Full Trail Marathon Unlocked

by pinksoda
mapawa elevation profile 2274m
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You guys know that I am so into strength/weights training because it brought me to this fitness level that I am in today. I never thought that putting in finishing a half marathon for this year in my bucket list could escalate like this that quick. My 21k or half marathon ambition was ticked off my bucket list then it led to another goal in the field of running. I shared about my first 21K trail marathon two months ago and I am not sure if I actually mentioned that the trail is a series composed of 3 legs scheduled 2 months apart each leg (21KM, 42KM, 50KM).

mapawa elevation profile 2274m
The 42K route

After completing the first leg (21km) last May, me and my team (RunFree CDO) made up our minds already to join the 2nd leg two months after. Having the Full Trail Marathon in mind, twice the hell-ish route we’ve experienced on the first leg, we did our best to prepare for it. We had our regular Sunday long runs taking routes which we thought would help us prepare for what’s to come on the race day, aside from our individual strength training at the gym or short weekdays run. And then! determined as we were to prepare for the marathon. we took our training a bit further by going farther! I meant literally farther from the city. We joined the Siargao International Marathon barely 3 weeks before the 2nd leg of the trail series. I’m actually glad we did because hard and technical as that Siargao route was, that definitely prepared our legs for the uphill climbs and downhill route at the trail.


Team RunFree CDO with Johanns (first placer in the women’s category) and Kenn

Race Day!

So finally, it was trail day! Being the first timer full trail marathoner as I was, I was honestly nervous before the gun. I looked around and realized probably I wasn’t the only one who felt high-strung. I knew these people prepared for this day but you know, nerves can get in the way. At the gun shot, I decided to take it slow, start slow because I know I have a long way to go. Of course keeping in mind the 12-hours cut-off time.


Ready or not, the race had to start!


at my 21st Kilometer…exhausted but we still have 21 more kilometers to finish!

That was definitely a very challenging trail. We started past 4AM so it was still a bit dark. The single-tracked muddy, slippery, and narrow trail path welcomed us as we made our entrance to the forest. I felt my headlamp’s light was not enough to light the path I was walking into. Thankfully I brought with me extra flashlight. I was thankful also to the company of my teammate Neil for staying with me for the most part of that trail. He wasn’t a newbie to trail running as he already ran the full marathon last year.

Check out video below to have a glimpse of what we went through during the trail/race.

There were number of technical downhills which I took very very carefully because downhills are my weakness, due to my right knee injury (self diagnosed šŸ˜€ :D). Apart from that, I have fear of heights, so looking from the top the downhill I have to conquer was nerve wracking! The unavoidable boulders and the oxygen draining peaks made the trail extra challenging! The hardest part of the race for me was when my right legs cramped while I was climbing one of the peaks. It was seriously painful but I know I cannot stop and end my race. I had to stretch my legs slowly while also also climbing the peak. Prayed all throughout the race to God for me to just finish it on or before the time. The cramps went away before I reached the peak. Thank God!

We just have to! We’ve been walking/running/climbing/crawling under the heat of the sun!

Each kilometer completed was a relief knowing that I am closer to the finish line each time my runkeeper application would give an update. I’ve endured running and climbing peaks under the heat of the sun and suffered from blisters pain on my last 10 kilometers. Although that was a hard trail, the beautiful view was a relief and a great reward especially the times where I reached the peak and get to see the beautiful scenery  from where I was. It made all the effort so worth it! And oh! The cold streams we passed through were lifesavers! We indulged ourselves in dipping into the cold water for few minutes before proceeding.

The last 4 kilometers felt like forever! I was feeling the blisters pain in both feet already that I thought the easiest and fastest way to get it all over with is to run my last 4 kilometers which I did! hahaha! crazy but yes! after 10 hours and 40 minutes I got to the finish line in one piece! The prayer never stopped really. I arrived 6th (women’s cat).

It was a tough trail and I almost resigned to the thought of not going to the last leg! But as expected my teammates are as brave, persistent, and determined! so yes! that won’t be my last hell-ish trail marathon! We are going to finish strong with the Ultra Trail Marathon (50K).

