There were 28 teams that day and each team composed of 5-10 runners, not yet counting the support: each of these individuals has a story to tell. Our team, six:30 joined the mixed category and this is our story. We feature you, one of our newest and fast Barneys, Jayson Escobar. This is his story.
…naghahanap po kasi kami isa pang sasali sa team ng six:30 para sa epic relay. The rest is history.
I have no intention to run in the Epic Relay. I knew that it is a group competition and I’m not affiliated in any running group except adiNation of Runners.
My Epic journey started with a single message from Jenny Red,
“Sir Teton! Andito po ba kayo sa Manila ngayon?”
“Sir Teton ka dyan. Wala pa eh, sa Friday pa ang balik ko. Ano meron?”
“Naghahanap po kasi kami isa pang sasali sa team ng six:30 para sa Epic Relay.”
The rest is history.
Leg 3 Morong gate to BTPI (11.46Km)
Before starting my first leg, we already heard about a runner who didn’t mind the hilly terrain and end up injured.
0-3km steep downhill – I started my leg just few seconds behind Team B (Body Builder?) runner. I tried chasing him in the downhill terrain but hesitated because I’m not use to running on hills specially downhill. At some point, I almost lost sight of him. I am just keeping below 5min/km pace and decreasing my heart rate due to a bursty start.
3-6 Km uphill – “There’s he is!!!” I saw the Team B runner struggling his way uphill. With the energy I conserved during the downhill, I slowly overtook him and another runner on the bright sunny morning. Feeling my heart rate increased as I ran uphill with the increasing heat from the sun and knowing what I’m heading, the uphell.
6-7 km very uphill – Keeping my composure and walking big steps (siga mode) this uphell. Midway in this calvary, I tried to jog just to increase my pace but I might end up crawling. Thus, walked up to the peak.
7 – 11km downhill – Due to the walking (sight seeing) I did on that uphill stretch, I decided to push a little downhill with sub 5:30min/km pace. Honestly I enjoyed my way down, approaching a gate and a downhill curve. I asked the bike marshal if I will go straight. I heard a lot of cricket that early morning so I ask a jaguar assigned on the gate and he replied, “Derecho lang sir, malapit na.” In high spirits, I ran straight and still maintaining my previous pace. When I saw the tent for REP, I increased my pace with a smile on my face. Stretching the “baton”, relieved as I pass it to Noel.
Leg 13 Brgy Parang to Brgy A Ricardo, Bagac, Bataan (8.84 Km)
It was mid-afternoon after a dashing downhill run of Rjay and Ninja-Kage Bushin run of Carlo, I have nothing in mind just to finish my leg aware that we were maintaining the 13th position. After receiving the “baton” with the usual ready to run position, I ran faster than the usual but after a kilometer, I returned to a 10k pace which is 5:30min/km. Side stitch bothered me while running downhill but it didn’t stop me from running. I sipped a few water. I felt the tiredness of our bike marshals, I even overtook both of them on the 2 uphills, the same time that my side stitch was gone. I went on a steady pace going to the end of my leg. Once I saw the REP, I increased my pace to give enthusiasm to the next runner. I finished the leg and recovered on the next REP with the help of cup noodles courtesy of Jenny.
Leg 23 Subic International High School to Castillejos (suppose to be 8.75km, pero sa tunay na buhay 6.09km lang)
I had a good rest/sleep but honestly I have no appetite to run again: my calves still ache and I need to download some apps (number 2) but no suitable webspace around the REP for my need, thus bear with it.
I decided to wear compression tights for my final run, wore the head lamp, blinker and reflectorize vest (it’s my 1st fime to wear such vest and I forgot to ask someone to take a picture of me in that attire). I warmed up a little by jogging back and forth on the REP. It was past 2am I ran my final last leg, I started with a fast pace, and slows down to 10k pace after a kilometer. I find it hard running in the dark but harder to run uphill in the dark. I started the uphill keeping my pace. I don’t mind stepping on uneven road, I don’t mind stepping on some rocky road and I don’t mind stepping on wet road but next time I will. “Hindi sya wet, tae sya ng baka o kalabaw.” I almost slipped on the carabao dung but still continued to run thinking the marshal won’t laugh. I ran on a killer hill when I saw the light coming from our van, I signed a thumbs up to signify that they can leave me with the marshal. When they passed me, they shouted “Jayson, wag na wag kang papatuhog!” then I responded affirmatively.
I know that keeping 6min/km on a flat terrain is difficult to catch up, but I was wrong. A Solomon runner appeared in my peripheral vision, then I understood why they reminded me to keep the lead. I increased and maintained my pace to 5min/km to equalize his pace before the 5th Km. I didn’t want to speed up a little more since we are just half way of the leg, but suddenly I saw the blinking light like the REP so I immediately asked the marshal if that is the REP and he confirmed. I told the other runner to speed up to the REP since it was near, I sped up. I finished my final leg a little fresh than expected since the distance is shorter. I passed the baton and finished my 3 legs, yipee!
I’m honored and proud to run with six:30 it has given me a wider view on why I am running.
Thank you Teton for believing in the team and joining us!
Pictures courtesy of Nette Castillo and Jenny Red.