The last time I joined a mountain trail run was last June 13, 2009 which was the 3rd ALL TERRA KING OF THE MOUNTAIN which done at Timberland Heights San Mateo Rizal. When I was scanning for running events for January 2011 what got my attention immediately was the flyer of XTERRA Philippines “PANG RAVE RUN” which was offering a 21k and 10k trail run at the Midlands Compound of Tagaytay Highlands.
No double thoughts and I had myself, son DAX and daughter-in-law PAM registered for the 10k trail event. Another plus factor in entering the event was that the venue was within our weekend residence.
I have not done any trail practices nor have I done even just hill runs at that as most of my daily run is just at BGC which is a fairly flat terrain. For these reasons I had my apprehensions and doubts, but as they say the more you have doubts the more anticipated and exciting is run expectation.
At 6:00am we arrived at the venue and was surprised that a good volume of cars were already parked from Bistro Saratoga all the way to Batino Gate of the compound. The 21k runners were already on the trail as they were flagged off at 5:30am. Majority of runners on trail runs are from the different crowd as that of the crowd from road races. However, It was great to see BARDS the “BananaRunning” whose blog postings I regularly read. Lately I have not seen her on road race events as often as in the past where she was visible always. Coach Rio was as well at the races and did the 10k category. What surprised me most was to see Kenyan runners on trail run event. Maybe they are just all over the place and practically making use of the event as an add-on training with incentives as there is no doubt that they would land the top positions for each category.
At 6:30am the 10k trail run was flagged off, it is not as many as on road races but the number is quite substantial and was even more than my previous mountain trail run experience. I do not know how best to describe the event except with the name “PANG RAVE RUN” the name used by XTERRA definitely sums the whole experience to the letter. It was tough! Really touch with steep climbs! Tougher than the Timberland route which was my last experience. It was well organized and the crowd was very different. As in any trail run particularly before reaching mountain peak, you wish to quit but how could you as you still need to go back to the starting point so there is no choice but continue. With all the twist and turn my Garmin 310XT recorded a total distance of 10.54k and limped to finish the event in 01h39m09s.
My muscles still ache as I write this blog. I have a very different fulfillment within me from the experience. But, I do not think I will do it next week or month but allow healing from my aching muscles I WILL DO (Mountain) TRAIL RUN AGAIN. It was my PANG RAVE RUN!