Surviving with minimal provisions

Once again, yours truly sets another journey last weekend. This time we head to Central Luzon to conquer my 1st Major trail run/climb in Tarak Ridge, Mariveles, Bataan. This mountain is known for its craggy landscape, steep location and sharp rocks that may have given its name, Tarak. The combination for “Tabak” (hunting knife) and “Tarik” (steep) [source].

Now, trivia time is over why don’t we jump to my adventure? Hehe

0000 – We started to gather in Ministop, Kalayaan Ave. Here we talk about things that might happen to us during the trail run, what to expect and our game plan during the run.

0115 – 0131 – We head to Cubao station where we board Bataan Express bus lines to Balanga, Bataan

0157 – The bus starts its way to our destination, Brgy. Alas-asin via NLEX (267php/each). After few minutes everyone grab their chance to gather strength while we travel.

0314 – 0326 – The time we spend in stopover.

0430 – After 2hrs. and half travel time we finally arrived in Brgy. Alas-asin where we register (40php/each) and made our preparation.

0454 – THE JOURNEY BEGIN!

0654 – Almost 2hrs, 6.82K with 530 MASL we arrived in Papaya River. Here, we took a quick rest and plan for our next assault.

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0728 – From Papaya River we battle lots of uphills before we took a rest at 7.67K mark and getting ready as we head to the ridge (2:32hrs. from the brgy. hall).

0818 – At last, the famous Ridge. Strong wind welcome us here. I don’t know how strong the wind is but it can surely throw you off guard if you don’t manage to balance yourself out. We rest for a few minutes here and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountain. You can also spot Island of Corregidor from the ridge as well as Manila Bay all the way to Cavite.

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Of course, the journey is not complete if we didn’t reach the peak. We didn’t come just to settle for the ridge alone. The group agreed to push until we reach the top so we moved on.

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At 0924 (4:28hrs. from brgy. hall) we’re finally at the top! This is the most challenging mountain that I’ve conquered to date. With 1201 MASL and the distance of 9.52K everyone deserved a hand of applause. *clap! *clap! *clap!

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0944 – Photo-ops? Check! Relax? Check! Enjoyed the creation of God? SUPER CHECK! – Let’s go home (start of descend).

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1123 –arrived in Papaya River again. After 12.07K and lots of downhills we took a rest before we head to jump-off. Oh by the way I almost get lost on my way to Papaya River.

1249 – We reached the Jump-Off covering the distance of 16.59K in 7:46. While we stay here we manage to replenish our strength by eating Turon (12php) and Buko (15php). Also during our stay here we heard from the other group that they lost one of their member on their way back. They said he’s a 1st time climber and lost since 0900 that morning. Other members of their group search for that person and luckily they found him yesterday (Monday).

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1353 – Our journey of Tarak Ridge is over. It took us almost 9hrs. to cover the 19.35K (Brgy. Alis-asin to Summit V.V.)

We left Bataan at around 1452 and arrived in Manila at 1749.

Tarak Ridge is highly recommended especially if you’re building your endurance for your upcoming trail run. For us this is a great training ground and preparation for our upcoming Salomon trail run 2014 and TNF 2014 race event. With minimal provision of 1L of water and few trail foods. We’re lucky to finish this tough terrain. This is a Major climb so if you’re planning to have your practice trail runs here make sure you must have iron knee and did a lot of squats because your lower body will be tested and will put to the limit.

One more advice. Make sure you bring enough water, trail food and make sure you eat your breakfast before climbing this mountain. Unlike us we haven’t eaten anything. Luckily we brought enough trail foods to support our hungry tummy but short in water supply.

tarak elev

tarak map

Budget for each:

543 – Bus fare V.V.

40 – Reg. to brgy. hall

12 – Turon

15 – Buko

55 – Lunch with Soda

———–

665 – Total

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Summary:

Distance: 19.35 km

Time: 8:56:17

Avg Pace: 27:16 min/km

Elevation Gain: 1,260 m

Heart Rate

Avg HR: 72 % of Max

Max HR: 98 % of Max

Elevation

Elevation Gain:  1,260 m

Elevation Loss:  1,259 m

Min Elevation:   243 m

Max Elevation:  1,111 m

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/467410827

Photo credit: Eric & JJ

~oOo~

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Surviving with minimal provisions

Once again, yours truly sets another journey last weekend. This time we head to Central Luzon to conquer my 1st Major trail run/climb in Tarak Ridge, Mariveles, Bataan. This mountain is known for its craggy landscape, steep location and sharp rocks that may have given its name, Tarak. The combination for “Tabak” (hunting knife) and “Tarik” (steep) [source].

