GRIT 2018 is a race to highlight women empowerment. It’s also to support Sandi Menchi’s journey to her upcoming international race in Scotland. I joined the short but sweet 6K route which was a tour of Eastridge’s Bike Trails.
Girls Running in Trails
Let’s start with the girl of the show, Sandi Menchi. She’s bound for Salomon RIng of Steall Skyrace in Scotland next month and part of the proceeds would support her journey. Sandi’s among our top trail runners in the country and last year’s GRIT paved way for her strong showing in UTMB-TDS Distance race. I joined the 6K Sub-Sandi category but I’d want to think that I joined the 6K Individuals instead as the Sub-Sandi categories were filled with mamaws. The Sub-Sandi category was a special category for men in an all-women race.
I haven’t done a race this short when it comes to trail races but I must say, it can be as tiring as the longer runs. Sometimes, when you feel like resting, you’re reminded that it’s just a 6 kilometer race and you can exert more effort. Not as fast as I wanted to but stayed consistent throughout.
More than just a race, GRIT was also a chance to meet friends in the community; as well as, share the time for people who share the same passion. Great job for Race Yaya for coming out with this concept and I’m glad that you have invited me to your event.
Let me describe the starting line. Sub Sandi included the Wawa Boys and Team Run Heya and then me and Rene. Running at the same time would be the female 6K individual. We’re obviously out of place in the Sub Sandi wave since we’re not fast and the speedsters in front of me would finish about half an hour ahead of me. The plan was to let the speedsters go and just go with the flow for the 6K individual participants.
There was a short hill at the start. I started running on the road stretch before entering the first set of single tracks at the trail head. The pace was a bit lighter as I was following the pace of the group in front of me on the single track. This led to the next set of trail after passing the aid station and it was wider trails so I resumed running.
At about a kilometer into the race, I felt that familiar pain on my shin when ever I start too fast before my muscle gets warmed up, Shin Splints!!! I wanted to stop just to stretch but since this was a short race, I’d just bear with the pain until my legs gets warmed up and feel better. I shifted to brisk walk pace just to keep a steady pace.
The trails were on the ascent but the climbs were moderate so I didn’t really have to stop to rest since I can rest on the flatter areas. Since I was just brisk walking some of the runners were overtaking me and I’m used to it by now. The climb lasted for the first two kilometers and we enjoyed several overlooking views of the mountains.
There were several viewpoints to appreciate. It started to get warm towards the 3rd kilometer and you can feel it on the open trails. There was a wooden bridge in the middle of two rocks to cross. It’s a bit of a struggle walking on wood especially with the short drop but all added to the fun of the race.
My legs also felt a lot better the second half of the race. It got dizzying at kilometer 3.5 with the course shifting looping switchback “bitukang manok” kind of trails. I started moving better and was able to pass a few runners along this stretch. The area all looked the same so you’d get the feeling that you’re going around in circles. I’d take note of even small changes in the course like if its a bit muddier than the last part just to make sure I’m moving forward and around.
The lower part of the trail was a lot muddier and after a muddy stretch comes another wooden ramp bridge. It’s now a lot more slippery with wet shoes. Exciting, Right? After this stretch it was several muddy routes before the climb back to the starting area. As we made our way back to the road stretch, we had one last wooden bridge ramp to climb before heading to the finish line. That’s my weekly dose of dirt at GRIT 2018.