Have you tried being covered in mud? Do you know the feeling of being one? We do. In the recent Merrell Adventure Run you cannot call yourself a survivor, winner or finisher unless you crossed that finish line covered your whole body in mud. Timberland Heights in Rizal was the perfect place to get down and dirty, literally. This is the perfect spot to run in trail, get dirty and at the same time enjoying the stunning nature view of Rizal. This is my first time to participate in this race. I wasn’t able to join last year’s MAR (Merrell Adventure Run) because of running schedule conflict. So I cannot compare which is which. The last year race or this year? But I’m definitely sure everybody will agree to me that this year’s MAR is the best, I mean the GREATEST trail run I’ve experience so far.
How do I come up with this thought? What are the criteria’s in having the title of the greatest trail run experience? Well in my opinion a trail run first must have a good weather. The day must be shady, that nobody worries the sun about ruining the runner’s precious skin -awww.
Second are God-made wonders. We all know that Rizal is a mountainous province. Perfect setting for our local climbers or casual climber like me. River’s to swim on. A good place to sit back and relax and perfect place to escape the hectic world of Manila. Its 20 kilometers east of Manila.
Last is the route. Route that is something new and never been experience before. Of course, many of runners today are starting to notice the trail run happening around them and starting to accept the challenge of Mother Nature. Who in this world would not feel in loved with mother of nature specially the here in Philippines. Did you know that the Philippines have one of the richest orchid floras in the world? Imagine that? I’m saying is that when you put river, trees and mud together, everybody will enjoy. Plus a short moment of raining and VOALA! Perfect time to run in trails!
Singlets, medal and finisher shirts are just addition for the overall feeling. What matter most is the great experience that every runner felt during the entire course. Experience that they will never forget. Something to remember and worth sharing for. If all of this was achieved, then you have the greatest trail run. Sadly, not every race is perfect and goes smoothly according to plan. There is still some area that needs to improve. Like:
- No banana station. It’s automatically that this station must be included in the race especially in 21k-trail. If road races have banana station, trail races must also have too. Two banana station or more because some runners rely on this to regain their strength and continue the fight.
- Lack of official photographers in the route. Especially in the river. Luckily I brought my handy-dandy-camera with me.
- Waters in hydration station got short for the 2nd loopers. Not enough for everybody.
- Changing area for women is pro-BOSO according to some friends who experienced it firsthand. Let’s have more secure changing area for our ladies and also for the gent’s.
- No marshals in some dangerous part of the route.
- No medic station spotted along the route. Injured runners that seek medical attention have to wait to finish the race before they get assisted.
- The buses drivers seem do not care about the runners. Left the event even they paid the whole trip.
- Some hydration station has no trash bins. Scattered cups are all over the place. Not good.
- Just like last year, according to other runners there is not enough supply of water for everyone. Water trucks left them again.
Like Angeline Libnao said, one of the runners who commented in the MAR FB page “We hope that you’ll be considering our comments/suggestions for the improvement of your upcoming events. We hope to see more participants next year and will be planning to join another trail run rest assured that runners’ welfare will really be on top of your priorities. All the best, Merrell!”
All in all Merrell Adventure Run last Saturday deliver the best trail run in the Philippines. Many enjoyed the extreme challenge laid to us by Merrell and sir Thumbie the race director. Thank you so much to the organizers, sponsors and to my PEX family for the support. Again, Congratulation to all the finisher! More power guys and see you in MAR 2013!
And now here are the Images during the race that I wanted to share with you. Hope you like it. Enjoy!
Photo Credits to:
Jobert Dela Vistoria – https://www.facebook.com/jobertdelavictoria
Sigue Correr Runners – https://www.facebook.com/siguecorrer
Thumbie O. Remigio – https://www.facebook.com/thumbieremigio
Running Photographers – https://www.facebook.com/runphotogs
Ronald U. Tugade – https://www.facebook.com/sirororunner