Last Saturday, we went home in Amadeo, Cavite to attend our town fiesta and at same time to run in the Tagaytay Highlands Mizuno Fun Run on the following day.
On race day before 5 am, the family was already on the road going to Tagaytay. We all expressed our excitement and apprehension considering that we will be treated with challenges of the hills. We had been there and we knew the slopes. As we parked, I noticed that Tagaytay Highlands and Mizuno really prepared for this event. There were tents for the on-site registrants, nice start/finish markers, free-flowing brewed coffee, gatorade table among others. Runners were provided green singlets which complemented the greens all over the place.
However, the race started a bit behind the schedule as some VIPs were still to register and join the race. The was no complaint heard from the runners until the organizer finally instructed the 10K runners to go. After a few minutes, the 5k runners followed. I joined 5K because I have to race with my youngest son, who claimed he is already fit and ready to beat his mom.
Right at the start of the race, he ran fast and kept on looking back to monitor my whereabouts. I observed that every time I came nearer he would sped up and would ensure to protect the distance between us. I am so happy for my boy, he earned his bragging rights and his new PS game as his reward. He finished after 31 minutes (his new PR) and I followed him a minute later.
We were resting when my second son came to seal his another sub-1 in his 10k this time composed of 5k road and 5k trail, very exicting combination. He came really strong and the fastest in the family. After 3 minutes, my only daughter showed up and marked another podium finish, this time as third placer. After a while, my husband came smiling and of course running. I am proud of my running family.
After taking some pictures, we proceeded to the dining/reception area for the brunch. All runners were served with hearty and healthy meals. We all felt special and treated like kings and queens. Raffle items were plenty and of good quality. My second son won a Mizuno Dry Science shirt worth more than a P1,000. We were also given scratch cards from PCSO and the family was able to win P260.00.
We stayed for a while to wait for the awarding but there was a confusion when they announced the winners of the 10K female category. My daughter will give her account on this portion as I will also post her story after mine.
Overall, let me say I got a great race and I truly believe that the whole family enjoyed running in the Highlands. We will join again next year!
As I have mentioned, I will share the personal account of my daughter on this Tagaytay Highlands Mizuno Fun Run, here goes:
Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrring.My alarm went on. It was 4 o’clock in the morning and I needed to get up. I was lying on a mattress beside my mom and brother trying not to think of how many hours I actually had slept. We tried to hit the sack earlier two nights ago but…SUNSET RUN!!! enough said. And so I ddn’t want to pre-empt my body and make it think it was tired already because of fewer than usual amount of doze. I had to remind myself that where physical energy lacks, the mental power should compensate. This will be a great run. I said to myself. I am here for a personal mission.( Hi dad! =D)
[Secret note to readers: My dad and I are competing against each other on our races and hills and trails are his forte. In other words, somebody was really nervous to be beaten and mopped yesterday…ME!!]
Ahhh Tagaytay and ooohh Highlands. By sheer mention, TAGAYTAY HIGHLANDS echoes resplendent glory. Known to many as that exclusive country club perfectly situated atop the hilly banks of Taal Lake, it boasts of the best view of the Taal Volcano. Lush greens, manicured lawns, cool crisp air, posh villas, and the life of the movie star complete the package. Highlands gives people a taste of the American dream, such a far cry from the dirty, dry and dazed Manila. Yes what dream, oh my Highlands dream!! (of course movie star life included) fingers crossed. Someday… J
And so we were on our way to the Highlands of my dreams! And minutes later, there it was in all its beauty. We switched off the car’s AC and rolled down the windows to experience the fresh morning air…But dang it was coooold for me. So cold it sent a shudder up my spine and felt my lips turn instant purple. Add that to the mental torture of seeing my dad get past me on the trail..ahhh I so wanted to go back and skip this day. But I had to face this challenge. Part of me was telling my superego that it was okay to get beaten by my Dad. Anyways it’s his birthday on Tuesday so it will be a nice gift for him, bragging rights and all. But the guilt was eating up inside of me, like a hungry worm devouring a juicy apple because I knew right there and then that I can and I had to give my best all the time. The birthday gift rationalization was such a lame excuse for losing.
