I just came back from a two-day mountain climbing in Mt. Batulao, Nasugbu yesterday. My companions kept on asking me why I’m not talking that much. I told them that I’m still in Bataan102 mode. Last Sunday, I ran 102km from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga. Mouth-open, they shook their head and told that I’m crazy and stupid. They just couldn’t fathom what i just did…

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Last Saturday, about 12 noon we left Silang bound to Mariveles. Henry Sitanggang, Josel Opena, Aimee and Aldwin Tapeceria were my supporters for this event. We arrived in Mariveles about 6pm. On our way from Silang to Mariveles, I’ve been trying so hard to sleep for even just a few minutes but i couldn’t. My friends kept on reminding me to sleep, still I failed. In Mariveles, the same thing happened. I was already inside the car, I tried to force my body to shift into sleeping mode but I ended up reading texts from friends wishing me and the rest of the participants for a successful run. The tension was so high that evening, especially approaching 11.30pm.

After a brief speech from BaldRunner and photo session, at the sound of the sirene, we were off…

img_0002img_0010KM 00-07 : Just after we came out from the park and hit the road, I was running with Ellen, who later became my running buddy until KM88. We didn’t have any plan or agreement to run together actually. I repeatedly told her that if she wants to speed up, she can go ahead. She told me the same thing too 🙂 so, finally, we decided to stick together. The first 3km was really a warm up for us. When we reach the uphills, we maintained 5.50 pace. I told the vehicle support to go to KM10 and wait for me there.

KM 08-20 : When we hit the KM08, we felt so good because the route started to descend gradually and realized that we are in 4.10-4.50. It was pretty fast that we even caught up with Mari and the two Singaporeans, Lucas and Baldwin. I told Ellen that I think we are too fast by now and she just smiled at me. From that point, we ran together with them until we reached the first aid station.

img_0016img_0031Gene at KM50

KM20-50:We stopped for a few seconds at the first aid station. While taking some food, Coach Salazar kept reminding us not to “literally” stop. Not far from that first aid station, we reached a junction where a marshall guided us to turn right to a small road. We were still in good shape by this time. Our pace was still 5.50. However, after 15minutes of running in that small road from the highway, a marshall riding a motorbike asked us to come back to the highway. According to him, we shouldn’t turn right in this small and narrow road. A little bit upset and confused, we ran back to the highway. We told him that there were more runners in front of us who took the same route (Mari, Lucas and Baldwin). On our way back to the highway, we met few runners and asked them to run back with us. Reaching the highway, the same marshall asked us to run back again to the small route which we took before. Arghhh…! I told him that Ellen and I just lost 30minutes already. Nothing more we can do, so, we ran back to the highway.

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KM50-63: We reached km50 around 6.30 to 7am. I was able to finish one bowl of aruzcaldo in here. I asked Josel to bring the weighing scale to check If I maintained my body weight or not. If not, that means I’m dehydrated. Thank God, my body weight was still the same. We spent about 10-15minutes in this point and continued running. I asked the vehicle support to wait for the other runners (Gene, Ralf and the other two) until they reached KM50 for their bags were in our car. I, then, instructed Aldwin to be our roving support with his bike. After few minutes of running, I started to feel the heat of the sun. Thanks to Aldwin for he knew it already that I’ll be needing my cap and my shades. So, when I told him that I needed those things, he immediately handed it to me.

Before reaching KM50, I told the vehicle support to wait for us in every 5k. However, after KM50, I asked them to wait for us in every 2km or 3km.

KM63-88: At KM63, about 9am, I ate banana and somehow, it stucked on my throat and i vomitted severely. I could see that I threw off much liquid and food already. After that, I felt okay and started to run again. However, I discovered that everytime I ate solid food, I vomit again. From that point, I realized that I could no longer eat any solid food anymore. Disaster! Having experienced the heat stroke in Bataan52 test run, I was kinda apprehensive of what is happening to me. I forced myself to keep on drinking water and gatorade, eat tablets of sodium chloride and candy and those were my food until I reached the finish line. This episode of vomitting really slowed me down. I asked Ellen to run ahead of me but she insisted to run and finish together. She would wait for me if I vomit, ask me if I’m ok or if I want to walk or do some strecthing.

