How timely! Who would have known that some kick ass event like this will pull me out of the dungeon and wake my hibernating body. Nobody!
I’ve been having this running drama for like almost 3 months. I’ve been always absent at running clinics, even on our regular meet up every Tuesday. Even Cris is dragging me out of the pit I dug myself into. Yes, you see me running at events but that’s to get on and done with it. Running in races for the past days were not as exciting as having butterflies in the stomach. That’s something I really missed to feel. Until we get to be invited in this event. The Immuvit Fearless Challenge Leg 2.
We were not able to register for the 1st Leg which was held at the La Mesa ecoPark last August 26 because I got a prior commitment to run a race on the same date at McKinley in Taguig. According to some friends who participated, it was fun and challenging at the same time. Well, I witnessed it too by browsing some of their photos of the event, must be really exciting jumping off logs on fire! My kind of fun run, unique and adventurous. =) This race was themed, “NO SURRENDER”.
Running friend Blas, contacted me if I could run Vicky Ras’ kit for Leg 2. Without thinking what I will be up to I said yes. I didn’t even bother to research what’s in-store until 3 days before the said event. At our AnR Ortigas session, we simulated some of the drills to be done come Saturday, and hoped cramming would help me. Well what do you expect from a 3-month bum? My goal on race day is just to have fun, besides its Metafit, I will enjoy it no matter what.
Cris got the kits from Without Limits office (Thank you so much!). At the back of the singlet says “NO EXCUSES”.
Boom! I’ve been living in and enjoying all the excuses I’ve been making in order not to train. Unpredictable weather condition. Too much rain. Too humid. Tired from household chores. My 24/7 Mommy job. Being the schoolboy Mom. Q’s assignments and exams. Monthly periods. Boredom. Name it, I got them. This event should kick my butt out, I told myself.
12 midnight of September 29, I woke up because of the heavy downpour, worried that the event might not push through, but good thing it stopped. With friends, we head to Quezon City Memorial Circle for Immuvit Metafit Challenge, which is the 2nd leg of the 3 part Challenge event. It was an intimate event joined by a number of fearless participants despite the rain.
Participants were divided to Waves and Categories; Advanced Male/Female and Beginner Male/Female. Some waves like mine have mixed genders. There were 5 exercises/drills to be made after each sprints, namely, Rip:60 Pull-Ups, Tire Flips, Wiper Push-ups, Tire Pull, Walking Lunges with weights and Burpees (as opposed to the published Burpee Box Jump). Reps vary depending on gender and category. There’s a team relay too right after the individual categories finished.
My number belonged to the 4th wave — will race against a woman and 10 men (as I remembered). The dynamic stretching was lead by Coach Bob Tolete and Coach Czhel Macogay before each waves. Gunstart of each was shot every 10 minutes so as not to crowd the exercises and give the participants the chance to perform and execute each drill well.
My body is shaking thinking about how to pull through, (pull my body up, i should say) the Rip:60. Having the advanced category for women I got to pull myself 20 times the suspension band. However, the drill was still modified for women; legs on 90 degrees, for male legs should be straight. Back should be straight with elbows close to body on 90 degrees too.
My strategy, slowly but surely. For all we know “walang kaibi-kaibigan” in this event, (hahah) One wrong execution and its invalid, therefore, for 20 reps with 5 wrong form makes you a total of 25, whew! I only had 2 wrong body form so I made 22 reps…
“Butt Down!”, the marshals would scream to their runners. The goal for this drill is to move the tires by flipping it about 50 meters to the cone and back on a squat position. What makes the drill extra difficult is when the tire landed unevenly and wiggles as you throw it. Its a no-brainer for those who does the squats regularly.
If I could hate one drill there is in the event, this would be the top notch, the Wiper Push Up. Its because no matter how much I wanted to do it right I just cant. Well practice makes perfect as they always say. Same with the first drill, wrong form voids the execution. 90 degree arms, straight back, knees bent for women and straight legs for men. 20 reps alternately “wiping” left and right for advanced and 10 reps for the beginners.
After the arm numbing wiper push ups I gotta get up and find balance and sprint my way to the tires tied on ropes. With Running Host yelling on the microphone, “This is your forte Bave! Dont Relax! Go! Run…run..run!” , how were I able to catch my breath and run on that slippery pavement. (Thanks to my Diadora Samurai 3, of course!) We made 2 loops of 20 meters pulling the tire around another tire on the other side. Then sprint again to the next station. But before that I had to hit the water station and breathe for air.
