Posted by: HighAltitude | March 23, 2010

Mt. Batulao Mountain Run: Farewell Run with Tess Geddes

Last Sunday morning, March 21, 2010, Team Hard Core (Dess, David ‘isko’ Goggins and Jeff) ran with Tess Geddes (the only Pinay who finished 7 desserts ultra marathons) in Mt. Batulao, Nasugbu, Batanggas. This is a farewell run for Tess. Most probably Tess is now above the atlantic ocean bound to the U.S by now.

This was planned when Tess, Ivy and I had a 5 hours run from Sta Rosa-Silang-Tagaytay-Silang-Sta Rosa two Sundays ago. Tess wanted to have her last run before she go back to the States.

It was cold that morning when we reached Evercrest. As a matter of fact, Tagaytay was covered with thick fog that morning. Some of us wondered if  we used proper clothes.

We had so much fun that morning. Often times, Tess shared her experiences when she ran the 7 desserts ultra marathons, which is a treasure story for us. We took the old trail heading to the summit and then went down via new trail.

Let the pictures speak how much fun we had…

Evercrest, before the run…

Heading to peak 4

Peak 4

Heading to peak 5

Jump Batulao 😀

Group picture at the basecamp of the old trail

Spotted a little snake

Cross training: gymnastic 😀

Summit of Mt. Batulao

Grass land of Mt. Batulao

Group hydration

Dirty girls 😀

FrontRunner Lunch time. Thanks a lot Tess…

Posted by: HighAltitude | February 23, 2010

Untold Story of BDM102 ’09

After I severely vomited at the 63km around 9am I could no longer eat any solid food. Even for a small amount of food would triggered vomiting. From that moment, gatorade, water and candy became my primary sources of energy to keep me going to finish the race at 3.30+pm.

In one point, somewhere in between km80-km90, I don’t have candy anymore and my vehicle support was far in front of me and my running buddy, Ellen Tolentino. We’ve been running together for more than 80k.

I badly need candy to keep me going!

I need glucose!

I asked Ellen if she still have extra candy but she doesn’t have anymore. But I noticed she has candy in her mouth.

I begged her to give it to me.

She was freakin’ shock when I said that…

But she knew what I’ve been through. She saw the episode of vomiting I’ve got. She knew I couldn’t eat solid anymore…

My plea was eventually granted after quite sometimes convincing her that I badly need it and I don’t care if I have to eat her left over taken directly from her mouth.

She took the candy out from her mouth, bite it half and give it to me…

That was enough to give me energy to keep running till we met our vehicle support. Thank you so much, Ellen. Unforgettable and precious moment in Bataan102 ’09.

Talking about camaraderie in ultra running…

Posted by: HighAltitude | October 11, 2009

Against the Odd

My thanks:

To for the chicken and rice…

To Team Baldrunner for the boiled egg and the water…

To those people who cheered me up, who appreciated my running, who praised my effort, and also those who mocked me down. I’m not “sira ulo” or “buang” or crazy or insane tho…

To photographers who took pictures of me (send me a copy, please…).

… and I want to congratulate Jonel aka bugobugo for finishing sub4. See, you made it!

/I paced him on the last 15k…

/I ran barefoot!!!

Jerry KarundengJonel Mendoza & Jerry Karundeng

Jerry Karundeng

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitude

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitude

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitudeJerry KarundengJerry Karundeng aka HighAltitudeJerry Karundeng

Barefoot runningbarefoot runbarefoot with barefoot runner

Photos by: Photovendo, Vener aka runulmtd and Rodel aka argonautquest

Posted by: HighAltitude | September 13, 2009

Makiling Challenge: Farther… Higher… Rougher!

Just few weeks ago, I climbed Mt. Makiling through UPLB to survey for the upcoming survival training. Since this mountain is rainforest mountain, leech is common. In fact, it is the house of this carnivorous aquatic, bloodsucking terrestrial worm. It was a blessing for them during our two days one night in that mountain because they had an ample supply of blood. The moment we stepped on the wilderness area, those little *cute* worm started to invade our body from all directions, crawling… looking for a better *hot* spot to have their potluck.

They are easily to spot on the trail or leaves. They will stand like a stick of matches and then jump when they detect our body heat.

