Registration: 3 – They placed their registration areas in their concept shops from Trinoma Mall (QC), Market! Market! (Taguig), Festival Mall (Alabang), Marquee Mall (Pampanga) and Ayala Center (Cebu). This should be 5 as you can also register even if your from the Visayas. I just hope that the race packet are already available once you register. I came thrice to Market! Market! just to get my race packet. Hassle for me as I come from Laguna. Thanks still the staff are very accommodating. They also limited the participants which is very good to make the event manageable.
Singlet: 4.5 - Superior material used for the singlet except that the lower part is quite wide, I would like it more body hugging. nice choice of color. Maybe next time they should put a date on the singlet design.
Starting Time: 5 – They started on time. Bad me as I came to the event 5:50am. No time to warm-up.
Route, Markers and Marshals: 2 -They promoted this run to have difficult trails, some boulders, river-crossings, and a breathtaking outdoor landscape. Well it is a very difficult course.
I tried the 15K- the first kilometer is a steep uphill then going down would lead you to the mountains where you cannot overtake runners in front of you. Then a series of sands where you will find it difficult to run. River-crossing? Prepare to get wet, I lost count after crossing 6 rivers. The last kilometer was the most challenging of all, you will jump from one big boulder to another.
Three words to describe this course: punishing, hardcore and dangerous. I think the denuded mountains are not that scenic and breathtaking as they said in the promotion.
First Kilometer: tough and steep uphill
First turn-around point, going down was knee-punishing.
Into the mountain- hello bushes, roots, dried, rocks in every sizes, leaves etc.
Single-file only, overtake at your own risk
Patience is a virtue. Again, overtake at your own risk!
“Unrunnable terrain” Mountaineers have their edge on this. Luckily, I conquered a lot of mountains before ‘running.’ This should be called “Run, Hike, Trek, River-cross Race”
Gravel, sand, dirt, expect the worst!
Get wet, plunge into the water
The last kilometer: The hardest part
There are no kilometer markers, just tarpaulins and ribbons to guide the runners. There are enough marshals but most of them do not know what they are doing.
One conversation with the marshals along the way is something like this:
James: (After about 1:30 hours of running) “Sir, malayo pa po ba?”
Marshal 1: “Malayo pa, doon pa yun.” (Very helpful indeed)
James: (After 1:45 hours of running) “Sir, mga ilan kilometro na?”
Marshal 2: “Malapit na” (Very helpful indeed)
James: (after 2:00 hours of punishment): “Sir, malapit na ba?”
Marshal 3: “Malapit na.” (Again, very helpful.)
So I decided not to ask question from them until I reached the finish line at 2:19:25.
I also learned that most 5K runners got lost, no marshals at that particular point. They were there for around 15 minutes or more. The reason why most of them didn’t get the finisher’s medal because there’s a cut off time: 15K (2:45 hours); 5K (1:10 hours); and 3K (40minutes).
Some 5k Runner get lost
Start/Finish Lane: 4 – Large chutes for everyone, clock is very visible but is for 15K runners only.
Runners getting ready for the gun start.
Restrooms/Change Area/Baggage Area: 4- Enough for male and female participants. A wash-up facility was also available after that grueling adventure race. Enough water for washing dirty shoes and even taking a bath.
Water and Aid Station: 3 – I just hope that water stations are placed every 2 or 3 kilometers especially for the 15K. Good thing I brought my hydration belt I just used the water to cool my head. The village folks offered water to some runners. Thanks!
Freebies and Finisher’s Medals: 2 – Freebies include a Merrell bag, P500 off coupon when you buy shoes from any Merrell outlet and a bottle of 100plus. I got my finisher’s medal but the back of it was just a poor “15K sticker.” I hope its also carved like the Merrell Adventure Run on the front and more freebies after that ‘killing” trails.
Photos/Race Results: 2 – I already sent them a message regarding the race results. Until now there is no official result. Good thing I looked at the clock as I cross the finish line so I got my unofficial finish time.
Over-all Rating: 3.2
I came, I saw, I conquered 15k! YEAH
My reward for this race: 4 blisters, 2 scratches (knees and legs), a finisher’s medal and meeting bloggers (below):
Special Mention: Thank you very much Jai and Madz for the pictures. You can check out more pics from Jai’s Multiply Site.