02 August 2011

12 - 9

This is exactly a marathon distance.

We started our run a little before 12 midnight at Miyamit. Weather was far from hospitable. It had been raining for almost two (2) days prior to our run. It did occur to us that the condition would be far from ideal which, on hindsight, is good. Simon said it aptly - the worse the condition, the better it will prepare us for UTMB. I could not agree more. Peter decided not to come due to some important reasons. We understood and figured he was better off not being around since he would not have perhaps enjoyed the weather and unnecessary waiting. 

The night before our run, I had to "escape" from my Uncle Orly's 60th birthday party which was not easy since he is someone very dear to me. The cold beer he served me was just staring at me on the table for hours. Explaining to the rest of the family that I had to run for 9 hours or so in some of the inhospitable or god-forsaken terrains under such weather condition at such ungodly hours would be an exercise in utter futility. No use. It is like talking Greek to them. So I let my wife do the explanation. I was told that my escape and adventure last weekend did  raise a few eyebrows. Oh well. What can I say, we all had to make some sacrifices and come UTMB, I will darn make sure they are all worthwhile.

You would not believe the condition of the terrain now after the Miyamit Falls junction. It is surreal and felt like we were on a different landscape or planet. Cracks on the ground are everywhere like it was a result of earthquake at 8-9 on a Richter scale. The thick fog, eerie silence and darkness heightened the experience. Obviously, the constant rain and other elements shaped what is now the trail. It was fun though hopping from one crack onto another. We twice saw on the trail the nocturnal cats -  civets. We were startled when our headlamps hit their eyes which glowed ominously in the dark. That should explain the fresh droppings on the trail.

Good thing Simon lent me his pair of trekking poles. It immensely helped me to navigate the muddy and slippery terrain. Now my initial reluctance to use the poles has changed. I will carry them during the UTMB. 90% of the runners cannot be wrong. One of the highlights of our run is stopping at the turn-around point. Wind was howling and the rain had not stopped. The few minutes of pit stop was enough to bring our core temperature down and gave a us a chill. This is something we really have to consider seriously for UTMB where the temperature is even colder.
Well, the Falls was raging due to the volume of water coming from the hills. The picture below will show it. We finished in 9 hours plus change. Strange that we were not sleepy during the wee hours in the morning. After the run, it brought us to the realization on what will be the cut-off time for the 42k race in Miyamit. 12 hours? 15? 

Next week is another 42K (at least for me) at Miyamit and a climb at Mt Arayat the next day before tapering. By the way, 42k trail marathon and 50 miler races in Miyamit are tentatively set on 12 November 2011. Tentative because  I noticed that so many ultra races are being held left and right which I hope are not being conducted just for the sake of just holding them. It seems we are now being saturated with events which significance, importance, continuity  and timeliness have yet to be established and considered. I will post in Facebook on these events when everything is settled. 

Jon (almost ready for UTMB)



  1. atty. sunod natin ung Mt. Tapulao sa Iba, Zambales..
    it is 18k from the jumpoff point with an elevation of 2100 masl, open trail sya at much colder than Baguio.


  2. Nice photos there. What shoes did you use for the muddy conditions?

    Nov. 12, you say? For the 42k and the 50m?


  3. looks like merrell trail glove ung gamit mo atty...heheh

    Nov. 12! will put it in calendar of much awaited ULTRA races...


  4. Wency - yes, Nov. 12

    JJ - You're right. The shoes are Merrel Trail Glove.

    Guys, the organizing committee for these 50-mile and 42k races (100-miler is next year) will put in their collective experience from joining races abroad and locally into these events. This will ensure quality races we all can be proud of and look forward to in the next edition.

    In the meantime, let me finish UTMB so I can add another dimension to our races. Cheers.

  5. How did the Glove handle the mud? And if ever, the drainage of water? I'm planning on using Minimus for the future trail races - yours, Jonel's, and BR's.



  6. Wency - Trail Glove is okay on dirt, fireroad, grass and the like but for muddy terrain better use shoes with deep lugs. I highly recommend Inov8. Trail Glove's fit and inside comfort are outstanding. Drainage is good too. Is Minimus locally available now and where? I like Minimus too since it is designed by one of my idols in our sports - Anton K. Beware: wearing Minimus during ultras is said to make you run faster and pass alot of runners :)