The Road to the 1st Osmeña Peak 32k Challenge

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The event poster

Someone told me that running on the road is harder than on the trail because the grass is softer compared to the concrete road. I wish that the trail run route was all grass.

I’m not a runner and joining the 1st Osmeña Peak 32k Challenge never crossed my mind. I was convinced by my friend, Jam, to join since she didn’t want to go to Dalaguete alone.  I haven’t joined a fun run yet and I thought that I’d be too gutsy to jump to a 32k run! After doing a lot of thinking, I finally decided to join. I had about three or four months at that time to train and I wanted to be into running which could help in improving my endurance in biking.

I started training once or twice a week.  I watched a lot of YouTube videos and learned about pacing, breathing, etc. My body was still too heavy for my legs and I was very cautious about having my knees/lower legs injured. During the first few days of training, I would immediately stop after a few minutes and try to catch my breath. I barely finished my first kilometer. I just kept on going and focused on beating my time, not focusing on my speed yet until I was able to run for five minutes straight, then 10 until more than two hours. A few weeks before the event, I was already able to run 16k uphill and downhill in Busay-Budlaan but in a slow pace. I was scared of not being able to finish the whole 32k.

Here are the details of the event:

1st. Osmeña Peak Challenge, 32k
November 30, 2015 (Monday)

Gunstart – 5:00AM
Assembly Time – 4:00AM
Start/Finish: Brgy.  Malones Elementary School, Dalaguete, Cebu

Route:  Brgy. Malones – Osmeña Peak – Brgy. Malones

Route Profile: 70% trail, 30% road, 16 km uphill, 16 km downhill

Registration Fee:
P800 – August 01 – September 30, 2015
P1,000 – October 1 – November 20, 2015
with finisher’s medal and shirt

Originally, the cut-off time was 8 hours until they changed it to 10 hours a few days before the event.

What I brought/wore during the event:

  • Hydration bag
  • Trail shoes
  • Compression pants
  • Shirt and arm covers
  • GU Gels
  • Money (to buy water/food along the way)
  • Cap
  • Eye wear
  • Energy Bars
  • Phone and earphones

The day before the event, we checked in at Just Inn, an affordable mountain resort in Dalaguete.  I highly recommend it if you’ll be staying in Dalaguete.  The owners were very kind and accommodating.

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At the Brgy. Malones Elementary School. When we arrived, a lot (or majority?) of the participants were Ultramarathoners.  I just kept on looking at their legs. I love runner’s legs! Photo by Richard Anania

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With Jam and Nacz before the race started.

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Uphill run.  Photo by Richard Anania

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A solo runner. Photo by Richard Anania

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While the others ran in groups. Photo by Richard Anania

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Photo by Richard Anania

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To the forest.

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Going up.  We had to look for arrows in spray paint, ribbons tied to the branches and other signs.

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A single track

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Photo by Richard Anania

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Some parts of the route were very technical with loose rocks and steep climbs. I kept on holding on to the branches and other plants until I noticed that my hands were red, itchy and sore. Must have touched a poison ivy or the like. Photo by Richard Anania

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The runners stopped to have their picture taken with this poster. Humor me. Photo by Richard Anania

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Photo by Richard Anania

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Photo by Richard Anania

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Finally out of the forest! Photo by Richard Anania

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We haven’t reached halfway yet but these two were already on their way back.  I really admire them because they weren’t bringing anything except a small water bottle!  Photo by Richard Aniana

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My phone’s camera was already covered with sweat.

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Harhar

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This was the hardest part because we had to literally climb “Spiderman” style, well that’s what they called it. We never expected this route to the peak. I wish there were marshals in this area because anyone could fall with one wrong move.

 

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I had to stop to catch my breath (and insert cursing here).

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After my “successful climb”, I knew that I was already near the peak.

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I could see the other runners, locals and tourists on the peak (upper right of the photo). I should have been excited to see it but I realized that I still had to complete another 16k back to where we started. When I reached the peak, I could already feel my legs shaking and I knew that I needed to rest. We had our photos taken by the organizers, I rehydrated and continued with the challenge.

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I finished the challenge with new-found friends in 7 hours and 30 minutes.  Being with a group really helped me in finishing the challenge because they were able to boost my morale when I felt like giving up.  There were still about half of the runners who haven’t arrived yet. I heard that the others were still staying on the peak while the others waited for their teammates.

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The finisher’s shirt and medal 🙂

Next year’s event will be 42k with traverse to Kawasan Falls.  I’m not sure if I’m ready for that yet.  After the event, I could barely walk for two days.  LOL  I’m glad that I was able to finish the (run-walk-climb) challenge before the cut-off time and it inspired me to continue with my training.

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2 thoughts on “The Road to the 1st Osmeña Peak 32k Challenge

  1. You’re so good! Training for only 3-4 months for a 32k; and a first-time runner at that. Would want to visit Osmena Peak for the view (not through a marathon though, I’m good with the very very short hike haha). Congrats on the first run!
    Caffeine Rush

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