In every 10 steps while trekking up the mountain, we have to stop and checked/clean our body from them. We would then pick 1 or 2 that were crawling up to our neck *no, it was a joke, not 1 or 2, mannny of them*. They went to our neck because that was the only part of our body which was not covered and where the body heat was high.

This limatics were really problematic!

Back to our title…

This morning I joined for the first time Makiling Challenge in U.P. Los Banos. I arrived at the vicinity at 5.30am. The starting area was in front of baker hall. It was raining this morning. The race started 24 minutes late from the schedule. So many talking inside the building in which not many runners paid attention. Most of the runners were outside having their warm up including me. I asked RJ Almocera what they were talking about, he also couldn’t listen well although he was inside the building.

It was a small race or community race. I would like to compare it with Run with M.E. few weeks ago in Ateneo. Although it was a small race but many elite runners were presents including Team Baldrunner.

The race started exactly 6.24am accompanied by rain.

From the front of Baker Hall, we went straight for about 50m and then turn right. From this point, the route start to climb gradually. Not long after that, the first killer incline challenged us. One of the many inclines that morning. Entering College of Forestry, we were given a bonus of about 500m flat. Enough for us to take deep breath and pick our pace again. Soon after that was a long gradual hill. Passing the check point of Makiling Rainforest ranger station, the route became rough.

Now, the route became really tougher and rougher.

Sobrang maghirap talaga 🙂 pero enjoy na enjoy ako :p Eyes focus on the road. Missed to do that, injured! Uneven surface, loose rocks, huge and small stones were just scattered.

I committed sin that morning,… I walked for a few second to catched up my breath hahahaha

On the way back after the u-turn was another challenge. Yes, I was flying downhill. I felt that all my organs in my body especially in my abdomen and chest were in turbulence. My hands were stretch to both side to make a balance to my body while running downhill. Eyes focus on one object only and that was the road in front of me. I didn’t put any attention to runners I’ve met anymore. I was running 2.35 minutes/km downhill. However, it doesn’t last long tho. I discovered a problem in my shoes. My TNF BOA I used this morning has no space in front for my toes anymore. The toes were forcing so hard toward the shoes which made me to slow down a bit. It eventually caused blister on one of my toe. I should have been use mizuno wave musha which is one size bigger.

I enjoy the race tho it was tougher. I just enjoy being in the wood, looking at the huge trees and listening to the sound of different kind of animals in the forest…

Makiling ChallengeWith AUP runners

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitude

Makiling ChallengeFarther… Higher… Rougher…

Jerry KarundengJerry, GET BACK TO YOUR TRAINING!!! heart rate: avg: 180bpm; max: 207bpm. Finish time: 1.04 unofficial

PS. Special thanks to Carina who accomodate us. Your hospitality is greatly appreciated. And to AUP runners, so good to see you. Hope to run with you guys sooner.

Posted by: HighAltitude | September 9, 2009

My Milo Marathon Story: From HighAltitude Run to Manokan Run

Two years ago, on November 04, 2007, I joined my first race in Baguio, Milo half marathon. My finish time was 1:52:57.

Jerry KarundengJerry Karundeng

Two years later on last August 8, 2009 some of the Team Hardcore made our way to Baguio to participate in Milo 21k. The night before the race, I recalled that fateful day of my first race in 2007. I came to Baguio with some friends three days before the race. Before the race day, I ran half of the route with my coach, Angelo Padua of Dagupan City.

Milo marathon in Baguio is more than a race for me. It’s personal… because it was here I ran my first race and because I just love the city, HighAltitude city located above 1500+masl.

Morning of August 9, 2009 was different. It’s been raining a couples of days before. The rain was on and off, cloudy and foggy. But the chill factor was the winds. It was pretty strong. That morning, I decided to use three layers of clothes and glove but still when we came out from the hotel, it was freezing.

I knew already what to expect in this race, I knew the route by heart. I knew the challenge of the rolling hills and the winding roads.  But I didn’t expect that the weather that morning would be between 10-12 degree F. I was really shivering. I don’t have much fat in my body anymore. Even just an aircon, I could easily feel cold. And now I’m exposed to that cold temperature. Jonel aka bugobugo called basang sisiw hahaha

Rain started to poured out few minutes before the gunshot. Some runners were shouted to start the race because it was just so cold and you could imagine how runners who came all the way from manila look like that morning. All of us were in running jacket, long sleeves, long pants and caps too.

