The 7th edition of TNF100 trail ultra will be happening this 03 May 2014 up again in Baguio City, Philippines. (Heard rumor that it will be its last edition in Baguio. Can anyone among you confirm this?) I have had the willingness to suffer and be consistent since 2008 to finish this sort of "pilgrimage" race except when it was moved down South in CamSur in 2011. Oh well, it is what it is.
The 2008 (first) edition was my first 100k trail ultra and it was held in Batangas comprising of 2 loops more or less of 50K. It was crazy with storm, mud and all. I remember vividly how hard it was. But I was glad I took the deep plunge and somehow, I managed to connect to my inner being. Morbid as it may sound but the realization or revelation during the race for me then was that I actually thrive in suffering and pain. I think It is safe to assume that ultrarunners know this realization that somehow they have this symbiotic relationship with suffering and pain.
Fast forward. The last few editions of this race saw me putting up an average effort bordering on mediocrity. Take for example my crazy goal last year to finish the 2013 TNF100 from the "get-go" with almost no training. Well I did survive but with DOMS galore afterwards :) Well, I should not be surprised.
For 2014, I am mixing things up a bit. My goal now is to put a more-than-average effort (no, not podium. Too many young and fast runners now what with TNF100 prizes up for grabs to entice them!)) so I can finish it in sub-20 hours just like my blissful effort and strong finish in Four Lakes 100 (17:27) last year. Man, that day was really good! Strong good effort all throughout the race (Four Lakes 100) with almost no bad patches. That is something rare.
Training wise, my body is responding well to speed sessions now which I have been trying to maintain after Hardcore 100 miles last February. I don't lack the endurance what I need is to gain some winds to push me faster. However, the bad fall somehow during Hardcore 100 affected my post-race training. It was actually bad than I initially thought. Lingering tightness in my hip but it is better now. Time heals all wounds indeed. Well the long scar is still there and every time I look my behind, it will always remind me of the incident during the 2014 edition of Hardcore 100.
So that is what is coming soon aside from our small race up in Arayat National Park - ARAYAT MOUNTAIN RACE. Somehow this race keeps us with my co-organizers and ultrarunners, Precy and Noel Hernandez busy climbing every weekend to gain some elevation for 2014 TNF100. So you can say it is a dual purpose for us.
Jon (wondering when or whether he will ever get the chance to realize his full potentials or peak as ultrarunner)