Until now, I feel tired yet happy to share to you my first experience with Merrell Adventure Run held yesterday, June 2 at Timberland Heights, San, Mateo Rizal.
I only took 5k as I lost a slot for 10k. After the simulation run, I knew it will be one of the exciting races this year. Friday came, typhoon Ambo happened…uh-oh. Remembering the red soil, I can only imagine how muddy it will be on race day. And even early Saturday morning, it was still raining (we’re dead). Oh wait, I’m going to run 5k! I could not imagine what will happen in the 10k and 21k!
Come race day, thanks to Agatep Associates, I met them together with Running Atom and Vicky Ras at 4am in Jollibee Philcoa. We arrived at Timberland Heights and looking at the starting line, it was like a scene fresh from a very scary movie: fog, lights, few people walking slowly–zombies?! Haha. Looks like this is going to be interesting.
Running Atom and Vicky ran the 21k and as I waited for my turn, I am expecting that we will be experiencing the most slippery part of the race as the runners of 21k and 10k have already ravaged the route and we will be eating their mud literally!
Off went the gunstart for 5k and we were running uphill like an angry herd of gazelles, jumping here and there, searching for solid ground, trying not to slide and just a km away from the start, we already saw a lady runner who lost her footing and just brushed it saying, “I’m alright. Go ahead.” This is wild!
I ran alongside the army as they shuffle along the route, some crossing over other grasses, again looking for a less slippery ride but to no avail. Everything is muddy red, even some grasses that tried to be a decent ground can’t help. Everyone slipping even those who are in trail shoes!
Then came the part where the bike trails made an islet at the middle and you don’t know where to land your feet as both sides are just soft, muddy, dirty! It’s already 3k and I thought I’m going to do another Tanay slide action but did not (whew!). A male runner twisted his ankle (I hope Medics attended to him, at this part, no Medics nor marshals were around) and another runner attended to him but he told him to continue running.
And as I saw the uphill, I tried running and then there, I lost my breathing for awhile and started walking. I know what will happen next: a muddy breakfast!
Yes, Merrell wanted to do a level-up from last year and so they did, all thanks to mother nature! haha. I’m telling you, this race has retired a lot of shoes and all of the runners experience a wound or two, brushed it off and continued with the adventure!
And when I turned left and marshals told me that the finish line is just 500 meters away, I rushed! The feeling of excitement, relief and still with the caution that anytime I can slip and suffer wounds from the ragged terrain pushed me and there I was crossing the finish line, got my loot bag and waited for Running Atom and Vicky.
They arrived 2 hours later, muddy, tired yet still smiling. Disturbing! Haha.
Overall, I congratulate Merrell and Sir Thumbie for organizing another successful event. I know it was really hard to orchestrate such a challenging event and with the storm before, I can see the updates in Facebook how you tried going back and forth just to check the routes are still safe to run, I salute you here.
Hydration is about every 1.5km and marshals are along the hydration stations and some locals help in gracing the event. Shortage of medics along the route as a lot of 10k and 21k runners suffered a lot of time, cuts and sudden stumble and slips. Though they are at the starting and finish line, I hoped they were also visible along the routes.
Sponsors were big consolations for the runners who are tired, dead tired. Chicken nuggets, hotdogs, milk, pandesal with condensed milk and other lootbags have given these runners consolation after a tiring adventure. The shower is like a gift from God and the organizers have tried their best refilling the water supply though the last part where 21k runners had trouble of cleaning up, then again, I say it’s satisfactorily attended to.
It was great that the Barefoot Runners of the Philippines supported this event, I hope they were okay since most terrain were edgy.
Finally met Mia, one of my Fitness instructor friends in Fitness First, in a running event. I hope to see you guys again on the next trail run!
Overall, the event went well and I can see most of the runners got their share of adventure, you have to listen to their wacky adventure in this race. Good job Merrell and the people behind it.
Pictures courtesy of Running Atom and Sir Thumbie Remigio.