TNF 100 – A race to remember

Our family made the trip to Clark on Saturday at 11am hoping not to get caught up in the afternoon traffic.  Well, we still did.  Anyway, we checked in at the Holiday Inn and after depositing our things in the room immediately proceeded to the pool area for the kids’ promised swim.  What a joy to watch them having fun!  The feeling was just matchless as Mikka proudly shows us her underwater stunts.  “Mom, Dad, did you see me?” 😉   My waterbabies immensely enjoyed the pool even when it was unusually crowded until we pulled them out at around 4:45pm when we saw the very dark clouds fast approaching and the rains started to come.  Our  “Time’s up.  Let’s go kids!” of course was met with long  “aaaaah!!”.  Anyways, they know it’s times up when it’s times up except for little Mikka who needs a little more training in this respect.

We were in the room preparing for dinner out with our running friends when Jaymie called updating us that disaster struck the race and it might have to be stopped/canceled.  It turned out that that very dark cloud with lightning that we saw in the horizon at around 5pm brought with it a tornado  which indeed hit the starting/finish line site.   I was surprised at the news as I even visited the site briefly that afternoon before the rains came and all was still well.  Later that night, during dinner, Jay, who visited the site after the hit,  gave us more update and showed us pictures of the fallen structures holding the timer, tents and banners at the starting line site.

What a sad site!

We were concerned about Coach Rio and Vince.  We feel for them knowing how much effort their team put into this.  We also felt for North Face but lauded their good intentions to put the runners’ safety first when they were considering stopping the race.

Our group became apprehensive about the race but we had fun creating possible disastrous but funny scenarios mindlessly torturing ourselves with the ideas:

“What if a tornado hits during the race, what do we do?”  asked Jaymie.

“Hold on to a tree!” came Jun’s quick reply.

“Ha ha ha ha”  everybody chorused

Jun:  “They say if it rains tonight, the ankle deep river we will be crossing will be waist-deep.”

Jay:  “With the rains this afternoon, knee high water became neck-deep.”

All:    “woh!”  tugug . . . tugug . . .  tugug. . .

Jun receives a text message from Rio:  ” Jun, tuloy ang race tomorrow ha”

“Of course!”  again came Jun’s quick text reply.

“Rain or Shine!”  he added for our benefit.

Aba, aba, aba!

I then whispered to Angel, who was not running the race  “If we’re ever hit by a tornado, our kids are at room 321 ha?”  Wink wink

Miguel then asked, “So why are we doing this again?”

No answer.  he he  😉

Conversation moved to tamer scenarios:

Jaymie:  “The course will be muddy daw.  Vince said if we’re worried about scratches, it would be better to wear long   bottoms.”

Mariel:  “I brought both long and 3/4 tights.”

Jaymie:  “Ako din!!!  ha ha ha  I brought also long socks.”

Mariel:  “hahaha  Bahala na what I will wear tomorrow. Basta, I’m bringing my camera!”

Jaymie:  “Yeah, me too!  Easy pace naman di ba?”

Mariel:  “Yeah,  we’ll stop for photo ops.  he he”

So, after a good dinner of pizza and pasta at the famous C Italian Restaurant, we said our goodnights and all went back to the hotel to get that much needed sleep.

Good food, good friends, clean fun!

Race Day

Thank heavens it wasn’t raining!!!  That was a good sign.

I am Ninoy advocates at the starting line

Jaymie, Charmaine, Taki, Dindo, Bards, Ting and Mesh

Jaymie, Charmaine, Taki, Dindo, Bards, Ting and Mesh

We left at 5:10am, passed Jay doing his warm-up run from the hotel to the race site, and arrived with still much time before the race.  Mariel and I did just a little stretching beside the car as the Fitness First instructor started leading the warm-up exercises.  Before long, Jaymie and Miguel arrived and we all positioned ourselves at the starting line with the other runners.  Of course, this also signaled the start of the photo ops.

Runners get their first taste of the wet trail

When the race started, the sky was cloudy but mercifully rainless — a perfect race weather!  The runners were in high spirits.  Mariel and I, together with Miguel and Jaymie, Taki and Charmine were teasing, laughing and even taking pictures as we were running the 1km towards the start of the narrow trail that leads to Sacobia River.   Since we started at the back of the pack, we waited a while for our turn to go down the narrow trail going towards the river.  We felt excitement as we were viewing fellow runners maneuvering on the lahar trail crossing the river.  As we reached the Sacobia river, the lahar floor was wet.  I guess the rains the afternoon before was a blessing since it made the sand  firmer.  Of course, puddles of water were still present. We were tip- toeing trying to avoid water getting inside our shoes but we were successful doing this only for the first water crossing.  On the second river crossing, there was no more escaping getting  feet wet as the  flowing brown water  mixed with lahar and small rocks was already ankle-deep.  After crossing the river, was the start of a short uphill climb.  We hit the barangay road which was very muddy.  After 5k, Mariel felt something inside her shoes that bothered her.  When we reached the main road she decided to stop to take a look inside her shoe. It was not a stone or sand, but a blister. From then on, I stayed beside her and run along with her, encouraging her that we’re almost near the finish line.  We enjoyed the trails alright, experiencing it for the first time together and finishing it at the same time somehow made it more special.  There were times when we had to walk  — while trekking the narrow and tricky trails and of course during photo ops. It was all fun. A different experience. Something we can enjoy remembering and talking about for a long time.  It wasn’t tiring at all  so we still had a lot of  energy to spare to enjoy more time with our kids after the race.