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KM88-97: When I started vomitting at KM63, I gave my hydration belt to Aldwin. Those episodes started to take huge toll. I was sitting and drinking at KM88 and saw BaldRunner approaching us. Ellen was so surprised to know that so I asked her to continue running and I would just catch her up later. After a few minutes, I started to run again and was able to overtake BaldRunner again. Ellen and I were back together again, however, I knew that we were not in the same pace anymore, so, I asked her to run and speed up. She was a little bit hesitant to leave me alone but now, I was the one who insisted to let her go ahead. It was sad tho’ because we knew we still have few kms left. We predicted that we could finish the race at about 1pm. From this point, I asked the vehicle support to stick with me. I told them that I’m not in good shape anymore. When I left KM88, I kept on running in 6.50 although I’m not feeling good anymore. I was so hungry but I couldn’t eat any food. I asked for water/gatorade every 5minutes. I would say that candy helped me a lot during that time. It gave me energy to continue running. I also changed the way I breathe and it helped me alot. It was just a long inhale and exhale. Everytime I felt that I was about to vomit, I did this and it prevented me from vomitting.

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KM97-102: My body system was about to shut down. I just stopped and laid down in a bamboo chair. Aldwin, Aimee and Josel were panicking and were confused why I suddenly laid down. I didn’t say anything because whenI opened my mouth and started to talk, it triggered me to vomit. Henry got off from the car and started to give me massage and it really helped me a lot. Of course, the pressure to finish the race was one of the issues knowing that I still have 5k to go. After a few minutes, I felt better and started to jog again. However, Idon’t have any fuel in my body anymore. I could only jog for 5 steps, so, I decided to walk the entire 5k until the finish line. And this is the most critical part in that race last Sunday. My vision became blurred but i didn’t feel dizzy. From this point, I didn’t introduce any new movement to my body. I focused on a single spot-2 meter in front of me because once I lift up my face I will surely vomit. The same thing with the form of running. Once I change the form, I would vomit again. When I needed something, I just gave a signal to the vehicle support to give me water or gatorade or salt. Sometimes, Aimee covered my head with a cold towel… As a matter of fact, Aimee decided to walk with me up to the finish line.

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When I reached KM100, I know that I would finish the race. KM101, I asked Aldwin to go to the finish line to record the moment I reach the finish line. As I turned left to the finish line, tears started falling down… 20meters before the finish line, I got enough strenght to sprint and shout loudly until the finish line. I did it… I survived!

 

I finish 15hours14minutes05seconds+ (unofficial time) and placed 29th from 63 finishers

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I did it, I survived… Bataan102 and Mt. Batulao three days after the race

First of all, my gratitude to God who allowed me to endure and finish the race. It was 102 prayers. I prayed in each KM. Especially, after KM88, I prayed that He could give me enough power to go to the next km marker. Everytime I felt pain during the first stages of the run, I prayed that the pain will just disappear. And He answered all my prayers. I didn’t feel any muscle pain at all when I reached the finish line. No blister at all. Two days after the race, I went for a two-day mountain climbing in Mt. Batulao.

Second, I want to thank my supporters. Henry ‘pak cik’ Sitanggang, you are an ultra driver for us. You drove 20hours nonstop. Josel and Aimee, you are my ultra supporters. You knew what I needed during the entire race. To Aldwin, you are an ultra biker. You don’t care if you’ll gonna get sunburn also, helping me throughout the run, biking back and forth to give us food and drinks. Without you guys, I definitely wouldn’t make it. My respect to you guys…

img_0140The only group picture I have with my support team  😦

To my coach and friend… Angelo Padua, I made it! Thanks for dragging me into this kind of sport. You’ve just created a hardcore ultramarathoner! I missed you at the finish line. I dedicate my medal and trophy to you, pare!

To my running buddy, Ellen Tolentino… thanks for your passion! Thanks for those wonderful 88km that we ran together. You could have finished earlier and got your best time but you decided to stick with me. I really appreciate it.

To all vehicle supports who gave me the necessary aid, including Lester and Margaret, thank you guys…

To all my friends who texted and emailed me… Vener+Christi, Jinoe+Que, Ben Gaetos my ultramarathon guru, Jaymie aka TheBullRunner, Bards aka BananaRunning, Bong Ortiz and to my ‘hardcore group’ thank you so much for your support. To Kang Mamay, Adi Seno, Rio Kornel, Tedi Ixdiana, Denny Engka+ Marlita from Indonesia, thanks for the prayers, MERAH PUTIH TELAH BERHASIL BERKIBAR DIGARIS FINISH!!!

img_0086Picture with the race director/finisher of Bataan102

img_00871With Singaporean runners, Baldwin and Lucas.

