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A Walk Happy Tour at Brooks Trail 102

Posted by on 18. July 2018

Brooks Trail 102

Brooks Trail 102 is my dream event as a runner and part of the event team.  It’s more of giving back to the trail community and a great way at sharing the passion for the trails. 

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Brooks Trail 102

Brooks Trail 102

Circle of Support – That’s how I see the direction of Trail Academy.  There should be a mutual support among participants, organizers and brands for an event to thrive.  We are really thankful that it turned out that way as we got the full support from the title sponsor, Brooks and other major sponsors like Drymax Socks, Gu Energy Gels, Sanctband Resistance Bands, Amihan Sports Gear, Lightwater, Vitamin Boost, Emco Musli, Suntrust Properties Inc and Smart.  The event is a co-presentation between Pinoy Trails, Active Pinas and Team Malaya with John Hay Management Corporation as the venue partner. I’m beyond blessed to have partners to mount an event like this.

With Stephen of Team Malaya, Zaldy Bello of JHMC, Don Santillan and Eric Tipon of Active Pinas

Trail 102 is a follow up from Hoka Trail 101 and we’re just happy to share our passion for the trails.  We started our quick setup early morning before the opening of registration at 6 am.  We’ve upgraded the topics for Brooks Trail 102 with Brooks Ambassador Don Santillan sharing insights on race preparation, weather management and nutrition while also getting inputs from Female Champs in Sandi Menchi and Aggy Smith and local athletes in John Amio and Carlo Funtanilla. Stephen Felices of Team Malaya also shared on trail etiquette and plogging.  Don handled the run fast group, while Stephen handled the run happy group.  I handled the walk happy group.  It’s good to note that a lot of runners have moved forward to the moderate and fast category from the walkers wave in Trail 101.

Photo by Active Pinas

Walk Happy

Walk Happy

I also had the kids as part of the walk happy wave as we had kids as young as 7 years old getting their feet dirty in the trails.  We started our walk after both the fast and moderate groups were in the trails.  We were using the same route from Trail 101 but given that it was raining the past few days, it’s totally gonna be a different experience.  We actually welcomed the different situation just to send the message that trail running is an all-weather sports.

We really wanted to keep the walkers wave just to encourage non-runners to just get the feel of the trails.  Trail time even walking can help give you familiarity on the different trail surfaces.  We headed to the lower part of  the Yellow Trails and we were welcomed by the mud and the slippery surface.  I told them to keep safe and remain aware of their surroundings and the different surfaces.  Be on the look out for rocks, twigs and rougher surfaces that they can use to counter the sliding momentum on the trail.

We had several huddle sessions on the trail just to emphasize the approach on the trail.  The first past was slow and dragging as we had to pass by soft muddy surfaces.  After a kilometer, the trail surfaces were much more solid so were able to pace more consistently on these parts.

It was encouraging to see kids in the trail.  One of the participant from the previous trail 101 brought her sister, mom and friend to get a feel of the trail.  The youngest participant we had was 7 years old.

It was easier to manage the group as we were able to pace at the same time.  We explored the lower part of the trails and inserted some huddle sessions in between.

We’ve reached the fire roads leading to the fork in Camp John Hay, where we caught up with the moderate who got a good insights from Sandi and Aggy.  They also went up to the steep climb.  We were supposed to skip the steep climb but the kids wanted to climb.  At first, I asked Del to accompany the kids to climb the steep part but after seeing them, I also wanted to climb to so I went up as well.

The view after the steep climb

The climb and descent was challenging especially with the wet soil but we managed to safely finish this section.  The next set of trails were downhill trails leading to the longest part of the climb.

I had to huddle the group after the descent as the next part would be the longest climb for us.  It’s about 300-400 meters with 20-30% gradient.  I said let’s divide the climb into shorter segments.  We counted 30 steps before a short rest and then proceed for the next set of steps. The steeper the gradient the more exhausting it gets.  The kids were running on some portion, which also meant they were more exhausted after each set.  I was teaching them to conserve energy for the climb.

The top of the climb was the fork at the US Embassy and the rest should be easy. The Run Happy group was on their way back and we let them pass us as it would be more difficult locating each other if we get mixed with other pace groups.  The rest of the route was flat with slightly rolling ascent. The surface was also a bit drier so it was easier to move.

It was routine for the remaining part except for the short muddy stretch towards the end.  We then made our way back to the event area where we enjoyed our Lightwater / Vitamin Boost, Musli and freshly brewed coffee.  We wrapped it up with a raffle and one last group photo.

See you in Trail 103

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