So … what happened?
This gets harder and harder to answer. Not because the answer is complicated. It’s because every time I explain, I can’t help but relive hardest moment of the race. It takes me back to the moment when I finally had to push the send button to inform base camp that runners 659, 620 and 618 will DNF.
So what happened nga?
Baguio left me breathless! Running through John Hay was a breeze. At one point, I had to check my mobile phone and when I looked up, I was alone. It was just me the pine tree, roots all over and enveloping darkness. I freaked a bit and ran faster. That was the easiest part of the race.
It was when we started climbing that I realised that I can’t climb very well. Running and walking inclines and uphills is not equivalent to climbing. I lost time climbing up and the world overtook me. I lost my footing so many times that I think my guardian angel resigned several times.
Going down wasn’t a picnic also. Earlier I said that Batman will be in charge. I was wrong. What saved the day was my butt, man! The steep downhill from the German house was so scary that I spent a good number of minutes on my butt.
I wasn’t destined to climb every mountain. Although I did enjoy it. I loved the serenity. Unfortunately, unlike some people, I wasn’t destined to mountain goathood.
It was 6ish pm by the time I got back down to Kennon. I found out then that I was just at Km35. I had 4 hours to the cut-off. Uphill. In the dark. 15K. Possibly alone. My only light source was the flashlight of my mobile (the headlamp… was way smarter and dropped off early in the race). I got scared. Images of myself crumpled down some ravine flashed before me. Not a very happy ending. I know what it feels like to fall off a ravine. I have no desire to find out how much it would hurt if there are no bushes to break the fall.
I called Keti and texted Lester, I was going to DNF. I no longer felt that it was safe for me to go on.
Then I spoke to one of the 100K runners. He said he was quitting also. I looked at him and asked if I could borrow his lamp. He said no.
I decided to wait for Emer and Ria.
Wait. Wait. Wait.
The sari-sari store didn’t have flashlight.
Joyce (659), Emer (618), Ken (759) and Ria (619) arrived. We had ice cold coke. We talked about how we got back. We talked about how hard it was.
Joyce kept repeating that she would still want to continue with the race. When a marshal agreed to assist her and pass her on to the marshal at the next checkpoint. I asked again for a light source.
Jessie from Spectrum offered me his head lamp.
I stood up and told Joyce that I would go with her.
I’ve been dogging her step the from the climb to Bedrock. And if this 67 year old lady will continue with the race, then my goodness so will I.
Ken stood up.
When I looked back, Emer had his headlamp on again.
Maybe it was just the sugar but we really felt that we could conquer the remaining 15K.
They said it was 2K up, out to Loakan and then off the Burnham.
… to be continued.