Now, trivia time is over why don’t we jump to my adventure? Hehe

0000 – We started to gather in Ministop, Kalayaan Ave. Here we talk about things that might happen to us during the trail run, what to expect and our game plan during the run.

0115 – 0131 – We head to Cubao station where we board Bataan Express bus lines to Balanga, Bataan

0157 – The bus starts its way to our destination, Brgy. Alas-asin via NLEX (267php/each). After few minutes everyone grab their chance to gather strength while we travel.

0314 – 0326 – The time we spend in stopover.

0430 – After 2hrs. and half travel time we finally arrived in Brgy. Alas-asin where we register (40php/each) and made our preparation.

0454 – THE JOURNEY BEGIN!

0654 – Almost 2hrs, 6.82K with 530 MASL we arrived in Papaya River. Here, we took a quick rest and plan for our next assault.

10152823_10152206739614792_321615346_n

702439_10152206740069792_238009570_n

0728 – From Papaya River we battle lots of uphills before we took a rest at 7.67K mark and getting ready as we head to the ridge (2:32hrs. from the brgy. hall).

0818 – At last, the famous Ridge. Strong wind welcome us here. I don’t know how strong the wind is but it can surely throw you off guard if you don’t manage to balance yourself out. We rest for a few minutes here and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the mountain. You can also spot Island of Corregidor from the ridge as well as Manila Bay all the way to Cavite.

10153320_10152206741304792_24791066_n

967612_10152206741324792_438650782_n

Of course, the journey is not complete if we didn’t reach the peak. We didn’t come just to settle for the ridge alone. The group agreed to push until we reach the top so we moved on.

10151022_10152206739594792_881367001_n

At 0924 (4:28hrs. from brgy. hall) we’re finally at the top! This is the most challenging mountain that I’ve conquered to date. With 1201 MASL and the distance of 9.52K everyone deserved a hand of applause. *clap! *clap! *clap!

10154846_10152206741314792_552080052_n

0944 – Photo-ops? Check! Relax? Check! Enjoyed the creation of God? SUPER CHECK! – Let’s go home (start of descend).

10149873_10152206740694792_666544593_n

10152898_10152206740704792_273142292_n

1123 –arrived in Papaya River again. After 12.07K and lots of downhills we took a rest before we head to jump-off. Oh by the way I almost get lost on my way to Papaya River.

1249 – We reached the Jump-Off covering the distance of 16.59K in 7:46. While we stay here we manage to replenish our strength by eating Turon (12php) and Buko (15php). Also during our stay here we heard from the other group that they lost one of their member on their way back. They said he’s a 1st time climber and lost since 0900 that morning. Other members of their group search for that person and luckily they found him yesterday (Monday).

10150073_10152206740054792_284627029_n

1353 – Our journey of Tarak Ridge is over. It took us almost 9hrs. to cover the 19.35K (Brgy. Alis-asin to Summit V.V.)

We left Bataan at around 1452 and arrived in Manila at 1749.

Tarak Ridge is highly recommended especially if you’re building your endurance for your upcoming trail run. For us this is a great training ground and preparation for our upcoming Salomon trail run 2014 and TNF 2014 race event. With minimal provision of 1L of water and few trail foods. We’re lucky to finish this tough terrain. This is a Major climb so if you’re planning to have your practice trail runs here make sure you must have iron knee and did a lot of squats because your lower body will be tested and will put to the limit.

One more advice. Make sure you bring enough water, trail food and make sure you eat your breakfast before climbing this mountain. Unlike us we haven’t eaten anything. Luckily we brought enough trail foods to support our hungry tummy but short in water supply.

tarak elev

tarak map

Budget for each:

543 – Bus fare V.V.