Posted by: HighAltitude | April 2, 2009

The Road to the First Bataan Death March Ultra Marathon 102k

img_1803_After so many months of agony of waiting, sleepless nights of ‘race fever’, the First Bataan Death March Ultra Marathon 102km is ‘really’ at hand. Never thought before that i could finished 50k training, never thought before that i could accomplished the bataan52 test run although i had to rushed to the ER of Makati Medical Center due to heat stroke.

I thought running full marathon is more than enough for me. Now i’m pushing my self beyond the limit to run ultra marathon 102km.

I thought running 4-5hours is more than enough for me. Now i have to run more than 10hours nonstop to finish 102km run.

People say that i’m stupid or crazy. Yes, ultramarathon could be a stupid sports but it does not need a stupid runner to finish one.

Now, here i am, ready for the final countdown to the ultimate challenge with one determination, as long as i can walk, I HAVE TO FINISH THE RACE, before or beyond the 18hours cut-off time.

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So help me God!

Posted by: HighAltitude | March 25, 2009

Condura Run 2009 and Mt. Pico De Loro

Yes, it was nice to be back on circuit. To meet runners at the starting line was just wonderfull, especially the ‘hardcore runners’. By the way, this is my first road race in 2009. I went to Manila with Aldwin, Edmund and KC on saturday 7pm, arived at 9pm, got a room to stay at 11.30pm, had our late dinner after that, back to the hotel at 12am and was able to slept at 1am [as always race fever]. Rj joined us at about 1am. We woke up at 3.30am and by 4am we already at the starting area.

Thanks to Jinoe of Takbo.ph who helped me to register for this event.

Shortly after i deposited my bag to the baggage area, i had a warm up for 20minutes and then proceeds to the starting line. I was surprised to see BaldRunner was using the Bataan102 sleeves BIB #8… it made me to think for a second about that upcoming event, the most anticipated race in my life so far. Just to think of it, it’s enough to make me goosebump. 

5minutes before the gun start my GF305 was dead, battery low. I constantly asked Chito Domingo about our pace during the race. Thanks bro!

The race was really good, not to mention how well they organize the race but through out the run, i didn’t feel tired at all. I was enjoying km after km of it. There was no symptoms of pain at all. Probably, this is the result of my Bataan102 training so far. I’m sure those who will join this ultra run probably felt the same thing.

I finish the race in 1:39:29. Four minutes 28seconds behind from my PR which i broke in 7th DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Half-Marathon March 8, 2008. Thinking that i finished so strong, i could have been increased my pace. George Sheehan says that if you finish the race strong that means you didn’t run fast or you didn’t push beyond the limit. The indication to show that you already run with all your strenghts is when you finish the race you feel like vomit, you’re almost out of breath.

One observation that i want to share about the race is about the last water station before the u-turn where water bottle is served. I really had a hard time to open it because the plastic zeal was still there. At first, i really wanted just to throw it away but thinking that i already skip the previous water station, i had to drink. It tooks me like 10 to 15 seconds to open it. I saw some runners throw the bottle after failed to open it including Maricel Maquilan, who just throw it hard to the road. Probably this was the reason why i saw quite few unopen bottles a long the way.

img_0072After three monts of absent, Phillip aka Foreign Runner back to road again. It was just great to meet the fellow again.

img_00801img_00761HARDCORE, no frills all thrills. Where there are roads, i run. Where there are more roads, i run more. Where there are no roads, i still run. BORN TO RUN. Thanks to Jonel aka bugobugo85!

