It’s been six years since I’ve last ran TNF100 which was then also held in Baguio. I did the full 100K back then and now I’m doing 50K so this makes it the shortest TNF100 race I’ve joined! 😀 This being my first time to do the 50K leg, I thought of making a guide for myself, but am now sharing for your perusal.
The 50K leg will be covering three (3) Aid Stations (AS). The shortest distance between which is 4.49K (Start/Finish to AS1) and the longest being 13.32K (AS2 to AS3). Incidentally, the longest gap also has the highest elevation gain of 746 MASL (meters above sea level). This segment should therefore be the focus area of the 50K route.
|Location||Distance from Start (K)||Distance from Previous Checkpoint (K)||Elevation (MASL)||Elevation Change (MASL)|
As with previous TNF100 races I’ve joined, the goal is to be self-sufficient for the duration you’re running the trails in between the Aid Stations. But what’s different now is that the Aid Stations now have supplies in it so we don’t have to carry as much. I only realized now that 50K runners don’t have the privilege of a drop bag that we’re accustomed to in 100K so we have to make do with what we have on AS3, our turnaround and midpoint.
|Start (Basecamp)||AS1||AS2||AS3||Finish (Basecamp)|
Basically, the game plan is to ensure everything is ready before leaving for the next AS:
- Hydration: ensure that all your bottles are filled and you’ve taken enough water and sports drinks. If you can’t remember when the last time you’ve taken a leak, then you aren’t drinking enough. I prefer bringing a liter of water and a liter of sports drink but note that that’s around two kilograms (2kg) of weight.
- Nutrition: ensure that you’ve had carbs, proteins, etc. aside from water. If you can eat what’s served in the AS you’re in, do eat. Otherwise, ensure you bring along some snacks you can eat along the trails (but please remember to bring along your trash with you, no matter how small, for disposal at the next AS). Candies and chocolate bars are good in providing sugars and may help ease boredom (if ever you do 😀).
- Trash: dispose of the things you no longer need at the Aid Stations, not in the trails!
Remember that the distances between Aid Stations are around 10K so always think that you’re doing another self-supported 10K trail run before you leave! Take as much reasonable time you need to recover before moving on.
In terms of timing, 50K runners have a cutoff of 10PM but I strongly suggest that you finish the race before it gets totally dark. My soft goals are simple: reach AS3 around lunchtime (where most of the supplies are) and finish around sundown. I’m not sure if that’s as easy as it sounds as we’d be going from 1,485 MASL down to 796 MASL and then back up again 1,542 MASL in the process! For sure there’d be a lot of walking!
I’ll leave the nitty gritty of the strategy to you but as a final tip, don’t forget to look up, around, and behind you as you will be running in some of the most spectacular trails I’ve ever seen!
But before I wrap this guide up, make sure to visit the event website and have a checklist of all the mandatory gears (yes, all of them are required) and note of the suggested items if they’re useful for you.
Good luck to all runners! Run safe and don’t forget to have fun! Remember to leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories (and photos), and kill nothing but time.