Mariel running on wet lahar. This part was soooo much fun!

Soaked from the chocolate brown ankle-deep water

Jun, Miguel and Jaymie walking after the soaking. Shoes must have been heavy with water.

Follow the Leader at the No Over-Taking Zone.

We made it girls!!!

This run marked my 3rd month running anniversary and what a way to celebrate it!  This was definitely a different experience.  The different terrains were  fun to tackle — from the familiar flat road, to the downward sliding dirt trail, to the long stretch of mildly wet lahar, to the grassy trail with occasional grass blades poking your face, arms and legs, to the ankle-deep dark brown flowing river, to the narrow forest trail, to the long, black, sticky, muddy trail, to the short but slightly steep uphill dirt climb, to the breezy trail of grass and stones and onto the paved roads leading to the finish line.  (hah, that was long!) It was a run to remember.

Our group ran one after another for most of the race which made it really enjoyable for me as we would occasionally exchange notes and comments and of course, would frequently stop for some photo-ops.  My left foot bothered me though at around the 5k when I felt sand inside my socks rubbing onto my wet feet.  After another kilometer, the rubbing seemed to have turned into poking and the  quantity of sand seemed to increase.  Going into the flat roads at the last 3k, I tried dislodging what I thought was sand by inserting a finger inside my socks to no avail.  I continued running again, albeit, increasing discomfort.  Jun was egging me on all that time encouraging me that we’re almost there.  After a few steps though I told him I want to stop and remove my shoes and socks so I can take out what now felt like a small sharp stone rubbing and poking my left foot’s arch.  Jun nodded immediately and I sat on the pavement and he immediately helped me take off my shoes and socks as runners passed us.  We noted there was no stone but we found a small blister instead.  He helped me put on my socks and shoes again and tied my shoelace.  All these we did together in one fluid motion.  I was amazed that our hurried movements seemed to be in sync.  No fumbling whatsoever.  It felt rehearsed.  Galing!  Well, with that settled, we went on our way.  Jun kept very close all throughout often slowing down, running in place, even back-tracking to let me catch-up with him.  Nearing the finish line, I was already running with all left toes curled to curve my arch further and avoid pressure on it.   As planned, Jun and I finished the race together.  Woohoo!

Blisters considered, I still think of this as my best race experience so far!

Thanks North Face!  Thanks Finishline!

Oh by the way, they say it wasn’t my trail shoes which caused the blisters but my socks.  I ‘m inclined to agree as I had a last minute change and did not use my race socks.  So, I’m letting you off the hook Asics.  I still plan to use you in my next trail run.

So, guess what I did about the socks? I hoarded a pile of my fave Nike socks when we passed by the Nike Outlet store at the NLEX. 😉


8 Responses to “TNF 100 – A race to remember”

  1. 1 marga May 26, 2009 at 8:26 am

    buti di nag-kulay mcdo hot chocolate ang pics, mariel!

    • 2 thesolemates May 26, 2009 at 9:36 pm

      Muntik na Marga! Yung pic with Jaymie, Charmaine, Bards, Mesh and Ting tinamaan. Look closely. Di ba madilim? Na-hot choco yun! hahaha

  2. 4 broj May 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Congrats on your trail run! sounds like really fun! Nakakaingit, partner-partner, hehehe. Buddy run din ba yan? Praise God everyone had a safe run. See you soon!

    • 5 thesolemates May 26, 2009 at 9:40 pm

      Hi Bro J, you didn’t run? Sayang, it was really fun! Di bale, next time join ka na! Be sure to bring the wifey along para super fun! 🙂

  3. 6 prometheuscometh May 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    It was a fun run and quality time with the family too! It was nice hanging out again in the most unexpected places!

  4. 7 vimz May 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    oh, na-miss ko kayo… waaaahhhh! hay! but its great that you all had a grand time (habang ako tulog, down because of the meds – nagmamaasim ba ako? hehe!)… miss you guys! 😉

  1. 1 2009: The Year That Was « The Sole Mates Trackback on December 31, 2009 at 5:50 pm

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