May 27, 2018
After more than a month of no trailrunning, I’m back with a quick recap of an enjoyable run for the benefit of some friends. This is my race report for the Outrun Your Dreams Trail Run.
This run was a joint event by Team Amihan and Pinoy Trails for the benefit of two Pinoy athletes, Noy Gentoleo and Felmer Hiponia, on their goal to race the Ultra-Trail Mont-Blanc. The UTMB is one of the most famous annual trail races and every serious trailrunner from all over the world wishes to take part in this. It is undoubtedly one of the most prestigious trailrunning events in the world.
Noy and Felmer are also fellow Ilonggos and really humble people. They’re friendly and you wouldn’t expect them to be champions and podiumers with the way they carry themselves. They are down-to-earth and approachable so if you see them on the trails, give them a high five and wish them luck.
I joined the 22km category along with fellow graphic artist Jim. He got a free kit from a contest on Facebook and so we decided to run the event together. Tagging along with us were Eumie and her sister, both running the 10km category. We met at Cubao early Sunday morning and commuted to Sitio Wawa where the race will be held.
Sitio Wawa is the training ground for trailrunners. It’s the closest hilly area to Manila and the route we will be taking is the normal training ground of my friends. This is why the event is a good gateway race to trailrunning. And when we arrived at the venue, we did see some road runners getting ready as well.
We claimed our kits and got ourselves ready. It was good to be back in the trail atmosphere. Seeing the familiar faces of everyone made me feel right at home. Team Mamam was handling the baggage area so I handed over my belongings to H1 Finishers Nik and Mac and listened to Dapdap as she hosted the event.
JLB did the race briefing and Sesa led the warm ups as the 04:00 gunstart approached. Then, the 22km runners made our way to the starting line and Dapdap counted us down. Jim and I positioned ourselves at the back of the pack as there wasn’t any pressure to get a podium finish for us. The cutoff time was 8 hours, just enough for me to enjoy the route without getting a DNF.
The race started and we hobbled towards the familiar route to Mt. Parawagan. But then, we turned right towards a rough road and through the local houses until we reached the ascent that trailrunners called the “Parawagan VK.” It was a straight uphill up until the summit and we slowly made our way up. It was actually fun seeing everyone lining up the single track trail. Advancing was done in the rare spots when the trail was wide enough.
I had to hold my fart for the majority of the climb as everyone was bunched together in single file. When I turned around, there was always a runner whose head was just a few inches away from my anus. I didn’t want them to get a DNF so I ascended with my butt cheeks clenched as tight as possible.
Eventually, the trail widened at the top. The light of the sunrise broke through the clouds just as my fart broke through my butt cheeks. Sweet release. We jogged up to the summit, had our bibs marked, and bombed the downhill up to the first aid station.
AS1 was being manned by Team Malditah. Of course I had to stop and congratulate these H1 finishers on their accomplishment the week before. I munched on some Cloud 9 and gulped a lot of gulaman while Ben, Ayang, Rye, Jayson, and John attended to the other runners. I stayed just long enough for the expected “Anunah!?” from them and started on the next section with Jim.
The next part was an out and back to Joey’s Peak. I remembered this trail during the Monte Alba run last 2016. This was the trail going to Mt. Lagyo. Rolling hills led us to the U-turn point where Aarun marked me with his Raceyaya device. Then it was back to AS1 and eventually to the 4 Brother’s Eatery.
Going down the concrete road from Parawagan, I felt my Plantar pain start, but I had no choice but to endure it. We also saw some 6km runners and I felt a bit envious that they were almost done with the race while I still had around 10 more kilometers to go.
At the Eatery, Champion Ces was manning AS2. Some more Cloud 9 and a lot of gulaman entered my bloodstream. Then it was the long and rocky route to Mt. Ayaas. This was the part I enjoyed the least. The rocky trail along with the semi-wet mud didn’t cooperate at all with my Plantar pain. I was cursing silently all the way up until we reached the open part. I preferred the steep uphills more compared to the muddy rocks at this point.
Halfway to the summit, we reached AS3 being manned by Team Choloflight. There, Ysa took some pictures of me while I refilled with gulaman and Cloud 9 once more. Ren, Eric, and Jerick provided some pineapples and kindly refilled my flasks. What great service! Refreshed and ready to finally reach the last turning point, I thanked them and moved on.
We passed some hikers on their way to Ayaas as well. They were resting from the heat as the sun was already scorching despite it being so early in the morning. As I broke through the trees and into the open summit, I heard the marshals at the top calling my name. It was none other than Fredo, JP, and Edgar, also from Team Choloflight. They took some pictures and marked my Raceyaya chip before we engaged in conversation.
I was at the summit for around 10-15 minutes with the guys until I was stung by a bee. Because of that, I decided to go down and finish the race. Plantar pains and bee sting in my legs made the way down much more painful but eventually I returned to AS3 and took some rest. Finally, Jim and I bid the Choloflights goodbye as we started down the trail.
It was back to the muddy rocks and eventually to the local settlements until we reached the Wawa river. I crossed the bridge and bought a bottle of Red Horse from the local tindahan just before Jim and I reached the finish line.
There, Eumie and her sister were already waiting for us. We took a pic at the finish before proceeding to get our post race meal and other loots! After that, it was some more trail socials before we went back to Manila. We left the rest of the veterans in their socials and I got a good nap all the way back to Cubao.
I’d like to extend my thanks to everyone who took part in this event for a cause. It was a good welcome back to the trail community as well as time to catch up with friends.
To the team behind the race, Avhic, Jose, JLB, and the local community of Wawa. Congratulations for a successful event. Thank you for the time to help our athletes. The same goes to Team Amihan headed by Miss Mai. I hope we were able to provide a lot of help to Noy and Felmer.
To the Raceyaya people, Coach Iris and Celso, as well as the marshals at the finish line. Deya, Ces, Nik, Mac, Dapdap, as well as Glairold and the rest who I forgot. Thank you for attending to the needs of the runners. It was good catching up with all of you.
To all the marshals in the aid stations, Team Malditah and Team Choloflight. You made leaving the aid stations so much harder. Socials is life! Thank you for the push to go forward and for the warm greetings. Congratulations to all your feats. Mwah!
To my fellow runners who ran the trails with me. Congratulations to us! And thank you for supporting the event. It was good to see each other struggle towards the finish line, so thank you for the few moments of smiles you shared with me along the route. Until the next one!
To Jim for his patience with me throughout the whole route. Sorry for preventing you from your podium finish but thank you for lending me your flashlight that I haven’t returned yet. This is our dry run for Century Tuna Superbods 2019. Thank you also to Eumie and her sister for accompanying us from Manila. Congratulations!
To my bebelabs in Japan. Thank you for sending your international support. Almost everyone kept asking where you were. Next time, send a press release before you embark on your next overseas trip.
Lastly, to the Big Guy for keeping everyone safe and for the favorable weather. For Your greater glory.
Race: Outrun Your Dreams Trail Run
Finish: 05:28:41 (58/107)
Food: [Self] H2O, Clif Energy Gel Double Espresso x3, Cloud 9 x4
[Aid Stations] H2O, Banana, Gulaman, Candies, Cloud 9, Pineapples, Kakanin
Gear: Amihan Crosswind, Feetures Socks, New Balance 590v3, Naturehike Soft Flasks
Really loving 20+km distance races. I’m looking forward to the next one. I think I’ll pass on trail ultras for now. In the meantime it’s back to basics with the shorter distances. That way, we’ll have more time for socials.
Thanks for reading and see you on the next one!