Friday, April 25, 2008

Subic-Clark-Tarlac Ultra Marathon

(Preparing for the long journey ahead)

The Pinoy Ultra Runners, (Neville Manaois, olive Cortez, jose De Vera, Andrew Chinalpan, Pen Nepomuceno, Jocelyn Saw and new recruits, Wellington Yao, Gilbert Mabasa, Raul Padillia, Al Viado, Paolo Punsalan and Dean Cunanan) arrived in Clark in preparation of the activities for 94k weekend to inaugurate the newly built Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway SCTex. Dubbed as the longest highway in the Philippines the Pinoy ultra runners were tasked to run the 94kilometer road. At exactly 4pm the team started its ultra marathon at the Tarlac toll gate, to make things more interesting we were tasked to start carrying a torch that will be rallied across the highway by different runners. The summer heat was draining the runners which slowed down the pace. At kilometer 25 the runners were doing their own pace pushing themselves to reach the halfway mark. As night time arrived and portions of the highway soon vanished in the dark making running a bit difficult. Most of the runners were just followin the white painted lines on the road. The repetitive view and the calmness of the surroundings also posed a huge challenge to the runners.

(Michael one of the many support crews that made the run possible)


(hehehehe Hero pose?!? Mabigat yung torch)


(Masaya pa dahil maaga pa eh)

(It was an enjoyable moment for new and old members)


(Walang magawa si Pao, Kata and Lizette mga support crews namin)

(Salamat Josaw)
Despite being veteran runners the team still encountered pains, difficulties and the usual “why am I here” syndrome. Reaching the halfway mark in Clark the team started to prepare for the 50km journey ahead. Devouring chicken and pork adobo the team nursed their legs in the cold road waiting for that burst of energy to continue. At the halfway point members took turns to weigh in. To no surprise some of the members lost 5 pounds of body weight while others still maintained its original weight. In the halfway, the team could never have made it without the numerous marshals and support crews of the pinoy ultra runners dragged all the way from the comforts of their gimmick back in Manila ”Salamat talaga sa inyo”. They made sure we drank Pocari Sweat’s, devoured meals and making us more miserable by sleeping or enjoying their hot meals. Team sponsors were also there making sure we were okay and our morale is high.


The lead pack slowly exited our pitstop and started to complete the 50km stretch. Olive, Dean, Willy and Gilbert, attacked hard in the front. The rest of the runners were still nursing the cold muscles and pushing down the adobo deep in their stomachs. The last part of the run was really difficult, the dark horizon, ghost stories from fellow runners and the cold winds were preventing a joyful run. Some of the runners were walking and enjoying the solitude and counting falling stars(my last count was 15). Support crews were working with the runners at every 2 kilometer distance. Most of them would play and ride the bikes and some of them would just enjoy the highway, by cooking, sleeping and just playing around the expressway.
(1st place Olive Cortez 2nd Place Willy Yao and 3rd Place Dean Cunanan Congratulations to you all!!!)

It was a humbling experience for all the runners. Time was very slow and we could see the stars and moon move in different corners. The runners were also amazed with the beautiful highway how it went through hills like laser beams of Japanese Animae hero’s hehehehe. It was really a marvelous feat of engineering. When sunrise arrived the whole area was alive again. Like any ultra marathons most of the runners found strength and started running like it was an ordinary training day. Around 5:30 am news erupted in the teams communication center that Olive reached the finish line and Willy was a few kilometers back along with Dean(Hare!!! natulog kasi) and Gilbert. Crossing the finish line in second place was Sir Willy who was still smiling and cheering. He arrived at around 7am completing the ultra marathon in 15 hours. Hot on his heels by a few minutes was Dean. Then Gilbert with an impressive finish soon followed in fourth place with full of energy to spare.

(Pinoy Ultra Runners with BCDA officials who made this run possible)

The 10kilometer mark greeted the runners and all were already exhausted and sleepy. By now the lead runners were resting and hydrating “ang lakas nila talaga”.The remaining runners were spread out in 15-30 minute distances as they approach the 2 kilometer uphill stretch. Seeing the toll gate the team celebrated, and was elated. The organizers created a resounding welcome, with media, local officials, a full marching band(this is a first for us) and dozens of spectators. The team was overjoyed and humbled by the experience. The new recruits were so happy since they have completed their first ultra marathon. For the veteran runners it was just such an amazing experience crossing the finish line. Like the ultra marathons in the past the team has organized and participated, the finish line was most rewarding since friends, relatives and love ones were all there happy and proud of our accomplishments. It was truly an unforgettable 94kilometer weekend.
(The best support crew, thanks guys wouldn't be able to finish without you)

(A truly amazing 94k weekend)

Thank you to all the people who helped and organized and gave us the opportunity to run the 94kilometer highway and be part of this historic occasion. BCDA, Media Meter, Subic and Clark. Our sponsors ROX and the North Face who was always present all throughout the teams ultra marathons and other projects. We couldn’t have done it without you. To the new recruits, Al, Dean, Raul your really amazing athletes, Doc Paolo, a terrific finish for your first marathon and ultra marathon, your program works, Willy and Gilbert, its been an honor running with you two. You’re the strongest runners in my book. Josaw and Andrew thank you for being there, Jose salamat nahatak kita ulit. Olive, tangal ka na sa team ang bilis mo hindi ito sprint group ultra marathon eto hahahaha. Your really fast. Pen… no comment hayup ka that was the longest walk I've ever done. Hahahaha. Congratulations you finished your 2nd ultra. The last lines of gratitude are reserved to our support crews, and most of all my head marshals. Michael (dami ko na utang sa iyo the best ka), Godfrey, Pao, Lizette, Kata, Macky, Fritzie and my brother Jonathan. It was an amazing marathon since you were all there. You are part of the team and we finished it because you were there. Congratulations Pinoy Ultra Runers a job well done. It was a memorable 94k weekend.

3 comments:

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BraveHeart said...

Hi, the protege of Bob Acosta you mentioned above is Cunanan, not Cunanana.

Ayos!

hirap-mag-run said...

Thank you changes have been made. My apologies for the lateness of my response, Pinoy Ultra Runners main blog has been transfered to www.pinoyultrarunners.multiply.com. Thank you very much for pointing the error.