|CDO City Hall|
I had registered a month before for the Cagayan de Oro-Dahilayan (in Bukidnon) 55k Trail Ultramarathon, the first and longest to be held in Northern Mindanao and the first to use timing chips.
I was also taking in the scenic route. Taking pictures along sleepy towns and barangays as my support vehicle leaped frog me every 3-5 km or so in between aid stations.
|Massage midway through an uphill|
I stopped often to take in the view. There was one stretch of trail where there was not a whimper of a ghost. I had heard that Bukidnon was a rebel infested area so I ran this course as fast as I could. I did not know that barangay tanods and policemen were strategically placed nearby.
The Municipality of Libona, Camp 09 and Camp Philips were just a glimpse. A spectator in the race in a small town called Agusan Canyon asked me in tagalog if I was from Manila. “Taga Agusan pod ko, manang. Pero Agusan del Sur”. That elicited laughter from her friends.
I was enjoying the run.
|Km 20 spectators|
Hours earlier at km 40, my Garmin (GPS watch) had run out of battery. I had no idea now how far to go and how much time had elapsed. That disappointed me a lot. We were only using my support vehicle’s odometer reading to get an estimate and it said 48.
I reached aid station 50 at the end of the field. 5 more to go, I thought. I gathered my strength and power hiked the rest of the way as I could no longer run for more than 20 seconds at most due to fatigue.
After what seemed like forever, I asked a local on horseback how far yet to Dahilayan Adventure Zone and her answer was around 5-6 km. What the…! I could not believe it! A fellow runner came up to me and said they made a mistake in the sign posts. Tough luck!
|Downhill portion of Camp 09|
|Pineapple fields of Del Monte|
|At Km 55 with 2.5 more to go|
I made it! Yes, ultramarathon virgin no more!
|Click to enlarge ultrarunner :-)|
|Elevation profile 40 of 55 km|
|Map from my Garmin up to km 40|
I’m thankful to my support crew for staying up with me. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to make it.
To my families and friends who kept texting me words of encouragement that I can make it;
To my fellow runners and adiks in dailymile and Facebook who motivated me all those months during my training runs;
Thanks a lot! See you on the road… and on the trails, my friends!