When I decided to run in Baguio, I just wanted to enjoy and had fun. To enjoy every kilometer of the distance. To enjoy the smell of  the pine trees, the cool breeze while reminishing my first race. It was just a perfect day/race. I finished in 1:47:22.

I don’t know if I still can run this race next year 😦

My thanks to Jonel for the breakfast that morning and for everything you did to the Team Hardcore. Kim O’Connel… you are trully HARDCORE! Keep that in your mind. In your age, you still run, that is something… I don’t know if I could still run in that age. The reason is simple, I’m probably not be able to reach that age hahaha Kim, thanks for everything.

Jerry Karundeng

Team HardcoreTeamHardcore (Jonel, Lester and I) at the finish area

Team HardcoreTeam Hardcore with Race Director Rudy B.

Team HardcoreTeam Hardcore

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitudewill i run in baguio again next year? 😦

Jerry Karundeng

Bacolod Milo Elimination 21k *Manokan Run*

Jinoe of and I arrived in bacolod on Friday August 28, 2009. We were fetched by his Father, stopped by in Bacolod to get our BIBs number and proceeded to Pontevedra where we were served with chicken inasal and several special dishes *ay ambot, nalipat ko gani ang pangalan, tuod guid, namet namet guid ya* as soon as we arrived by her Mother.

Bacolod is also a special city for me. I was staying here for more than a year and used to visit this place once a year. I’m pretty familiar with this place too.

Little did I knew that this is the first Milo 21k marathon in Bacolod. On saturday afternoon, I decided to survey the route of the race by following the flyers (read the post of Jinoe in From Capitol Lagoon, runners would take left. On the second intersection *banga bata* turn right all the way to Lopuez East and u-turn.

Race day. According to the organizer, there were about 4,000 participants that morning. However, not many participants joined the 21k. First 2k, runners ran the busy Mandalagan street, right turn in Banga Bata, the road became narrow. Now sugar cane plantations were on the both sides of the road while the majestic Mt. Kanlaon far behind sit. The weather was just right. It was raining the night before. On the way to the u-turn, the sun was still behind Mt. Kanlaon and on the way back to Capital Lagoon clouds covered it. We ran with jeepneys, tricyles, big trucks loaded with sugar cane…

There was no km marker along the route. GF305 showed that I’ve been running for 5k but there was no water station yet. The first water station was available on the km 7th. The water was in a small plastic and not in a cup which I think is better than a cup. Because I just need to suck it without any difficulty or problem the water come inside my nose.

The route is relatively flat. The problem is approaching the u-turn, the road become narrow, holes here and there and there is one section which is under construction. It’s a good route to break a PR.  I did negative split in this race. On the second water station, which was located at the u-turn 10.5k, I drunk 1 plastic of water and a gu, walked for about 10m and picked up my pace. On this second half I overtook several runners which at the first half use to play with their pace.

I maintained 4.54 minutes/km.I finished the race in 1:45 unofficial.

Jerry KarundengJerry KarundengJerry KarundengJerry KarundengJerry Karunden aka HighAltitude

Posted by: HighAltitude | August 10, 2009

How About Another Poster?

Last Wednesday August 5, 2009 some of the Team Hardcore decided to have a “Run for Cory”. We started in front of the ROX at Bonifacio High Street, NAIA Airport, Heritage Park, had a quick breakfast in Philippines Army Golf Course (Thanks BR!) and back to ROX again. Kim and I covered 20km distance and the rest of the Team Hardcore completed half marathon that morning.

Team HardcoreRun for Cory with Team Hardcore

Team Hardcore

Team HardcoreIn front of Ninoy Aquino International Airport

Team HardcoreA quick breakfast in Philippines Army Golf Course sponsored by BaldRunner

While having a rest in Starbucks, Isko told me that he saw my picture in The North Face store SM North Edsa. I was so curious about that. The following morning I managed my self to go to SM North Edsa to see it and it was true!

