Never underestimate the distance. That’s one of the few lessons I learned running the 11k trail run at the recently held The North Face 100 PH in Benguet. After running the 12k trail at the Salomon Xtrail in Subic a couple of weeks before, I thought it would be easier for me to get a better time here. My goal for this 11k run was to finish strong, at least on the upper half on the overall ranking. I never thought that this shorter would challenge me that much though.
I just realized that this is my 3rd participation in the Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas. This 2016, Salomon brings us to where they started the annual tradition sharing trail love which is at the mountain and hills of Subic Bay. I wasn’t there when they debuted the race so it was an amazing opportunity to see why they chose to go back at Subic, Zambales. I really liked the coastal trails and views of the previous trail runs at Hamilo Coast and Anvaya Cove so I was excited to see how the forest trails fare as I heard it’s quite technical. Four categories again for Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2016 – the 6km and 12km Road to Trail Run and the 24km and 32km Mountain Run. I decided to stick with the 12km Road to Trail Run as I wanted to get better time from last year and second I didn’t have a long preparation.
Runners these days have it easy. With a multitude of wearables lately, gone are the two-fingers-on-wrist pulse count for the heart rate method as these new wearables can instantly show information such as heart rate, distance, elevation, pace and calories burned at ease. Runtastic GPS Watch and Heart Rate Monitor is the offering from the famed Runtastic Apps brand. I reviewed their other wearable Runtastic Orbit which is a cheaper fitness tracker. The Runtastic GPS Watch has more features for people seriously starting or are already into running.
I wanted to push myself further. I wanted to see if I could run the 21km distance after running many 10km already. When I read that there would be a road-trail marathon in one of my favorite places in the country, the Cordilleras, my eyes lit up and the thought of running in the mountains amidst rice terraces and catching the sunrise on the trail made me excited. With a little more prodding from friends like Christine of JovialWanderer who also signed up for the Banaue Batad Marathon, I thought, hey now I got a companion for the race there’s no reason not to go. Whatever happens on this race, my main goal was to finish the half-marathon as an added experience. Little did I know I would be exceeding my expectations in this event.
It was Quanta Paper Corporation‘s first foray in organizing a fun run. Known mostly for their eco-friendly hygienic products like tissue rolls, papers, diapers and sanitary pads, their fun run’s main advocacy is “Sustainability” thus the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle for the title R3Run. The R3Run for Sustainability attracted quite an attention for its very affordable price of Php 250 in all categories (1k, 4k, 8k and 12k). The starting venue is Blue Bay Walk Pasay. The run would mainly go along Roxas Boulevard and since I can’t remember the last time I ran there, I got excited and registered for 12k since I was at Toby’s Shangri-la already.
It was the cheap price that attracted me to this fun run. Nowadays in the time when fun runs would charge about Php 500 up, it would let people think twice on joining. The Energen Healthy Run 2014 only cost Php 400 for a 10k run. It’s quite a rarity so I decided to sign in since the run would be at BGC in Taguig which is close to my place, and I was near the registration area which is the Reebok store in Megamall. I got race kit immediately after registration. Simply the race singlet, only free-size available, and the race bib. The singlet was just okay in quality though but since it’s just Php 400, I just shrugged it off, what’s important is it fits fine.