June 2, 2012 is a date I will never forget. It was my first 10K run, my first trail run and my first Merrell Adventure Run... and this run was beyond all my expectations!!!
I registered for the 2012 Merrell Adventure Run for several reasons... primary of all was because it was on a Saturday (I rarely run on Sundays because of my church commitments), and it was going to be held in San Mateo, which was fairly close to my residence. Plus factor was that several members of our PEx Running Club were joining. And, I wanted to experience a trail run.
I was thinking of doing just 5k, but a couple of my friends encouraged me to signup for the 10k... and so I did~ I started adding mileage to my runs... from 5k to 6.6k, 8k up to 10k... but I wasn't prepared for muddy trails, or hills, or streams.
There was a storm brewing a couple of days before our Merrell Adventure Run 2012. Tropical storm Ambo brought rains all over the eastern side of Luzon. It rained hard the night before our run and we were awaiting news whether Merrell would cancel the event. The rains stopped in the early morning, so I decided to gear up and prepare for my first trail run. Mel took me to the site, at Timberland Heights, San Mateo, Rizal. There I met up with other PEx runners. We posed for the cameras while we did some stretching :)
Gunstart for 10k runners was set at 6:10am. The 21k runners were off at 6:00am, 10 minutes ahead of us. There were around 400 of us who dared run the 10k route... countdown, and we were off running... over stones, grass and mud.
The trail was very muddy and slippery, I tried to be as careful as I can, fearing that a slip or fall would cause me injury. But I enjoyed crossing the streams, with caution though, and choosing steady rocks as footholds.
There were steep hills to climb, which were very tiring to the legs. I was glad I brought a pair of gloves, which protected my hands when I had to hang on to the ropes, or to bushes and limbs of trees. I was also thankful for the stick which my friends lent me, which kept me from slipping a million times... I just slipped and fell like a hundred times... exajjj ~
I hadn't brought any hydration so I just had to rely on the water stations Merrell provided along the way... which was used by runners not just to quench thirst but also to wash off the mud from our hands, arms and legs. :)
Halfway at the 5km mark, I looked at my watch and realized I've been on the trail for two hours already... something that I did not expect. I told Mel the I'd probably finish in about two hours or so... road running is so so different from trail running. I got held up by queues in crossing the streams and holding on to ropes to climb the steep hillside, and crawling through the drain tunnels and mudpits which Merrell put along the way for added adventure.
After going through the drain pipes, I even queued for the water hose to rinse the mud off my hands, arms and legs... took about 15 minutes to get my turn~ After rinsing the mud off, further down the trail, I slipped and fell again... and again, several times... so much for wasting my time at the queue just to rinse off :)
Finally, the trail became less muddy and more stony, but still hilly... and I could hear the music up ahead... the end was near! And finally, I crossed the finish line... at 4 hours and 4 minutes.
|Photo courtesy of Michael P. Santos|
Thanks to PEx Running Club members who were there to cheer and support us.
Thanks also to the six:30 barneys who cheered me near the end of the trail. And, of course, my husband Mel, who patiently waited for me at the finish line. I was tired, muddy and very hungry... I wasn't able to enjoy the water trucks that showered the muddy runners, ran out of hotdogs and chicken nuggets... but was able to drink lots of cool milk and had some hot coffee though. I got my finisher's kit, a Merrell sling backpack with a 10k finisher's shirt that was a bit too large for me, and some other small items in the bag.
That was some adventure... my first 10k trail run with Merrell... and I survived!
(Thanks to Cuteeh Cath, Jobert, Run Adobo King and others for the photos)