Surviving the Mapawa Full Trail Marathon 2018

Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life. – Amy Poehler

This quote speak so much to me as I go back to what I have accomplished recently in the sport I never thought I’d ever venture on. So guess what?! I just finished a FULL Trail Marathon for the second time! This time the preparation was better compared to when I ran my first 42km Trail Marathon last year. Thanks to my team for consistently including weekend LSDs for weeks prior to the race and to Sir Celso Castillo Callo (C3) for helping me out with my training plan and for reminding me most of the time to train! Also for taking the time to have a pep talk with our team RunFree CDO 2 days before the race. We really appreciate your time and learned so much from all your tips that we all took seriously and applied at the race! Some even did your climbing technique stance :D. It all paid off definitely.

Team RunFree CDO – Race day

Pre-race Pep Talk Session with Sir Celso Castillo Callo – Tips, Thrills and Tricks for the Mapawa Trail Marathon – T3 with C3

I wasn’t the fastest, in fact I finished late than my projected time and got to the finish line right on the nick of time. But to make me feel a bit better, it wasn’t just 42km, most of my friends’ tracker read 45km so I guess my time still improved from my last year’s finish. Well anyway, I am not all about stats and recognition. I just wanted to finish strong, injury free, and prove to myself that I can do it! To be honest, I had so much reservations in this race. I wasn’t telling anyone but I was honestly clouded with doubts. Doubt if I can take another round, and doubt if I can finish it on time. I seriously doubted my own strength and ability to endure the race. Indeed, the demons in my mind crept in, nagging, wanting me to just give up without even trying! But what I am thankful for is having a team composed of determined people who does not back out on challenges. That’s why I am saying that the quote above speak so much to me. If it weren’t for the team who took the challenge and inspired one another, I wouldn’t have taken the biggest step to be in that race – the registration! To me, that was the turning point. It left me no choice but to train and prepare.

Mapawa proved to be a hard trail. You don’t wanna be there unprepared! The trail route required every runner to be physically, emotionally, and above all mentally tough to finish the race strong and in one piece. The open trails, the scorching heat of the sun, those technical downhill assaults, the peak climb, man! You cannot just underestimate it! I remember going to 4th aid station where we are supposed to take our lunch, I was becoming so weak! I wanted to give up already, it felt like it took me forever to lift one leg to step forward that I was thinking, man! I am so screwed! I thought I was gonna give up! But I have this friend tailing me, counting on me to pace us both and bring us to the finish line so I had to stay strong and keep moving forward no matter how weak and slow I will go. It was a relief to finally get to that koreano aid station and eat to refuel, freshen up, and quickly rest! I knew we were racing against time so from that point, I was more time conscious that I almost had to drag my friend whom I was pacing with out of the aid station so we can move along. That point nutrition proved to be a huge key in fighting long and difficult trail run races. From almost not being able to move my legs to step forward to running as fast as I could after that aid station! :D. Amazing arroz caldo and mountain dew! Hahaha!

Technical downhill before AS4

Monte Vista Peak – took me 15 mins to get to the peak, non-stop small steps ascending while my eyes wandered looking at the amazing view the ascend revealed

Soothing! No runner should miss a quick dip! It relaxes the nerves and cools you down giving you enough energy as you move along with the race

Tradition girls? We’ve been running the Mapawa Trails since last year!

The next 3 hours was exhausting, nerve wracking (cut off time! Cut off time! Kept ringing in my head!), and at the same time fun! Compared to last year’s race, the climb to the Monte Vista peak was more relaxing that I still got to enjoy the view and the wind blowing against my face as I ascend to the top. Thank you C3 and team for the tips in climbing peaks and battling uphill routes. I honestly enjoyed it! Sorry guys if it sounded unreal because your experience was excruciating, but mine was fun! 😀

Yes! I made it! Not my fastest race but I made it before the cutoff time. Thank you C3 for your training guidance, tips, and extra push!

Me and Globien crossed the finish line hand in hand! Good job girl! We did it!

So me and my friend Globien crossed the finish line 20 minutes before cut-off. Almost the same with my last year’s time. Didn’t break personal record but if it was indeed 45km, I think I just did break PR. Special shoutout to our ultra runners friends for being there! Especially Jona for pacing us 1km away from the finish line! She knew we were exhausted and could use the positive energy and extra push to get to the finish line! Thank you soooo much! As I said on my fb post-race status, this 42km finish is more meaningful and rewarding. Paced a dear friend to the end who ran her first full trail marathon and nothing beats the feeling of happiness & fulfilment crossing that finish line hand in hand being proud of her finishing the race strong!

2 out of 3! One more leg to complete the series. It’s gonna be a tough Ultra Trail 50 race! It was in that leg where me and my teammates got cut off on the 27th km due to time constraint last year! We vowed to go back and complete the task and by God’s grace we will do our best to finish this series strong!

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