The Dramas, The Bloopers, The Race in Review along Laguna de Bay and the One Who Brought Us to the Finish Line

The Laguna de Bay Ultramarathon Relay I believe was the first of its kind in the country, or if not, it gave us runners, the many firsts in our running life.

THE DRAMAS AND THE LEARNINGS

It was all our first time to join a relay.  I’ve joined some during sportsfests but those required me to run 200meters only.  We really do not know what is in store for us.  We planned and prepared the necessary requirements like food, hydration, medicine, supplies.

THINGS WE FORGOT

  • We failed to consider the travel time due to traffic in each transition.  It is critical that we know where the traffic areas are.  We had an idea but we still underestimated it.  Since we did not receive a detailed map of the route beforehand, we were guessing the routes that the runners would take especially the Tiende to Sucat and Sucat to SM Sta. Rosa.  This caused us a lost of 15 minutes at transition no. 3 on day 1, my own leg.    Macky, Flash Forward’s runner 1 also had to run with no hydration and relied on the lone water station.  We were supposed to drop them off at the stations along the route but we didn’t see any.  We took our sweet time at the last leg of day 1 thinking we are in the province already.  We didn’t know that Sta. Cruz traffic is as bad as Manila.  (add to that the ongoing campaign rallies and Flores de Mayo).  This caused us to miss Jerry’s finish.  We got lost going back to Tiendesitas, had we clarified if we are taking Floodway or Otigas then we could have seen our last two runners before they were swept.
  • The heat of the sun would not allow cold water to last a kilometer.  On day one, we were practically drinking lukewarm water and bathing in them.  But who am I to complain, some runners did not even have water for more than 9 kilometers.  We made adjustments on day 2, even the organizers deployed more Maynilad trucks.

Bonding Experience/Teamwork

We were two teams in the relay.  We had an alliance though in bringing runners to transition points.  One car drops off, the other car picks up.  The travel was fun though stress levels were high.  We learned more about each other even the smallest details like Loo eats only cheese wiz spread, Jerry likes regular, Mark prefers bacon spread (so he was tasked to prepare it).

Concerns for each others was there.  I was touched when the boys told us that they got really worried when they saw our route on day 2, they even considered to DNF so we won’t be at risk.  Its a double H, hot and hills! BR even referred to it as the most difficult leg in his blog.    Jerry and Iah was like protective brothers dosing us with water along the road.

Strategizing were done right there and then, targets revisited depending on the outcome and risk that each leg pose which we discovered only during the actual race.  Despite it all, we sticked to our own objective for joining – that is to enjoy!  With that, it is easy to accept each difficulty or failure encountered.

We made decisions along the way, individually, but we ensured we understood each other.  I guess the trust is there that we know it is for the better when one makes a call.

We all are different personalities but we clicked!  I love you team!

And we laugh at each others’ bloopers…Pero parang most of it are mine.

THE BLOOPERS

Some of it:

Day 1, Leg 2 Transition 1.

Laya: Yan na ba? (jumps of his seat, prepares to run…then learns it is not yet Loo) —– he did this since runner 6 or more Iguess.  We were the 18th runner then.

Day 1, Leg 3, Going to Transition 4.

Gerry: Siguro mamaya dalhin natin sa ospital

Tin: Oo nga, paxerox na natin ang tuhod niya…

Laughter….

Iah: Pa-xerox na tayo ng ulo after….

Day 1, Leg 3 on the way to Transition 4.

Tere: I will pin your bib na…
So here is my bib number, competitive huh! Tere wants us Disqualified ha!

Tere trying to have as DQ'd hehehe as we were on 11th place and their team is 13th at this point.