The race was held at Midlands, which reminds me of Frodo and the Lord of the Rings. The mythical war of the creatures in Middle-Earth ooops. This is more exciting than I thought. My mind has turned on its wander state! Ok so we finally got out of the car and I saw my dad’s face under the calm rising sunshine. Yikes, he’s confident today. He then told me it was okay for me to beat him because I was his child. Oh thanks dad, but I know you, you rev it up in the end and loves racing with me. My youngest brother, has his own game with my mom. Last time he was beaten and he promised this time he’ll leave my mom behind and he said that with an evil laugh. My other brother Sam, was just relaxed and composed as usual. He was just there to enjoy it. Of course I was there to enjoy it too and nothing more, well at least first and foremost. (Yeah right, whatever.)
On the way to the starting line, mom and I had to use the restroom so we looked for portalets. This is Highlands, and we’re near a golf course, there’s gotta be a restroom here somewhere. So we asked a guy at the Gatorade booth and he points his finger to HEAVEN!! nah just kidding. It was on top of a hilly road for crying out loud. Should I just hold it then I thought? It’s just 10 k and.. NAH. Or maybe I should? NA-AH! Okay then, this will be a great practice for me before the start or so I thought. One, two, three I just started counting and focusing on my landing steps. Oh noes I was in big trouble. The lady runner who went with us to the rest room even said “Let’s just join the 3k instead. This will be hard”. Mom and I just smiled. I thought if every kilometer or so had this type of steep curves, I’m gonna tire out easily…
So when I went back, in my frantic effort to calm myself, I told my dad he’s gonna beat me. I resolved to lose today even before the race even started. COWARD!
The race didn’t start on time because of late registrants, but it was all good. It was the first ever Mizuno Tagaytay Highlands Fun Run anyway, it has yet to make its mark. Plus, there’s just few hundreds of us, it wouldn’t matter to wait a few more minutes for participants who wanted to join. Plus it gave me more time to picture myself winning our game.
FAST FORWARD to 10 seconds before gunstart..Okay here we go, here we go, relax I said to myself relax and remember your pace. I turned on my trusty old beaten mp3 before the announcer said ready, set GO! And off I went.
The scenery was enticing. I forgot about my music. I had to focus on the road ahead and my personal mission but many times I caught myself indulging on the picturesque landscape. We did the first 5 kilometers or so on asphalt and the remaining more on dirt road. I had to listen to my breathing to know how I was doing because being there made me just so happy and excited I was giddy and looked foolish. I don’t remember how many hills we went through and turns I had to make before hitting the finish line. I just remember seeing my dad and getting past him somewhere before the 2nd kilometer. I then started increasing my speed at a decent pace careful that I don’t pant like a dog. And I never looked back again. We had to make a right turn out the midlands area to go out to a semi-subdivision or was it a subdivision? I really don’t know. Also I’m really not sure where I saw those fountains, plush trees and more green. But there was definitely plenty of sights to see and that sometime when I was lost in trance, I did dive.
Downhill is always tricky, you’ll think it’s easy to just allow gravity to do its work but if you’re doing this quickly, it’s hard to control your body. Next thing you know you’ve plummeted down lustily you ain’t ready for the long way up. I really don’t remember where I went exactly given my poor spatial reasoning and navigation skills. I just followed their lead and enjoyed myself. Once in a while, I would push the next button on my mp3 to match my desired pace. Then I saw my dad just about to get around and I’m so far ahead him. I breathed a “semi” sigh of relief. I thought at least I have more time to do the trails now before he catches me. Then on my way to the off-road, I saw mom and she cheered me. J
The runner next to me then asked me if I was from there. I said no, we just got there for the race. Then we chatted along as the race went through. This is the exact reason why I don’t chat during races. It’s not because I’m snob but because I’m really talkative. Don’t get me started or else I would want to talk FOREVER. I really tried to control myself but I had to be polite enough to answer especially when he’s the one who asked me. Anyways, I needed to know if I’m still in control of my breathing and talking can gauge it. So I engaged in friendly chat. And he became my running buddy. Then we hit off-road. This is really it!! Shoes don’t fail me =D
DIVE.push push push.DIVE.struggle.struggle.struggle. If I could summarize half of my race in just one line that would be it, full of action words. I felt how it was to have your legs burning. And I loved it. The inclines and downhills were much steeper than those conquered at Clark. It was so thrilling that once during the race I feared for my life. We had to run in a slanted steep road and I was so scared that I might roll backwards or fall to the side/( semi-cliff for me). I saw the lady we met in the bathroom and noticed how well she could use her legs. She was strong and she was just bluffing us!! Haha. Good job sister! I passed her once but she was just strong she caught up after a few minutes and I had to see her back for the rest of the race. I was resolved to enjoy the geared up intensity when another SURPRISE came.