40 – Reg. to brgy. hall

12 – Turon

15 – Buko

55 – Lunch with Soda

———–

665 – Total

Garmin Forerunner 310XT Summary:

Distance: 19.35 km

Time: 8:56:17

Avg Pace: 27:16 min/km

Elevation Gain: 1,260 m

Heart Rate

Avg HR: 72 % of Max

Max HR: 98 % of Max

Elevation

Elevation Gain:  1,260 m

Elevation Loss:  1,259 m

Min Elevation:   243 m

Max Elevation:  1,111 m

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/467410827

Photo credit: Eric & JJ

~oOo~

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…at the Parrot’s peak

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We finally made it!

It’s been six months since I ran with my fellow Cavite teammate, Epoy and we had the chance to run again yesterday. This time in Pico de Loro/Mt. Palay-Palay in Ternate.

First off, we meet at Epoy’s place and leaves at around 6:00 A.M. and head to our drop-off at Ternate. From there we set-up our things, had a power breakfast at the local eatery and register to DENR and start our journey to the summit.

This is my first time to run in Epoy’s playground so I’m a bit anxious in the place. But after a few metres and few “chikahan” I become comfortable in the ground afterwards.

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me, being silly

Many hikers and trail runners alike are going to this place not just to train and escape from the choking pollution and toxic work of the metro but they visit this place because of the beautiful view in the summit and one of the nicest day-hikes from Metro Manila.

Epoy said we must cover 2 loops yesterday (and we did) so that I will enjoy my visit there and can focus more in training. In the first ascend we focus in time and less photo opts (even I’m seriously wanted to take a few shot there). We made to the summit after an hour and half from the starting point. There, we caught up with high blowing winds and lots of mountaineers already having their group shots and enjoying the warmth of the sun. After a few minutes we decided to make our way back were we started, have our lunch and get ready for round 2.

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Buddy run and friends

Meanwhile after lunch we quickly made our way to the top so that we can finish our training at around 3 or 4 P.M. We both agree that in the second ascend we have to level down the pace because we just came from lunch (obviously). While walking we talked lots of things like previous race experience, upcoming races and got few trick from the master. We talk about techniques, nutrition’s and how to prevent injuries. We also took some few shots while running, during downhill, in the summit and new friends along the way.

After some steep uphill, lots of rock obstacles, picture-picture, lectures and assisted few climbers up/down the summit… It took us 8+ hrs. to complete our 2 loop mission in Pico de Loro. We really had great time yesterday. The trail experience, the people we just met and the astonishment we received, it’s all worth it! Thank you Lord for injury free training and the warm welcome Mt. Palay-Palay.

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Enjoying the summit

I will definitely come back for more. This is a highly recommended training ground for trail runners out there. Also remember to be responsible with your trash while inside the park. Love our own. Love our nature. That’s all folks! See you in my next adventures!

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Kilian Jornet-like moves!

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Summary of run from my 310xt

Photo credit to: Epoy Poblete

~oOo~

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Chasing my MARATHON DREAM

After 5 bull circle and 5 bull session (which i wasn’t able to complete) finally the long wait is over. The Bull Run Dream Marathon is here.

While everyone were jittery and excited for the marathon, I was in deep slumber. I watched a football game with my friends a night before and spent the whole morning the following day exploring Tagaytay. As soon as we reached our hotel room, I jumped in my bed and had my ‘beauty rest’. By the time I woke up it’s already 11:30 in the evening.Just enough time left for me to take my super late dinner and prepare my self for the marathon.

When I reached the venue, the vibe of the place were full of each dreamers’ excitement. Everyone was very supportive of each dreamer’s dream: that is to dream big… run strong… and to finish the 42 K marathon.

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This isn’t my 1st full marathon.. in fact this is my second, but the feeling and the experience in running the dream marathon is far different from my first one. I can’t explain the feeling i felt when i started running.

The course was a combination of rolling uphill and flat roads. Running this type of course is not a joke, I can’t even maintain my 3-1 interval. The weather was perfect. TBR provided everything a dreamer needs in a marathon, from dream chasers, pacers, hydration and a little bit of everything from chocs, gummy worms and fruits! We were babied, the most spoiled batch of marathoners in TBR history. It’s all worth it.

