A little challenge for the family

48 hrs since I returned to Manila, we traveled to Baguio, 4.5 hrs drive from manila for our trail races. I was still tired, slept 10 hrs Friday night after quick packing. We left Manila 6:30am and got to Baguio 11am. First stop was to pick up the bibs. YAY! First family race event.

then we met with our friends for lunch before check-in at the hotel. We stayed at Manor Camp John, looks like a ski resort.

weather in Baguio is much cooler compared to Manila, 17C in the morning and goes up to 25C during the day. It’s the best summer escape for locals.

our suite room was big and comfortable. It doesn’t even come with AC and we were cold at night.

Hubby and I enjoyed 60 min massage at the spa while girls watched Netflix. Then we went to yellow cab for pizza as we didn’t want to drive out anymore. In bed before 9pm.

I joined the 16km race and the starting time was 6:30am. I arrived few minutes before the young and handsome race director (the same one in 2019) gave briefing.

My target time was 3 hours for 16km run with elevation gains of 3300 ft, which was quite ambitious as my 32km run 3 years ago was over 8 hrs. I finished in 3’22” at the end, 6th overall female, not bad. My thought process went like that:

2km: I thought we would be down down down, but so far it seems pretty flat and nice.

3km: oh… the steep descend has started. Everyone is passing me, realizing I’m not a trail runner and afraid to fall with each step.

5km: how much more descend do I have? My quads are giving up on me, harder and harder to stay still and not fall.

6-10km: finally done with going down but suddenly we are going up steep!!! No jogging, just power hiking, slowly passing people that passed me before.

11-15km (rolling hills): now I remember why my first instinct was NOT sign up for 32km EVER AGAIN. This is painful, I should have joined Sofia’s 8km. But anyway…. I am sticking to my plan. Downhill: Don’t fall. Uphill: Keep walking. Flat: run/jog and pass others. Despite the pain, I was feeling grateful that my body was still moving, pushing, heart rate pumping to 180 bpm.

16km: last km already? Oh this is so nice, flat, shaded, cool, I could keep running like this forever.

Arrived at finish line running, sprinting, happy to be back to life.

When trail running, I don’t listen to anything as I need to focus on where I step, tune in with my body, which allows space to think/reflect/contemplate. It’s like moving meditation, pushing physical limit brings clarity. It is this magical place that makes me want to go back to push my body to the limit over and over again. For others, this sounds insane but I know it’s hard to explain this feeling and mental state if one has not gotten there.

Then I met with Sofia who already finished, not first, not last, but slower than planned because she fell and had to walk back.

we hang around the finish line for few more hours until our friend came back from the 32km. Then we left Baguio with happy mind exhausted body.

Our drive home was 7 hours long because of road closure. Poor hubby that had to drive for so long, especially he’s still not fully recovered from the cold. I felt loved that he did all this because it makes me happy that we get to join this race as a family. We walked with Lizzy for the 3km race.

What a busy and challenge weekend. I am so glad we went. I would have canceled it after a week long in Siem Reap if not because of our friends. Sometimes, we just need to get out there, just like many runs 🙂

2 thoughts on “A little challenge for the family

  1. Wow! Congrats to you both. I have “run an organized race” as one of my goals for the year and this is inspiring me to start researching something ASAP. Time is flying by!
    Again – well done!


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