When all else fails: be one with the mud and it will save your life!
Saturday Night : ma officemates picked me up and went to Chateau Royale to check the place out before claiming of race kits at 4am the next day (Sunday), and ended up in the hotel’s golf course — Evercrest. Tents were on the grass and people were camped by midnight (too bad we weren’t able to see the music gig for the event). Slept in the car and woke up at 330 to change and fall in line for the claiming of shirts and bib numbers.
The race for the 10km run started at 0640H (if I remember it right), 10 minutes after the 20km runners. PACING! That’s what Irene and Jo kept telling me during the 16km run for One La Salle and that’s what I tried to do this morning, since I’m asthmatic and I’ve got to keep ma breathing and speed at bay. The first few minutes were awesome! Cool breeze, the-not-so-rough-yet terrain (haha!) and only around three hundred other people just enjoying that moment until the ground started to get really muddy and people started slipping.
Rule # 1: NEVER run with JUST running shoes, wear TRAIL RUNNING shoes. Gawd (yes, learned it the hard way). I had to dig BOTH my feet into the mud just to keep myself from slipping and getting hurt (but still managed to always fall on ma ass hahaha!). My officemate and I were on the dangerous side of the trail (the side where I could fall off the cliff anytime) and he slipped and almost pushed me (back onto the trail but I could have gotten hurt anyway), so I thought if I had trail running shoes, I did not actually need to be on that side in the first place.
Rule # 2: Always run on the grass (if in the trail that you do run on still has grass) because you will REALLY find it comforting!
Rule # 3: Run as fast as you can (on second thought…NOT!) My other officemate who is also a mountaineer told me that running lessens the risk of injury because you don’t put all your weight on what you step on (which I find logical if I actually had the right shoes that won’t make me slip no matter what kind of step I make — which goes back to rule number 1!) I’ll try that next time, tho. Thanks!
Actually, the trail would have been a lot easier (but still pretty challenging) if it did not rain…BUT it DID rain. I guess it wasn’t a North Face endurance event for nothing!
There was a wooden bridge to be crossed and an alternate route which we took (the one below on the rocks on the water) that leads uphill. I had to hold onto leaves and use my hands to sort of claw into the mud to keep my gravity (because I was so sure my darn shoes alone won’t keep me alive for the rest of the trail!). Downhill (which I found just as hard) ended up making my shorts and legs covered with more dirt (me at ma clumsiest hehehe!) AND my shoes were about 6 inches wider and about 4 inches longer (and about half an inch taller) with mud! Hahaha!
After 8km of trail running, there was an uphill route for pavement running as part of the final leg of the race. My officemate / mountaineer sprained his right ankle at the middle of the race and could not run anymore so I decided to walk this one out with him to the finish line (he waited for me earlier when I could not run anymore because I kept slipping so I decided to play the Good Samaritan this time).
A lot of things have happened for the past few days that almost made me decide to not push through with this, but I’m thankful that I was able to work around such complications because from the minute I heard about this event, I knew I just had to experience this. It was definitely worth all the risk
Before our race started, one of the 100km runners just got back from his trek. Theirs started at 4am the day before (Saturday), and seeing him finish made me insecure that I was running only 10km! These people are amazing, and being around them just makes me feel more comforted that I DID make the right choice. Haha, yes I am still overwhelmed by this event
Pictures posted here