The North Face | Thrill of the Trail

I just arrived from our trip in Bohol and I’m still trilled from the race in Danao. It was an awesome experience. My first time to participate in a trail running race and first time to run 11km distance. I thought I’m not gonna make it, but I did. Of course I wouldn’t have done it without the help of our very amazing support team (Caitlin and Laarni), who waited for us at the finish line ready to take pictures. I could say the best support team you can ever have. They motivated us at the start of the race until it finished. I also couldn’t  have attended this event if not because of Tyo Tolet’s last minute registering us for the race.I really thank him for the experience. Without his free registration, I wouldn’t have experience my first 11k distance running.

The Day Before the Race:

It was 10 in the morning of September 11, 2010 when I finished packing for the trip. I was so excited that night that I was not able to sleep. I was working while packing at the same time. I guess I know how to do multitasking now. ^_^
Don’t you think our faces spelled “EXCITED”? We decide to meet up with the group in Pier 3 (Port of Cebu) at 12noon. Fortunately, we were able to avail Jadestar’s (name of the boat to Bohol) promo.  So by 1:30PM we’re boarding the boat to Bohol.
from left to right: Melvyn, Abbz, Caitlin, me, Kuya Jahbert (at my back), Laarni, Carla and Ian (@ carla’s back)
It took us 2 hours to finally arrived at the port of Tubigon, Bohol.
We take a jeepney ride from Tubigon to Danao. Guess who’s going with us in the ride? It’s the Filipina skyrunner herself.. Merlita Arias-Dunkin.
I got the chance to talked to her when we got in the Municipality of Danao. I promise you, she’s one cool Lady.
Unfortunately, the campsite for the race was not in the Municipal Hall but in Danao Adventure Park, which is 8km away. Some decided to go by foot. But for the few, we decided to take the habal2x ride to our campsite.
Well, what can I say? The food was great and I’m not the only one who appreciate it.
So we went to shower after dinner. The rough road to Danao was enough excuse  to do it. Afterwards, we went to our campsite to sleep early for the big race tomorrow.
The Race:
The race will start at exactly 6AM. The organizers have provided the participant a free ride from Danao adventure park to the starting line which is in the Municipal Hall.
The last call for the free ride made us pack in no less than a minute. We didn’t even got the chance to cook and eat breakfast. Luckily, one of our friends bought some bread with him. So we just suite ourselves with the bread.
We had our stretching before the race start. Woohoo! so refreshing. Made me alert and alive afterwards.
When the race start, we started to run our  way to the trail ahead, about 200 meters away from the starting line.
A trail like this is an advantage for us mountaineers. This is just an easy trail for us, but not for the runners who are used to running on flat surface like roads.
Trail running offers a lot of challenge for the participants. One of these is crossing rivers. If not careful enough and not readily prepared for this challenge, one might have the possibility of having blisters on their foot or injury upon crossing the river.
The unforgiving mud was also not an exception in the race.It adds up to the challenge and make the experience more exciting.
We navigate around few of the Chocolate Hills, which the Bohol are known for. They’re the only place in the Philippines who have Chocolate Hills. Tourist from all over the world came here to see this beauty of nature. An amazing masterpiece of God.
Mud was everywhere in the race.

Another river crossing with a wider river and stronger water current.
photo credit to Estan Cabigas. Thanks for this wonderful pic sir.
Aside from all of mud and river crossing, there was also a rough road to run. The favorite part of all the runners. I guess.
 We’re almost there. Finish line is just 1km ahead.
Finished at 2:24:56 for my first 11k run.
It was a flabbergast experience. A moment to be remembered for my entire life. I survived the 11k run for the first time. I’m looking forward for my next 11k run. Hopefully I can still attend next year’s Thrill of the Trail. May be that time I would be ready for the 22k run. What do you think? ^_^

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