But really funny how the mind easily forgets what the body went through, few months after, when the registration for this year's race opened, I thought of joining again but surprisingly two days later, the registration closed, and I had to wait for further announcement. I cannot think how that happened, I tried writing the organizer and settled to sign up as wait listed and finally got in.
I know this is not going to be an easy race, thinking all the hills that I went through the year before, I know nothing will change to the terrain, all I can do is train for it. Indeed several months before the race, I trained like hell, did some intervals, tempo runs, several long runs and even went up north to experience the actual uphill terrain and did a simulation of stair climbing training on the evening.
Hoping that I had enough training, I come to the race this year with an ambitious goal, aim for the silver trophy. It's free to dream big anyway so I thought I might as well make it really big.
On the first 4 check points I was doing well, always few minutes ahead of my target time. After hydrating and grabbing few food to bite I did not waste much time but rather proceed to the next station. It was on my way to Check Point 5 that I can feel something is just really wrong with my stomach. As I do not eat small bites of whatever food I have with me before reaching the checkpoint, I can feel I am already hungry. I tried eating some chocolates, but I feel like nauseous. I was hoping my condition will feel better if I will have something hot or something sweet at the next CP.
Feeling the worst physical condition ever, I had to tackle the several hills to Tate's Cairn, to Beacon Hill and up to Needle Hill with struggle. It's just too difficult to push myself on all the uphills for I really feel so weak, I thank God for all the downhill trails and stairs, without reservations I just run and jump two to three steps apart. It was almost midnight, at some point I feel sleepy and wanted to sleep on the side of the trail but that is not possible, I still go off trail several times to pee.
With only 20 minutes left on the 4 kilometer downhill stretch towards the finish line, I decided to give it a try, to sprint with all my might. I haven't run such short time on such a distance before, but I wanted to give my best shot, for whatever the result be at least I can say I give my very best. Thanks to one runner who sprinted behind me, it motivated me to run even faster. At some point I wanted to leave my trekking pole, I think I can run even faster without it. Passing through the several downhill, curves, the flat area that has cars parked and another curve, I feel I do not have enough time I just continue running until I saw the flaglets, the banner and the finish arch. I can hear my fellow Filipino runners cheering for me, I can hear the sound system now clearly. I crossed the finish line in 23 hours 59 minute. I was so tired, exhausted, wasted but I am still standing and alive. I thank God for all the strength, indeed it was worth the chase and worth the try. I was able to grab the bronze trophy this time. I shed off 45 minutes of my finish time this year than the race last year but I was far more better and stronger physically last year than this year. I guess I am more stronger and determined mentally this year.
There it goes my very first race for the year 2013, my 5th 100km trail run, my 20th ultra marathon.
What a humbling race for me, an experience I have so much to learn from. With such scary situation, I know if I have to go on doing ultra I have to learn to manage my nutrition and hydration during the race. I may have trained hard for it but running with proper intake of food is so much part of the race as well.
Adding to the trophy is the great joy of running on the same trail with the people I love, with the friends I cherish and the new found friends during the race. All the pain and the challenges are all worth the experience. 'Til the next trail on the next adventure.
Official time 23:56:50. Ranked 89th on the Women's category, 691 is my overall rank of 854 finishers with 1,079 starters. Vibram HK100 2013 Race Result
Special thanks to the many people who made this race possible, to Jessie Luo Sulagui for the accommodation and to the unending support of the following products: Elete Electrolytes Asia , SLS3 Asia