Cross Training to Mt. Pico De Loro

The following day i went to Mt. Pico De Loro in Ternate with four of my friends from AIIAS. We just had an overnite up in the mountain. I had just visited this mountain 2 weeks ago for a Survival Basic Training Course. It was just great to be back in the mountain again 🙂

We reach the basecamp, about 15minutes to the peak, about 5.30pm and met a group of people who had just started to cook their dinner. Later i know that one of them is Bo Sanchez, the recepient of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) award in 2006. I then realized that they were having a filming for his program every saturday and sunday morning in Channel 5. They also had a mass up in the summit together with Rev. N. Isagani P. Avinante. Going down from the mountain the following day, they had 12 episodes for his Nourishing Soul Every Day! in his website www.preacherinbluejeans.com.

dsc00204With Bo Sanchez, the peak was behind us.

dsc00210dsc00214dsc00237Between the earth and that heaven, i felt erased, blotted out…

Posted by: HighAltitude | March 11, 2009

Cross Training (?)

p30700151Rappelling: Survival Training Course in Mt. Pico De Loro in Ternate, March 6-8, 2009.

sn854702sn854705Rock climbing in Montalban with Tedi Ixdiana and Rio Kornel of Skyger, member of the Philippines Climbing Expedition 2009 team. One new route (5.11; 6bolts; 12m) has succesfully drilled and bolted. March 9-11, 2009.

Posted by: HighAltitude | February 26, 2009

SURVIVED: Bataan 52k Test Run & ER Makati Hospital

52k-route-google-map1Bataan Death March Ultrarun – 52k test run route. Abucao, Bataan Km-50 to San Fernando, Pampanga Km-102.  February 22, 2009.

I decided to go to Bataan earlier and had an overnight together with Jonel and the rest of the ‘hardcore runners’ in Balanga City. To my surprise, when we arrived in Km-50 Abucau where the run will start, it looks like an actual race.

  • An Ambulance with a Medical Team that was available through the help of BaldRunner’s brother who is now the Commander of the Light Armor Division of the Philippines Army based in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.
  • A police mobile escort from Bataan PNP
  • A general support vehicle which served as mobile aid station which contain 100 bottles of Gatorade; 100 bottles of Propel Drinks; 100 pieces of Sponges/Foams; Cloud 9 Chocolates; lots of boiled sweet potatoes and bananas; hard-boiled eggs, and packs of Sky Flakes.
  • Runner-participants Arman Fernando & Jonel aka Bugobugo85 donated 500 bottles of bottled water and some sweet potatoes and bananas as well.
  • Added to this, there were more vehicles support from each runners that helps us throughout the run.

It was so professional and that was just a glimpse of what is going to happen on the actual race. Mind this, this is just a test run, or fun run or runabout! My gratefull to BaldRunner!!!

That morning before the run start, it was like a family [of runners] gathering. The participants as well as the their friends and families were there together to give their full support. It was a lovely crowds!

dsc03180Before the starts begin, Maj. Gen. Jovenal D. Narcise (Ret.) AFP aka BaldRunner gave us a final briefing. He shared to us his mission of this ultra marathon, a brief history of the Bataan Death March that was happened in april 1942, and his passion to promote ultra running in the Philippines.

dsc03182dsc03185dsc03186The runners during a short briefing from BaldRunner

dsc03201Group picture with the logo of Bataan102

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dsc03206Stretching exercises and prayer led by Coach Salazar from the Team BaldRunner

dsc03210… and the test begin. The cars beside us were the few of many vehicles support we had that sunday.

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Water in

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Banana/egg/sweet potato stop

dsc03225dsc03227skin hydration

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dsc03234water out

dsc03237Halo-halo stop. Up to this point, we already completed 91k. We are grateful to BaldRunner for the halo-halo gift before the final 11k. By this time, it was 01:04:06pm and you know how hot is the sun.

Before reaching this point, i was running with Jeff from Camanava Runners for about 10k without support. The vehicle support was far behind us. It was a tough part. We run 1k and then walk and we do this repeatedly. Jeff decided to stop at one store to buy mineral water just to find out that they have only one mineral water left. He bought it and shared it to me. Thanks a lot Jeff, that was the best water ever.

After the halo-halo stop, i consumed only two bottles of mineral water up to the finish line, km post #102, and that was a big mistake for me. On the last two kms, i was running together with Ralph to the finish line. 

 

52k-test-run-22feb2009-071This is my sunburned legs after 52k run for 5hours54minutes run.

…and this is the last part of my story.

30minutes after i reached km post #102, i felt something wrong with my body. I didn’t feel exhausted, slight muscle pain but i feel weak. I laid down on the floor for two times… and feel like vomiting.

