Distance: 10K (Actual 11K) with Obstacles
Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Date: August 26, 2012
Pace: 10 minutes per kilometer
No Surrender is the first leg of Immuvit’s Fearless Challenge which featured an obstacle trail run with 5K and 10 Categories. I attended the media launch as a representative of Total Fitness and after seeing the video of the type of race, I was definitely IN. Initially, I had targeted the 5K category since this would be my first trail rain but later on decided on taking the 10k challenge instead (Pre Race blog here). I know that this would be a real challenge but what’s life without challenges to hurdle, right? Also, with Immuvit being one of the team sponsor, I guess this would be an excellent test for taking their supply of vitamins everyday. La Mesa Nature Reserve would really be a scenic route so this is one tough yet visually enriching treat.
Race Route and Elevation
Fire Jump Photo by Rodel Montejo
This one is one tough route which had runners starting on a downward path in the first half kilometer before the route get rolling in the next 1 and a half kilometer. After the second kilometer as you go deeper in the nature reserve, you get to start around 70-80 meters climb until midway the 4th kilometer wherein you hit the peak of the La Mesa Route. The race now moves to the other side of La Mesa Nature Reserve. You then start your descent going to a stream of water at midway the 7th kilometer wherein it leads you to 20 feet climb in a mud wall. The race gets muddy after the mud wall and goes on a slippery descent until the 8th kilometer before the last climb to the finish on muddy paths til the 11th. Yes, the 10K challenge is actually an 11K race. It’s really hard to accurately estimate a trail run.
Log Hurdles – Photo by RJ Knight Runner
It was an early wake up time for this one as La Mesa Nature Reserve is really far from Makati. We were in the race venue early along with other birds and the organizers. I’m quite jittery and at the same time excited for my first trail run. My plan was to race this one at a conservative pace and enjoy the place and the obstacles. Armed with my Brooks Pure Grit, I’m all set to go. I was part of wave 3 which had a 6:20 gun start. At the started of the race, people went at a fast pace and so did I. First obstacle was a fire jump wherein you had to jump over two sets of flaming bonfires. After the first kilometer and finishing it at a fast paced, I realized that this was not the planned strategy I had so shifted to a slower pace. At kilometer 1.5, the next obstacle was a mud crawl. Not much of a problem but my hydration bottle was hitting the net so it did take a little more time. Approaching the third kilometer, we had to go through some log hurdles which had different heights. The lower ones was easy but the taller one would take a lot more time and effort.
Ouch after the Military Wall. – Photo by Jojo Pauly
The next obstacle approaching halfway into the race was a military wall which was inclined 45 degrees and you had to climb using a rope and slide from the top after. Funny part was that I had problems after hitting the bottom of the slide butt first. Ouch!!! Decided to walk for a while since my butt did sting after the bad landing. Two more obstacles in the form of log hurdles and running in between car tires before coming into the toughest obstacle of the race around the 7th Kilometer. It was a walk by the stream which was knee deep and a 20 foot climb on a mud wall. The 20 foot climb was real tough. When I made my climb using a rope, I slipped due to the slippery mud but luckily I didn’t let go of the rope. So there I was hanging by a rope before mustering enough strength to complete the climb. It was a proud moment.
Lost in the Woods – Photo by Without Limits
The trails start to become slippery and had me holding on to bamboos to keep the balance. It then goes on a descent towards the 8th kilometer but the it felt more like a mud slide. It then leads you to several streams and another obstacle wherein you get to past a calf deep mud. The last 2.5 kilometers felt like being lost in the woods as runners are really spaced out because of the waves, I was practically alone in these woods trying to find solid ground so I can move a bit faster and have more stability and balance. It was also difficult running on this part as the shoes are getting heavy with the mud accumulated. After being out of the muddy area, I move back to more solid ground and another obstacle. You have to do several lunges before you can get to past the fire jump again and finally say, Hello Finish Line!!!
After the Race.
Would I do it again? In an instant, I’d say hell yeah!!! This was a well organized run. Water station at about every kilometers. Kilometer markers were present. Race marshals were all around the place. The scenic route at La Mesa made the course enticing as I was so drawn by the attractions that I only look at my watch more on to check on the kilometers and not on the time. The obstacles were really challenging and I’m proud that I was able to surpass all of them. There were times, I did have second thoughts but as the event title says, “No Surrender” so no surrender it was. In hindsight, I learned my first lesson in trail running and it’s run while you’re on solid grounds as when you’re on the muddy parts, gravity sets in. Great Race for Immuvit and Without Limits and this is just the first Leg. Looking forward to the net two legs.
Team Total Fitness
Team Total Fitness After the Race
Completed 10K with Team Total Fitness Speedsters Rojan and James. Those guys run as fast on uneven terrains as when running on concrete. Team Total Fitness Hot Mommas Daisy and Joan went out to survive the 5K leg. It was nice racing again as a team and of course, after all the hard work comes the fun part…
This is really a nice initiative by Immuvit coming out with three different races out of the ordinary races we get to see every week. The change in scenery and challenges is always an enticement. We’re done with No Surrender Leg which tested the runners will to overcome obstacles. Up Next, No Excuses in a Meta Fit Race in QC Circle and No Challenges which is an obstacle run in Nuvali. It’s gonna be real exciting to complete this trilogy.