Thursday, October 23

Anteloop100 2014 - A Test of Honesty

My Analogy. God created the world, and He give the people the free will to do whatever we want. It's all up to us if we may do things according to what we perceive as right or may do what probably could be wrong. I compare this to Anteloop100. The Race Director created  Anteloop Race, with no one at the critical and turn around points to check on the runners, it's all up for the runners to do what each one knows as the right trail, the right turn around points. Given that,  it really is all up to the runner if truly he went to the designated turn around point, follow the  right trail and follow the rules.

The Race. Hundred kilometer trail and mountain race. One big loop of 50km and 2 small loops of 25km traversing the mountain ranges of Bataan going to the foot of Mt. Natib. 28 hours cut off time, 10 runners showed up, 8 male and 2 female. That includes myself.

Race Proper. A race like no other. Where on earth will you find a race that the Race Director will open his vacation house for runners to stay hours before the race and clean after the race? None that I know of or those races that I joined. And all the food before, during and after the race is all prepared on their kitchen and shared by everyone at their common dining area. Lucky to experience such.

Majority of the runners on this race had run either the two or one of the 50km distance on the two separate races that has been held few months back before this race. I did not. But since I am looking for a race that will coincide on my birthday, I decided to join despite my being unfamiliar with the place. My only goal? To be one with nature on my special day and enjoy the moment. Indeed, after gun start even with the unknown I was just enjoying my adventure. The first 30km I was with few runners most of the time with instances that I am all by myself. Not knowing where exactly to go I asked those whom that are already on their way back, where exactly the turn around points, until it dawned to myself where the direction the race will be. Taking pictures on the turn around points which I was all by myself.

Lost countless times,  I finally went back to the 50km transition area earlier than I expected. It's now time to tackle the first 25km of the remaining 50km distance of the race. I was all by myself this time, until I reached the bottom of the valley, pass by the only house with the owner around. With little day light left I push to tackle more distance but to no avail. I am lost. This time I get confused on where exactly to go. Without me knowing I crossed a wrong river as I track back the trail hoping to get back to the house after my 4 times of calling the Race Director, I said to myself I need to think and use my common sense, use my instinct and get out of this forest before it gets too dark. But still to no avail. With headlamp on, I think again, back track and hope that miracle will happen. To my surprise I was back to the house. The owner too got surprised to see me back after hours I passed by his place.

I beg him to show me the right way. Too kind of him to say yes to my request. He is concerned of my safety not from bad people but from the possible snake encounter. When we reach the place where I cannot find the right trail, I finally knew what went wrong, I enter a wrong trail. I thanked him and begged him to go back but he said he will walk me through the forest for he cannot imagine me alone in the dark. If a snake will bite me, I definitely will not be able to get help. I did not argue any longer.

Going back to the transition is now all uphill. To my surprise, a light is visible ahead of me, it's my friend Atty Myk. We tackle the remaining kilometers to the transition area. On our last 25km loop, we were just too sleepy and we cannot find the trail, lost together until we saw another light, from another runner. With only 5 now on the field as the rest decided to stop, I am determined to finish the race no matter what happens. Lost of where the trail going down is but finally find it, we just push a little harder. Tired, sleepy, hungry, we have no other option but to push further.

As the day time breaks, still on the second loop, our time is running. But I said I come for a 100km distance, no way I will not finish it despite running beyond the cut off time. I cross the finish line finishing 100km distance 4 hours beyond cut off time. I am happy, I achieve my goal on this race, running 100km on my birthday with a bonus of having an instant date. Lucky to be with the companion of Atty Myk who accompany me all through out the race. Cheers to 41 years of great life full of fun and adventure.
Five finished the race, 3 within cut off time, 2 beyond cut off time. That includes me. So is ones honesty being tested? I really do not know. As for myself I know I run 100km distance and even longer counting those that I got lost.


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