I went back to manila with Jonel and his two sons, Ralph and Nathan. We had a stop at the gas station to have our lunch with other runners. Unfortunately, the other runners got lost their way so Jonel and his sons had their own late lunch while i was just lying down outside. I felt really weak by this time and tried to vomit many times but nothing came out. By this time, i start to feel muscle tight on my face…

The second stop we had was the beginning of the horrible things that afternoon. I severely vomit all the food i eat from the halo-halo stop and at the finish line. After that, Jonel force me to eat some food at the nearby jolybee and was able to eat half of the soup only. I was feeling a little bit better after this knowing that i already vomit. I was thinking that probably the food was the cause of the problem. Now, my both hands starts to cramps and my face too. Later on, cramps invaded my abdomen as well. I told to Jonel that i think i need dextrose because i got dehydrated already. I asked him to take me to MAMC (Manila Adventist Medical Center) but we were not able to locate it. By this time, my both hands and face were literally cramps. I had problem on breathing and talking since my face was so thight. I was thinking that if we could not able to find any nearest hospital, i would be a history. I would be the first casualty of Bataan Death Run.

Knowing that we could not locate that hospital, i asked Jonel to take me to any hospital. They decided to bring me to Makati Hospital. From Buendia, they make a u-turn and driving against traffic. Jonel was navigating while Ralph repeatedly push the horn, driving against the trafic. At the back sit, i was struggling to breath, i saw Nathan was kinda panic as well as he looking at my situation. I now had a hard time to open my eyes. I tried to talk that i badly need dextrose, but my talk was not complete anymore. I remember Jonel get off from the car and try to clear the way by telling other drivers that this is emergency. Ralph was almost bump to other cars for several times i guess. “Bilisan mo!” was the last words i heard before Jonel carry me to the emergency room of Makati Hospital.

Inside the ER, a nurse gaves injection and a small bag to cover my nose and mouth in order to help me breathing. They also took my blood sample. I was half unconcious. Jonel and his sons went back to their home and promise me to be back after two hours, the approximate time when the laboratory test would be finish.

According to the doctor, the laboratory result was normal. They told me that i got anxiety attack. That was totally strange for me… I left the ER with puzzle in my mind. I couldn’t belive why i got this attack because i was thinking that this must be whether dehydrated or heat stroke. Jonel, his wife and Nathan then pick me and took me to pasay where i could get a bus going back to silang.

The following day, i decided to make appointment with another doctor for a second opinion. I still couldn’t accept that i got anxiety attack as what they told me. On Feb 24, i visited Dr. E. Almocera who is our campus physician at AIIAS where i’m studying and presented the laboratory result to her. I also explain that i had a long run that morning under extreme wheather in bataan for 52k. She knew very well that i love running so even before she saw the the laboratory result, she told me that i got heat injury. She affirmed it by showing that my sodium and potassium is below normal. The normal sodium in our body should be 136-145 and i was 132 whereas potassium 3.5-5.1 and i was 3.2. This result showed i got heat stroke which caused electrolite insuficiency. She then prescribe me to buy Sodium Chlorite tablet which i could use for Bataan102.

That was a horrible experience! A close call!!! Thank God for i am still alive [and running]…

Lessons learned [again]…

Friends, this could happen to everyone. Be carefull! April would be hotter. Drink… drink… drink… even if you donf feel thirsty. “Slip, Slop, Slap!” Slip on a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen, and Slap on a hat. Avoid wearing dark t-shirt. Water is not enough. Get sport drink such as gatorade or pocari sweat. Prepare salt in your pocket. Apply sunblock lotion.

In marathon we run until we hit the wall and we walk but in ultramarathon, we should avoid hitting the wall by walk, jog and run [got this from BaldRunner].

52k-test-run-22feb2009-064I love this obelix!

After all that had happened to me, there is no way to quit.

Big thanks to Jonel’s Family!

…yes, i survived from the bataan 52k test run and from the ER of Makati Hosptial.

Posted by: HighAltitude | January 19, 2009

The run that thrilled: The North Face Thrill of the Trail 20k

As has been expected, the weather was perfect. No rain in the past days made the trail was perfect too and amazingly, that morning was not so cold and chilly, no strong winds like the other days. It was just a perfect day.

