CIHM: The Second Time Around: Photo of Lemuel So of Pinoyfitness
CIHM 2011: Corregidor International Half Marathon
Time: 2 hour and 58 minutes
Date: December 1, 2012
Pace: 8:25 minutes per kilometer
The Showdown in the Rock
” I dare say CIHM is not an uphill run. the truth is that it’s an upmountain run where you scale about 200 meters of elevation with the scorching heat of the sun watching over you as you endure this challenge.”
CIHM would always be ‘THE RACE’ for me. It’s uphill terrain, it’s rough trail and not to mention the scorching heat of the sun makes this a very challenging run that earns the respect from various types of athletes – from hardcore runners, to triathletes, to ultramarathoners and the rest of the fitness buff aching for the next challenge. This one’s a Challenge with a capital C-H-A-L-L-E-N-G-E so being in the island the second time around to conquer the rock was indeed my pleasure or I’d rather say my torment just waiting to happen. I attended the media launch of CIHM and it was launched via a BIG BIG BIG way, a cruise around Manila Bay while going over the race Mechanics.
Corregidor Bound With Team Total Fitness – Photo by Joan Sebastian
Running Corregidor the second time around felt like running together with my 2011 version as the race course is so familiar yet still owns its mystique and challenge. It felt like running CIHM 2011 as each major stop, I’d envision where I was a year ago from all the cramps I suffered, from all the scenic view and of course, who could forget the ultimate upmountain adventure towards the end of the course. To the date I sent in my registration, I was contemplating on 10K or 21K distance as I’d been absent in the half marathon scene for almost 8 months and I have to catch the christening of my newest inaanak, Lucas. The truth was, I couldn’t resist doing a half mary in this torturous terrain so 21K it is. This year, I decided to just enjoy the course in a controlled pace with zero cramps. Running Corregidor even at a controlled pace is still punishing.
Course and Elevation
The race starts at the south dock and proceeds with around 2 kilometers of continuous climb worth 40 meters of elevation passing through the Malinta Tunnel to the Garden of Peace before a descent worth 40 meters of elevation towards Corregidor beach resort passing through the stony beach front and stairs which gives you another ascent back to the Garden of Peace for Kilometer 3 and 4. The next stop is rolling terrain to the airfields where you get to the grassy fields before a climb back for the next three kilometers. The race takes you on another 40 meters elevation descent back to the south dock via Malinta Tunnel at Kilometer 8-9. The race then goes on a climbing clinic as you get 7 kilometers climb worth 180 meters of elevation in a combination of roads and trails. The race then goes downhill for the next 3 kilometers before taking you to the surprise of 6o meters worth of elevation at kilometer 19-20. You then descend back to Malinta Tunnel and towards the finish line.
Team Total Fitness before the Run – Photo by Lemuel So of Pinoyfitness.com
The whole team took the early morning ferry ride to Corregidor and we arrived less than an hour before gun start so was able to meet, greet and warm up with fellow runners. Most of the team was armed with their compressions, hydration, gels and more importantly, CAMERAS. This is gonna be FUN.
Moderate Climbs and Descent
Let’s get it on. – Photo by Lemuel So of Pinoyfitness.com
The first 9 kilometers were moderate climbs with the scenic part being the beach front view of Corregidor Beach Resort, the creepy Malinta Tunnel, Japanese Garden of Peace, National Heroes Memorial and the airport runway. Employed a run on flats and descents and jog/walk on climbs. For some reason, there were some portions that I had goosebumps and weird feeling. Passed Malinta Tunnel twice in this stretch and maybe even if I pass by Malinta Tunnel 100 times, it’s always gonna feel creepy.
Alone in the Airfield – Photo by Kyx Castaneda
Up… Up… and Away
Team TF Daisy Running Beside the Ruins – Phot by Kyx Castaneda
The next 7 kilometers was a climbing adventure starting with a steep climb in the 10th kilometer, continuous climb of 3 kilometers and a mixture of trail and road in the last 3 kilometers of the climb. The scenic part being the mile long barracks, the hospital, the lighthouse, the trails and several batteries and monuments along the way. For the steep part, I just walk this part though I tried making bigger steps. The rest I inserted a few runs in flats and moderate climbs. The heat were also scorching hot at this time.
The Lighthouse – Photo by Kyx Castaneda
And down we go…
Team Total Fitness Speedster James Orlanda – Photo by Kyx Castaneda
The next 3 and a half kilometers was purely downhill and it’s time to recover some lost time. For some reason though I was going at a faster pace already, I was holding back on the downhill as I can still vividly remember a year ago that all those cramps were suffered on the downhill part. I still remember all those spots and would be very cautious on those areas. I was also reserving a portion of my energy since I know that the surprise is upcoming.
And here comes the killer climb…
The scene before the climb. Photo by Kyx Castaneda
At the 18.5 kilometer mark, you’ll see one of the best view you would see. An ocean-view perspective with tip of the Rock making the view just perfect. That was the good part. As you make your turn, you’d be surprised by incline you’re about to climb covering 60 meters of elevation spread out over a kilometer and a half. Knowing the challenge ahead, I drank all of my remaining energy gel and went on to walk using bigger steps to cover more distance. It’s just satisfying reaching the top of this killer uphill.
Team TF Daisy on the Killer Climb – Photo by Kyx Castaneda
On to the finish line – Photo by Lem So of Pinoyfitness.com
The last kilometer was downhill going past Malinta Tunnel until the dock where the finish line was located. Had a final look at kilometer 20 where both of my calves cramped up at the same time. Smiled as I’m still cramped free at this point. I then proceeded to run at a brisk pace going to Malinta Tunnel and slowed down a bit on Malinta Tunnel as it was really dark and went on to the finish line. Seeing that I still have a shot at a sub3 time, albeit slower than last year, I dashed to the finish line for my finish. There you go, Corregidor even at a controlled pace is still punishing but going through this terrain is always a challenge and a test of character.
Survivor the Second Time Around – Photo by James Orlanda
Conquering Corregidor Yet Again
The Warrior’s Way
This was one uphell of a run made possible by BIG BIG BIG Inc., CIHM Founders Edward Kho and Raymond Martelino and all the event sponsors including Total Fitness Magazine. The course is always a challenge but you just have to give credit to the hydration and nutrition during the race as there was hydration stations all over the place that had water, energy drinks, sponges, banana and cranberries to keep the runners powered up for this tough man’s race. I reached my goal of finishing with 0 cramps which is one thing I wanted to have an injury-free finish as I’ll be back in the half mary distance for the long haul. Congratulations and I’m reserving December 8, 2013 for another showdown in the rock and this time, it should be another historic moment. I’ll say this again… I SHALL RETURN.
Team Total Fitness Conquers the Rock Again
Team Total Fitness at the Finish Area
This is my final race for 2012 and I’m looking forward to another year of racing. It’s always been a pleasure racing with the Team from the speedster Rojan Pajarin (2nd place in the 10K category) and James Orlanda and to our resident hot tri-mommies. It’s also nice that we had several guest in Tezza Orlanda, Kyx Castaneda and Bert Dela Victoria racing for this event. It was nice to cap off a season and looking forward to a bigger (I really mean BIGGER) Season 3 of Team Total Fitness. Let’s all enjoy our off season and the upcoming holidays.
Team TF Relaxing After A Season of Racing
Race Results: Click Here
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