The picture was taken in Sacobia, Clark when I participated the 20k trail run. I was running alone downhill, passing the aeta’s farm and met Ben of Photovendo. And the rest is history…

Jerry KarundengTNF with Jerry KarundengJerry KarundengThe North FaceJerry Karundeng

Posted by: HighAltitude | August 3, 2009

Mt. Pico de Loro Adventure

As much as I want to have a mountain run in Mt. Pico de Loro (situated in Ternate Cavite), last week end climb was not a mountain run. That was just another mountain climbing. I’ve been to this mountain for 7x and I’m pretty familiar with the trail.

We planned to leave Silang at 1pm, but the rain didn’t stop since morning. I’m already wet just after I step off from my apartment. The whole members met at the Mang Inasal, Pala-pala and we eventually left the place at around 4pm.

It’s fun to climb while raining but you gotta be ready for it, otherwise it will be a disaster for you. Heading to the jump-off station, I didn’t see any worries from their faces. Everybody were so excited to hit the trail and get wet despite the bad weather that afternoon. 11 of us managed to reach the jump-off station accompanied by heavy rain and strong winds. Little did I know that there was a typhoon going on that time somewhere in Mountain Province.

And yes, the moment we got off from the jeepney, we all wet. After final packing and a short of prayer, we hit the trail. I told to the expedition leader that I want to be a sweeper. The first 100m from the jump-off was a challenge. It was a sudden ascend and strong current of water occupied the rocky trail followed by slippery and muddy trail.

Everybody were in high spirit to reach the summit.

Most of my climbs in this mountain were during summer so practically all the rivers that one should passes by to the summit are dry. That night, we faced flash flood and strong current of water in all rivers, however we managed to crossed them all. Just before we crossed the last river, I was left behind together with another buddy. We walked pretty slow because of the load that I carried (25+kg) and the headlamp of my friend wasn’t working and I had a very dim flash light.

Passing the last open field into the jungle, still the rain was unmerciful poured out from the water gate to us accompanied by strong wind. Got into the jungle, another challenges waiting for us. From this point, trail became steeper, slippery, rocky and flooded. Another guy join our group and now three of us left behind. Both of us were carrying a backpack full loaded. The lady was happy with her day pack. Three of us trekking up slowly and had few stops. I was soaking wet but not all with the water from the rain. I was incredibly sweating too!

Knowing that we were departed quite far from the main group, I gave a signal by whistling to wait for us. But it seems they enjoy with their pace. From this moment, I can give a prophecy that something will go wrong because of many reasons. There was only one guy in that big group who had been here once and that was two years ago. I’m pretty sure that the trail was not so familiar to him anymore. The rest are first timer to this mountain and novice climbers. The principle of climbing a mountain is let the experienced climber lead the way or at least be in the group to help in leading the way. Another reason was we came here as a group but we walked individually. Majority of members in the big group brought only day pack which is lighter, only one of them carried a backpack which is also lighter compare to us. Obviously, they could walk faster compare to the rest. The principle in climbing a mountain with a group, slower climber must be in front and control the pace and no long gap between climbers, especially in this weather. Stick together!

As much as I want to sped up just to avoid freezing cold, being a sweeper, left no one behind.

We were united only once and that was after we passed by the open farm into the jungle. My calculation was we were 30minutes separated. From the moment I started conceived the idea that something will happen, I began to think of worst case scenario.

Upon reaching the campsite before the summit at around 7pm, we looked for them but couldn’t found. We asked the fellow climbers if they saw a group of 8 climbers arrived earlier but negative response. I went into the bamboos trees and into the trail to the summit while whistling but no response.

I worried so much. My mind goes back to the search and rescues operations I participated in the past thinking how vulnerable and unlucky they must be *if they are still alive*. My mind recalled on the common accidents in the mountain in related to this situation, hypothermia, fall into the cliff, injury, cramps, etc.

All of us were shivering already. The rain was on and off by now but the wind was extremely strong and foggy. I could see the tents of the other climbers were deformed because of that. There were tents flooded and abandoned.

We decided to set up our tent and it was a 20minutes gruesome tried to pitch it due to rain and strong wind.

While I was trying my best to erect the tent by myself while the other two tried their best to covered the tent with a flysheet, the rain was unceasingly discharged us. When the flysheet of the tent was able to put at the right place, we were saved.

Having established our tent, changed our clothes, we cooked our dinner while thinking and discussing the situation of the rest of our member.

Where could they be?

It was not a good night for me. Although it is always my favorite time to sleep inside the tent, at the summit while rain but I couldn’t sleep well. My mind was keep on thinking of them.

