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The Road To OATM 3

Posted by on 10. May 2023

204 energetic, passionate and endorphin-filled people made me remember that if we put premium to the experience of the participants, we get a very successful and memorable event. On Philippines and Pinoy Trails resumes On A Trail Mission at a very scenic and run-able Timberland Heights last May 7, 2023.

On A Trail Mission 3

Let’s start with a shout out to On Philippines, who’s been our title sponsor for the past three On A Trail Mission. We’re growing the event with your support from the high peak of Mount Bidawan to the Steep climbs of Mount 360 and now on the scenic trails of Timberland Heights. When we started OATM, we never thought of it as a series but more on two brands uniting in promoting the advocacy of fitness, nature and the outdoors. 3 legs and more to come. I guess OATM is here to stay.

Timberland Heights is always special to me being the site of 3 flagship races and 2 trail academies. It’s so flexible that a slight tweak in the race route will give you a totally different experience. Since we tried to limit the registrants of OATM 1 and 2, I knew the Timberland Heights edition would be different. All my events here were mass participation events with 400-600 participants from races and 200-300 participants for trail academies. We wanted to create an experience that’s friendly to newbies of all ages and fitness level. Thanks also to our regular sponsors in Dans, Polar Watches, Lightwater and Vitamin Boost, Lecka and Timberland Highlands Resort.

Aside from the registration, I had to make sure that the pacers would buy in on the advocacy. On our first trail academy in Timberland in 2018, we had a group recon with the pacers before the event. This time, we had a zoom briefing and surprisingly, we had an excellent group of pacers all united in a cause and even sharing their own ideas. Up next was the registration and despite not boosting our posts, we had an influx of registrants that reached more than 200 already.

We had our initial recon in March to establish the trails then a secondary check in April to check on critical areas. We then had a final recon a day before the event for marking the trail and also to ensure that the trails were safe. We’ve actually identified a blockage in the Green Zone due to a fallen tree. Fortunately, this was immediately resolved by Timberland Estate. I love doing recons because it’s where I get to feel the experience in store for our participants plus we really put premium on safety.

The race village was up and ready the day before the event so we only had minor setup for event day. Everything was on time and it was amazing how participants came in droves which eventually ended up with 204 trail participants. The talk were on time and showed variety from the different speakers and pacers. The run part was fun with everybody getting the feel of the beautiful trails of Timberland Heights especially the panoramic Table Top.

Event monitoring with Timberland Heights guides

Honestly, I was still not that confident in being able to mount events as big as I used to. Even before the event, I had to go through all those what could go wrong scenarios and possible actions. At the end of the day, it was a game of execution and being able to adjust to the situation. With the help of Timberland Heights guides, pacers and fellow runners, we were able to adopt to surprises during the event. All got back safe to the finish line and that’s a blessing on its own. The crowd’s energy was in full display up until the closing of the event as they discovered a new trail, a new experience and met new friends.

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