Sunday, June 14, 2009

3rd All Terra KOM - My First Trail Run

Saturday 13Jun09 was my debut for a trail run. "The 3rd All Terra King Of The Mountain 10K Trail Run" will be something for me to remember as I leave my foot marks on the mountain trails of Timberland at San Mateo Rizal.

Coach Salazar, Christian Dalida, Milbert Mabuab and I left Paragon Plaza in Mandaluyong at exactly 4:00am giving enough time to find our way to Timberland at San Mateo Rizal. True enough not knowing the exact direction to take it took us 1 hour to travel. When we arrived at the venue there were only a handful of participants ahead of us and with enough time to spare, we took the opportunity to grab a bite of the hot pandesal we bought on the way and address our individual call of nature.

As with any other race, it was a nice feeling to see familiar faces and exchange pleasantries as the participants started to arrive. The first observation I made for the day was unlike road races, trail run does not generate as much participants. I do not have the exact number but I would say that there was no more than a hundred assembled before the starting gun was sounded.

0km to 2.0km elevation rise of 410ft in 2.0 km distance – Starting line was 820ft above sea level and for the first 2 km it was a climb from the entry gate of Timberland passing the clubhouse and then at 1.8km entering rough roads until elevation of 1230ft above sea level. I would call this leg as the first phase of the race of which I have broken the cardinal rule of starting too fast. Feeling so eager to make the first climb, I did not notice that I speeded to more than my usual pace. On my post race analysis, coach Salazar attributed this error for causing my early lost of strength in the succeeding climbs of the race. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

2km to 3km descent of 245ft in 1km distance – This is a rapid descent to 985ft elevation which I took advantage to gain speed with precautionary foot brakes to ensure I do not trip myself on the red mud trail. This phase of the race was the easiest. It was also at this segment of the race that I came abreast with ODESSA CORAL (a Bataan 102 finisher and muse of the event!) and got her photo after which she went full throttle and never got a glance of her again.

3.0km to 3.5km elevation rise of 163ft in 0.5km distance to elevation 1148ft. Now the real truth of the matter starts to unveil before my eyes. My heart started pounding heavily and my legs getting the shock of steep run in a short distance. I asked myself “why am I doing this?” It was at this segment of the race that KIM O’CONNELL made her move and passed me looking very strong. I envy you KIM!

3.5km to 4.0km descent of 163ft in 0.5km distance back to elevation 985ft. I wanted to run fast but could not but instead took this part of the race as a recovery phase. In this segment, I regain distance to KIM O’CONNELL and caught her on a stream trying to cross. I and coach Salazar offered to help her cross the streaming feeling like gentlemen that we are. My regret was I was not able to take a photo of this experience. This could have won the picture of the day. After her crossing, it was the last this I saw KIM whom the next time I saw was already at the finish line where we had a photo opportunity together prior to my crossing the finish line.

4.0km to 4.8km elevation rise of 163ft in 0.8km distance back again to 1148ft above sea level. The trail started to become sticky making it much more difficult to climb and position your foot on the right path. Another litany of whys as I try to make my climb.

4.8km to 5.2km descent of 82ft in 0.4km distance. It was in this part of the race that I lost my foot coordination which descending causing me to lose balance and trip down. Luckily I was able to pick up myself without any injury except for a muddy hand and legs. On my post race analysis, my blood sugar was at its lowest at this stage that I was having smoky vision.

5.2km to 6.2km elevation rise of 279ft in 1.0km distance. This is the KILLER PART of the race bringing you to the summit of 1345ft above sea level. I tell you if this was a road race that you could quit and get a ride back, I would have done it at this stage, but, being on a trail, you have no option but continue so that you will be back to civilization. This is when I was no longer running nor I was walking but I would term it more like crawling. This part I asked Coach Salazar to keep on talking and tell me stories so that I would forget matters at hand. This was also in the part of the race that took me 12 minutes to negotiate the 1km distance.

6.2km to 10km descent of 525ft in 3.8km distance. This was the feeling of assurance that I know I could finish the race. Feeling so exhausted I told myself this is the time to enjoy the scenery and skyline of Metro Manila which was beautiful in the morning. Just and enjoy the downhill run.

01h 26m 34sec was my Garmin time for the 10km 3rd All Terra King Of the Mountain Trail Run. Feeling just like a “virgin bride” I felt all the pain but it was in the end a pain for joy and happiness for having completed my first trail run. Just like again as any “virgin bride” if you ask me will I do it again? The answer is a definite “yes”. But, again as any “virgin bride” it will take time and practise before I would really be able to savour and enjoy this act of love making. After sometime, I will be the one to ask for more.... TRAIL RUN is what I am talking about.

Thank you Coach SATURNINO SALAZAR for guiding me to this first time experience. Congratulations to CHRISTIAN DALIDA who made it as no.5 finisher for the men. I feel sorry for MILBERT NABUAB who got lost when he was on 3rd position causing him to lose time and eventually only landing the 14th place. Lessons to be learned for him on how not to get lost on a trail run.

Lastly, I am looking forward for the MEN’S HEALTH ALL TERRAIN RACE at Sta Elena Sta Rosa Laguna on 21Jun09. I will for the mean time stay on the 10km category still feeling sore from this trail run. Maybe, just maybe I will enjoy my 2nd trail run having been already de-virginized.

lastly, I wish to share with you photos taken during the race.


  1. congratulations for finishing your 1st trail run and your experience will make you run for more trail runs. nice compression/tight shorts..for a chance! hehehe! more hill runs & hikes will make you stronger & faster. good luck & see you soon!

  2. i mean, for a "change" and a "new look"!

  3. Dear BR - looking forward to see you soon. The Hardcore Runners missing you!

  4. congrats sir! i'm KOM survivor too, it was also my first trail run, nice ung experience... aka my trial run for Men's Health ATR din..hehehe See you there.. :)

  5. Dear Xerxis - Congrats to you as well. Looking forward to see you at the MEN's HEALTH ATR.

  6. Congrats sir! ran the trail run too last Saturday!

    that was me in blue in your 4th photo!

    See you in Men's Health Trail Run!


  7. Dear Gerald - Congratulations to you as well and I hope you enjoyed the route as much as I did. See you at Sta Elena. It looks like more participants are join this event.

  8. Hi Sir,

    Just wanted to ask, which course was more difficult, the Timberland or the Sta. Elena course? i was runner 433 in one of your pics above. Thanks and more power to you!