Thank you for our “Dream Maker”- from Ms Jaymie Pizzaro, Coach Jim Lafferty, Neville Manaois and Coach Lit Onrubia, to all the support group thank you for making my dream a reality.

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So for the next dreamers, if you want to become a marathoner, dream big and finish strong. Prepare yourself, train smart and enjoy the experience.

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Congratulations to all! You are now a MARATHONERSSSSS!

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#readyforanything #ULAHTBRDM2014 #thisisLEGENDARY #fortyfreakintwo

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wait.. wait.. There’s more..

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Let me share to you the road to my dream marathon…

From claiming the welcome kit, joining the practice run and running talk, up to the send-off party and down the finish line. The 5 months preparations is all worth it.

(Kudos to Boss Wax, Joy and Julius! Thanks Joey for the tips and all who went to support us!)

~oOo~

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The great MUD weekend experience

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!

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Photo Credits to:

Prince Pabellano – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150900880304792.419122.664064791&type=3

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

For any concern, questions and suggestions visit Eventking website and FB page here. For merrell click here.

Trees, trails and sea of clouds

Summer season is officially over and rainy day has just arrived. What is the better way to end this season with the bang? Trees, trails and sea of clouds! That’s how it is. Last Sunday I was lucky to participate on the first leg of Nature’s Trail Discovery Run held in Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal. I was one of the bloggers who invited by Sir Jared to test the race route 3 weeks ago but unfortunately I wasn’t able to join them. So this time I make sure I can join them in this race because this is too good to miss out.

My anxiety level that day was really high; I can’t even sleep in the bus while on our way to the venue. Maybe I’m just excited, hehe. When we arrived in the scene I can feel the excitement of the runners in their faces as they leave the bus and make their way to the basketball court where all the runners gathered. You can see already many runners are doing their usual routines like stretching, jogging around the court and photo-ops. After getting my race bib from team norphl, had a little breakfast, placed my luggage to the baggage area and quickly ran to corner not far from the starting are to have my preparation to the race.

I thought it’s going to rain that day because there’s no sign from the sun that he will shine. But later that morning, I think 8 a.m. he started shows up. The weather that day was good and it’s a sunny one so my main strategy is to finish the race as quickly as I can but I can’t resist the beauty of Tanay. Here are some pictures I took during the run. Enjoy!

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Here’s what I’ve noticed in this event:

  • Registration Fee > medal + finishers shirt + race kit + unmatched beauty of nature = 950 (21k) SULIT!
  • Registration Venue > online registration and registration sites were accessible
  • Participants > participation is limited for both 10k and 21k categories
  • Race Kit > helpful reminders included inside the race kit and Bib no.
  • Singlet > no singlet provided
  • Transpo > additional 200 for the transpo
  • Portalets > i failed to notice if there was any
  • Campers Village > campers may do overnight
  • Baggage Counter > was able to utilize this facility
  • Website & Facebook Page > information about the event and quick response by the CHR in any inquiries is a plus points
  • Gun Start > gun start of this event was on-time and early
  • Program Host > Supladong Runner did a really good job hosting this event.
  • Distance > only 2 distances are available (10k & 21K)
  • Hydration > the water was aplenty
  • Photographers > thanks Team USB for providing the pictures
  • Route > its challenging and grueling route I’ve ever experience plus bridge and rivers. 🙂
  • Banana Station > only 1 banana station is provided despite of 3 that is originally illustrated in the manual including in the kit
  • Buko Station > this one is for free provided by the locals
  • Timing Issues > I don’t have timing issues in this event and result was accurate
  • Kilometer Markers > I’ve seen no KM markers in this event, correct me if I’m wrong
  • Directional Sign > They may not large as runrio but you can see them
  • Marshals > although some marshal gave wrong directions to other runners there are still some that are very helpful and knowledgeable on the race route
  • Loop Cords > we received plastic cord for a loop cords at each major turnaround points
  • Taho Station > I didn’t experience this at the finish line 😦 If they provide this I hope in the next leg there will be enough for all the runners
  • Medical Team > ambulance for medical emergencies are provided
  • Prize > trophy, medal and cash prizes were given to the top 3 finishers in both category
  • Special Raffle > lucky winner may win viking trail shoes from norphl
  • Loots Bag > freebies on paper bags (mineral water, banana, mini chocolates and soda)
  • Race Results > visit PIMCO’s FB page for race result

My opinion

Thank God I’ve finished this race without any serious injury. Although I’ve finished the race in 5 hrs. and 19 mins. I’m still proud on what I’ve accomplished and still hunger for more. This is my fifth trail run for this year and every trail runs I conquered, each one is totally different. This is what I liked in this kind of event. You learned a new lesson every time you finished the race and met new people that you can add in your circle of life.

