Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Greenbelt Trail 50k
May 12, 2012
Net Time: 6:57:42

The Greenbelt 50 k Trial is definintely one of my most gruelling and challenging race. A steep uphill and downhill climb in a mountainous northern portion of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail. It is a two 25 k out and back trail.

The Trail.

After a brief pre race speech by RD Nick Palazo runners for the 25 k and 50k lines up at the 7:30 start. Then we head first to a 3 mile well paved roads that is open for traffic before heading towards the rugged trail. I have no idea about this rude and relentless trail until I got there with no prior researched about the race.

Apparently, trails were well marked with an orange ribbon tied to the tree branches. but no mile markers were set up. I made some couple of wrong turns but quickly recovered and back on tracks. Somewhere along the wooded part of the trail was a car wreck, what looks like an old jeep or a car. Leaves me wonder, How did it get there? Plentiful water and stations were set up at 7.5 miles apart. Between two major hills that we climb is a street open to traffic. I have to be in a look-out, cautioned myself to a speeding traffic.

Live entertainment! by Anju
Going north towards Cold Spring Harbor, located in the north shore of Long Island, is a spectacular view of the lake. Also, welcome as with a lot of roots along the ground and I had to constantly watched my step. Afterward, at mile 7.5, a steep and treacherous descend rewards as to another water station. Refreshing!

Few and far between. As 25 k runners were almost finishing, and a few runners scattered on the trail, founds me more peace and solitude. Feeling like I am away from the civilized world and going towards the Tarzan world. Some of the fellow runners whom I have seen were dirty and cuts with gash on their knees from falling. It was more a mental struggle to do another loop. I try to forget what was happening during the first loop. I just keep on going and continue my focused, by putting one foot in front of the other.
Finally, with 3 miles left, though I know in my mind that I have ran approximately 28 mile, I immediately ask the volunteer how many miles more. I am asking questions that doesn't make sense now that I am anxious to finish.

Exhausted but exhilerated.
Exiting the trail, entering the pave surface. with less than a quarter mile downhill left to finish. I can see my family and friends from my vantage point that they were camping out in a vacant lot at an industrial building. A Filipino style picnic under a shaded tree, sitting and lying on a straw mats while kids running, riding bike and skateboard. What a family and running event! The more I got closer the louder the cheers I am hearing. I passed them with a hand wave and a flash of my smile. Anju Dazo met me strumming his guitar and my son followed me by pacing the last 100 meters of the race panting at my side.

It was an awesome race, I completed the course in 6:57:42.

In the end, totally rewarding after receiving a hat with embroidered letters "Greenbelt 50K Trail". Everyone joined the makeshift picnic spot munching chips that they left behind.
For a perfect post recovery food, we head to a nearby KFC in the area and ordered a bucket of chicken with all the sides available and family size regular Pepsi.
Congratulations to Pinoy runners:

Running couples, Perry & Jona Dazo completed 50k & 25k respectively in 7:58:52 and 3:57:38. Shook their heads, stunned but feel happily refreshed.

Christian Lozada, 3:52:22, Exhausted but exhilirated.

Elaine Yulo, completed the course in 8:25:07. Easy! For a veteran mountain climber.

While another Elaine, Elaine Acosta, with numerous ultra finishes under her belt, finished third place overall in 5:48:19.

Jick Gellor, suffered a fall and sprained his ankle when tripped with a hiker in opposite direction. Takes the "DNF" in 50k but somehow completed the 25k course. Not bad for a days ran.