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Behind the Scenes at Pinoy Trails #STAR2016

Posted by on 12. December 2016
It's time to call it an event.

It’s time to call it an event.

We were so happy with how Pinoy Trails Sierra Trail Adventure Race turned out with a lot of happy experience.  If there was one thing we’d wanted to share it was the beauty of the trail.  It was not an easy road to the staging as we had to go through all the stresses of the rescheduled race and other challenges.

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Sierra Madre Trails

It was our second attempt at exploring the Mysawa Trail last March. Almost a year before, we tried the same trail and ended up going out a different part of Tanay.  Last March, we (Me, Rene and Jun) went back to the Mysawa Trails.  We made the right turn this time but ended up in uncharted regions. We were passing by rivers, mini falls, muddy forest trails and even steep ridges.  We ended up in a more beautiful trail which provided the runners a lot of variety when it comes to trail running. We’d like to showcase this to the runners and we hope we can do it soon as the Mysawa route is slowly being paved already.

We got a chance when we launched Pinoy Trails a few months after.  It started on a high note with the runners giving a warm reception to the event.  Everything was on track until fate threw a curve ball.  There was a typhoon on our race day and we were forced to reschedule the event.  It was a tough call and a hard one at that.  A reschedule would mean incurring all the race course all over again.  We were crushed but deep inside we knew that the right thing to do is use this event to aspire to give an even better STAR2016.  It was one of the lowest moment in our lives.

We had to get help from friends and thanks to Redg, Richard and the other running bloggers were willing to help at a moments notice.  From just passion, it turned to obsession. We wanted the best event for our runners. We had to revisit each of our sponsor to seek more prizes for the runners.  We ended up with a box-ful of premium stuff.  Thanks a lot to our sponsors, Brooks, Oakley, Activehealth Carb Gel, Suunto, Lightwater, Vitamin Boost, C1000, Mega Fiber, Goutritis, Nuun, Bonk Breaker, Runnr, Newton, Amihan, Ahon, Lilys and our official photographers Active Pinas, who not only covered the event for us but also were there to help on the small stuff. We also had some passionate runners who volunteered during the event.

It was a challenging time and there were a lot of learning opportunities along the way.  One thing we’d want to change is that this time, we wanted to enjoy the process.  We had some who were busy and was not around for the restaging but we also had more volunteers.  We didn’t like creating STAR 2016 feel like work. We enjoyed what we were doing so up until the wee hours of the morning of race day, sleep-deprived and all, we were in good spirits.  I came to realize that maybe we were pushed to this date to send a different message. It was December and it meant that it was off season for most runners so it would be a great time to gather teams, friends, family, office mates and others to enjoy the trail and we were confident that Tanay would be a perfect venue.

8K U-turn slot.

8K U-turn slot.

The day before the race we came early to Tanay to setup and it was a less stressful environment. I love how team work was in play from the start from our race logistic team led by Rene, Jham, Arvin, Jun and Mike to those who stayed in the venue to set up (Me, Redg and Jose).  Redg and I also went on to check the 8K route since I wanted to show to her the surprises of the route that the newbie runners would love.  By noon, we were all back to 10 cents to prepare again and by 5 pm, we were all set.  It was just execution the next day.  We opened the claiming a lot earlier before midnight so if there were early runners, they could rest in our area.

The runners came around 2 am and thankfully, we were able to distribute the kits before 5 am.  By 5:15 am, we started the briefing. We had some problems with the sound system so when I was announcing, there were some time when the volume would suddenly go low.  I just made sure that they key items were properly advised to the runners. By 5:45 am, it was gun start and as runners made their way to the course, I knew that it would be a good race for everybody.  Rene, Jham, Mike, Arvin and Jun had the course ready.  Jose was on the timing. Redg and Richard were handling the registration and baggage counter.  Active Pinas also helped in the baggage before taking their spots for their photos.  Aquiz also came in to help with the photos.

As runners were crossing the finish line. We were happy to hear their stories about the race.  We were happy to see teams, friends, family, office mates converge at Ten Cents to Heaven.  The route was hard and came with a lot of surprises. Even those who got lost along the route found it part of the challenge.  All the challenges, the pains and the hard work was worth it upon seeing the runners cross the finish line on a happy note. Thanks to everyone who made the event really successful.

Mission accomplished.

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