October 1, 2017
This was one of my most anticipated trail runs of the year. The keyword there is “was.” After completing a 100km run earlier this April, I was looking forward to trying out the trails in Pampanga and hopefully get a grand slam with the MF42 and CM50 trail runs. Most of my harkor friends have already done this series and they said it’s a good experience and a must-do for trailrunners. Well, it certainly was an experience.
We got to the race venue which was Sandbox in Porac, Pampanga early in the morning of the race day itself. Thank you to lodi Sandrye for organizing the transportation. I was with Khat and also the mamaw buddies Maan and Dencio. It was good to see new and familiar faces again.
The first bump in the road was that the bathrooms in the venue didn’t have water. Y’all know me. I can’t do my thing without a proper bathroom. So I decided to carry my baggage through the race and somehow, somewhere just let it out along the trails. So once the time for claiming of kits and briefing took place, I was already worried about my stomach.
I also made the critical mistake of not bringing along some food to eat before the race. Y’all know me. I’m a voracious eater so just a few minutes before the start line, my stomach was already seeking some attention. You don’t know what stress is until you’re both hungry and poopish at the same time, with no relief on either side.
So there, toed the starting line with an uneasy feeling, yet with Khat by my side, I just hoped for the best. At the gunstart, we started out at the back of the pack and slowly made our way through the course. The first AS was a welcome sight. I grabbed some bread with chocolate spread and advanced on. The first part was uphill concrete roads so I made my way slowly. As my stomach entered “fight or flight mode”, the poopish feeling disappeared and made the first part quite pleasant. We passed through AS 2 with no trouble.
We reached AS 3 with Joma #Rutanginamore Sison manning it. Grabbed some more food as we made our way down to the falls. The view of the forest and the peaks were beautiful and they were the definitely the highlight of the race. I reached the falls to see the familiar faces of Pao, Phen, Julius, and Jeff. Conversed with them while dipping myself in the refreshing waters of Miyamit Falls and waited for Khat. After getting the race straws, climbed back up, refilled at Joma’s station and continued on.
From here on out, it was 20kms of rolling hills and open trails all the way to the turnaround point. This was when my stomach problems returned and I found my steps getting sluggish and every slight slope very hard to maneuver. I managed to get a good pace with Khat all the way to the turnaround point. In the middle of the trail was a marshal who took our pictures. With only two women in front and two women close behind, Khat took off and left me hobbling back to the finish line.
The way back was definitely a frustrating experience for me. I was frustrated with my performance, with the terrain, and with the lack of a view! I was flanked with talahib and trees and there was not much else. Still, I managed to pass a few more runners and ask them if they saw Khat pass by. I caught up to Khat back at Joma’s aid station and was pleased to find the Miyamit Falls marshals were also on their way back to the starting line. Khat sped off after eating while I took my time to refill my water and eat a peanut butter sandwich. Once done, I started off along with Phen, Julius, Pao, and Jeff. But I was eventually left behind.
I caught up to another runner also named Jeff and we run-hiked the way down while just talking about our experience and plans with future races. We caught up to another runner, Billy and he joined our group as we passed AS 2 and reached the concrete part again. My stomach was already at its most volatile, and with every step downwards, I can hear it slosh around and grumble. So I let the two go ahead and last saw them at AS1. I was thinking of finding someplace to poop, but I just held it in as I was on my way back already.
Pao and his friend who I forgot the name were meandering their way to the finish so I walked with them. We talked about hanging out and waiting for the cutoff time but suddenly, BR was already behind us. We joked that we wanted a sub-BR finish, so we started jogging again up to the last ascent before the finish line. Along the way, Khat was walking toward us to get me. So we walked-jogged our way to the finish line.
I was proud to hear Khat finished third for the women’s category. Didn’t expect anything less as no other lady runner passed me on the way back. But I was a bit sad that I couldn’t finish at the same time with her, but thank you to idol Glairold for capturing my finish with her.
We hung around the finish area while waiting for the others to finish as well as devour some sausages from Rye. After a bit, we walked back to our van to get fixed up. Then we heard that there would be no awarding ceremony for the winners. We were saddened by this so we just fixed ourselves up and then we were on our way back to Manila. Goodbye Sandbox! #Neverforget #Neveragain
Race: Miyamit Falls Trail Marathon 2017
Finish: 08:57:46 (37/51)
Food: [Self] H2O, Beng-Beng x5, Clif Energy Gel Double Espresso
[Aid Stations] H2O, kakanin, Sandwiches, Banana, Salt
Gear: Amihan Crosswind, Feetures Socks, Salomon Wings Flyte 2, Naturehike Trekking Poles
Well, I was bummed that there was no awarding for Khat. I’ve been to cheaper races that had an awarding and even a token of appreciation for all the winners. Overall, this race was okay, but my experience with it made me decide not to pursue this series any more. Well, for the year, at least. All the factors that took place in this race (that I admit were mostly of my own volition), just made me lose my desire to participate. I’ll most likely volunteer as a marshal for this year’s CM50 instead. We’ll see where this goes.
With that said, not everything in this race was bad. The falls were breathtaking and I’m glad to finally have made it down there. I was also glad to have seen familiar faces. How many more times will I say that I go to these events for the community? Probably as long as it rings true.
I’d like to give thanks to Lodi Sandrye for the transportation, to Maan and Dencio for the tarp, to Pao, Jaja and Glairold for the amazing captures, to all the trail friends I ran with, and to the Big Guy for the wonderful day of running. Thank you to my anus for keeping things inside for the whole distance. Thank you to Sir Jon for the race as well as all your crew and the volunteer marshals that made this race possible. And most importantly, to Khat for providing the never-ending support and Clif gels. Congratulations!
MF42 2017, frustratingly done!