Posts Tagged ‘Neville Manaois


TNF100 2010 Chronicles: Conclusion (Part 4)

Although I didn’t commit to the pact with Jonel and Ronald of staying together that night, I didn’t oppose it as well.  Deep down within me I wanted badly to complete this race.  I may not be in the best shape possible, but I would not give up so easily.  And I don’t want to let anybody down. My right knee came this far already, what’s another 33K?

The Right-Use Bros.

Apparently Jonel and Ronald weren’t spared by the downhill as well and coincidentally both of them managed to have their right knees damaged, thus the “right-use bros.”—brothers bonded by handicap, hehe.  And so with the right knee equalizing factor these three crazies are off for another 33K of torture.  At least I’m assured I won’t be left behind!

The “Right-Use Bros.” on the way back to complete the race

Here, There, and Back Again

Like last year my original plan of having a decent rest and dinner before doing a second loop was foiled but that’s a small price to pay since running alone in the dark wasn’t an option for me.  But as I feared with lack of rest my body was badly demanding a break.  Obviously I do not have much fat in store to burn so I was already burning muscles.  I was walking but intermittently for a split second I was falling asleep.  Jonel and Ronald gave me some break when we rested for a short time for me to take a quick nap, and it was quite helpful.  Unfortunately my body still wasn’t satisfied so we had to take another longer break.  I was on “cruise control” but I was in and out of consciousness and at one time almost hitting a tree.  I was worried I might fall off a ravine and I was thankful that my buddies were generous to my needs.  Thank you Jonel and Ronald! I’m sorry that I had to slow us down.

For most of the time I was just blindly following my buddies like a toy truck being pulled by a child.  My mind was blank and was hardly thinking of anything.  We sporadically were encountering fellow runners along the way and during which I snap out of it.  The thought of gradually reaching that finish line was enough to keep me sane from boredom.  It was a very long night, and we weren’t speaking of how long it was to the finish in kilometers, we were speaking in hours!

Bros. Express

Surprisingly our second loop was much stronger than our first.  I wouldn’t know if the nap had anything to do with it but all I know was that we were keeping the breaks to a minimum, and our pace was excellent considering our handicaps.  Second wind?  In the middle of the night? At least we were able to buy some of the time we lost during our earlier breaks—perhaps even gaining some had we not taken some rest.

My NB811 after more than 90K of trails

You Give Me Fever

At some point during the last loop I really felt ill—I was perspiring profusely but at the same time feeling cold—and I don’t get cold that easily.  I was thinking that if I was cold I wouldn’t be sweating a lot, and if I was sweating a lot I must’ve felt hot, so why was I experiencing both?  I checked if I was having a fever but I wasn’t,  and it felt like having one—and I haven’t had one since my elementary days.  Thankfully I had my windbreaker with me to at least shield me from the cool winds of the mountains—I’d rather be hot and sweaty than sweaty and cold.

Sunlight, Oh Sunlight

The sun was painting the sky red while we were climbing the steep ascent near the US Embassy, and as sunlight gradually brightens the surroundings so do our determination to finish.  We were still progressing slowly but surely to the finish, and by the time we get to the last few kilometers of the race we were witnessing the leaders of the 22K race, followed soon enough by the 11K runners.  Sunday morning already.

Last few kilometers to the finish

It was such a great time to be heading back as we were greeted by not-so-serious runners as we head back, many saying “Congratulations” or “Just a little more” or some other nice words.  Those ahead of us went through this segment alone and in the dark while we who were merely “walkers” were greeted like celebrities.  Very nice timing indeed!

The long homestretch to the finish, courtesy Jonel Mendoza


Coming into that very long homestretch of the finish line in Burnham Park was beyond words.  Finally I can proudly say that I conquered TNF100 not just because of “luck” but honest, hard work.  In fact the only “lucky” aspect of this race that I found was having buddies I can rely on and took care of me.  Despite not being able to train due to my handicap, all my previous experiences add up to prepare me for this race, and that brought me to finish two hours ahead of my previous race record.  New PR for TNF100 on a handicap?  Now that is crazy!

Crossing the finish line with Jonel and Ronald, courtesy Jairuz Agang-ang


Thank you Jonel and Ronald for the company and for pulling me into completion of this race!  It was very easy to give up if you have all the pains but if you’re in the company of crazy injured guys it makes it easier to endure.  Is this what “misery loves company” meant?