Comparing the previous TNF race on July 27, 2008 and last Sunday race, TNF Thrill of the Trail was far better. The gunshot was on time. The 10k runners start 10minutes ahead and followed by 20k runners. There was no mismatch in connection to the finish time. The certificate was given after the runner crossed the finish line. Oh yeah, until now i don’t receive my certificate of the TNF 20k on July 28. I went to ROX for so many times to claim it but they don’t have a valid reason why my certificate is not there and the mismatch of the overall result is still unsolved until now.

The North Face

In my previous post about this race, i was planning to wear a running jacket and glove if the weather is really cold. However, that morning, as i’ve stated above, the temperature was not so cold so i decided just to wear a singlet instead.

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Oups, it still cold though but its bearable 🙂

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The 10k runners starts ahead. This picture was taken while we were having a prayer before the race starts.

img_7543My friend, Brent, was candidly took this picture while i was praying.

img_756120k Runners were ready for the gunshot

img_7559This is the front line runners at the starting line. Pepito, the winner of the TNF 100, 5th from right and Isidro Vildosola of Team BaldRunner, 7th from right.

img_7566Last minute check before the gunshot

img_7567Isidro Vildosola of Team BaldRunner who later win the 20k category.

img_757710seconds before the gunshot

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It was still calm, the crowd of runners were still far behind when Isidro in his good form approaching the first 10k, smile and even waving his hand to the road marshals. Go Team BaldRunner!

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Coach Rio and Pepito were leading on the 2nd and 3rd place

img_7608img_7610HighAltitude was still maintaining in the 6th place on the first loop.

img_7624From MP05 to the MP01 is a steady uphill for about 4km. This was the part where many runners walked or joged. The view was really nice. Actually, from this  spot spectators could see runners while running through the corn and peanut farms down below.

img_7626Isidro was still leading and by this time he was about 100m to the finish line of 20k.

img_7633img_7634…and yes, i crossed the finish line after 1hour41minutes, 7th place overall

img_7635A few seconds after crossing the finish line. Marlo (BIB# 433) finish few seconds ahead of me. He overtook me after MP05 [guess what? on MP05 i walked a few meters to drink and he overtook me 😦 ]

img_7638BIB#435 (4th place), Marlo, BIB#433 (6th place), HighAltitude, BIB#414 (7th place) and Mayo, BIB#357 (5th place).

The race organizer, as has been announced repeatedly before the race and during the pre-registration at ROX, those who will be declared winners are those who are wearing at least 1 The North Face item during the race. Promotional t-shirt/jersey is not included. However, the fastest time will be announced. Based on this rule, Isidro of Team BaldRunner got two medals for being the fastest and because he was also wearing TNF cap. Unfortunately, Coach Rio (2nd place), Pepito (3rd place) and BIB #435 doesn’t wear any TNF item. So the 3rd and the 4th places goes to Marlo and Mayo because they were wearing TNF Items.

img_7674Team BaldRunner

img_7648A proud finisher of TNF Thrill of the Trail 20k

img_7647Thanks to Brent, my photographer 🙂

 

Photo ops with friends… 🙂

img_7655img_7665img_7667img_7669Pepito, the campion of TNF 100 and 3rd place of TNF Thrill of the Trail. Isidro, 2nd place of TNF 100 and campion of TNF Thrill of the trail. Jerry Karundeng, the campion of Bataan102… (BR and Hardcore runners no offence please… dreaming is not a sin right hehehe) 🙂

img_7684Team BaldRunner

img_7717Isidro of Team BaldRunner during the awarding ceremony. Being the fastest runner and wearing TNF cap, he receives two TIMEX ironman watches, TNF trail shoes, two medals, and a gift from TNF.

img_7677A proud TNF user!

 

PS: You can view more pictures of runners in http://ultramarathon.multiply.com too!

Posted by: HighAltitude | November 16, 2008

Running in the Philippines

First of all, as i had mentioned this in one of my comments to BaldRunners post view months ago, it is here in the Philippines where i was converted into this new religion called ‘running’.

I should say, in the Philippines’ context, you are not a real runner if you don’t know TheBullRunner, BaldRunner and RunRio. In my opinion, they are the icons of the running in the Philippines.