Another hamstring and leg burning drill, the Walking Lunges. It is where I appreciate best my long legs. The longer the strides the lesser energy consumed the faster I get to the other side of the loop. First part would be lifting two 10 pounder dumbbells (for women, 40lbs for male) over the head then walk. Upon reaching the loop, the weights can be put down on the sides still walking in lunges. The trick here is not how fast you change strides but how you perform and how your posture look like. I learned from running clinics legs should be shoulder width apart to gain balance. Maintain 90 degrees on both front and back legs. Back straight.
Then while the legs are wobbling, I gotta sprint again to the other side of the oval and do the Burpees with jump and clap instead of the original jumping on box. 20 reps again of that for the advanced and 10 for the beginners. Since I gained speed on some the participants I caught the lady in the burpees station. Burpees with jump is no joke, you get dizzy when you’re not used to doing it. That’s my advantage. But since she was there already when I came, I had to double time my speed in execution.
She stood up ahead of me and ran her way to the Finishline. But because of the cheers from friends it boosted my speed and found myself almost flying the remaining 200 meters more or less escorted by the Running Host and my marshals.
Boy Ramos, the host, announced that participants have to wait till the last wave finishes. The fastest in each waves, Advanced and Beginner will have to compete again for the sole Title — “Metafittest”. While waiting, I borrowed a DSLR camera of some photographer friends who are also running, and took some shots at the event. I also volunteered as watcher for the marshals whom we suggested to try the competition too, AND BOY! IT WAS FUN — Pushing and motivating back the ones who pushed you to finish the race.
After all the waves including the relay teams finished, Running Host announced those who were included to compete for the Finals. I was one of the female contenders. Since only one will be awarded, there was one female that obviously stood up among the advanced. It was Irene Marfil, a body-builder lass, who was remarkably fast in all the drills especially the ones that needed the upper body strength. Congratulations!
Since the weather didn’t cooperate the organizers modified some of the drills as opposed to the launched and published one because the participants’ safety comes first of course. Quezon City Memorial Circle grounds (painted pavements) fronting the stage and oval was the official location of the event. The painted pavements were a bit slippery, the performance depends on one’s shoes and balance. It was a well-manned race. Every runner has their respective marshals to watch over the proper body form to be executed in each drills. Some were so uptight though, lucky me my watchers were considerate enough but I know I tried my best to perform well.
The show must go on. Despite the heavy downpour every now and then the race didn’t stop. Not even the band that was singing on stage to wake up the expectators and runners on a cold and wet weather.
After crossing the finish line, loot bags and the finishers medal were given away. Water and Powerade were enough. Photo opts here and there. The event didn’t have that much participants maybe due to a race the next day. The best thing about small races is that participants are intact. Lots of chances to get to know each other more, regardless how seasoned or new you are in this activity. You may come in different groups but the event unites everyone as a family.
I have lots of people to thank for, first and foremost Blas Tiangco and Vicky Ras for the kit. Sir Ian Alacar of Without Limits, congratulations to also to the team for a successful event. Coach Jim Saret of Milo Apex and Coach Joseph Pagulayan of Kinetiq for the concept of this Metafit Challenge. Running Host Boy Ramos for the LIVE boost over the microphone. (nakakaloka lang talaga!) The Marshals who were also my running friends and acquaintances, you’re too many to mention but I would like to have a special shout out to those who personally assisted me throughout the race both in the eliminations and finals Maccoy Lontoc, Rico Azurin, who I met for the first time at the event, Sir Toel, Jackie Gutierrez and Peachy Tamayo…Thank you very much guys! Thanks and nice to see the other running friends too who marshaled and ran in the event. To my teammates, Jimmy Ong, Eric Caramay, Dennis and Jinky Cruz, Nestor Huerno and family, Ivo Ingua and Pat Enriquez thank you and CONGRATULATIONS. Last but not the least, to my coach, pacer, cheerer and everything Cris, Thank you for the patience training me last minute. I know how I gave you a real hard time pulling me out my comfort zone still you never gave up. Congratulations too, for doing the Individual and the Relay. You’re a monster!
To all the photographers, Thank you so much. Check out their albums of the said event. Like them on Facebook.
- Tong and Sheryll of Tong Pascua Photography
- Alfred aka Running Atom
- Manghusi Photo Shop
- the Running Photographers (Jojo, Rodel, Ryan, RJ etc)
I dedicated this run in advance to our departed running friend Penn Cenido.