My finisher’s token

To all my friends who woke up early to see us cross the line, and to those that gave their support from both near and far, thank you very much!  I really appreciate it, more than you can imagine.

To The North Face, the race and route directors, marshals, and staff, thank you for making this the most organized TNF100 so far!  It was very challenging but we always felt “safe.”  Keep it up guys!

The “Right-Use Bros.” with race director Neville Manaois, courtesy Jairuz Agang-ang

To everyone who finished the race, cutoff or beyond, especially to my “kabsat” Jonel and Ronald who were both “avengers,” Congratulations!  To those who weren’t as successful with their campaign, don’t give up and work hard for it should there be a next time.  Hopefully there will be.  See you next year?

Never stop exploring—The North Face | Test your limits—TNF100 Philippines


TNF100 Philippines 2010 Chronicles Index:


TNF100 2010 Chronicles: The Adventure Begins (Part 1)

The North Face 100, the Philippines’ toughest ultramarathon race is back on its third year, this time on possibly its toughest leg, Baguio City.  TNF100 was always on a league on its own and with Baguio City as its stage it surely would be an adventure of a lifetime.

TNF100 2009 in Sacobia, Clark was my first ever ultra, even earlier than my first marathon, thus having a special place in my heart.  Last year I was one of the few “lucky” ones that finished it, and this time around I’m back to prove to myself that it wasn’t just “luck” that allowed me to finish—it was hard work, and I can do it again.

This is it!

Coming into this year’s TNF100 I was anything but ready, physically speaking.  My right leg hasn’t recovered completely yet, and knowing how difficult last year’s leg was being “scared” would be an understatement.  I’m probably the only participant with a DNF (Did Not Finish) already at the back of his mind even before the race started.  With my situation my goal was simple: finish at least the first loop of the hundred kilometers (or 67K)—I’d cross the bridge when I get there.  But of course I will not throw in the towel without a very tough fight.

The Calm before the Storm: Shop & Dine

Friday, April 23, 2010: we arrived in Baguio City around 9:30AM and after settling in our transient home we were able to shop for added supplies and have a quick tour of the city.  I decided to purchase all my hydration needs in Baguio saving me from carrying a bigger and heavier pack—the Baguio advantage.  I was carrying a lone 40L bag for the trip (a single big bag is better than multiple light bags as I’ve learned from last year’s TNF100) containing all my supplies including more bags—lighter is better.

A must try

Must Try: O’ Mai Khan, a Mongolian grill and hotpot which is just around the vicinity of Burnham Park was our pick for lunch.  They offer a buffet, Mongolian grill style, for only P195!  A perfect choice for our “carbo-loading” complemented by fresh veggies.  Of course they also serve ala carte items on their menus and desserts are also great.

After lunch it was off for SM City Baguio for some last minute shopping and afterwards, rest.  The ladies in our group were able to catch some quick nap, whilst we guys spent the afternoon chatting!  Excitement?  Probably.  We were just passing time before we attend the final briefing in Baguio City Hall before the race.

SM City Baguio

Travel Tip: SM City Baguio, like its Metro Manila counterparts, also offer fast and free Wifi

Depositing drop bags for Radar Station

The final briefing was pretty short but concise.  The proud Mayor of beautiful Baguio, Mayor Reinaldo Bautista, Jr. was also there to share with us how proud the city is to host the event, and also give Neville Manaois, TNF100 2010 race director, and Jundel Llagas, TNF Marketing Manager, the key to the city.  We were also shown this year’s finisher’s token—a hand carved woodwork:

Finisher’s token for TNF50

Free dinner was also served to participants after the briefing but since we were in a hurry to return back to our transient home to rest we just opted to take dinner elsewhere.

Baguio City Mayor Reinaldo Bautista, Jr. presenting the key to the city

The Adventure of a Lifetime Begins Anew

This year the 100K (together with the new 50K) leg starts on an earlier time, 3AM, so there’s hardly enough time to snooze after the briefing, should one be able to.  Luckily I was still able to catch some and before we knew it, the time has come, and we’re off to the Starting line.  This is it!

Just before the start of the race

TNF100 Philippines 2010 Chronicles Index:

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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
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