All those weeks of training to tackle a hard trail run in Baguio City had gone to waste on that Sunday morning when the 22km race category was just at 13.5km according to my Garmin watch. Post-race I compared with other runners having the same bib category and their watches ranged from 13.5 - 14km for this "half marathon" trail run.
What happened to this?
No idea but there were some hearsay from some runners that a marshal wasn't in his assigned post so instead of us going down further in the trails, we all climbed up instead and headed out towards the finish line.
Another runner said that the organizers shortened the route for safety reasons. Safety reasons? What safety reasons?! There was an ongoing 50 and 100-kilometer race for this event. Why didn't we just follow their race routes as it was already plotted and ongoing?
If "safety" was really the reason behind it, why didn't the organizers inform the runners about this prior to the race? That way, they could refund the registration fees for these runners so these runners won't waste their time and effort to travel to a city 280-kilometers away from where they lived to run a 14-kilometer race.
The race was 40% short its promised distance! This is unheard of!
As of now, there have been no mention of this from the race organizers. Their facebook page account remains silent on this issue.
This was an international race (as part of The North Face Trail Run series that covers China, Australia, and USA among other countries).
To give examples of how I felt when I crossed the finish line, it's like
1) Watching a great movie and not seeing the last third part of the movie just when the action was about to start.
2) Watching a big concert and said band just performed for 15 minutes before leaving the stage
3) Ordering your favorite cake from the bakeshop, opening the box and seeing it had no icing on it or half of said cake was gone!
4) Reading a very nice book and finding out that the last 50 pages were missing!
I could go on and on about this but the best way to describe it for a runner is simply training hard for a marathon, travelling far for the said race and finding out that the distance was just 15 miles (24 kilometers) but just the same, you received a finisher medal at the finish line. Can you still say you were a marathoner after this happened?
So I still can't say I'm a half marathon trail runner given what happened here..
Still excited pre-race
the start and finish line