Early in the morning around 5am, I was on my way to the summit although back in my mind I was thinking that it is impossible for them to camped at the summit. And it was true. I went down to the tower just in case they were there but negative. Backed down to the camp site, I asked the Filipino buddy to accompany me to talked to the climbers at the summit. That weekend, the summit was crowded. More than 10 tents were pitched up there. I talked to the them that we got a situation here. I also called their attention to stand by just in case something went wrong with them.

That chilly morning I wore my wet socks and boot again and get ready to tracked down the mountain. I eat two pieces of bread, drink enough, brought a bottle of Gatorade tiger, survival knife, whistle, a webbing and another two ropes (for artificial stretcher), cell phone, and aluminized emergency blanket.

“Every second is life”…

I jogged down from the camp site. I didn’t know if they survived the night and I didn’t have any idea where could be the possible trail/point that they got lost. I also tried to remember the place of our last contact with them. Every five minutes of jogged, I whistled for 3x but no response. Every time I met a junction, I intentionally took the wrong trail or hunter trail and left marks on trees.

During my conversation with the rest of the climbers at the camp site, we had a common presupposition that they got lost on the fork trail where there is a fallen tree just before the summit. From this point, climbers/hikers are expected to reach the summit in about 15minutes time. Unfortunately, many climbers had made a common mistake in that point. Generally, when you are about to reach the summit, the trail becoming steeper. However, when you reach this point, instead of continue going up, you have to take right turn and going down again for about 50meters and follow by a relatively flat trail and a gradual short hill to the camp site.

I know very well this location because I was once got lost here too but managed to tracked down to the fallen tree and got the right trail. When you go straight up from this point, you will walk for about 10minutes, passing through bamboos and very steep rocky trail and you will find the fake summit and it’s a dead end trail. From this point you could see the camp site which is very close and the real summit if not foggy. If you pass this trail during day time, you could easily find that the trail isn’t so clear and have not often used.

When I reached this point, I went up to the fake summit and whistling for several times and at the same time tried to get clear orientation of the surrounding. I knew that the camp site is just somewhere down below but I couldn’t see it, I could not orient my self due to very thick fog and strong winds. I sent text to my fellow climbers in Silang and informed them about the situation and asked them to stand by. I decided to went down again after waiting for about 10minutes and found negative clue about them.

While going down, I met a group of climbers and inquired if they saw 8 climbers. They didn’t. They spent the night at the nipa hut. If my friends decided to tracked back last night after knowing that they got lost, they should have met this climbers. After directing them on how to reach the summit, I jogged down again until I came out of the jungle to the open field with the two signboards of Pico de Loro. From this point, I decided to went back to the camp site again.

I ran back up to the camp site again and keep on whistling.

I was alone, just between me and the jungle…

Unceasing prayers whispered hoping that God will take care of them…

Tired but I have to find them *dead or alive*!

It took me 25minutes from the camp site to this point and another 45minutes to run back up to the fork trail.

Approaching the fork trail again, my whistle was responded. I sprint to the fallen trees and found out that the group I met before got lost too and to my surprise they saw the 8 climbers up near the fake summit inside the bamboo trees. They literally cry out that they got lost and met the 8 climbers. I thank God for them though puzzled thinking that I was there but didn’t found them.

I directed them to the right trail and rushed up to the fake summit. I finally met them having an emergency camp close to the fake summit. They were all smiles and about to eat their breakfast. What a sweet reunion!

That was an experience!

*breaking up my tent, I discovered that one of the ropes to fasten the flysheet was cut off by a dull object: DISASTER!*

*garbage in Mt. Pico de Loro is still an issue: DISASTER!*

*vandalism is still as strong as the wind at the summit: DISASTER!*

Will be back to this beloved mountain and put up a reflective signboard at the fork trail near the summit.

TNF Roadrunner 23Headquarter

Jerry KarundengGet ready for search and rescue operation

Mt. Pico de LoroJust got back to the camp site after meeting the 8 climbers, happy, tired, and hungry.

