Saturday, May 25, 2013

5th T2N 50km Race Experience (Part 3)

Casualty of T2N


A very good help for me in this race was Alvin saying to me just a few days prior to it that he would run with me during the entirety of its 50-km distance.  It is always fun to run with a good friend especially with a distance this far.  It’s also added protection and security to both of us in case anything would go wrong here.

At 3:30AM, May 1st (Labor Day), we met up at the corridor of Hotel Kimberly Tagaytay and proceeded to the Lobby area with our race gear, box of Yellow Cab pizza and 5 gallons of water in tow.  Soda and Gatorade bottles were packed in the ice cooler the night before.

The driver was awake too when we got down and eager to be involved in this race.

One of my fears in this race was that the driver would get lost in the route or won’t be able to follow our directions correctly and that would be a big deal.  So I put in a little cash and two pieces of GU in my SpiBelt as emergency items.

The race venue of T2N 50km was at Tagaytay’s Picnic Grove and by the time we got there, it was packed with parked cars and runners doing warm ups and stretching.  Alvin and I were still talking when we heard the countdown to zero and saw fast runners headed to our direction!  It was a stampede of runners and we caught in the middle of it!  I even bumped into a fast girl runner and heard her Garmin fly off and hit the ground.  Thank God the watch wasn’t broken. 

When everyone had left the area, we then started our walk to the “starting line”.  Well, there wasn’t really any starting line but there were some marshals seated there and they told us that we can start our run. 

At this point, we were the only runners on the road as almost everyone had a few minutes lead from us.  There was another late runner who overtook us.  Race Director Jovie Narcise, AKA Baldrunner, participated too as he came quickly from behind and overtook us.

The route was quite easy to analyze as it was just straight to Batangas and I appreciated the views and sights on the road as we moved toward the support car at the 5km mark (our standing instructions were for support vehicle to stop every 5km).  It was dark when we started the race (with a gun time of 4:00AM) but the Tagaytay main road was well-lit and Alvin even wore a headlamp to add light to our paths.  The weather was good too as it was cold and windy - just the way I like it!

We ran on the road descents and walked on the road ascents.  We passed by Starbucks Tagaytay, Tagaytay fruit and vegetables market, various hotels, restaurants and other establishments.  We went by the new property development of Century Properties Inc. and in my boredom I counted the number of floors they had and repeated the same thing as we passed by SM Residences.  Then, there’s Robinson’s Supermarket and Condominium.  Soon, we saw the large Ferris Wheel, the horseback riding/ zip line area, and a few more fast food joints (McDonalds and Mushroom Burger).  We saw the area that had the largest puzzle collection in the world (and certified by Guinness Book of World Records), fancy schmancy Antonio’s Restaurant and entrance to Sonya’s Garden. 

We were slowly getting close to some runners and overtook them quietly and made water/ Gatorade breaks every 5km.  Thank goodness the driver knew how to follow our directions correctly.   I would also get a slice of pizza every 10km. 

We got to the 21km mark at around 3 hours and it was around this point that the sun was rising and it was getting hotter on the road.  I changed my Adidas KOTR singlet to my Nike running shirt and ate/ drank again.

There were more runners now but the bulk was still way ahead of us and couldn’t be seen yet.  But I was happy as this was the farthest I’ve ran since BDM.  We slowly reached 25km marker at 3 hours 36 minutes and I felt good but a little exhausted too from the heat.

Every time we got our support car, the driver would say that we overtook more runners.  He was excited by the experience as we always spot him outside the vehicle (instead of sleeping inside the car which we allowed him to do).  At this point, I grabbed the ice cubes in the cooler and put some in my mouth, under my cap or rubbed on my face, arms and neck.  The heat was getting to me and there weren’t a lot of shaded areas to run to.

It was also around 25km when the roads started to go down and I had some of my fastest running pace (between 7:30 to 8:00 minutes per kilometer).  We reached the 32km mark at 4 hours and 39 minutes and I knew that we would finish this race. 

