TNF : Up Up and Away

We thought that the marshals lied to us.

Later, I realised that they didn’t know what was ahead of us themselves. They only knew their sector and not the whole race course.

We left Km35 in good spirits  accompanied by cheers from the people at the checkpoint.

We were out to defy our limits and endure the trail…again!

Our merry band was composed of myself (we already know I’m crazy), Emer (I have to say he is crazier than I am. He just finished the Sagada Climbathlon last week and will do Subit this week), Joyce (she is 67yo and finished 2 Bostons. She was not the type to give up something she’s started) and Ken ( DNF at BDM at Km80 and dying to nail his first Ultra).

Joyce was assisted by one of the marshals, Albert. He was going to hand her off to the next marshal at the next checkpoint.

Up we went to the village on the side off the hill and back up the trail. I was still freaked but having company and not seeing how high the drop would be helped. First sign of trouble was when Albert could not spot the next marshal at the next checkpoint.

He left his friend at Km35 and they were both a long way from home. However, he could not leave us.

High drama. We have climbed far enough that going back down would actually be harder and more dangerous.


We couldn’t contact the base camp mobile phone.

Double cwap!

Finally, Albert decided that he would on with us. Marga came to our rescue by giving me Jundel’s number. We informed him that we were still on the trail but we could not find any marshal. He assured me that Albert will go with us all the way.

The 2K climb felt more than 2K. We eventually reached the top and found marshals. They told us to follow the road and this will take us to Loakan Airport.

It was such a relief to see paved road again.

When we reached the airport, Albert said goodbye. We thanked him and proceeded merrily thinking that we were almost at the finish line.

When we exited the airport, I called Lester to tell him that we decided to continue and to ask how far we were from Burnham. He said 2 to 2 1/2. I asked, “kms?” When he said hours, I felt my world crashing. I’ve been at this since 3am. Could I really go and trek up a mountain for 2-2 1/2 more hours?

I told the group but we just kept on shuffling forward and onwards to DENR.

The marshal we met at the bottom told us that it was just a 500m climb. Yeah right!

Up we went and then our Wall came in the form of another trail.

We looked up. Looked at each other. Had some water. Then the three of us decided to call it a night. I will not try to guess what was going through Joyce and Emer’s minds. At that point, I felt that I was exhausted and I couldn’t trust my legs anymore. I wasn’t confident that I could still safely negotiate the trail ahead of us. It wouldn’t be fair for my mom to get a call that something bad happened to me. And so I sent the message to Base Camp to inform them that we will DNF. We said goodbye to Ken and wished him well.

I will not lie. I have lotsa shouldacouldawoulda moments. I’ve thumped my head several times.

TNF : DNF … for now.

Drama. Over! Come back tomorrow and read about liempo, spring water and my tell all about  the guy who made going back to Kennon harder for 15hrs and over finishers. 😀


20 thoughts on “TNF : Up Up and Away

  1. Awww bards, at least you didn’t give up that easily (like your headlamp did hehe)… gives you more reason to come back next year for revenge! 😀

  2. hi! i think we were climbing (hindi na running, haha) alongside one another somewhere along the trail in the morning (we were the group with blaring speakers and with sticks as trekking poles, hehe).

    yup, safety first! plenty of trail runs and ultras in the future in store for you to conquer. 🙂

    glad to know the drama is over and hmm, can’t wait to read about liempo and spring water! 😀

    revenge next year! 🙂 that’ll be sweet. 😀

      1. Safety equipment. There is no compromise on safety, ha ha. Wardrobe, now that’s where you can cut. Overnight or week-long, we basically wear a single set.

  3. marcoparco – belated happy birthday! i shifted between having fun and enjoying the trails and making fun of myself. 😀 the craziest thing is in the middle of it all, when i was so tired from climbing, i knew that the only way out of it is to keep on climbing.

    dennis, carrey and BR – thanks! again again again? Abangan … 😀

    Lester – gusto mo ako ma-dead? i can imagine na keti killing me.

  4. shouldacouldawoulda moments are best kept in a small pouch and relabeled as Hope for thatwhichbeckons in the not so distant future 😀 next time, indeed! Once again we have all this road ahead of us… and that’s a very good thing! Kape and kwento soon… but first gotta cross this ocean! keep the stories coming…:D

  5. Bards,

    I think you made the right decision to DNF. It’s always always better to live and run another day.

    Sana TNF posted a more detailed description of the route including grade and incline or even a video of the steep portions para sa mga walang chance mag-recon ng ruta.

    See you in July sa Milo. =)

    Best regards,


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