First Barefoot Trail Run Done!   Leave a comment

Since I wasn’t really sure how to get to Nuvali, I left the house at 3:30am hoping to get to the venue on time for the gun shot at 6am. I knew it was going to be a long and exhausting trip since I just left the office at 12 midnight to do some much-needed RDOT (a pat on the back for the model employee).

 

P75 for the bus ride to Pacita! Amp! This supposedly “cheap” (only P450 when all others would cost about P600) run is becoming more and more expensive. And I have to ride two more, er, rides to get to Nuvali; and I still need more money for the fare back home. Ouch!

 

Ok, ok, kuripot mode off.

 

An hour and a half later, I found myself getting off the bus at Pacita. I met a couple of other runners that also didn’t know how to get to the venue so we decided to party up. Thak you, Lord, that took my nervousness away. Good thing one of them, an obviously elite runner which I wasn’t able to get the name, was able to call one of her friends who gave us further directions. One more ride to go, which turned out to be a tricycle.

 

It was 5:30am when we got to Nuvali. We still have 30 min to spare. The elite runner was quite impatient with the tricycle driver telling the poor manong driver to hurry up (maybe because she understandably still needs to warm up pre-race). When we got to Nuvali, she left her fare money to me and was off.

 

A little change of plans, I left my water shoes intentionally on the baggage counter so that I won’t have a choice but to run barefoot. I am still going with Plan A, but this time there’s no Plan B. It’s barefoot or nothing.

 

I saw a couple of folks wearing VFFs but I think I was the only one barefoot, no surprise there.

by the starting line, waiting for the gun start

When the gun was fired, we were off. It was a fairly comfortable run and I easily got into my usual 5k pace. I tried not to get too fast because I wanted to make sure I have the energy once we get to the rough terrain.

 

Running barefoot on trail is very different compared to running on the streets. For one thing, there’s a lot of ups and downs and side to side movements. Sometimes I also needed to jump my way through the path. It turned out that the key really to running without shoes on is to relax, relax and relax.

 

34:08 (unofficial, cellphone stop timer).

 

Argh! I’m pretty sure I could have finished with a sub-30 if I didn’t walk towards the end. The final stretch had us running on what felt like ground gravel. The rocks were too small to be rocks but too big to be sand or pebble. They were much too pointy too. My relatively trail-untrained feet finally gave up when one of these mini-rock-things was able to dug itself in the ball of my right foot. Soon after, another one found its way to my left big toe.

 

That was Kilometer 5.

 

There was no wound, I just had to walk to make sure my feet would land softer on the ground. It was frustrating but I felt sure it was the smart thing to do at the time. About maybe 300m from the finish line, concrete pavement greeted me. That was the time to sprint and sprint I did to the finish.

 

To sum the race up, it was a pretty good race. Good, but really not great. And since I like lists sometimes:

 

Good:

1. it’s a trail run!

2. good race turnout, not too many runners that could crowd the trail.

3. lots of water and roving support.

 

Not so good:

1. a service bus would be great, a previous run in Nuvali had one.

2. freebies are very few.

 

Running trails is really fun and I highly recommend it to everyone, but I would want inexperienced runners to really, really approach trail running with caution. For one thing, a lot of people do get lost and, of course, you also have wildlife to deal with. I’m sure you would encounter poisonous snakes, bears and tigers while running trail. I just want you guys to be prepared.

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