April 29 – Endurance warriors toe the line at the Mapawa Trail Series’ first leg ready to experience and conquer the challenging trails of Mapawa Nature Park. More than a hundred of excited and dauntless faces showed up at the starting line in Mapawa Nature Park to take on the first longer distance challenge for this year’s Mapawa Trail Series. Though the Mapawa Trail Run have been around for the past 6 years, this is only the 2nd year for the Mapawa Trail Series where the event is composed of 3 legs (1st leg 5km & 21km in April, 2nd leg 10km &42km in July, 3rd leg 15km & the ultra trail marathon 50km in October). I have participated in last year’s series and was aiming to go for grandslam (meaning I had to finish the 3 longer distances per leg) but failed on my ultra50 attempt due to not making it on time in the initial cut-off. That was a tough blow for me and the team, but it gave us valuable lessons which we make sure not to commit this time on our second attempt.
This year, the Mapawa Trail Series made a huge improvement in terms of organizing the event. For one, the medal have improved (though we didn’t receive the finisher’s medal right after the race due to supplier’s non-deliverance of the ordered medals on time) but design-wise and material-wise, it improved a LOT!, and there’s the finishers shirt (we didn’t have one last year) which I love by the way because it made an emphasis on the “TRAIL” finisher on its design at the back. Every runner who crossed that finish line should be proud wearing that finisher’s shirt because what we went through in order to cross that finish line wasn’t a walk in the park. The abundance of water, drinks, and runners foods at every Aid Station was also a great help!
Another great improvement is Mapawa Trail Series teaming up with RaceYaya an online registration portal for runners and a complete race registration management portal for race organizers which made this year’s series very convenient and efficient from registration online, distribution of race kits on promised dates, to claiming of timing chips and registration during the race, tracking each runner, and finally the prompt availability of the race results allowing the runners to evaluate their trail run race performance. Shoutout to RaceYaya’s staff for a great job at the event – and being friendly and accommodating to the trail runners on the side.
Crossing the finish line! My second 21km trail run finish. My second time but why was I still emotional? It didn’t actually show because I am so good at hiding but deep inside I am screamingggg damn! that was tough!
at the Finish line with #YourRaceYaya friendly staff Sir Celso Castillo Callo
Got lucky this time! I won one of the raffle prizes from Salomon
Who would endure running on an open and hilly field on a summer under the scorching heat of the sun for hours? Only the crazy and brave trail runners registered at this event! 😀 This year’s 21km is way different from last year’s. It’s a loop trail compared to last year’s out and back route so runners have no idea what’s coming unless you’ve done the recon prior to race day. The 21km route was composed majority of uphill trails. Check out the elevation profile below so you will see what each runner had to battle physically before earning that medal and finisher’s shirt. Getting to each Aid Station was a struggle but fulfilling at the same time. First aid station was at 5km, second was at 11.5km, and the last one is at 18km. It took me 1 hour and 7 minutes just for that 5km trail to the first station. But hey! Uphill, remember? 😀 And then 1 hour and 30 mins for the next 6.5 km going to the second aid station.
I’ve created a short video compiling some photos before and during the trail and then short clips I could muster while on trail. I didn’t have the luxury to document a lot because I find it tasky to take out my phone and take videos. I’d rather run and finish the soonest time possible because it was getting awfully HOT!
My race summary by RaceYaya
I was initially hoping to beat my PR from last year but after doing the recon to this year’s 21km route 3 weeks before the actual trail run race, I knew it would be difficult to do that because this year’s trail route is much difficult than last year’s. I cannot really compare my race time from last year to this year due to the trail route difference but I am set to try my best to cross the finish line as fast as I could. I ended up getting there longer by few minutes compared to last year’s finish. I wasn’t disappointed with that though, though I know I could’ve done better. There were definitely things I can improve and would’ve avoided to finish the race earlier. But hey! Giving myself a pat on the back because I knew I had a great run. One thing I noticed since my trail runs last year, I have my own pace. A pace where most of the time I do not see anyone visible ahead of me or tailing me closely! Is that a bad thing? Hahaha! Guys! It sometimes gets creepy running in the mountains alone for a period of time. *crickets**
Racing with Team RunFree CDO
RunFree CDO with our friends from Bulua Joggers Club Ms. Globien and husband, Ultramarathoner Jhake, and triathlete Totax (at the back) who took the first place in the men’s category at 2 hrs 11 mins
Shoutout to my team who I ran the race with for completing the leg on time and injury-free! Yay for team RunFree CDO! You guys are amazing! Though we did not cross that finish line together because, yep, we have our individual goals and we ran in our own pace, I am glad that we all did it! There were 9 of us who ran the 21km and majority are not a stranger to trail running since we also joined last year’s series. We trained together and truly all our hardwork and efforts paid off! Thank you guys for the extra push! I also learned from each one of you and those learning helped me get through the race. So! Are we set for the next leg guys? Honestly while I was at the trail, a lot of demons crept into my head saying all the negative stuff and that included giving up trail running already because it is damn hard! But after the race, seeing my teammates beaming-with-happiness faces, I made that decision not to listen to that demon in my head and move towards the second leg of the series! Guess what that means? LadySoda is going to train harder so she can run the 42km smarter and with ease.
I praise God for the safe race. I was praying constantly during the race for God to give me His strength and push me to the finish line injury-free. All glory belongs to you!
Thank you Mapawa Trail Series for that hot & spicy trail route! It made your trail runners a bunch of badasses for completing that stage! See you in 3 months! 😉
If you guys are interested and want to give Trail Running a try, you can register online for the next leg happening this July 29th via RaceYaya (https://register.raceyaya.com/) . I believe registration is already open. Or you can drop by ROX at Centrio mall if you are from Cagayan de Oro. Follow Mapawa Trail Series on facebook too for updates.