I don’t know if I can make this race recap shorter than what my title implies otherwise. For some months I actually lost the will to write so I will be rusty and boring in this post. But hey 50k is running 50-Im-not-kidding-kilometers! It’s an awesome experience I wanna cry, as if running it isn’t a tear-jearker that MMK can only dream of.
The Samar Runners’ Club’s 50/50 50k++ Ultramarathon is an intense ultramarathon challenge in the heart of Samar in Catbalogan City. I am not new to the running terrains out there since I already did (and struggled) a 32k prior to CCM 2014. But there’s a saying that when you run there you won’t need any marathon training plans. Samar simply got tough and brutal roads, yeah pretty much makalag-lag kneecaps. I did have my reservations in joining this event especially with my general lack of preparations. But when I saw what’s in store for the finishers: well designed drifit tees, narra obelisk for trophies (Im a fan of symbolism), certificates as big as paintings (I’ll use that frame for a painting soon) and medals. And oh, heavy meals. I wondered why I even had second thoughts.
Fast forward to post-race: I should have trained like hell! TAGAM part! Hahaha. But seriously, its not much of a choice, since I was coming off an already overstaying injury on my right knee after CCM. I rested for two months and came back running again by summertime. I thought my half-assed trainings in Davao and Dapitan would help and prevent it from coming back but my laag modus fired back anyway. Nganong mi.enter? Lami man jud. So yes, injured or not, 6-packs or daddybods, I offer no excuse to my performance.
I finished in 9 hours and with one knee on ‘autopilot’ mode. Not exactly a strong performance for a consistent 5-hour marathoner. I’m blessed enough to finish it within cut.off time. Also I developed an ITB on that same problematic knee. Apparently, ITB, is the new girlfriend I have to take care of on the next few weeks. “That’s the thing about pain, it demands to be felt.” Some lessons are just learned the hard way. I disrespected (again) the distance and the terrain so this time I have to pay for the consequences. What matters now are I’m still in prime for position to make a great comeback, with sufficient training and enough sunburn and knee pain to remind to work harder and train smarter. So the question is how many hours I can shave from that 9 hours (Hey btw: 9 hours is a pretty descent time, I have some friends circling that time on 50ks. No offenses are meant.)
So now that I’ve share with you the uglier side of the story. It’s time to reward the readers about the good things I’ve experienced in this maiden ultramarathon journey. I actually love the whole experience. No amount of pain or injuries (or pricetags) can keep my love for running. For a guy who spent two months of recovery on dates I mean OTs at the office, the 50/50 was simply my ticket away from those dark days. Murag bag-o gisugot. hehe
So why did I really chose to join the a 50k Ultramarathon? It actually depends on where you look at. The short reason is, it’s already time for me to level up, though this summer was not really the right time based on my fitness level haha. Gara-garaon lage. If you want the borderline version, it’s because I do admire the Samar Runner’s Club from an organizational standpoint. I am connected with a few organizations in running art, business and in the accounting profession so I can distinguish a bullshit group from a great one. SRC, I believe, is a well-oiled organization of professionals and businessmen with an actual sense of mission for the sport and passionate leaders and yeah well designed uniforms hehe. That’s rare nowadays. The long version is my ultra running journey actually has an end game. I just want to do the 102 Bataan Death March as my own humble gesture to my fallen grandfather who died in that notorious Death March during WWII. BDM is something personal. After that, unfortunately, the plan is to quit ultra running because my lifestyle and the amount of training to prepare for an ultra is not really in good terms. Besides, I love painting and half-marathons too.
Haruki Murakami one’s said that when you’re out there running you’re either thinking about nothing or about everything. I’m on the latter category because I really think straight and clearly when I run. Last Sunday was not an exemption and given the long period of time I walked and run I can’t help but think about these five people:
5. The Mothers – last Sunday was the Mothers’ Day celebration and I’m very very blessed to have a loving and caring mother who is absolutely nothing short of great at raising the four metahumans for children, thus the Fantastic Four. Mom doesn’t really knew I was joining an ultra marathon in Samar because I never told anyone. I dont want them to worry and I dont want to travel and run with a heavy heart because I defied my parents, again. Lying is better this time. I believe she does not really approve of me being an ‘adis-adis’ on the road and I have long given up hope of making my parents understand why I do it and spend some spectacular amount of money for running. But difference is good. I love my Nanay no matter what.
4. CPA Examinees – last Sunday was also the start of the brain-busting May 2015 CPA Board exam. I’ve been there a long time ago and it was a good battle but never an easy one. Yeah with eight (8!) crazy demanding subjects that’s worth tons of books to study finally culminating into an epic 4-day 2-weekend exams, I actually have a reason why I’m crazy sometimes. That was fun though. Goodluck future CPAs and I really hope to meet you on the road and let’s share those experiences.
3. To her – OK this is mandatory (whether you guys admit it or not haha). Everyone loves to run for someone, I’m no different. Though some souls are better left alone and some hearts are just too broken beyond repair but sometimes accidents happens and someone will just come uninvited and wipe away that notions. It still a little early and there’s a good chance this is going to be an unrequited love but hey this one’s for her too. I am not sure if I can win her heart but I just prayed for her that she be continually be awesome, to not get sick and hopefully be strong enough to move out of the dark.
2. The Organizers – I wish they know how much I hated them out there haha. With that scorching summer heat and those torturing uphells and downhill suffering one will surely attest SRC are mad and sir Griv, the race Director, is really an evil man. Nganong mi.enter lage. But anyways I did enjoy the race. Hating is good during times of duress. I love SRC oi, they never really left us alone out there.
What really amazed me is that the organizers made the initiative to come up with a real-time tracking app! It’s innovative but not everyone sees it that way. Someone said upfront that it’s invasion of privacy. How immature. I never saw that technology used in the country. I remember Dalagan Tacloban used timing chips before and, boy, for a bloated fee it failed miserably and I’ll never know my time of my first half-mary. Major international marathons uses tracking and timing technology and I’ve got to experienced in its glorious form during the Singapore Marathon. My sister just tracked me using her phone to saved her precious hours of sleep because she knows where I am on the course when she woke up (and realized how freakin’ slow her brother is haha). Kudos to SRC for that innovation and may they forgive me because I’d rather not have nobody tracking my fatass, especially that day haha.
1. Fellow Road Warriors – this is a dedication to my fellow running buddies who shared the road with me on that fateful Sunday morning. To my TOES brothers and running friends wow walangya kayo after a 107 kilometer the previous weekend you still have the face and strength to run a 50k hehe. Recovery run, apparently, and I cant even chase them. To sir Sidney, who never left me all throughout especially when I lost the ability to run at kilometer 28 due to that damn injury. Thanks for tagging along with me, you’re a good brother. To the Jotojot couple: Aduana Pacer and Violet Runner, who came all the way from Cavite just to run the event, thanks for sharing the road with us. I know the travel time took a massive toll on your performances but hey we meet and finished together! I will never forget your resiliency and friendliness. Congratz and see you again.
Overall the race is a tough one, unforgettable in both levels of pain and fond memories. Oh of course I’ll be coming back again next year (or sooner). I really want to come back prepared and stronger. Again, big kudos to the no-mercy group SRC for one hell of a race! Not bad for a first time ultramarathon experience.
Photos courtesy from Samar Runners Club.