Written on 8:03 PM by yahoo
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It has been a very busy month, took me forever to find time updating the team’s website. We have been very busy training for different ultra marathon events locally and internationally. While some of us are focused on generating new running activities for the team and the running community (trail runs, and 3 major ultra marathon projects). As we all know the hot topic right now is the upcoming TNF 100. Here are some of my thoughts about what lies ahead for all of us joining.
Let’s start off with the 100km
All I can say this will be a difficult race since The North Face always wants to challenge and explore your limits. Coach Rio and Vince along with the Finishline team will surely create a unique and challenging race for all of us. No matter what distance your taking part, Clark-Sacobia will provide a unique and dramatic challenge for everyone. It’s quite difficult to asses what will happen to the course since, the weather is quite unpredictable. A few would have predicted that rains will come this early. Let’s just see what will happen in the next few days. The course will be two loops just like last year’s TNF 100 in Nasugbu which somehow contributed to a lot of DNF. The initial plan this year was to make a single loop however the area provided unique challenges making it quite impossible to do. So two loops of 50km , however the second loop will involve a slight change in the course and even the terrain. (Picture Above: PUR, Jose De Vera in Mt. Pinatubo. Terrain of the TNF 100 course would be similar to Pinatubo, however I am expecting the course to have several climbs 4 to be exact).
The topographical map provided by the organizers highlights the difficult and challenging sections of the course. The first one will be the start up to AS 1(Aid Station 1) since runners will be running in the middle or near the side of the river. River crossing won’t be a problem, since your already in the middle of the river. If it stays dry the Sacobia river would remain firm with puddles of water. If it rains, I don’t think the water will be high( a few inches deep) enough to cause any danger but it will definitely be fast flowing. This resembles like the river in Pinatubo, shallow but fast flowing. So take it easy here, run your own pace, and don’t worry to much about your feet getting wet, just keep moving and focus on your pace. The race will start at 4am so just take it easy let the stronger runners pass you and use them to show you the quickest and stable route. TNF Map.
The Haduan section looks also difficult, specially from MP3 to MP7 and MP6 looks really really imposing. As you can see in the topographical map the contour lines(brown lines-represent the landscape) are really close to one another, if I can remember correctly it indicates these areas are really narrow. The lines are close to one another which represent steep climbs or drops. The MP’s are really close to one another, which also shows the difference in elevation. This loop will be really challenging so plan your pace well, you can sprint and reach Haduan while the trail is still freah, or you can be a diesel runner and run this part after several runners massacres the trail(at least you know your in the right trail).
Mp 11 to 14 is also imposing, contour lines are bunched together, and I assume there might be strong winds in this area since it’s on top of a ridge. Hopefully we can see the whole Clark area from here as well as our base camp. If it rains or the sun reaches its highest point, hmm good luck to us this will definitely test our endurance.
For the veteran and elite runners this will be a cake walk, just like last year they were all flying and blazing through the course. But for mere mortals like us who just wants to see the finish line, my suggestion is bring a trekking pole, it may be heavy to luggage around but it will surely help you go the distance. (Picture: PUR crunning down from Pinatubo. I'm assuming some sections would have a similar terrain.)
Kilometer 35 or AS 4, will be the first AS which we can access our gear. Refuel as much as you can the starting point is 15km away but would still involve some hills and river crossings. It would be a bit easier, my suggestion stick to your shoes and continue running or walking, you will be crossing several wet areas, changing shoes or socks might not give you any advantage.
The 2nd part of the 100km will remove the Haduan loop, which will be replaced by a 10km road section. Don’t let this fool you, since the road section is very hilly (based on the map this route is part of the dreaded climb in the 25km New Balance Power Run). Some runners might change running shoes or even lighten their load to gain some race position. Reaching base camp, you might want to consider running to the 60km mark before you finally refuel or rest. Finish 60% of the course before you take in some comforts in base camp. If you rest at the half way point there is a huge risk you to rest for a very long time and next thing you know you’re entertaining that idea of quitting, just like what happened to some runners last year.
At base camp, eat lots of food and refuel as much as you can, chances are you will be running or walking at night. Also you may want to brush your teeth or gargle with mouth wash. The goal here is to remove the taste of trail food you have been devouring for several hours. For me it helps reset your taste buds.
If you’re not sure about the weather and you want to pack light, my suggestion bring garbage bags. When it rains cut the top and side portions and transform it to a rain coat. When the rain is over, remove it tie the openings and give it to the marshal which they can use as a trash bag. Or you can choose the expensive alternative buy a light weight jacket or shell. However in the end you will still get wet, what’s important is to make sure after the rain your dry and warm. Remember out there once body heat escapes its difficult to bring it back. (Picture: PUR Jeremy Go in Mt. Pinatubo. The first part of the run will most probably be like this)
Just keep eating and drinking. Keep your calories up. Also try to breakdown the 100km into different manageable segments. Don’t target the whole thing just yet; focus on the 25km marker or the AS or MP points, that would at least help you manage your mental attitude. Don’t forget to reward yourself once you reach your target goal. Sandals anyone? I’m still not too sure about this it will basically depend on your preference, sandals is too open you might get injured specially in technical sections like the Haduan loop or small rocks might hit your toes. On the other hand it will keep preserve your feet. It’s up to you; maybe you can use it in the last few sections before the finishline or the end of the first loop. Also manage your expectations, don’t get discouraged about your time. Trail runs specially this one can take longer than road runs. Sometimes a 5-7kilometer trail can take you several hours to complete. Think of this race as a long trek or walk, I’m sure a lot of mountaineers who will be racing have experienced long never ending treks especially during multi day climbs. Hope this helps you prepare for the race.
More to come, I’ll also post some of my thoughts about the 10km and the 20km, just need to work right now. See you at the starting line at Clark.