Jerry KarundengBrunch chicken mang inasal at the headquarter

Mt. Pico de LoroSweet reunion with the whole group

Mt. Pico de LoroLast group picture before leaving the camp site

Mt. Pico de LoroMt. Pico de LoroMt. Pico de Loro on August 2, 2009

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitude“Never Stop Exploring”

Posted by: HighAltitude | June 3, 2009

Letter of Apology: 3rd All Terra King of the Mountain

I received a called from Edmund Mangaser, the event organizer of the 3rd All Terra King of the Mountain, this morning and we had a nice conversation together. Raul of Elite Multi-Sport Resources followed with an email below:

Good afternoon Jerry. I am writing you on behalf of Elite Multi-Sport Resources, Inc. (EMR), the organizers of the 3rd All Terra King of the Mountain trail run & mountain bike race on June 13th. I believe you spoke with my partner, Edmund Mangaser, earlier today.

To Echo Edmund’s sentiments, EMR would like to extend our apologies for the inadvertent inclusion of a photograph of you as par of our event poster, without prior notification or consultation with you. We regret that this may have caused you any inconvenience or embarrassment in any way. To be honest, we were not even aware that the photograph came from a Philippines source. Of course, this does not absolve us for not attempting to contact the person in the photo beforehand.

At this point, we would especially like to thank you for the warm and open manner in which you took our phone calls and emails. You understood immediately that EMR never intended to take advantage of you, and that our sole intention was to select an image for our poster that captured the thrill & challenge of trail running. For your oponnes and civility, we are most grateful.

It is EMR’s hope that we can partially make up for our oversight by extending our special invitation to be a part of our event on Saturday, June 13, 2009 at Timberland Heights in San Mateo. We will send you a complimentary race kit and we hope tha you can join us during this event. Like you, we believe there is a special attraction to running off-road and we hope the All Terra King of the Mountain trail run can grow to be a regular fixture on the calendars of runners in the Philippines.

Thank you and kind regards,

Raul N. Ylanan

Elite Multi-Sport Resources

Posted by: HighAltitude | June 1, 2009

The 3rd All Terra King of the Mountain

King of the Mountain

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitude

hmmm, have you notice one similarity between the poster and the picture?… Yup, that’s my picture while having mountain run in Mt. Batulao. I’m surprise to see this. It’s a great priviledge to see my picture on that poster 🙂 although, I couldn’t remember someone asked me permission to use it.

Posted by: HighAltitude | May 28, 2009

The North Face 100 Challenge 2009: 20k trail run

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitudeI’m so fortunate that my picture is used as window poster in all The North Face shops in Manila 🙂

I’ve been faithfully attended all the races of The North Face in the past. Being a new freak ultra runner, I have to accept the fact that TNF100 this year was again fell on Saturday. How I wish that someday TNF100 would fall on at least Saturday night so that I could participate. Given no chance to my wish, 20k trail run is ultimately the option.

Compare to the previous two races in Nasugbu, I would say that the terrain in Sacobia is tougher and harder. Many race reports has blogged in regards to the race and this is my story…

I left Manila at 12.30pm. The race fever has been invaded my thoughts in the past two days. On my way, I was so surprised to see Bataan Death March km posts on the side of the road. My brain immediately recalled that fateful day when I passed those km markers. I could feel the mystic of Bataan Death March Ultramarathon as I passed that road. It was so strong that I could remember every single detail of that moment.

Having hard time to find the hotel, I phoned Mari, veteran BDM ultramarathon, and found out that I was in the wrong city. So, instead of taking a bus to Clark, I took a bus to Subic hahahaha…

4.30am, I found myself riding a shuttle prepared by the hotel to the starting line. A year ago, I broke my PR in 10k in this place, the 2008 Clark Freeport International Marathon. A place to remember…

There were crowded of runners at the start/finish area already when I arrived. I immediately inquired who has finished the TNF100 and discovered that Ed Villanueva, the champion of BDM ultramarathon, placed first and followed by Isidro, 5th placer of BDO ultramarathon and then Pepito, who was the champion of TNF100 last year. I also found out that many runners decided not to continue running due to bad weather and the tough terrain. However, all of them has finished the first loop, 50k, of the 100k distance, including some of the veteran BDO ultramarathon. Little did I know that there was a mini storm on Saturday which forced the race organizer to hold the race for about 2 hours.

5 minutes before the race started, I positioned myself in the front area together with Mari. As usual, the tension was so high. I was so excited to run in the lahars. Little did I know that it was tougher and harder. Thanks to Lester for the Gu.

