I know I swore off joining events that literally rob your money outta your pocket just because of the hype. I caved in because 1) I wanted to try running on a trail, 2) it's the frakken TNF and 3) it was a great excuse to escape the hellish Manila heat and see friends in Baguio.
Also, we were to be the support team of our friends, Mac and Marie. They did 50 km which was, based from all 50k runner stories, no easy feat. It was beyond difficult. A Herculean task that every runner must commit to not only physically, but mentally too. It was a pure test of endurance and strength, you have be there to believe it.
We arrived in Baguio at past 11 pm, got lost a bit while looking for our transient house in Scout Barrio, ginising pa namin yung may race ng 4am para lang magkahanapan kami haha. Konting chika, then a little before 1am we all took a nap before waking up around 3am. What is bangag. Took a quick shower before we made our way to John Hay which is, thankfully, on a walking distance from our house.
Hinatid namin sila sa starting line then waited for the gunshot til the last runner has been sent off the grounds. Sobrang exciting lang you could see it in every runner's face and feel it in the air.
After sending off all the 50k runners we walked a bit on the grounds looking at interesting stuff.
We went back to our transient house, set our alarm for 9am and slept again. After 3 hours we showered again, dressed up and were on our way to Green Valley where we'll meet Kimi. The cab driver dropped us off at the last point where PUVs are still allowed, there we waited for Kimi to arrive.
We were dead set on hiking our way up to Mt. Sto. Tomas if we didn't find any vehicle that would be willing enough to take us all the way up. Hitching a ride na naman ang peg just like what we did when we first made our way here in 2010. Wala pang 20 metres na nakakalakad kami may dumaang pick-up truck! We thought it wouldn't stop for us after raising our thumbs but lo and behold huminto sya. So that's the story how we arrived in the radar/AS 8 in less than 30 minutes without any sweat . Ha!
These were the scenes that greeted us when we got there. AS 8, to sum it up, is the mid station for 50k runners. This is where runners took their brunch or lunch depending on what time they arrived. The place was buzzing and you could feel that every marshals and officials were frantically going gaga. Or si Daddy lang yun (an official there, Kimi's friend from UPM).
We were so worried that our friends already made it there without us at 10:30 when we felt it was still early for them to make it there at that time. Malay mo bigla pala silang naging halimaw, ran so fast and made it to AS 8 super early. But we waited patiently, talked to some of the officials, watch every runner that arrived, talked to Kimi's friends, walked to the viewing deck to wait some more until finally at 11.30, Mac arrived!
A series of kwentuhan and kainan naturally ensued. Marie finally arrived a little after 1 pm, a few minutes after, Mac decided to run the 3 km from AS8 to AS9. The 3 km that you do not belittle as it was harder than it seemed! Mac decided to wait for Marie despite the ticking clock (he made it back to AS8 at around 2.30pm). He decided though that if Marie still hasn't arrived at 4pm, he'll continue the run on his own. Good thing Marie came in at 3:30! After a short rest (for Marie) and quick bite, off they went again and us three hitched a jeepney ride alongside some of the DNF's (runners that did not finish) back to Camp John Hay. It was so awkward. Most of them didn't make it to the finish line for various reasons. I can feel their disappointments but they compensated by cracking jokes. At least there's always next year to try again :)
Before the 2 resumed running, we saw this man came in. He was currently the first place holder in the 100k division. Everyone gave him a round of applause when he continued his run after a quick egg and coca cola break haha.
During the awarding ceremony, we found out that he was the first placer indeed. Good lord watta trail monster. Mabuhay ka kuya!
We arrived at John Hay at 5pm so you can just imagine how starved we were! We had baon but a lunch is a lunch. We headed to the first resto we saw (that we liked haha): Army Navy.
Then we went home again at around 6pm where I slept once again (JC didn't, he watched TV), woke up at 7.30 and was out of the door for the third time at 8pm. We waited in the finish line section with the chilly Baguio weather enveloping us.
Every time a 50k and 100k runner arrive, we clap our hands.
Then this girl. Apparently she was the first woman from 100k to arrived. Way to go girl!!! Okay sorry walang fez na makita, madilim eh!
9pm came then 10pm but still no Mac and Marie. 10pm is the cut-off time for 50k runners. If you don't arrive by that time you're not included in the official list of finishers. After multiple phone calls and waiting-in-the-super-cold-dark-forest, these two finally arrived.
Congrats Mac and Marie!! Bawi tayo next year! Este kayo pala :)
We had a super late dinner at Yellow Cab at around 1 in the morning, went home at 2am. JC and I still have our run later at 5 in the morning. I was so exhausted and sleepy I fell asleep in no time.
April 21, 2013, Sunday. It was our turn, 11k trail runners, this time. In fairness nagising naman kami at fresh pa rin no matter how puyat. This was a few minutes before gun time (5.30am).
There was a slight traffic on the first 3(?!) km kasi nagkakasalubungan pa ang mga 22k and 11k runners especially on uphill areas.
Ang trick lang naman dyan is not to run like crazy on uphills kasi pinapagod mo lang ang sarili mo hehe. We ran when the trail's flat or downhill (sarap! but remember to be careful always).
Yes, may wild horses talaga.
Water station stop. I like the fact that the organizers required runners to provide their own water bottles because really, those paper cups add up to this world's litters.
This was my, ahem, TNF shining moment shot. Okay end of gloating.
I don't know the name of this guy but he was the 3rd placer lang naman in 100k! Ang cute ni kuya, nakapikit!
After watching the awarding ceremony and hanging out with Mitch for a bit, we headed for lunch because we were really starving by then. We headed to Ketchup Community Place and sat at Canto. Kimi, JC and I ordered at Canto (ribs that could really use more dressing/sauce/whatever) while Mac and Marie ordered at Happy Tummy. Sadly there wasn't anything happy about their service. The food took a really long time to get into our table and that's with 2 follow ups pa!
|Siningit ko lang yung free pic namin from ROX hahaha|
Sunday night, Mac and Marie went back to Manila while JC and I stayed for another day. We decided to stay in the transient house instead of spending the night at Kimi's since bayad na rin naman ang place. The next morning, we woke up early and headed to public market to buy stuff. We bought the usual veggies and for a change, I bought organic and red rice. Wala lang.
And of course, my Baguio stay won't be complete without seeing my cutie patootie godchild who's turning into quite the posh toddler. Props to her Mamay for picking her everyday get-up hehe.
The end. Next year we'll try our luck with 22k. Huzzah!