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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Run, Hop, Skip & A Jump (Men's Health All-Terrain Race)

{The newbie trail runner.}

We ran in the grass, we romped in the mud, we jumped over puddles, and traversed over rickety wooden bridges. Sounds very much like a day in the park, huh? You couldn't be more wrong! Sta. Elena in Sta. Rosa, Laguna was the venue for this year's Men's Health All-Terrain Race. A bike and trail run event that had me attempting my first trail run ever.

I signed up for the 15K run (I had no idea why, especially when there was a perfectly good 10K I could've done for a first time), and just hoped for the best. I've seen pictures from other trail runs, and while they may look fun, exciting, and easy, I knew it would be quite the challenge.

We started the race promptly at 5:40 a.m. At 5:41, as we turned the corner to cross the road, we immediately entered our first trail. Cool. Running on actual soil while swatting away the grass from the talahib is definitely an experience any runner shouldn't miss. Very surreal. Like a movie set in Vietnam, with soldiers marching to the same beat; Like X-Files' Mulder and Scully running in the cornfield; Or as my friend Dennis would have it, like a very delicious meal, running away from a very hungry T-Rex! Three guesses what he watched in HBO's Saturday Night Movie.

It was a very different experience from road racing. Instead of buildings, you get trees, trees, and more trees; Instead of car horns, you hear birds chirping; Instead of sidewalks, you get puddles of mud. The new background seemed more fun, yet challenging at the same time. I immensely enjoyed running through the mini forest. I played hopscotch over mud (as did almost everyone else), since I didn't want to slip and fall into it. That tactic, though, may have tired me out too much. Merely 2K into the race, and I was already heavily breathing. After mentally pacing myself, I lasted 8K, 10K, 12K. On the 13th kilometer, guess what I hit? The Wall! Not the literal one, of course. The one that runners fear the most. The last 2 kms had me walking almost all the way. Argh! At one point, I was already wishing, "If this was the Vietnam War, will somebody please throw a damn bomb and put me out of my misery already!" That, interspersed with thoughts of "Trail parin??!!" after going in another one.

I have no idea how, but I managed to sprint towards the finish line on that last leg. Hmm, wait, MAYBE because I saw the timer seconds away from the 2:00:00 mark. haha. Yep, it was probably that. I officially finished 3 seconds under 2 hours. My first trail run- happy and relieved on that photo finish.

So, when's the next trail run?

{Starting point with RX Monster's Boom Gonzalez.}

{Talahib Running: The Pre-Mud Trail}

{You won't see this in Manila.}

{I need aaah massage...}

{The Q siblings, Dennis and Nat, getting ready for their close ups.}

{Running Fatboy and Neil}

{We get to take home some loot, lotsa dirt, and blistered feet.}

{This bug was as big as my Nano.}

{Tired but happy!}


  1. Hey Janine! Nice post as always. Looks like you guys had fun! Hay, I wish I could also bring my girlfriend to my races! INggit! She could run 2k then, um, look for food (x_x) One day! Haha. Cheers to you guys!


  2. Congrats Janine! Good fun, good times! See you Sunday!

  3. Hi Luis. Thanks! Ask Dennis how he persuaded Per to join a run. I'm sure he has lots of sneaky tips and advice on how to get GFs running! hehe. =)

  4. Hey Dennis! Fun times talaga- as soon as we forget about the pain, that is! hahaha.

  5. Hail web logger!

    WE recently took up running as an alternative physical diversion but WE have never tried running on dirt and mud before.
    Your post on trail-running sounds enticing. Thank you for sharing your insights.

    Run Strong and Prosper

  6. ALF: Lucky for you, you guys can probably levitate over mud. But then again, where's the fun in that, huh? Trail running is a blast! I look forward to making contact with your kind on the next cornfield run.



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