Who would have thought that inside the aristocratic highlands, lies a mini “sitio” as my dad puts it? IRONIC it wasn’t. I would say, it’s life in brutal honesty. Amongst the richest, there is but a warm barangay in there, reminiscent of the simple townsfolk seen in indie movies living the simple life in its very essence. They don’t seem to mind the obvious difference in social strata because they were really kind people enjoying the race with us. Okay Maybe it’s not exactly inside highlands property but it looked as though it was to me with the absence of any markings which delineates them from the rest of “THE WORLD”. The setting was more like a scene taken out of a Filipino novel about the real country lifestyle.The houses were widely spaced from each other. There was just a single sari-sari store with wooden benches directly outside its windows. We even passed a piggery I had to hold my breath for 10 seconds. It was somewhere here, maybe 6th kilometer when the restroom lady caught up and passed ahead of me. It’s ok.it’s ok I said to dear ego.It’s not dad. hahaha. By the 7th kilometer I was so tired and so scared to go up and down again, I remembered drinking at every hydration station thereafter and even saying to my buddy “Ayoko na.” But I kept on running. WILLPOWER was working there. 9th kilometer, my shoes started kissing the asphalt again. Then I can hear the music somewhere I know I was near. And then I saw my brother and he said “quick you’re third”. Oh right, I made it to the podium. Although not literally.
After the finish line rush, I joined my family to wait for my dad. He was still nowhere in sight and I felt bad and a bit worried. I wanted to beat him and now that I did I felt that something might have happened because this was his forte. True enough, he had pains and his shoes were badly beaten, which slowed him down. When he came past us I gave him a wink and motioned how I just crushed him and called out his name as he went his way to the finish line and said a quick prayer of thanks for all of us. And oh, my youngest brother won his game with Mom too! Oh I love my family.
The best part of it all though was BRUNCH time!! Pasta, healthy sandwiches, iced tea, Gatorade and fruits galore filled me to the brim. Now I know how it felt like to race in an exclusive country club. Why, with gorgeous view, otherworldly terrain, and breakfast for the rich and famous! My mother’s 500 pesos was truly worth it, way past its worth.
While we were eating Mizuno bags, shirts, socks, Beach hut underwater cams, gift packs, supplements were raffled out. Since we were relatively few compared to a normal Sunday race in Manila, It was more like a private gathering/ reunion that you can feel the warmth and closeness of the people. The tables were decorated and the whole venue seemed to me like a reception for a wedding. We shared a table at first with a couple then we moved to another table. There was also a free foot viewing session courtesy of Mizuno where runners can know the type of shoe they must wear to maximize performance. Rudy Project also had some items on sale at 40 percent off. Mizuno distributed finisher’s shirts after brunch and continued with the raffle and gave away THREE PAIRS of MIZUNO RUNNING SHOES!
Awarding came and it took them a while to come out with the results. Medals, gift checks and cash were handed out to the podium finishers. I thought I would hear my name. My brother Sam came minutes before me and said I was the third female runner to cross the finish line. But I didn’t hear my name. Its ok I thought at least I bagged a good bet but the lady that was called was very honest and said there’s a mistake because she’s not a winner. Restroom lady who came ahead of me in the race then stood up and asked the organizers how could that happen, because she was the second placer. I said to my mom oh then I am third place. I have to be in third place because I came right after her. In fairness to the officials, they were very polite, kept their calm and tried to appease us. They were very apologetic and suggested that as soon as they fix the problem they would text my mom so they exchanged numbers. As I write this, the people from Mizuno had sent me an e-mail already with the official results of yesterday’s race. I came in third and now my podium finish is now official. But even without it, I am very happy to say that the race was phenomenal. It was such a great bargain for 500 pesos if I can just say it one more time heehee and I would love to do this again next year at a faster time hopefully.