The road climbed again and I used the time here to take walking breaks.  At around 41km mark, where our support vehicle was parked, my Garmin’s strap broke and the Garmin fell to the ground.  Luckily it was working when I picked it up and I ran to the car to get my second Garmin.  While waiting for the second Garmin to load its satellite location, I used the time to change my clothes one final time and I switched my shoes to a lighter pair.

The first Garmin “retired” from this race at 41.06km with a time of 6 hours and 5 minutes.  It was up to the second Garmin to record my time and take me to the finish line.  There was a 3-4 minute lag time in between switching Garmin watches, but I didn’t mind anymore as I was confident that we would be able to make the cut-off time of 9 hours (Philippine Time of 1:00pm).

My new goal at that time was to try and finish under 8 hours but I was exhausted and every time I would start running, I would vomit on the road.  Clearly, something didn’t go well with me.  So we walked more and when I tried to run again, I would vomit again!  What’s wrong with me?

I must have vomited 6-7 times in this final 9 kilometers and I walked every time I felt queasy. 

At this point all the runners we were with walked too.  Everyone was tired (with the exception of Alvin probably! Haha!)

The last long road felt forever but when we saw some runners heading back to our direction, we knew that the U Turn area was near.  So I would run again, then walk, then back to running.  This was probably done every 50 meters or so.

Fatigue was getting to me but no way was I going to give up now!  We made it to the U Turn where there was a marshal seated in a shaded area and who wrote down our race numbers. 

As I ran back out, I thought, “This is it! The final stretch!  The last part before I become an (official) Ultra Runner!”

We kept on going, me (super) slow and steady, while Alvin sprinted ahead to look for the finish line.  I didn’t see it on the road but there were a lot of parked cars on the side and I knew that I was close. 

Petron Gas Station loomed in the distance but still no finish line on the road. Then I was directed into Petron and I saw the timing clock on the side.  Yes, this was it!  Alvin waited for me near the finish line and we both ran to cross it!

I am an Ultra Runner!  BDM Redemption achieved!

I got the finisher medal and shirt… well, Alvin got those things for me as I was too tired and dizzy from the heat that I had to sit down somewhere and take a breather. After resting for a few minutes, we were ready to go back to Tagaytay and to our families.

This was an awesome experience and truly memorable.  In all my past visits to Tagaytay , I never would have imagined running a race here and an ultra marathon at that!  I will never look at Tagaytay the same way again!

This wouldn’t have been possible without Alvin training me and running with me all this time.  As I told him multiple times, “BDM changed me.  It opened my outlook to a world of possibilities, running-wise.  I wouldn’t even fathom of doing this had I not joined BDM.”

Better news yet, I did achieve my target of going under 8 hours and finished at a time of

7:49:40 (official time) and 167th out 210 runners!


too tired to move!  First 50km medal!

Desert outfit!

Here are links to the first two parts of the story:

T2N 50km Part 1

T2N 50km Part 2


Mary Elizabeth G said...

Congrats!!! Although I had to wait awhile for parts 2 and 3, I enjoyed reading your story! Inspiring!

abrahamvllera said...

Go, go, go! As one runner has said: "We runners are all a little nutty, but we're good people who just want to enjoy our healthy, primitive challenge. Others may not understand running, but we do, and we cherish it. That's our only message."
If you’re free, join us on our fun run. It’s fiesta time in Cagayan de Oro, and the locals are celebrating a fresh start after Sendong. Aug 25, 2013. Mark your calendar.

Running Fatboy said...

hi Mary,thanks for reading it. Next time, ikaw naman mag-50km! haha

hi Abraham, thanks for visiting my blog

abrahamvllera said...

Go, go, go! As one runner has said: “We runners are all a little nutty, but we’re good people who just want to enjoy our healthy, primitive challenge. Others may not understand running, but we do, and we cherish it. That’s our only message.”

If you’re free, join us on our fun run. It’s fiesta time in Cagayan de Oro, and the locals are celebrating a fresh start after Sendong. Aug. 25, 2013. Mark your calendar.

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