assist us - the trekkers, climbers, hikers, trail runners, spartan all-in-one! Gladly when I arrived, there were only a few runners left from the 1st-three waves (I was still leading the 4th wave) so there wasn't much line going up. I pulled myself up perpendicular to the mud wall like a mad climber and gladly my shoe clinged so well on the mud that helped me climb easily.
Above the mud wall, a series of branching bamboo trees blocked our way like a maze before we can finally find our way out on a steep, slippery, mud hills (hmmmnn... count that out as another obstacle).
Before reaching the next obstacle, it was a long, single-track running inside the jungle of La Mesa Forest Reserve.
A hundred meter from the finish line, there's still a quads and glutes-burning workout that runners will have to accomplish - a 4 or 5-meter lunges. This one, aside from the Military and Mud wall, put me on halt to relax and take a deep-breath before doing the task.
Imagine that running more than 10-kilometers already and you still have to do a meta-fit workout? Crazy! Then I realized, this might be a teaser for the 2nd leg. ;)
|A runner doing his lunges (photo courtesy of Team USB)|
nth Obstacle - Fire jump
Now after that leg-burning lunges, it was a final test for your strength, if you could still jump the last obstacle - the fire wall towards the finish line.
At this point in time, I felt like I was some kind of malicious computer program or computer-virus that has been hiding and running away from the anti-viruses and network security programs on my way in towards a target server. A great amount of money or information is at stake if I could just jump over that last network "firewall".
|The last fire jump|
(photo thanks again to Team USB)
(What's the final count of all the obstacles?)
I was sleepless a night before the event, and this race made me sleep at the wooden floors of my room. It didn't gave me the chance to clean and bathe myself up. I got knocked-down immediately upon arriving home.
Will I see you on the 2nd leg coming in September 15?
Distance: 10.99 km.
Official Time: 01:06:01
Official Rank: 9th
Total Obstacles: Ten including the 2-sets of log hurdles and bamboo maze after the mud wall. Eleven for me including the sleepless night. :)
You may now view the race results from ProActive.ph.
When: August 26, 2012.
Where: La Mesa Nature Forest Reserve, Quirino Hi-way, Novaliches, Quezon City
Event: Immuvit Fearless Challenge Trail Run Leg 1
|What defines me? Sleeper, lol!|
Some more photos:
|10K's 4th wave take-off|
|Bruises - the fun of trail running|
|with co-Six:30 and co-Diadora team mate Noel Castle.|
|with the lovely and fit Coaches Tonette Dimaguila and Jim Saret|
and Kuya Nonoy on my left
|Here's another reason why trail running is fun :)|
|If she made it alive to the finish line, why can't you?|