Less than a week after I ran my first 50K on self-support (see story here: my first ultra race on self-support ;-P), I was on the road again for another ultra, the Laguna to Quezon 50K Ultra Marathon (L2Q).
I have to admit I didn’t pay much attention to this race when it was promoted, after all, the race organizer was an unfamiliar name to me and I’m always wary of races that aren’t organized by the likes of the Jovie Narcise, Jonel Mendoza or Jon Lacanlale. Not until the excitement brought about by runner friends turned into frenzy as race day neared did I wish I could still join.
Then Boy Praning a.k.a. Meljohn Tezon made me an offer I couldn’t resist, a couple of runners won’t be able to make it to the race, would I be interested in taking one of the bibs? I said yes. He said he was going to get back to me later that week but Saturday came with no word from him. Then I find out Sheryll Quimosing is running when she called to offer help to find me a bib. Soon as I took her up on her offer, Boy Praning called and asked,
“Marupok ka ba?”
To which I replied, “Sir, Yes sir!”
It had been a long Saturday, with a birthday breakfast buffet a with friends t Bag Of Beans in Tagaytay, a trip to SM MOA for some shoe shopping and to watch Man of Steel on IMAX that it was late evening by the time I got home. With no sleep since Friday and a full tummy I feel asleep as soon as I hit my bed. I forgot to set my alarm for midnight and to prepare my running gear that by the time I woke up it was 0300AM, Sheryll and Boyp has been calling but my phone was on mute. I called and texted them apologizing and asking if could start late. While waiting for a reply, I scrambled to grab the gear I planned to wear, rushed to take a shower and bounded down the stairs to find my kuya already awake.
“Late na naman ako!” I said.
“Saan kita ihahatid?”
Kuya again to the rescue!
He drove me from Santa Rosa to the Santa Cruz Provincial Capitol in a little over an hour, giving me a few minutes before gun start. I looked for Boyp to get my bib and was glad to chance upon Alex Jones, who was already running, and Brian Tan Seng who came to support. Sheryll I’m sure was busy socializing and Gia Estrella was with the Triads so I figured I’d just catch during the race.
I had to take a leak and as soon as I got back, the race has started. I’ve never seen so many runners in an ultra race! Five hundred and fifteen (515) according to Runmania‘s website.
The excitement was palpable, all of a sudden what usually is a quiet, sleepy narrow road on a Sunday morning was filled with runners and mobile support crew left and right.
Boy Praning on mobile support duty with Brian Tan Seng in tow.
Having just decided to run and get support from Tong Pascua the night before, Sheryll starts fast and fresh.
Gia Estrella supported mainly by the Triads breaks away early.
Alex Jones baring it all on foot.
I struck a pose while running past Tong along Caliraya and got this shot. Lucky!
Kamote friends Wesley Orana & Mish Maravilla doing support duties
Our photographer getting some front of the camera time with Mish.
One of several aid stations along the route provided by the organizers and their sponsors. They served water, sports drinks, ice, eggs, bananas, chocolates, even ice cream cones at one point.
Somewhere within Cavinti, a motorcycle trying to overtake a tricycle almost ran me over. Good thing he only hit the back of my left shoe which fell off. Incensed, I reprimanded the rider (in English). All he could say was, “Sorry, Sir.” No harm done so I just kept running.
Still, nothing beat the “Tindahan ni Boypra”, which offered beer, iced tea, soda, chips, eggs, sausages, corn, buko, ice, etc., to every runner who passed by. My kudos to all mobile support teams but I have to say Boypra trumps you all.
Before I knew it, the race was over and we were greeted by the usual suspects like JP Navarette who just ran his second ultra.
Lao Ogerio, Tanay 50K champion just four days prior, finishes this time in the Top 30.
Brian Tan Seng took himself to task with paparazzi duties.
Team Marupok succumbs to another amazing ultra event.
Strong finishes for Team Kamote!
The route was long (it was longer by 3KM than the declared 50KM) and the hills were a bit of a killer, but with cool, cloudy weather and some sunshine near noon, the race proved to be a rather enjoyable one.
At the finish, each runner was greeted with a medal, a trophy, a certificate, a finisher shirt and a post-race meal. Quite a loot from a relatively newcomer in the ultra race organizing game. If they’re aiming to raise the bar of ultra running events in the country, this initial venture was a successful attempt, in my opinion.
…to Team Kamote Runners (namely Tong, Boypra & Brian) for providing support…
…to all mobile support units who extended help along the way…
…the the aid stations and security personnel who marshalled the event…
…to Run Mania & Caliraya Runners for bringing ultra running to this part of the south…
…and to my fellow runners for making the event fun and challenging!
Congratulations one and all!
To view the results of the race, click here:
Photos courtesy of Tong Pascua & Dan Sagap.