FrontRUNNER Valley Trail Challenge 2015

Just two weeks back, we’d spent the weekend in Nuvali, about an hour south of Metro Manila. Then, I  ran the TNF 100, likely the most gruelling 50km ultra Marathon I have experienced yet. That notwithstanding, this weekend we were back. We being Liz, our Sis, Loritta and myself, to participate in yet another Trail event.

Liz and Loritta were in for the 15km distance and I had signed up yet again for the 50km loop.
But first things first, we made our way to Nuvali in Laguna via a short one hour road trip.
And as always, preparation is key, so first and foremost, shopping for “runners fuel” along the way.
Then a hearty lunch in an effort to gather as much energy ahead of the run as possible, followed by some local sightseeing, to appreciate the scenery we would enjoy (at least we would try to), the next morning on the run.
Most running events at least in this part of the world have odd schedules and this was no exception. In an effort to beat the heat for at least a few hours, this one had a gun time of 02:00am and assembly was at 01:00am. So in order to get there at least half way rested, we had taken a short afternoon nap, followed by another two hours of sleep after dinner. The alarm rang at midnight (I used to come home around that time – not go out..) and off we went.

Speaking for myself, I enjoyed this run a lot better than that of two weeks ago. Not every trail needs to be harder than the previous one. This one provided for a relatively easy rolling slope without any dramatic elevations, river crossings and other extreme scenarios. The scenery was beautiful and this time at least I still had at least half of my senses working to enjoy it. After all, we are still in the Philippines and by 7:00am the sun was burning down mercilessly. The first three hour we ran in complete darkness of course guided by our headlamps and the way markers placed by organizers. And yes, I did loose my way a couple of times, forcing me to backtrack – very frustrating! And in the end I ran not 50 but 57km as a result of that!

The girls had their start at 05:00am, just as the sun began to rise. And after a very brave 3 hours and 11 minutes, they beat me to it.
I clocked my 50km at 6 hours and 56 minutes and this would have beat my previous PR by one minute but given the extra distance I had put on to my run by getting lost (four times!), I had another 7km extra in blistering heat, which finally had me cross the finish line in 8 hours and 5 minutes.
Not bad still and a lot faster than the 12 hours and 30 minutes for 51km just two weeks ago.
And so we definitely had three winners this beautiful Sunday morning.
We might take a break for a short while. At the time of creating this blog, we are all slouched on the couch with no ambition to ever move our tired and painful legs ever again …

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