When I become closer to different event organizers, it turns out to be one of the source of event information and it surprises me when Brooks was out last year, which was our topic with some of my friends in the running community who anticipates the event from them. February and early March this year (if I’m not mistaken) in conjunction with unveiling the new Brooks Transcend they introduced also their upcoming event dubbed as Brooks Run Happy 3 Cross- Country Challenge. It’s a trail run, definitely different from their previous races which are road racing.
I am humbled and thankful that Without Limits and Brooks have given me a chance to experience their comeback in the community. With my struggling first full marathon two weeks ago to a challenging steep hill, grueling trails and breathtaking views of Sierra Madre which I appreciated most last May 11, 2014 is the best to portray why I absolutely run happy! And I would like to share with you folks, a short race review of my Brooks Run Happy 3 experience.
Before the race:
Drive from Manila to Tanay, Rizal together with Franc Ramon, Sir James and Ms. These Orlanda is completely unstressed trip for an early call time of 0600am for 24k participants. Even I love to do trail running some of my difficulties is if I don’t have companions to go with that far, commuting early as 0200am is quite tough. Arrived at the venue Sierra Madre hotel approximately 0500am, we still have one hour to prepare our stuffs to be used in conquering the distance. My planned distance is only 16k since I’m still suffering from mild pains from my right foot. Everything suddenly changed from 16k I went to 24k as Franc Ramon keeps on encouraging me to join them in the said distance so I have no choice just to join them and given that I’m the only one in 16k among the group.
It was a cold morning that time reverse of Manila temperature, which is warm and humid. It was great to see some of my friends, teammates, organizers and the dedicated ultra runner Mr. Jerry Segarino on the event. And when we are about to unleash on the trails an organizing team head up all the participants what are those exciting trails and challenges waiting. At 0600 am sharp the race starts.
During the race:
The return of Brooks in the community is actually my come back as well on the trails. Lately, most of the races I joined are on the road. The greatest opportunity you get in trail running, it gives you a chance to be closer to nature and appreciates the kindness of our mother earth on having all of these things in our lives. From the captivating Mountain View of Sierra Madre, there are thousands of trees who are willing to give shade, enjoying the limitless fresh air that you weren’t able to experience in the metro, and silently flowing rivers will completely describe the perfect setting of the Brooks Run Happy 3 I witnessed those things as we traversed the 5km unlimited downhill combination of trails and concrete roads, once you failed to control your pace to keep on the track it will get you injured, roll on the route or worst fall down the mountain and see you on a U-turn slot. Next to that 5km downhill we crossed about 5 rivers below knee deep then all the way to the first U-turn slot where the falls is waiting. Unfortunately, yes, there’s a false but opposite of what we expected like a paradise looking type, the falls dried out. We have no choice but to continue the running and walking alternately until we reached the allocated second turning point for 24k runners.
From that area where about 11km almost the half-way of our distance we precede went back to the finish line, we passed again on the same route but the scenarios were definitely unusual. Runners saying “most challenging part of the race is finishing the remaining distance”, same what happened to us in the remaining distant – Franc and I struggled in conquering the 5km steep hills, for us to survive and avoid any injury circumstances from time to time we monitor our heart rates using our SUUNTO AMBIT and took a rest for a while then do it again and again until we reach the peak part of the hill Yes! We do enjoy crossing the rivers, especially Franc but after we saw the UPHELL route one thing comes to our mind, WALK. Walking on steep hills plus in the middle of heat is quite exigent and exhausting. In fact, to get rid out of thinking the tough challenge we just entertained ourselves by taking photos of Sierra Madre Mountain. And while passing the destructive hill we’ve met some runners who have the same complaints about the route, really tough and need to put additional efforts to surpass the heat and hill.
After eating the striking hills a tougher obstacle challenge waiting before we cross the finish line. Imagine, almost 22km run, walk on the trails in addition to complete the entire distance not to mention the usual obstacles plus two rappelling experiences and hiking skills to be able to go up the mountain and down straight to the finish line. It’s an impressive race; Brooks Run Happy 3 is beyond my expectations.
After the Race:
Crossing the finish line after four hours and forty nine minutes are absolutely to be proud of. I ran happily and finished the race happier! No regrets in changing my distance to unplanned longer distance very much satisfied.
Apart from sharing my trail running experience before, during and after – I would like to speak well of who made an effort to make the event more successful
Marshalls – I am curious about the race Marshalls particularly those who are located in the inner part of the route and near the mountain, are they residents of that place? If yes, I thank you Without Limits and Brooks for giving them an opportunity to be part of the event and giving them a chance to earn extra income for rendering their services as a race Marshalls. They are friendly and gracious.
Hydration Stations – Hydrations are overflowing along the route of cold water and Gatorade even tasteless except for the obstacle area. Staffs are accommodating.
Route – the route is tough and challenging, I suggest this route and elevation to those who want to strengthen their leg muscles and endurance.
Race Shirt and Finishers Medal – The quality is good.
The race, all in all – it was a great experience! Congratulations to Without Limits and Brooks for a wonderful event. You covered your nonappearance last year and I am looking forward for your next leg.
And my trail experience will not be as good and successful without the presence and help of my Suunto Ambit2 R, below are the records of my performance during the race provided by movescount.com.