“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
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!