Front Runner Valley Trail Challenge 2015

Thank you Franc R. for the Pic. :-)
 This is the 5th Edition of the Front Runner Valley Trail Challenge and my 4th time to join it.  For this year, however, I decided to move up and run the 30km event and though I'm pretty familiar with the Nuvali Trail, Race Director and good friend, Jonel Mendoza, had a different route in store for the 30km runners.  The route took us to the back side of Nuvali which was generally flat (with a few uphills) and lush vegetation though quite muddy and littered with COW MANURE. (Can't miss that unmistakable odor...). The race started at 3am on a moonless night so the race route was pitch black with only our headlights to guide us.  I generally found myself alone during the run because the guy in front was way too far ahead for me to even see him in the darkness while the person at the back was way too far behind to even notice his head lamps.  Though the valley trail was beautiful and serene,  I will be the first to admit that running the trails on an eerily silent and moonless night gave me the creeps. I was f#*@ing scared with my wild imagination getting the better of me. It actually felt like I was in a scene from "The Blair Witch Project" where I feared that  someone or some "thing " would suddenly jump out from the bushes and lunge at me.  I dare not stop or even look back, and just simply ran as fast as I could which was quite difficult on uneven terrain. Plus tripping or falling is not an option for that would mean a different kind of "horror story".

As daybreak came and the sun's rays started slowly creeping from the horizon, I felt a deep sense of relief and exhilaration. With the cool breeze blowing together with the natural high I normally get from the trails, I began to really enjoy my run notwithstanding that fact that I had to make several stops just to scrape off the mud that got stuck at the bottom of my shoes which almost felt like 5lbs weights.  With just 2kms to the finish line,  I picked up the pace and darted to the finish securing a place in the top ten which was quite a pleasant surprise.  Not bad for a "scaredy cat" old man like me. 

As predicted, the 30km race turned out to be 32kms instead. Just another one of race director Jonel's little surprises.  Nevertheless, I was happy to discover new routes which I would love to traverse and explore on my own next time. 

Congratulations again to Jonel Mendoza and the Front runner team.
Thanks Rai C. for the Pics.
The Hills are Alive ......

Crush nang Bayan - Vanj 

Hi Ja !

Hi ! Reckner