TNF100 SacobiaStarting line of 20k runners. Thanks to Let for sending me this picture.

Having Coach Rio as the race director, the race starts on time. The runners ran through the cemented road for about 1k and it goes to a very narrow, slippery and descends trail leads to the lahars grounds and cogon grass. By this time, there were only 4 runners in front of me. Mari was already about 100m ahead of me. A runner passed me just before I stepped on the dirt road.

This is my first time to run in the lahars and crossing many rivers in Sacobia. As soon as I stepped on the lahars and rivers, my TNF BOA works very well. I didn’t care if my shoes and shocks will got wet, as a matter of fact, I love crossing the rivers though it slowed me down a little. Running in the lahars also serve a different experience. I enjoyed it very much and at the same time it was harder because of the loose sands. About 1k to the last water station before going up to a dirt road, another runner passed me.

Before we were guided to turn left to the sudden ascend with a rope, about 90 degrees up, I maintained my position as 6th placer. Yes, it was a sudden ascend where 20k runners should hold on the rope and I love uphill!!! After the ascend with a rope, I walked for a while and have a talk with a runner in front of me. I couldn’t recalled his name but I remember his face very well. When I started to run again, I overtook him. Reaching the downhill, I flew in 3.5 to 4 m/km. Thanks to the indigenous marshals, the  Aetas, who constantly giving me directions.

Reaching the highest point of the trail, I could see the runners down in a large bed of lahars running, walking and jumping. Touched down to the lahars again, I grabbed a bottle of water and keep pushing. While running against the current of 20k runners, they keep on reminding me that I placed 5th. Thanks for the encouraging words…

Somehow, there is an advantage of running behind. I could see that some runners ahead of me were still choosing a right pathway and tried to avoid rivers. In this way, they were making a big curve instead of tangent. I took the advantage of running by making a tangent line instead of a curve.

Somewhere about km15, a marshal guided me to turn left off from the lahars bed. However, before making a turn, I saw two runners who were ahead didn’t making a turn. The marshal was trying to called them back and made a turn. I took this advantage to sped up. Another sudden hill, but this time no rope was put there. Upon reaching the dirt road which was relatively flat and gradual descend, I sped up again to make sure that the two runners who got lost could not catch me up again.

I’ve noticed there was not a single water station on the first uphill to a narrow dirt road after the old bridge. And there was no water station also on the second dirt road where the 10k and 20k runners would merge each others. I remember I asked water from 10k runners for two times. Thanks to the two guys for the Gatorade and a lady for the water. This was the best moment for me.

It was a good run. I enjoyed the new experience running in lahars and crossing the rivers. During the awarding ceremony, my name was called to the podium. I placed 3rd overall and that was unexpected podium finish for me. Actually, I finished the 4th. However, later I knew that the 2nd placer was disqualified from the race. Probably, he got lost and took shortcut to the finish line.

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitudeApproaching to the finish line according to Let.

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitudeA few seconds after crossing the finish line according to Jay.

Jerry Karundeng aka HighAltitudePodium finish, 3rd place overall. Let, thanks a lot for this picture.

After the awarding ceremony, Mari and I discovered a problem. There was an unfairness in the awarding system. Mari who place the 2nd overall got only P. 3,000.00 gift certificate and a Nalgene bottle. I myself got P. 2,000.00 gift certificate and a Sea to Summit towel. However, the age category winner of 10k and 20k got P. 5,000.00 gift certificate and a Timex watch.

We thought that that was just a mistake. But when brought this to issue to Jundel of TNF, he gave us ‘unreasonable’ answer. According to him, they just want to award the age category winners. What in the world that age category winners has bigger prizes then to the overall winners? Never in my running experience this awarding system happen… never… even to the previous two TNF trail run, this was never happen. When I got home, I’ve noticed that there is label on the bag that I received during the awarding and the label was “20k Male 18-30 3rd place”. I texted Mari and informed him about this, the label was the same but for 2nd place.

C’mon Jundel…

If only we knew the awarding system would be like that, we could have been just wait a meter from the finish line and let other one or two runners pass us and then we would cross the finish line.

That is so unrealistic awarding system…

Once again, the terrain was perfect but the awarding system was a big mistakes.

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