This morning in clark, during the awarding ceremony of the New Balance Power Race 2008, i had a little observation. While all the runner bloggers exchanging thoughts, experiences, feelings and of course photo opps, on one corner i saw Project Donate A Shoe by BaldRunner and on the other corner, a booth of RunRio for his upcoming race this coming sunday. You might not see a booth of TheBullRunner here. But you could see her contribution to the runners community by being one of the speaker of Running Aid for Woman.

RunRio is still on fire with his race events. A great race organizer. No wonder Phillips aka foreignrunner voted him as the president. BaldRunner with his Project Donate A Shoe, 1,000-km Club, Bataan102 and Team BaldRunner. TheBullRunner for Running Aid for Woman.

I had a wild thinking while driving back to manila this morning that if only this three running icons sit together and come up with a race (most like a race/run for a cause) or a project (don’t have any idea what kind of project that will be) or just a sort of program (for example “meet the runner bloggers” / “off line meeting of runner bloggers” on how to develop a good running blog or on how to write a good race report or just a mere share tips and techniques in running) or perhaps will come up to an establishment of runner bloggers association 🙂 that would be something great and significant to runners in the Philippines…!

well, it’s just a thought… 🙂

Posted by: HighAltitude | September 2, 2008

ONESPORT Magazine August 2008

Last Sunday, August 31, 2008, after having a long run in the morning, I went to Mall of Asia with friends. We went to Mizuno shop and then stop for a while in The North Face shop. Yeah, Rj was right when he said that i could not resist to not visit this particular shop. Nothing new there, but looking at their stuffs there is just enough for me…

While i was looking around, the supervisor of the shop, Leizl, call me up and say, “sir, your picture is in this magazine.” I was so surprise to know that. She gave me the magazine of ONESPORT and showed me the page where The North Face 100 is featured. She then pointed a picture right at the bottom of the second to the last page of the said magazine. That’s me, i was running The North Face 20k and that was on my first loop before i got cramped.

Well, i’m disagree with what Nina Vera said though…

If only the 100k race was held not on Saturday, i would definitely join it. That’s what i’m dreaming of. Hopefully, there will be next ultramarathons in the Philippines which will not fall on Saturday… so I could have the opportunity to join the race.

hmm, thanks to ONESPORT chief-editor for let my picture posted in your magazine… =)

Posted by: HighAltitude | August 5, 2008

The North Face 100

The North Face 100, Nasugbu – Philippines, July 27, 2008.

So much to say about this event…

Ever since i heard about this event, my heart is into it already, not for 100 ultramarathon but 20k trail running. It is one of my ultimate dream in running to participate in any ultramarathon event but sad to say i could not able to make this dream come true for now.
Having know that the route of the race would be somewhere in evercrest – Mt. Batulao, i trained my self for trail running in the said area few weeks before. I invited IbanRunning, Aldzheimerz and Macainan to foretasted the trail.

After claiming the race pocket and looking at the map, i notice that the route is familiar for me. While standing on the starting area waiting for the gunshot, i was telling my self, “this is my area, this is my trail, i should push beyond the limit and give the best i could give.”

Familiarizing the 20k trail through topography map.

Geared by The North Face (TNF VaporWick Endurance Cap, TNF Man’s Spirit Tank, TNF running short, TNF M Arnuva Running Quarter shocks and The North Face Ultra 103 XCR GTX Shoe) Suunto Vector and PowerBar Gel… I’m standing in the front row, BIB #461, taking my PowerBar Gel.

Few seconds after the gunshot. Photo taken from runrio

Few minutes after the gunshot, i was in the front pack already. I noticed runrio was in the front pack as well as the other 5 runners. Approaching the first loop, i met several 100k ultramarathoners walking together approaching the finish line. One of them was crow, a mountaineer and wall climbing instructor of PowerUp. These people are great and extraordinary. To finish 100k is something amazing. These ultramarathoner are hero to marathoner.

“Pare, you are on the 7th, keep it up, galing mo ha…” was the words from crow as i passed this group. There was this feeling of comfort to hear this =) In my thought, I would be standing in the podium for the first time in my running experience. However, the battle against the finish line and the clock was not finish yet. I have to keep on running, maintain my pace and the distance between the runners behind me.

Passing the first check point on my first loop. By this time, no one behind me, i was still maintaining 7th place.

…and disaster come.

