Friday, January 15, 2016

Bisdak Trail Season-ender Sessions 2015

Dirty sessions from October to December 2015.

I managed to keep myself busy after my last race slash marshal duty in July. Mostly lead-up training runs for one item in my bucket list, the Clark-Miyamit Falls 50 Miles Ultra or CM50, in Clark, Pampanga. This time, I abandoned my previous training program and just made sure I have accumulated enough mileage leading up to November. I was lucky many of the CTR folks are also joining CM50 so I just joined them in their weekend runs. My usual solo long runs were upgraded to group runs and really long hikes! Focusing on the verticals and time on our feet, which proved to be very effective. 
Malones-Bayug ridge
Liloan, Cebu with TTB-HW

CTR long hike

Talamban HW trails with TTB

CTR Weekday sesh.

Tagbao-Cantipla ridge

Liloan xterra route


CTR also organized the 2015 edition of the Cebu Fat Ass Trail Run. Which is actually also part of our training for CM50. That was one of the toughest 50K I've done, if not the toughest! I did some recon runs but I was still not confident to tackle it on my own so I ended up running with the ladies. They know the route by heart so that was a wise decision. It took us more than 17 hours to finish that race, so just imagine how tough it was... for a 50K! (Video below)
Fat Ass Participants

The newly constructed foot bridge in Buot

Fat Ass Finishers Token

With the help of CTR, Team Lingam Events assisted in plotting the route for the first ever trail race in Malones, Dalaguete. The Osmena Peak Challenge 32K. I was tasked to do the final plotting of the route so I made a few trips there. I just can't get enough of this trail system! It is so damn pretty! Plus, these runs were bonus mileage for me given that CM50 was just around the corner.

The other side of Osmana Peak
Team Ligam, trail marking

Then D-day came mid November. CM50. I arrived in Pampanga full of confidence. I wont lie, I did count myself as a finisher even before race week. Yes. But that was me, and that's one way of keeping my mojo up. I totally relied on my short but fruitful training, and the drive to NOT fail again. This helped me toe in with a clear mind, happy and light. Plus, you get be called "Badass Ultra Runner" if you finish the race! CM50 has a reputation: It's tough. It's painful. It will eat your soul. Ok, that was a bit exaggerated. But yeah, tough and painful. Period. I mean, you literally run up 40 kilometers to the peak of Mt. Pinatubo from Clark, then run back down! That's 80 kilometers of %^#$@*&&^%$!!! If that ain't hard enough, add Lahar into the mix! Oh and Miyamit Falls... what a beauty!

 But I had so much fun! Everything went well for me, well, except for the watermelon binge which eventually led to shooting pulp projectiles through my mouth. That was a first but it was nothing. I still managed to reach the finish line in one piece after a little over 16 hours out there. It was one of the most awesome race experience I had and I can't be disappointed with the result too. That was the best I could do under the circumstances. I left Luzon with some UTMB points, a spot in the Asian Trail Masters Series, the Badass title and more importantly a big smile on my face.

Badass moment at CM50 2015

Then there's the annual Ultra Hamster Run. Also a CTR event. This was more like a Christmas party than a trail race. No pressure. Runners were only required to complete at least 5 loops of the 3K route. Plus, the lechon at the finish line! Wow!


Run-fie??
 
It looked more like a fiesta than a trail run! Ultra Hamster 2015

I capped off my 2015 trail season with another Ultra. Well, I ran it but did not register! Lol. I wasn't able to register! That's why! Any more questions?? Well this was the annual MR25 Ultra-marathon in Singapore. I did this race back in 2013, and I was happy to do it again... only this time as my wife's pacer. That was a date-race. Taking our time, spending one whole day running around Mc Ritchie's manicured trails. 
Make way for the bandit! (MR Trails, Singapore)

I'm looking forward to a very fruitful 2016 trail season!



Thursday, July 30, 2015

Back to Chasing Pavements

After a painful DNF at Pulag100 (May 22), I thought it would be good to just clean up  my stuff and stay in the sideline for a while and contemplate on making a strong come back late this year. Well I was able to hang on to that idea until I read the facebook message from my friend Rex Gonzales 4 days later. He wanted my to run on his behalf. And that was no easy run. It was another 100K just a couple of weeks away. The TNF 100 Philippines (June 14)! I said yes hoping for a quick redemption, but this race was a lot tougher than P1. It so technical that many thought was not even trail running. Long story short... another DNF! But surprisingly it was not that painful... at least after learning about 80% of the field also DNF'd!


Bisdaks at H1/P1




One of many foot bridges
TNF100

There's about 20 of this

Fast-forward 5 days after I flew back to Cebu. Fellow Marathon Maniac, Ken invited me to a no frills Ultra at his hometown in Dumaguete (June 20). Road 50K, night time, 5 loops of 10K. I gave it a shot, thinking maybe this will be a good recovery run. Wrong! This was my first road ultra in two and a half years and although it was mostly flat, it felt like hell! Five agonizing loops on hard paved roads! Despite that, I had fun. The guys I ran with, DARS, were so cool. And Paultom, the RD was the bomb! Its my first time to run his race but I can already say he is my favorite RD.

I love Dumaguete 50K

I was ready to hang my shoes up when I got this message from Ken. He can't make it home in time for the Cebu 360 (72K) on July 18th. He asked me to sell his slot. But since I already committed to volunteer as a marshal for this race, I thought maybe I'd run on his behalf and be marshal at the same time. Brilliant idea! At least that's what I thought. Hey I did my job as a marshal first before deciding to become a participant late in the race, when the sun was up. Don't judge me! I didn't want this to be a hat trick! It was another road race but it felt familiar. All those climbs and drops felt like I was a trail race. It was fun chasing solo runners and waiting in the dark, occasionally turning off my headlamp to see if those guys get tempted to "hop on'. Of course with my camera always ready to document what went on in the dark. It was fun playing detective but not the entire race. I had to drop that job and raced on to the finish. Still finished well within cutoff, though. Wearing trail shoes. And gaiters. Rock n roll to the world!



Rakenrol!



Credits to the owners of the photos!

Friday, April 17, 2015

O-Peak to Kawasan Falls Traverse

April 11, 2015

So my TTB mates and I decided to spend a weekend down south. No, not swimming with the whale sharks or in some white sand beach. Something closer to this blog's theme. Yes, OsmeƱa Peak!   




Took a bus to Dalaguete - hitched a ride to Mantalungon - hiked up. But it didn't end there. Of course we set up camp and spent the night watching the stars... uhm, a perfect story has to have that stargazing moment - but this was no perfect story. We spent the night drinking Empe (6 bottles!), arguing about some incorrect history, puking and basically disturbing other campers. 








The original plan was to pack up early and cross the Mantalungon mountain range all the way to Kawasan falls in Badian. Well, we stuck to most of it... but we carried something a lot heavier. A major hangover! Despite that, we made it to Kawasan in less than five hours. Faster than anyone doing the same route that day. Maybe we were in a hurry to take a quick dip at the river and erase the freakin' headache for good. Oops. Writing mojo is down again. Last few words. I had fun!
















Fin

Monday, March 23, 2015

Three-peat Kawasan (KFM 2015)

March 15, 2015

I ran it in 2011, did it again in 2014... and yes, you guessed it, I finished another one this year. 

I just love this marathon!