Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The premise of this race is a 360° run around Mt. Banahaw, an active volcano about 60 miles from Manila Philippines.
To get to Manila, I took a 45 minute flight from Oklahoma City to Dallas, then a 13 hour flight to Tokyo Japan, and a 4 hour flight from there to Manila. I left OKC at 9:00 am, Wednesday November 5, arriving in Manila 10 pm, Thursday November 6.
The race started Saturday night, 10 pm. I can only assume this was to avoid the heat of the day.
On Saturday I took a bus to the start and was dropped off within a block. The start was actually at the guard house of the resort. There was one bathroom and it was a mess. I noticed two guys coming in with some of bottles of Gatorade. I asked where they got it, and they said there was a 7-11 and a McDonald's about a kilometer up the highway. So I walked up there to get something to drink and use the bathroom. All of which was a very wise decision.
Villa Escudero was several miles past that. Slowly but surely I made my way close to the city. But I felt like I had missed an aid station. I was out of water and getting very tired. The one good thing about passing through all these towns was that there are plenty of small stores, basically front porches of people homes. I stopped at one and bought a bottle of coke. I sat down, drank it and after about 10 minutes I felt much better and started running again. It was around noon then, so I had been running/walking for over 14 hours. I finally made it into San Pablo City and I perked up at the thought that this was almost over. I was running well down the main street when I heard someone yelling at me. I turned around, and he started pointing down the street I had just passed. I went back to him, and it turned out he was an aid station. I thought to myself I would have been really upset to have continued down the wrong street for a long time. I continued down the correct path and was soon outside the city. I started seeing signs for a McDonald's that I had gone to the night before to have a comfortable time in a rest room. The signs gave the distance of 6km, which in my mind meant that I had 5km to go. Each new sign gave the distance and I was getting happy that I would finish in a very short time. I got to the guard house and nothing was there. The guard said I still had a mile to go, disappointment. But oh well, I continued on and when I finally made it to the resort, I saw the finish line and got my medal, trophy and shirt.
I finished in 16 hours and 12 minutes, 27th of 118 finishers.
I knew because of my feet getting wet that I would have blisters. After taking off my socks, I saw both my little toes had small blisters. Also, I had a blister on one foot between my big and second toe.
Everyone associated with the race treated me well and made me feel like a star.
My trip back to Oklahoma City was mostly uneventful, and I am home safe and sound.
I am again thankful to have the energy and ability to complete a race like this. To have completed the race with no apparent injuries. To have traveled such a long distance and return home safely.