May 5, 2019
It’s been a while since my last race report. After finishing the Mt. Apo Sky and Vertical race last month, I was ready to get some rest and relaxation away from the trails. But circumstances found me still out on the trails during the weekend. Not that I’m complaining! Here is a brief account of my experience in the recent Arriba Makariba 2019.
“Arriba Makariba is a new trail run organized by Team Marupok. The race features a newly opened Mountain situated above Puray falls, Mt. Makariba. It is a 24km trail race that passes thru 3 Barangays of Rodriguez, Wawa (San Rafael), Puray, and Mascap.”
This was the description posted on the event page and in the words of those that have done the recon, they said that the trail is quite “runnable.”
Since I have already ran a lot of races organized by Team Marupok, I know that they have a different description for the term “runnable.” Because of this, I relied on the couple of runs I did plus the big DNF in the Salomon Xtrail 2019 the week before to help me cross the finish line.
Bebelabs and I arrived at the race venue in sitio Wawa prepared for whatever may come. The 6.5 hour cutoff was graciously extended to 7 hours to highlight the runnability of the trail. We claimed our kits which included a trucker cap, an event shirt, and the bib itself. Our goal was just to finish within the cutoff without injuries. I was happy to see a lot of familiar faces again and the turnout was quite big especially for a race with only one distance category.
I missed the race briefing because I was busy in the bathroom, so when I arrived at the starting line the countdown to the start was already happening. At 4am, we were sent off into the dark but familiar trails. We started conservatively by sticking to the back of the pack. The first part of the race was the traditional trail to the top of Mt. Ayaas. We already passed this route last week, so I didn’t have any problem navigating.
Slowly but surely, the pack began to thin out as the runners found their paces. I advanced for a bit as I got my legs warmed up. It was a good and sweaty ascent, and I reached the summit of Mt. Ayaas just as the first light of day emerged. At the summit was Rye serving as the marshal. I took a bit of rest with some friends before descending into the next part of course.
It was mostly downhill along dusty roads straight into the first aid station. Manning it were Ace, Edgar, and Truepa Barok. Here, they served us hot chocolate, bread, and kamote. After a quick refill of my hydration, I continued on and followed a trio of veteran runners, Tres, Raymond, and Aldrin. They served as the navigators as we diverted from the main road and entered a dry river that served as the trail.
It was a fun and winding adventure through local plantations and charcoal forests. I was watching my every step as my ankles were already at the end of their shelf life after being battered at the Salomon run last week. We run-walked our way to the foot of a scramble that started a steep uphill ascent.
Reminiscent of Parawagan’s Vertical “Kilometer” route, it was a lung-busting ascent all the way to an open ridge. The view on top was beautiful with the peak of Mt. Makariba looming nearby. I was quite happy to have almost reached the top when the trail began to weave away and away from the mountain. Oops! I guess it wasn’t a straight route to the top yet. I continued on until I reached the Gorilla head rock which told me that the summit was near.
Eventually, I did reach the summit and waiting their was Slay and Ray Neil, marshals from team Marupok. I got my picture taken before going down the ridge line. The descent was fast and heart-pounding as the loose dirt and dried leaves would make footing a challenge. There were some times where I slid down but thankfully, my ankles were unaffected. I passed Julius who was taking care on his descent and continued until I reached the river of sitio Puray. I was doubtful of the way, so I waited for the rest of the group. Then, we followed the riverbank until we reached the familiar way to Puray falls.
There at the side of the road was the 2nd Aid station. Chii, Mark Andrew, and sir Tads were waiting for us. And not only them, but a whole table of food! It was a buffet of Shanghai rolls, Siomai, watermelon, Biko, water, Gatorade and softdrinks! I took my time eating everything I can reach. There were tons of food and after 15 kilometers of trail running, I was famished. It was definitely a big boost to the morale.
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever and as the cutoff came nearer, I had to stop eating and continue with the race. I wish I brought a tupperware so I can bring some more food with me, but I was unprepared. So I said thank you and goodbye to the marshals as Julius and I moved on. We started with a slow walk and jog because our stomachs were still full. I was silently farting as the carbonated sodas sloshed around in my tummy.
Fortunately, it was an easy route all the way to sitio Mascap. Rolling dirt roads and concrete bridges along with river crossings through the local community were all that awaited us. Eventually we reached the last aid station and this was where the party started.
I won’t go into the details, because I’ll let the pictures tell the story.
I stayed there for around an hour and a half. I would’ve stayed longer, but I don’t want back-to-back DNFs and the cutoff was really getting close. So I had to pry myself off the monobloc chair and bring my alcohol-and-cassava-filled self to the finish line.
We continued on the concrete road until we reached the junction into Mt. Ayaas, there it was mostly rolling trails until the familiar trail back to sitio Wawa. I enjoyed the last bit of downhills before we reached the local community. Then I waited a bit for Bebelabs before we walked the path back to the elementary school and into the finish.
After claiming our finisher’s medal, we rested a bit and made some kuda with the other runners. Then we fixed ourselves up and ate our post-race meal at ate Mhy’s eatery. We spent some more time with our trail friends until it was time to go home. After thanking the chubby RD and the marshals, we left Wawa feeling tired but happy.
Race: Arriba Makariba 2019
Finish: 06:25:00 (37/48)
Food: [Self] H2O, Clif Energy Gel Double Espresso x2, Clif Bar x1, Vitamin Boost
[Aid Stations] H2O, Gatorade, Softdrinks, Hot Chocolate, Kamote, Bread, Shanghai rolls, Siomai, Watermelon, Biko, cassava cake, pancit, chips, Red Horse, San Miguel Pale Pilsen, Jack Daniels, Soju
Gear:Kalenji Gilet Trail 5L, Kalenji Socks, New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v4, Simple Hydration, Lazada Goodr Glasses, Onnight 700 Headlamp
This was an amazing race that lives up to the standards of team Marupok. For years they have been organizing races of high quality at an affordable price. This race was actually a fundraising program meant for the benefit of the local athletes of Wawa. The fact that they were able to accomplish this goal and also provide ample support for the runners is proof of their organizing skills. My only legit complaint would be to have some more markers on certain parts, but other than that, this was one of my favorite races that went seamlessly.
I highly suggest that you join Marupok races, if you haven’t already. In the midst of the growing popularity of trail running, as the bigger races get more sponsors and yet still raise their expensive registration fees ever higher, Marupok races serve as homely reminder of what trail running is: a group of people with the love for running and trails coming together to make a successful event, all without the need for the pretentious stuff because they focus on the things that actually matter.
These races have a special place in my heart because these few races stand to show that yes, it is possible to have a good race that takes care of its runners without breaking the bank.
Thank you to Boy P, Sir Eric, team Marupok, and all the marshals/volunteers who made this event a success. Thanks to Brenda and Migs for picking us up on the way to Wawa. Thank you master Glairold for the pictures and the socials. To all the trail friends, the usual suspects, thanks for the camaraderie and for continuing to make the community a lively one. This was definitely one for the books. Congratulations to the pioneer batch of Arriba Makariba!
Run hard, drink harder.