21
Jun
09

Men’s Health All Terrain: Back on Trails

The All Terrain Race can be described as salvation for Men’s Health—the race was n a different caliber that everyone seemed to forget the past mishaps of races by Men’s Health.  This was of course made possible by the race’s new organizer finishline.ph and with that, blazing fast race results.

The Trails

It’s either I’ve had too much trails under my feet or I’m just too demanding—I find the trail route of this year’s race, to put it bluntly—pretty boring.  I know it’s very difficult to find good trails to hold a race but coming off TNF100 you can pretty much understand what I mean.  The trails were dull because it was virtually flat and man-made—nature still is best when it comes to outdoor activities.  In fairness to the organizers, this was in fact the first “real” trail run I’ve ever had because you can really run 100% of the route—you can even set a new PR since it is much like running on unpaved roads except for the winding course and mud puddles.  It is excellent for a trail run but the degree of difficulty is very low making this race an excellent venue for beginners to be introduced to trail running.

My Story

We arrived at the assembly area more than an hour before call time so we had a lot of time to spare—taking pictures!

With my takbo.ph family: Carina, Mar, Chelly, Jinoe, Me, and Vicky

With my takbo.ph family: Carina, Mar, Chelly, Jinoe, Me, and Vicky

One of the nicest sunrises I’ve ever seen

One of the nicest sunrises I’ve ever seen

For a race this size there surely are quite a lot of portalets

For a race this size there surely are quite a lot of portalets

The start line

The start line

That’s a lot of feet!

That’s a lot of feet!

The 15K trail run started at 5:41AM.  We initially planned for the “picture-taking pace” but the narrow trails and numerous runners eventually got us separated.  Add to that the lack of interesting views to take pictures, before we knew it we were running on our own.

15K race start

15K race start

Entering the trails

Entering the trails

The first of several mud pools along the trails

The first of several mud pools along the trails

The view of the long line of runners along the trails

The view of the long line of runners along the trails

Not before long I realized that the trail may not be as interesting as I had expected—there were no mountains nor hills in sight—only tall grasses and the ridiculously winding trail that was made specifically for bikers.  It was nice that the air was fresh but eventually you’ll tire of the endless grass.  There were a few interesting spots along the way though.

A view of the golf course where the trail was just outside of

A view of the golf course where the trail was just outside of

Being a bike trail there were bike-oriented features along the route, including my favorite spot on the course, the bike ramp.

The bike ramp which was my favorite spot on the course, too bad I’m not on wheels.

The bike ramp which was my favorite spot on the course, too bad I’m not on wheels.

One of a few bridges that line the trails

One of a few bridges that line the trails

Noted.

Noted.

The course wasn’t completely within the trails—the route crisscrosses the asphalted road that it runs parallel to.

The course wasn’t completely within the trails—the route crisscrosses the asphalted road that it runs parallel to.

As if the repetitive view wasn’t enough we had to endure the first 5K of the 15K route again for the final 5K leg.  The most surprising thing about this race was getting to the 15K mark—it’s not the finish line!  The 15K mark was well within the trails—the 15K route was actually 15.4K!

View of the finish line

View of the finish line

Coincidentally I met some of my friends running the 10K course on the road leading to the finish line so we were running side by side for a good several meters.  I didn’t want to ruin their “photo-finish” so I sprinted ahead to be able to take their pictures.  So there I was sprinting to the finish and there was a person ahead of me, walking.  Of course right after crossing the finish line I’d inevitably overtake him because of our difference in speed but I was a bit ticked off by one of the lady “marshal” that said “no overtaking please”—it’s not like after a sprint to the finish line I’d stop dead on my tracks to avoid overtaking the person ahead of me.  Besides our time were already logged so it wouldn’t matter.  To those who may potentially encounter such in the future, don’t stop!  Stopping abruptly may cause injuries on your part, just make sure that you don’t bump into the person (or any object) ahead of you.

15K Route

15K Route

Post-Race

For the first time I had a free massage after the race.  There were also some free items from sponsors and raffles.  There was also a live band to keep the crowd entertained as the bikers arrived.  Of course PhotoVendo was there to take our souvenir pictures, and as a part of takbo.ph we even had a group picture (although with a small group set as the others haven’t yet arrived at that time).  Overall this was one of the better post-race assembly areas I’ve seen, although for the bikers it was their pre-race.

Conclusion

Good:

  • Easy trail perfect for introducing trail running to beginners
  • Accurate kilometer markers along the route
  • Lots of marshals along the route
  • Plenty of water stations
  • Excellent location
  • Lively assembly areas
  • Quick results

Bad

  • Trails had low level of difficulty (for me at least)
  • Trail distance was longer than announced (for 10K and 15K)

Overall Rating: Good


3 Responses to “Men’s Health All Terrain: Back on Trails”


  1. 2009-06-22 at 6:46 AM

    Dennis, great post and photos, especially of the sunrise (wow!). Congratulations, but what was your time? Take care and have a good week ahead.

    > Thanks Wayne! I finished in 01:37:43 for a 15.4K distance, my slowest 15K race so far, “picture-taking pace” as we call it. 🙂

  2. 2 rachel
    2009-06-22 at 10:37 AM

    Hey Dennizzz, nice one! As a newbie trail runner I really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed the U-turn route.. the grass, crossing the bridges,the muddy trail (ewww, haha!). We just savored the surrounding that’s why we had a picture-taking-pace. Maybe the next one, I’ll be faster???

    > Wow it’s good to hear that you enjoyed your trail run, congrats as well Rachel! I remember falling in love with trail running during my first one at Nasugbu, Batangas (TNF Thrill of the Trail)–it was love at first step! If you thought that this one was nice you’d be taken away by runs held on natural trails so watch out for these in the future.

    Hope for more fun runs with you guys in the future! Don’t worry about your speed, it would depend on the sights that you see along the way. We may not lead in the results but we’re one of the leaders in the number of pictures taken! 🙂

  3. 2009-06-23 at 6:33 PM

    Hey Dens nice pix and recap man. The sunrise was awesome 🙂 Hassle the lady marshal, should be more well versed with the dynamics given you had a slow runner in front of you. Congrats on the finish!

    > Thanks Luis! I just ignored “that lady.” 🙂


 ✍  I’d love to hear from you!  Share your feedback:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow runningpinoy on WordPress.com

🌏 Visits

  • 1,260,342 and counting!
Flag Counter
Thank you for visiting!
🇵🇭
The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime Amazon Prime - Give the Gift of Prime

%d bloggers like this: