It was a trail high for me when I joined last Sunday’s Xterra Trail Run at our favorite playground – the Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal. Around 300 participants for the 10 kms. (other categories were the 22k and 5k) blasted from the starting line at 6 am when the sun had given some visibility to the rolling trail paths. I positioned myself near the lead pack to get some headway and avoid the difficult position of following a slower runner who won’t let you budge through the narrow route. It’s a quandary I won’t want others to feel for me either so whenever felt some runner was breathing behind my back, I easily let him through – no problemo.
At the first 2 kms., I had to exert extra effort to keep up with the general pace as it glided through long uphills and wicked downhills. Soon enough, I get the hang of it and was flying through cogon hills, tree-shaded paths and even bamboo bridges crossing rivers and creeks. For some 3 kms., I was able to pace and talk with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Martin Camara who pulled me along when I felt like slowing down. Basically, I was trying to maintain a regular pace while trying to sense my knees for sudden shock or pain from a trail which snaked up and down.
So far, I’ve been able to keep up with the mid lead pack when out of nowhere, as I was trying to speed up at the final downhill, I tripped. Fortunately, I was able to support my face from smashing to the ground while sustaining mild bruises/cuts on the right hip. The right calf also cramped for a good 15 seconds before relaxing back to normal.
A minute after, I was back on track, gliding and finishing the final meters which was descending all the way to the finish. I timed 1:12, not bad for a 10km rolling terrain. More importantly, I enjoyed the whole experience of racing along a verdant environment. I’d love to do this more often, perhaps a little longer. Once in a while, the lungs could enjoy some fresh air cleansing.
Thanks to my angel for the free registration which included a cool finisher’s shirt, loads of freebies and a chance to mingle with some tri-citizens.