Hoka Torrent FKT50 – Muspo 2019 Trail Run Race Report

“The more you sweat in training, the less you bleed in combat.”- Navy Seal_s

Hello again friends from the blogosphere! I’m here again for another trail run race report. I know it’s been quite a while so I hope this is gonna be worth your time :). The last ultra trail run race I did was 4 months back – the Cordillera Mountain Ultra which was challenging for me at my level. Not a pro and fast trail runner, I am just your girl who wants to safely finish every race I sign up 🙂

So this blog post is all about the 2nd ultra race I did this year, the Muspo 50km by Hoka, the brain child of a good trail runner friend Philip. This is this year’s first 50km edition as his first race last January 2019 was just a full marathon (42km) which I missed because I was preparing for my CMU race. As usual it was a last minute decision to sign up for the race – last day of the early bird rate promo (May). Thankfully we went back to trail running 2 weeks after resting from our race in Cordillera, so I was still good – training wise.

I signed up with my teammate and friend Pla and we made plans for the trainings we will do to prepare after signing up. We are not pros, we are just your average trail runners who simply want to conquer ourselves in each race and finish injury free. So April to June was more running, and weekends were reserved for training in the trails, climbing hills, running downhills, taking on muddy terrains, under the heat of the sun with some boxing and gym workout occasionally for cross-training.

TO VALENCIA CITY (BUKIDNON)

We got to Valencia Bukidnon Friday night and race day is still Sunday (3:00AM) so we still have plenty of time to rest and just relax before race day. Took the bus around 4:00PM and got to Valencia Bukidnon past 7 in the evening, raining! We were starving so we dropped by the bus stop for a quick dinner before proceeding to our home for the night.

Sharing some Saturday – pre race day photos. Race kit claiming and race briefing.

Tinola on a rainy night plus barbeque
Saturday – waiting for check-in at GV Hotel Valencia before heading to race briefing and race kit claiming
Saturday Breakfast at Kambigan – love their food!! Very affordable too
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Cordillera Mountain Ultra – Bucket List Ticked Off

“Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway”

Chose that quote to open this post because that’s how I exactly felt at my recently concluded Cordillera Mountain Ultra race in Tinongdan, Itogon Benguet. CMU50 has been a bucket list since I started trail running. We wanted to join 2018 but we were not able to push through so we put it off a bit as we were also not prepared.

Then 2019 schedule came out and we were on it again, wanting to tick off that trail run race bucket list! I was really skeptical, no, actually scared at first. I had tons of apprehensions and was too scared to go out of my comfort zone. I have this issue of doubting myself even before I do something I want to do (good). Thanks to teammates and friends who are strong-willed, persistent, and confident, who included me in the registration and paid it ahead. I was left with no choice but to train and suck it all up! No turning back now! We knew we were up against a tough race because hey! it’s Cordillera! So we trained the best way we can and the best way we knew how.

One week before race day, after my last cardio training, I GOT SICK! I knew it from the symptoms that I will be having a flu and I was anxious because it would usually take me 5 days to a week to fully recover. So instead of doing taper runs for the week, I ended up staying at home and in bed for the most part of the week just resting. I must’ve consumed all the vitamin C in the world just to feel better!

Met with Sir Toni and C3 in Manila before we took our bus to Baguio

I flew to Manila with my friends/teammates still not feeling well (2 days before race day) and met some friends there before heading to Baguio. We arrived at Baguio 3AM Friday with no reserved accommodation from anywhere. Plan was just to have breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins (That Thing Called Tadhana keshe!), and then market for foods to bring in Tinongdan. We walked along the session road to look for an open establishment for coffee and stayed at Burnham Park until 7:00 in the morning then headed to Elena’s friend’s place to leave our bags before hitting the wet market. And we are all set to our race destination!

Breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio with my girls

Going Tinongdan

This year’s CMU race commenced at Tinongdan, Itogon. Tinongdan is the second largest barangay in Itogon, Benguet and is one of the tourist destinations in Cordillera with Mt. Ugo as a popular destination among mountaineers and trail runners. We were informed ahead that there will only be one trip going to Tinongdan daily via Jeepney and it leaves before lunch. We of course made sure we get to the terminal before 11 in the morning to ensure a seat. The jeepney left Baguio almost 2pm! Can’t imagine we waited almost 3 hours just sitting there :D, patience is virtue mga dhai!

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Ultra Trail 50 and Grand Slam Quest Sealed

Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must, just never give up!

The quote spoke life to me because I literally did all of those at the end of my grand slam quest of the Mapawa Trail Run Series 2018. Less than a week ago, I was able to redeem myself from my failed attempt to earn a grand slam finish last year. The recent Ultra Trail Fifty finish was truly one for the books for me. It was very memorable as it brought me from my lowest to lowest to my highest to highest physically, mentally and emotionally. Me and my team prepared for it, we trained hard, made Mapawa our training and playground for almost 2 months. I personally had guidance from a seasoned ultra trail runner so I was kind of confident that I’ll make it to the Finish Line in one piece this time. Goal was to finish strong but first get pass through the initial cutoff (9 hrs) as it was at this point last year that our 50km race ended then be at the finish line before the cut-off.

Race day, we were more excited than nervous. It was great to see friends from the growing trail running community in Mindanao, most of them I just see on Facebook. Personally met some elite trail runners too and also met new friends.

Pre-race chill! Good friends (ultra runner Kai) and Elena while waiting for Gun start

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