About 1km to the concrete road on my last loop, i felt something wrong on my both legs. Something like cramps on my both shanks. I suddenly felt down to the grass and shouting for help. I still remember those moments, i literally shouted for help, i couldn’t stand up, my legs was bended up while i was facing to the ground. I saw my shanks was so stiff and in a weird form. The pain was so intense that i almost cry. And there were 4 runners approached me and gave help. A lady of 10k runner was the one who gave instructions to the other three 10k runners on how to treated my cramps. She instructed one runner to continue run and inform the nearest marshals point that runner BIB#461 is injured and need assistance. After few minutes, the pain was gone. I gave my gratitude to them for helping me and bid goodbye. I eventually overtook the runner who supposed to bring the news to the nearest marshal that i got injured. He was so surprised that i’m running again.

Before i got cramps, there were two tri-athletes overtook me and during the moments i felt down, while they are giving me some stretching, i was busy scanning the runners who passes us if there was 20k runners. The good news was there was no 20k runner overtook me while i was injured. That means, we really far ahead.

I was able to maintain my position until i reach the finish line. I finish the 9th overall! AMAZING… My suunto vector shows 1hour51minutes.

Until now, the organizer have not announce the official overall result of 20k yet. During the awarding ceremony, there were many mismatch of 20k winners so the organizer decided to announce it later. However, the 10k and 100k categories winners were announced without any significant problems.

…having said these, i would take this opportunity to give my biggest gratitude to those 10k runners who helped me out. To the lady who gave instructions on how to handle my cramps, thanks a lot. I felt so bad that i was not able to see them at the finish line. The worst thing now is i can’t remember their faces and how much more their names 😦

Friends, if you happen to read this blog… maraming, maraming, maraming salamat po. You are my heroes! If not because of you, i wouldn’t able to finish the race. I pray that i would able to see you someday.

Congratulation to Ivy Macainan. Although i would not able to understand how to run more than full marathon, I know how bad it is to experience DNF in a race. Above all, you are already an ultramarathoner! You’d ran 72k already. I wish i could join that ultramarathon 😦

By the way, I met Bards a.k.a Banana Running that morning. I was waiting my turn to clean my legs and a pretty lady call me, “HighAltitude, i’m bards.” I was a bit puzzled to see you, trying to figure out when did i met this lady. And when she revealed herself as Banana Running and everything was clear =) Well, i don’t see her picture in her blog though, that’s why i was a having a hard time to recall about her. Anyway, it was nice to meet ‘offline’ those runner bloggers. Unfortunately, we haven’t talk that much.


Approaching the finish line. I finish 1hour51minutes according to my suunto vector. By this time, i was on the 9th place already.

with shin, edmond, HighAltitude, Rj and Aldzheimerz

HighAltitude, Sir Danny, (53 years old finish 100k in 16hours, 6th place) and Iban Runner

with ultramarathons ladies, Ivy and Riza

The North Face 100k Solo Champion – 13hours.

Posted by: HighAltitude | July 8, 2008

Into 811 Meter Above Sea Level: Mt. Batulao Trail Running

Being a member of SAR team specialized in mountain rescue, mountain is a playground for me. Carrying 20kg+ load on my back and walking for several days is something we trained for. But running all they way to the peak of a mountain is completely new for me.

When i’m converted into a ‘religion’ called running, road or highway has become my favorite route. My first encounter of trail running was in tagaytay, a route from rotonda olivares to brgy. leynes near taal lake. Although the route is a combination of road and trail, it gives a pleasure to my foot every time i step on the soil. It’s a different experience!

I woke up at 4.30am last Sunday to prepare myself for a trail running in Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batanggas. aLdzHeiMerZ would be my running buddy that morning. At 5am we were waiting any bus going to nasugbu or calatagan. We reached evercrest golf club about 6am and start running to Mt. Batulao.

You will pass this creek when you take the old trail to the summit.

“Pushing to the top” | Starting from this point, the trails are extremely steep, there are loose and wet stones, and the winds can set off you balance. Also, they spawn duststorms which may cause transient visual disturbances.

Summit of Mt. Batulao | It took us 50minutes to reach the peak from main entrance of everest golf course. 811 Meter Above Sea Level

Buko-loading station | On our war back, we stop in this small nipa hut and had our breakfast of whole wheat bread that i brought and one buko juice.

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