Last July 28, around 300 runners participated in another exciting, exhilarating and extreme trail run adventure within the lush eco-community of Earthheaven in San Mateo, Rizal. Eartheaven is a 20-hectare oasis surrounded majestic sceneries and breath-taking mountain landscapes. #alamna
The Teva Trail Challenge has two categories: the 5K Warrior and 10K Elite Race. Aside from the physically challenging route of each category, runners must passed and complete various extreme obstacles along the course. I joined the 5k Warrior category because I am not Elite, but I can be a warrior. Lol yeah! Warrior! Ahooo! Ahooo! Ahooo!
While most of the runners I know where busy prepping for the biggest marathon in the country, the following decided to take a different challenge over the weekend and chose to be a warrior than to be a marathoner. Haha. The brave warriors were: Thirdy Lopez (thirdylopez.com), Cheryl Golangco (littlerunningteacher.com), Philip Villareal (Wheninmanila.com), Dennis Ravanzo (runningpinoy.com), Christine Fernandez (jovialwanderer.com) & Aj Beronio (Powerpuff Boy!)
The race was so intimate that among the almost 300 runners, they were the only people I know personally. We decided to run the race together except for Christine & Aj, who ran the 10K category.
The TEVA Trail Course
I have to say that trail course of Earthheaven was no way near HEAVEN nor EARTH. It was pure upHELLs & downHELLs, rocky rivers and muddy mountain ridges. It was very challenging and a legit buwis buhay adventure.
The course started with 1.2 Km uphill road and that was the only time I remembered myself running. The trail entrance will follow and this will be the start of series of slip and slide, crawl & climb, river crossing & waterfalls ascending.
The first obstacle we encountered was the wall climb with net ropes. It was intimidating to look at but it was doable. Thirdy, Cheryl, Phillip & Me passed this challenge with flying colors and dirty hands.
Next to wall climb was a long muddy downhill trail where we alternately laughed at each other every time someone falls down and curses, curses and falls down again. Philip won our internal “Dulas Challenge” where he scored 4. Thirdy was second with 2, Cheryl & Me with 1 each. (Note: Philip was not wearing TEVA trail shoes!) On the “Cursing & Tili Challenge”, Teacher Cheryl was the grand slam winner. Congrats Teacher! 🙂
The next obstacle was the river crossing where you will choose one from the three ways of crossing the river: rope bridge, single rope bridge & rope swing. I chose the most difficult, of course: the rope bridge. Haha.
After crossing the bridge, we went down to the river for a loooong trek. The water level was varying from knee up to chest deep. Good thing there were ropes where you can hold on to at the deeper part of the river. We spent a lot of time on this part of the course. All the mud and dirt we acquired from the trails were washed out by the river and it felt so good. Haha. At the end of the river was a majestic water falls where you have to ascend, using ropes again. There were marshals who will assist you if you are not sure where to step. This was my favorite part of the course. 🙂
I thought after reaching the top of the falls, we will be somewhere near the finish line but I was wrong. There was long uphill evil trail waiting for us. In my opinion, that was the most difficult part of the course. It was like a never ending muddy uphill trail. Every step, every movement, every breath… was a challenge. It was extremely difficult. I’m glad I survived that part.
After that long climb, was slippery downhill muddy trail, where you have no choice but to slide in the mud or do spider man moves to pass the route. The first and only hydration station along the course was located on this area. The next challenge was a series of man-made obstacle course: swing on a muddy pit, monkey bars, wall climb, hurdles & tires. I skipped the monkey bars & wall climb because I don’t want to take the risk of falling & dying dirty. Lol
The final obstacle was a knee deep mud pit that you have to cross (and avoid falling down) before crossing the finish line. We were so happy it was not a mud crawl. God is good! 🙂
We crossed the finish line together and head to the shower area immediately. We were so muddy and dirty, got some cuts and wounds during the race but it was all worth it. Wounds make us Warriors and scars, as Survivors! #anodaw haha
Teva Trail Aftermath
Runners were given free meals after the race: sandwich, banana & their official hydration partner: Gatorade. All finisher also received loot bags with snacks & items from sponsors Res Toe Run, Timbuk2, Magic Flakes,Gatorade. Also included in the bag were soap & shampoo for a refreshing shower after the muddy trail adventure. Ayos di ba?
There were also mini challenges and random raffle prizes that were given away to participants from the event sponsors: Timbuktu & R.O.X.
Over all, Teva Trail Challenge was a great trail experience. The new location was certainly a plus and the exciting obstacles complemented the challenging route itself. I have to admit that I underestimated the race, thought it was gonna be easy. Haha. It was definitely a huge challenge for newbie trail runners.
The singlet & loot bags for the participants were also commendable and I also appreciated that they included the snacks, shower & transportation on the registration fee.
I hope this will be an annual event. It would be great to do it again next year, with proper training and more preparation.
Congratulations to all the winners and finishers and to the race organizers! 🙂
Photos c/o Thirdy Lopez, Christine Fernandez & ROX FB Page. Thanks!