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22 comments

Johanns Cordita August 27, 2017 - 7:16 pm

You did great for your first marathon as well, mommy Emz! šŸ™‚
You might also try to put petroleum jelly on your feet esp on heels and in btween toes to prevent blisters.

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GiGi Eats November 7, 2017 - 2:41 pm

OMG THIS looks like quite the epic marathon if you ask me!!! Yowza! I just told my friend I felt like running one – but honestly, I probably never will, lol! GOOD LUCK!

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pinksoda November 9, 2017 - 3:44 am

Thank you! It was epic and very rewarding at the end. All the trainings, all the struggles paid off. You should definitely try running one :).

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Meg November 7, 2017 - 5:13 pm

Congrats! Definitely a challenging trail run & the pic/view from the top of the mountain ridge!! Insane!!

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pinksoda November 9, 2017 - 3:43 am

Thank you! It was a major achievement for me being a newbie to trail running :).

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Tara pittman November 7, 2017 - 7:19 pm

That was one long race. Did you get a chance to take any breaks? What about water breaks?

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pinksoda November 9, 2017 - 3:42 am

Crazy long plus it’s a trail. We have hydration packs with us and energy foods since aid stations are kilometers away/apart. At aid stations we get to refill our water bladder and fuel with food to keep us going :). We have time to beat though so we cannot stay at aid stations long.

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Kristen from The Road to Domestication November 7, 2017 - 7:42 pm

Congrats on a job well done! I love the picture of you guys in the water! I’m sure it helped to ease those tired muscles for a bit!

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pinksoda November 9, 2017 - 3:45 am

It did! We take quick dips into rivers whenever we pass by one to be refreshed and to recharge :).

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Claudia Krusch November 8, 2017 - 1:15 am

Oh my this is a major marathon to do. It would feel amazing to accomplish it.

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Akamatra November 8, 2017 - 7:58 am

Congrats on your achievement! I want to run the classic Marathon here in Athens – the original one- but I am not fit to try!

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gingermommy November 8, 2017 - 5:46 pm

Wow this is amazing! Congrats on completing your first marathon, that is such an amazing accomplishment.

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Mama Writes Reviews November 9, 2017 - 2:50 am

That looks like an awesome course! I’m still working on getting better at half marathons, but I think I’m going to add this to my marathon wish list!

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Tiffany Haywood November 9, 2017 - 3:00 am

This is absolutely amazing! I wish that someday I would have the courage, strength and will power to do something like this!

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Louise November 9, 2017 - 8:44 am

Oh, wow! It’s so cool that you managed to do this. Well done! I have a curved spine and struggle to walk very far, and it always saddens me a bit that I’d never be able to complete something like this. I love cheering other on though šŸ™‚

Louise x

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Natalia November 9, 2017 - 9:06 pm

This is such a great achievement! Congratulations and well done! And the pictures are just amazing and look encouraging for us to run a similar marathon too!

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Sabrina Fox November 9, 2017 - 11:19 pm

Yay! You did so good. I’m proud of you! I’ve never done a course like this, or even ran around a track for a full mile. Lol!

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Bernadette Callahan November 10, 2017 - 1:03 am

Looks like you had a BLAST! We did the Color Me Rad run here, as a family, a few years ago. The kids loved it. Everyone was hot and a mess but had fun nonetheless.
That course is pretty awesome looking too!

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Blair villanueva November 10, 2017 - 1:20 am

You are inspiring, i wish i could take a long marathon too.
Keep on running!

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Ron Leyba November 10, 2017 - 2:45 am

Wow! What a run! This is so amazing. Hope I can run that far!

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Anna November 10, 2017 - 11:28 am

This is very inspiring, we have a marathon here all the time. But I have never done it.

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Shannon Gurnee November 11, 2017 - 12:56 am

I’ve never ran a marathon before, but have friends who have. Looks like you did a great job and had a good time at this event!

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