A few minutes before our category's gunstart, I was able to do some warm-up drills, enough to wake-up my still sleeping blood. When the gun started at 5:30 AM, most of the participants were excited to take off not knowing that the flat road will soon ascend turning right after just around 100-meters from the starting line. In the middle of the ascending road was already a scenic view overlooking almost the entire Hamilo community. Having known some of the route from our previous test run, I opted to just powerwalk and sometimes jog the uphill roads as I know there will be more surprising and challenging routes that we have not covered during the said test run.
|photo by RJKnight Runner|
I was following the tandem runners Gado and Aga (blind runner) going up and not one among those who are also trailing behind me can overtake as one wrong step might lead to a demise of falling down from the tracks. Step, twist, and duck -- the only thing that each of us can do. Reaching the top at about 90-masl, it was already going down to the view deck and here Gado and Aga was able to speed up again.
Turning around from the view deck, the succeeding route going up from this first island towards its highest point of 115-masl, then off for the same elevation drop towards the shoreline for a short seaside beach run.
|Seaside running (photo courtesy to Runaholic)|
The second mountain was yet another surprise with its more daring and challenging and winding ascend and almost more technical. Aside from the loose soil and gravel, single lane tracks, and partially uprooted trees, the inclines and declines are much steep than the first mountain that we have conquered. There was also a deep trail gap where it was then connected with bridge made from tree branches, and a rope on one of the descent while the ascent almost seemed endless. I rested for quite a few times, and every step going up was a penitence. With my quads already getting sore, I aided my body holding my legs just above the knees and pushing it in each step that I make.
After making it to the second mountain, the 24K runners turned left on a road going to their last mountain run where the communication tower is, and where the almost 90-degrees incline awaits them. While for us the 12K runners, we were lucky that that's the end of our early penitence as the next and final route was just an 800-meters of flat road.
Finally reaching the finish line, I heard the Emcee/Event host calling out my blogname (RunningAtom) announcing that I finished as 15th for the 12K category. The result showed 18 though! In contrast, I expected to have finished a 12K trail route for just 1-hour and 30-minutes, but then I realized that not all trails were created equal, and that's where the beauty of trail running is -- the unexpected surprises!
After the race, it's time for a refreshing and sun-warming bath at the pristine beach of Hamilo Coast.
|The water is so clear and... friendly? Variety of fishes abound at the seashore*|
Special thanks goes to Ms. Laira and Primer Group Inc., Salomon Phils., to the PhilSky Runners, and to Costa Del Hamilo for successfully staging this awesome and challenging course!
|with Kuya Totoy, Ms. Laira, Christine, and CJ*|
Distance: 12 km.
Official Time: 1:44:19
Official Ranking: 18th out of 246 finishers
When: Mar. 23, 2013.
Where: Pico De Loro Hamilo Coast, Nasugbu, Batangas
Event: Salomon x-Trail Run 2013
|with other runners, bloggers, and the mamaws Wilnar and Totoy|
|with Ms. Mars of PinoyFitness and celebrity-mamaw mountain runner, Rovilson*|
|at the PhilSky booth with PhilSky runners Ms. Mia, Charina, and Carlo*|
*Photos courtesy to Roy Agsunod, the only officemate who's also getting into trail running. He finished his own 12K race here, a warm-up for the Merrell Adventure Run 2013.