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Mapawa Trail Marathon: A Race To Remember

Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Series econd leg, Mapawa Trail, Mapawa, Mapawa Trail 42km Finishers, Trail Run, Johanns cordita, Kenn Baja,  Cagayan de Oro
Running the Mapawa Trail Marathon for my first 42km marathon was a humbling success. I have not imagined to win the first place but fate put a twist on trails that set my heart on fire.

Mapawa Trail Marathon official map and elevation profile
Mapawa Trail marathon official map with elevation profile of  2,274m elevation gain and loss. source
Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Run, Mapawa Trail Series 2017

Two months ago, I was only doing my usual routine - heat training, uphill training and long slow distance workouts in CDO uptown. Those days were a mix of exciting and agitating emotions given that the farthest distance I've run thus far is 32km. So part of my training is to improve mental skills. I don't know what could happen during and after Mapawa Trail run. I don't want to expect either. I don't have a PR to beat so initially, Kenn and I agreed to finish the race in sub 8.

On the day of the event, I got ambitious upon seeing the podium. I pictured out myself standing there, receiving my awards of recognition after a strong Mapawa Trail Marathon finish. Then I prayed, "Lord, kahit top three lang sa first marathon ko."

When all runners were lined up before the starting mark, I decided to apply the technique I used on my Mapawa 15km night run - to run behind the majority then slowly get ahead of everyone; but the gong startled me add to the fact that Kenn's pushing me forward. I have no choice but run. 😁 As much as possible, I have to cover more distance while the sun's not yet up and while I still have the energy to shuffle my legs. While approaching the first station at 7km mark, Kenn dropped by to take care of hydration. I went ahead then he ran after me shouting to verify my bib number and said, "Ikaw gauna sa bae!" His reaction was so intense, I can't help not to laugh. All at the same time, I am overwhelmed as well. Shortly thereafter, another female runner was behind me. Kenn said it was still too early to worry.  I'm not good with mind games so although I was anxious, I tried to relax and run on my pace. I don't want to waste our initial efforts. I want to maintain our lead. Later on, I was already enjoying the run and managed to laugh over jokes.

Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Run, Peak in Mapawa
We went up and down rolling hills with different terrain, but most of the time on open trails. (c) Mapawa Trail marathon

Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Run, Peak in Mapawa,  Mapawa Trail
Then at some point, our knees had a quick break upon passing by this terrain. Would you rather run or walk? (c) LadySoda

In all of the running events I've joined, Mapawa Trail marathon is by far the best race I've participated in. I have not suffered from leg cramps nor experienced heat exhaustion. Maybe because I have learned how to handle myself with my previous experiences including the Mapawa Night Run and Mt Megatong Trail Run. Whenever I feel my legs harden, I would stop and stretch quickly. I am also doing well with my supplementation and hydration, making sure to take it every hour to prevent exhaustion and  fatigue. It's one of those running essentials that I need to perfect in the next marathons I'll sign up for. On top of that, Kenn was supporting me all throughout the course. Somehow, having a running buddy makes every run memorable and fun.

Breathtaking, isn't it?
Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Run, Peak in Mapawa,  Mapawa Trail
This trail could've been muddier if it rained. Thank God it haven't! (c) LadySoda

What I love about the trails in Mapawa is that  it's challenging. There were lots of open and single-tracked trails  that every runner should take. A number of technical downhills and some nagging knee-pain uphills. There were inescapable boulders and muddy trails to pass by. Albeit all these, the scenic views, the cold streams, and the will to overcome yourself made Mapawa Trail Marathon a worthwhile run.  Although challenging, Mapawa  Trail is a friendly course to run for a first time marathoner like me. Should I say, every challenges along the course is manageable.

Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Series econd leg, Mapawa Trail, Mapawa, Mapawa Trail 42km Finishers, Trail Run, Johanns cordita, Kenn Baja,  Cagayan de Oro
Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Series econd leg, Mapawa Trail, Mapawa, Mapawa Trail 42km Finishers, Trail Run, Johanns cordita, Kenn Baja,  Cagayan de Oro
Mapawa Trail Marathon, Mapawa Trail Series, Mapawa Trail Series econd leg, Mapawa Trail, Mapawa, Mapawa Trail 42km Finishers, Trail Run, Johanns cordita, Kenn Baja, Mapawa Trail Run 2017, Mapawa 42km Champion Women's Category,  Cagayan de Oro

My ambition to stand in the podium, the courage not to waste our efforts to maintain the lead, and the desire to hit out target time - these all pushed me forward until Kenn and I ran towards the finish line hand in hand. We were 36 minutes and 10 seconds behind our target yet for the record, I end up 1hr 40mins ahead of the next. (See official results here)

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4 TRAILS:

  1. Congratulations Johanns! Really pays off to have a goal in mind in every race. Me on the other hand was just aiming to finish the race strong. It wasn't easy and I am amazed how you finished it in 8+ hours! Reading this post I learned something that I will definitely apply on the next trail run (Ultra Trail Marathon). You have to sign up! :) :* Congrats again!

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    1. It happens every time mommy ems. Whenever I see the podium, I would go day dreaming and wish to stand there before the crowd. Hehe! Maybe it's due to Kenn's influence. Anyway, Kenn and I are still planning which race to sign up for but good luck on the third leg though! :) Glad that this post is of help to you.

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  2. I have a friend who runs triathlons and she says when finishing a race, she cries. It is so overwhelming to her to accomplish such a feat. I imagine you must feel such a great accomplishment as well running such difficult courses and long distances. Congrats!

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    1. It is indeed overwhelming, ching, knowing for a fact that I overcame myself again. Nothing can ever compare to the fulfillment I always feel whenever I cross the finish line. Thanks!

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