#UrbanTrailRun gave us the beauty of both the road and trails of Filinvest City with a 2-loop 15 kilometer course on a really scorching hot Sunday morning. It was also a strategic race with hydration, navigation, heat, surface and terrain management being part of the challenge. It’s a reminder on the bare essentials needed for a run and how fun it is to be on trails. All participants were pampered with overflowing goodies from sponsors after the race.
Urban Trail Run
I’ve been busy training on the road as part of my build up for my full marathon next year and haven’t been on trails for quite some time. I’ve been content in building up my endurance with my weekly long runs in preparation. Urban Trail Run was a welcome breather from the road runs as I love the slower pace of trails. I don’t think I ever had a convincing trail run as I always end up appreciating more of the scenery when I’m on trail than the run itself. The plan for this one was to push myself a bit on the trail and try to go for a good time. It’s also a familiar territory as I’ve been part of the first group who did a recon of the Filinvest Trails. This is one race that won’t pamper you as this one is self-hydration to reduce litters on the course and uses markers instead of marshals. So this would test your resource management and navigation skills.
Race starts at Corporate Woods Avenue and proceeds to Filinvest Avenue with a u-turn at Commerce Avenue and enters the trail near Parkway Street for the first 2 Kilometers of the race. The race shifts to trails for the next four kilometers with the trails getting more hilly towards the latter part of the distance. The race shifts back to the road with a climb at Laguna Drive for the next kilometer and the last half kilometer is a mix of road and trails going back to the start area for the first loop. The course is a 2 loops of 7.5 kilometers each and has various shifts in elevation.
I came in early for this one as I wanted to do a proper stretching and warm up. There was also both a traditional warm up and a dynamic dance type warm up before the start of the run. Since this is a self-hydration run, I brought my simple hydration bottle which I would be consuming for the first loop and would just refill it on my second loop. I’m using my Newton BOCO A/T for that lightweight feel and the push of the toe stride. I’m pairing it up my Zensah calf sleeves which would serve as both my compression and at the same time protection from the tall grass and bushes along the course. Since the sun would be up for most of the run, I’ll also be using my Salice eye wear for protection. Of course, my race strategy would be guided by Suunto Ambit 2S GPS features. I guess I’m all geared up and the rest is execution. I just hope I won’t miss a marker and won’t get lost in the trails.
The plan was to pack in speed in the road and settle at a more comfortable pace on the trails. The race starts with a little over 2 kilometers on the road so I went on fast to start to take advantage of the road. Upon entering the trail, I still tried to maintain a fast pace since the elevation is a bit flat though terrain is uneven. By the third kilometer, I came to realize that I won’t be able to sustain this pace on a trail with a rolling elevation. The sun was up and scorching hot early in the morning. Heat has now become a factor and it was also draining my energy. I had to drink from my water bottle every now and then to keep me hydrated.
The first two kilometers of trail was an easy to follow single track trail with a flatter elevation. The area was bare save for some grass and bushes so you’ll feel the full heat of the morning sun. I tried to put in more effort on this part as I know that the next few kilometers would be climbs. It was draining but I know I can rest up on the climbs as I’ll go at a slower pace when the terrain goes uphill. The next two kilometers of trail were mostly climbs so I took this time to slow down and rest on the climbs and speed up on the descents. The trail also becomes a bit technical on this part and good thing my Newton Boco A/T had great traction at any surfaces. Tripping on rocks, twigs and roots is really common on this area because of the uneven surface. Some areas are already shaded by tall grasses or trees making the heat of the sun tolerable on this segment.
The trail switches back on the road at kilometer 6 and this is where I saw one of the retired SGV partners MFG doing his walks, I chatted for a few minutes before remembering that this was a race. The road part was uphill but I went on to run this stretch passing Palms Country Club and entering two short trails that was had a lot of short climbs. The race loops back to the start area. After crossing the first loop, I took my Unilab Active Health Gel and refilled my water bottle before heading for my second loop.
It was basically the same strategy on the second loop though I had less energy to consume and a lot hotter weather to bear. For the second loop, I didn’t have to worry about getting lost and would know by now which area to push and which area to rest. I took advantage of the 2 kilometer on the road at Filinvest for a fast split. I went on pushed myself on the next two kilometers of trail with a combination of short runs and brisk walks. This was the faster area of the trails. The next 2 kilometers were climbs so it was back to the slower paced interval. and we are one and a half kilometers to go.
The last 1.5 kilometers was about 1 kilometer climb on road and 500 meters on trail. I went on a faster interval on the road before I coasted on trails on the road to the finish line. It was a great heat training as it’s not everyday that I get to go full throttle against the sun. I like that I pushed myself in the run and was happy with my finish. Everybody was pampered with giveaways at the finish line from Phiten insoles, FrontRunner magazines, Gatorade and a lot of URC and sponsors products. Running on trails is really fun and refreshing but it’s always a challenge as you get to manage more factors compared to a road run. It’s also awesome that Filinvest can showcase a refreshing view on both road and trails.