Mafate Mudfest was a character-building race for the runners and for us as well. It was a series of challenges but at the end of the day, it’s worth the dirt.
If you asked me two months ago about Mafate Mudfest. It was people enjoying the wet muddy trail on a rainy season. Despite it being tougher, participants would find the kid within them to enjoy the steep slopes, unlimited ascents and basically earn their way towards the finish line. The universe did conspire to give us a race we truly wanted and give the runners a memorable race experience. Worth the dirt indeed.
There’s so much we put into races that it never feels like routine. We embrace the challenge and sometimes, whine about it but each passing struggle gave us a better appreciation of the outcome. It will never be easy but it will always be worth it as long as we keep people dirty, healthy and happy.
When it comes to sponsors, we as blessed as the downpours that came before race day. We have Hoka One One as the title sponsor with its Mafate line at the helm, which was a perfect mud slugger for the event. Timberland Heights has been a home for our events and recons for over a year now. The views and trails of Timberland never grow old because we always discover new routes and new ways to appreciate it. With Hoka comes the support of Toby’s, Runnr, Oofos, Ziv and Fuelbelt. Of course, we also have Amihan Sports Gear as our gear partner and Globe also provided the tents for the Aid Station and Staging Area.
In terms of nutrition and hydration, we’re loaded with the usual generosity of Lightwater, Vitamin Boost and Emco Musli, Vitargo manning the aid stations. We also had Kaffea for coffee and ice cream, Fitbar, Black Mamba, My Daily Collagen, Partea.
For registration, clock and timing, we had My Runtime as Registration, Garmin for the Clocks and Race Tech for timing.
We also had Glairold Recella, Active Pinas, CN Creatives and Graphical Beginnings as volunteer photographers. Video coverage was handled by A&J Visuals and Spektra Productions.
The route was a bit tricky for Mafate Mudfest. With so many races happening at Timberland, we wanted a different feel of the race. So instead of taking the usual route, we opted for the steeper climbs and descents and a higher elevation gain. We also switched the start area for faster access of the trail. It was a much tougher route and when you add water, it’s a total adventure.
We also had several rounds at the trail at various weather conditions and it felt safe though remains challenging. We also have a back up route just in case the continuous rains made the trails not passable. I remember when we had one of the recons and I was describing the route to those joining, I keep saying the word, “paakyat”, uphill, etc. Hope you enjoyed the race!
I think the weather was one of the bigger challenge in selling the race with a lot of people shying off the race on rainy months. At the same time, we wanted to tell people that trail running is an all-weather sport. Once you start getting comfortable with the traction of your shoes and take in the few slip and slides, it’s fun to run at this time of the year.
We were monitoring the weather all week and if worst comes to worst, we had a back up date just in case. We had a fun recon in the rain on August 21 and the rains continued days after. One day before the race, it was drizzling and raining at some time during the day though it was much worst around Metro Manila. It was as if the universe conspiring in giving us a total mudfest. We made sure that our setup would have enough spaces in tents for the participants just in case it would rain all day but thankfully, it didn’t. Race day, the weather was much better with only a few drizzle during the day so I guess we were blessed.
The race went even better than expected with the weather really cooperating. It was nice sending off one distance after another and we were comfortable with our markings since we had different colors for different distance, directional markers and marshals in key intersections. So that’s three reasons not to get lost during the race.
It was also fun seeing kids joining the race and when we say kids, it’s not the 8-10 years old joining the race but it was the 4, 5, 6 years old joining the race this early. It’s always our wish that we can really hold bigger kid races just to bring back the times where kids can get dirty and have fun.
We went with premium inclusions all the way with quality singlets, trucker caps, towels, mess bag and medal that they can keep as a remembrance of this race. We also had several videographers and photographers there to document those priceless moments. More than anything else, it’s those moments in the trail that we’d want to create for people to see and appreciate the outdoor lifestyle.
Hope you had an epic adventure at Mafate Mudfest.