This will not happen without the invitation from Sir Jared a.k.a. Supladong Irish. Because of him I was able to join such a great event like this. I owe you one Sir. Also, I would like to thank PIMCO, Team NORPHL, and all the sponsors who made this event very interesting and challenging. You gave us a trail to remember. I hope the 2nd leg has more to offer. I’m looking forward to run in the 2nd leg of this trail run trilogy.

Btw, the 2nd leg is happening on Sept. 1-2. Registration is now ongoing. Visit the PIMCO event site here for more details. Its better to register early to avoid inconvenience plus this will give you time to train for the coming event. If you missed the first leg this is the right time to bounce back and experience the beauty of nature. Congrats to everyone who finished the race! See you all at the 2nd leg!

Kudos for those who survive

Last Saturday, April 21, 2012 I was in Alabang with my running partner/sister, trying to survive another zombie infestation. This time it’s The Running Dead held in Palms Country Club. This is the second zombie run in the Philippines that I’ve participate with. I’m getting addicted so much in this kind of event that I got registered in that same event. The first zombie run was the Outbreak Manila and the recent was on last Saturday. I love this new idea of organizing a running event. It’s unique and not your typical running event. It has a challenging environment because you will not just run in trails and roads. There will be tri-Zombies in the field chasing you to death. How hard is that? Organizers today are giving the runners a whole new running experience that they will never forget plus the best part it is that the proceeds of this event will go towards helping junior triathletes.

Getting in the venue is not that hard since we’re from Cavite and the travel time is only one hour. We arrived in the venue an hour earlier before the race briefing starts so we have plenty of time to prepare. So we took the chance to roam around in the vicinity and look what’s stored for us. First, we had our photo-ops with zombies wandering around. There friendly and also open for a small talk. But when the race starts, their true nature unleashed. After that we changed for our running outfit and head-on to the stage (briefing area) for some helpful reminders and race rules.

After the organizers briefs the participants for the race, we are sent to the starting area and will be released by waves. The race starts at exactly 5:00 P.M. There will be four waves with 10 minutes interval and I was in wave 3. The game plan is simple, just like what I did on my last week zombie run. Stay in group, finish it early and STAY ALIVE! Of course to stay alive you have to stay in a group. Because that’s the only way you can keep you flags intact. That way you can escape as long as you don’t get the zombies attentions. My frequent experience in a running event is when your finisher’s shirt is not fit to you. I’m sure lots of you guys experienced this also that’s why my second game plan was to finish it early so that I can enjoy my well fitted finisher’s shirt without hustle to alter it. Lastly to finish the race with at least one health flag attached to you. You must do whatever it takes just to save that precious flag. It’s sad to finish the race without enjoying any prices because you didn’t manage to keep one flag. I know it’s hard to do that despite the relentless attack of the zombies especially the little ones (tyanaks). I remember one of my wave mates tumbles not far from the starting area because the zombie kids are blocking his way and they collide. Luckily no one is injured, just a minor bruises for both parties.

The race is too scary. I’ve focused so much in protecting my health flags and forget to take a picture while in action. I manage to take few and I guess you can relate on some of this. Running, screaming, begging, jumping, spinning and even crawling are some of the common moves I’ve done that day and manage to finish the course with two flags intact in 00:51:53 – 7K distance (result). Besides from the finisher’s shirt and goodies from the sponsors the participants are entitled for buffet dinner prepared by the Palms Country Club. Non-participants are also welcome but they have to pay 450php for them to enjoy the food inside.

I congratulate all the organizers, staff, volunteered marshals, crew, and the entire member of the tri-Zombie (SouthTri Team) for this wonderful yet scary event that you prepared for all of us.

Kudos for everyone! Thank you and see you next time! 🙂

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[more pics]