Day 2, Before Leg 1:
Iah: (while holding the grocery basket and I am putting in the Gatorade) Tin, purple sa akin.
Tin: okay (puts in pink)
Iah: Tin, purple
Tin: Ah okay (puts in pink)
Iah: Tin, purple
Tin: Ah okay (puts in red)
Iah: (puts down the basket) Tin, eto ang purple
Bakit kasi walang fuschia na Gatorade!
RACE IN REVIEW
Pros
  • Great and new challenge
  • Nice route (except for Sucat, C6 could have been a better option)
  • Many marshals on each transition (Better if they dispersed some to intersections)
  • Well-supported and well-funded (big cash prizes, we even got P5K for surviving the feat!) It could have been nice though if the towns we passed by would have their own support/gimmick.  Cheers along the road is a big booster…
Cons
  • Lack of water, the water support was unable to cope up with the traffic.  The lead packs especially were not covered causing a collapse of one runner
  • HOT water, no ice available
  • Medics not equipped – The medics at Transition 2 has no ice for compress, no splint, nothing! Oh, except for a BP and lots of people in the tent in uniform.  They asked us to keep Laya inside the tent, we asked for cold compress and they’ve got nothing.  Oh, what are you gonna do just clean the knees of Laya with cotton when there was no single bruise.  The medics/ambulance in Jalajala also arrived to attend to a dehydrated runner-no doctor, no oxygen, but there is a bed.
  • Food was O-kay…There were food served at the stations, supply was fine but not sure if it’s just me but I was just relying on our own supply of food.  On day 1, we weren’t able to buy lunch as planned due to the traffic so we were excited to eat the free dinner which was a small serving of rice and tilapia.  Worst is we don’t know where else to eat so we just took a rest after…
  • Confusing Rules-
    • First they told us they will sweep at 330 at transition 4, after a few minutes and when our runner 5 have run 6k, they got their word back
    • Second they sweep at 5pm, when 12 hours should be 5:30.
    • It was promised that each motorcycle would have 12 bottles of water and we can give our hydration to them.  Ours did.  The motorcyles of the elites did not and told them it’s not allowed on day 1.  At the last transition, another marshal prevented Iah’s motorcycle to bring hydration.  Weird huh!
  • A detailed map should have been released or at least a description of where to turn to on major intersections.  The signage are non-existent especially on Day 1, legs 1 and 2.  And the motorcycle do not really know the route.
  • A separate category for non-elites.  The cutoff time was really unbelievable.
Congratulations to the organizers! Job well-done, there are some points for improvement but the positive attitude and immediate adjustments made on day 2 is admirable.
LASTLY, I would say, no matter what preparations we’ve done, the two day-feat was accomplished to bring back the glory to our God.  All the obstacles and dangers are there, but we were protected.  Laya sustained an injury but it was not that worst, he was still able to run the following day but at a slower pace.  This paved the way for Laya and Nam to pace to bring each other to the transition points, allowing us to be at the same pace throughout the end.  We cursed the traffic but it actually allowed us to see Carlo sitting on the road helpless with an unbearable cramps on his legs…I could go on and on….our prayers were answered! We are unscathed and victorious, we had the best race of our lives!

Categories: Race Reports

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8 replies

  1. nice chronicle of the race.. i read all three. haha i think i saw you nga sa sta.rosa area day1. saludo ako sa mga tumakbo dito, kung nagsimula sana ako ng maaga sa running, napasali ako dito. congrats!

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  2. Nabaliw while reading. Winner: “pa-xerox and tuhod” haahahaha!

    CONGRATS Tin!

    lol, maridol-it’s not contagious, don’t worry! baka di ka na mag-train sa ultra….

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  3. sumakit parin ang tiyan ko sa katatawa, partner! dapat pala talaga mag part-time ka sports correspondent 🙂

    really happy to have been part of this amazing journey…

    love you, partner! love you, team!

    i forgot pa the expired noodles and the bulb-changing part. si rene desuyo kasi starring dun.

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  4. two words to describe your experience—awesome!…amazing! you dared to fight and you become victors after the two-day battle on the road. good job & congratulations to the two teams. let us prepare for the second edition!

    yes, BR! second edition, wait for our revenge! hahaha..congrats again!

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  5. it was one heck of a feat. good job! we’re migty proud of you, Tere and the boys.

    could not have been possible if not for you girls! thanks for the refill of gatorade and the decent lunch and suman! and the PICS!

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  6. I probably looked like a fool laughing while reading this on my bb. 🙂 Hehe. Great account of what happened Tin! The organizers should read this when planning their 2nd edition. I also did not see any band playing along the route as promised. That would’ve been a good booster.

    Yes, i remember, there was a promised band…

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