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A Priceless Podium Finish

It was January 15, 2011, 9:30AM when I woke up. Seems like a very good day, the sun was up, and I'm anticipating my first race for the year. There seems to be a lot of things to accomplish for the day, but it's also hard to let my first race race pass without a good judgment. It's an out-of-town trail run at the Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. The first time that I've been on this venue was last year of May 22, during my Marathon debut.

A nice day to run... is when there are no runners!
At 1:45PM, I boarded the bus at Kamuning going to Balibago, and it departed from the terminal at around 2:00PM. Just a few minutes more than an hour, I arrived at the Sta. Rosa tollgate where I rode a tricycle going to Nuvali. As I stepped out from the trike, I immediately saw the starting anchor of Finishline. And I was surprised that there were still very few runners lacing up at the starting line. I even thought I might not be able to see some and other running buddies from the different running groups. But a few minutes before the 16K category started, I saw James together with Julito heading already towards the starting line. Then in a few while, co-runners from the six:30 running group arrived with Allan(RFM), Igy, Ishigo, Kat, Jonj, Louie, John, Noel, and Hendy.

Clipping the TimingChip on a VFF

The Thrills and the Trails

As we start off from the starting line, we were traversing the concrete, then entered the grasslands after a few meters. I was leading the pack in an estimate pace of around 6 mpk. The grassland has flat terrains with just a few water drainage-like bumps that adds more challenge as it made me think in a snap whether to hop, jump, or run through the gaps.

On my back was a guy consistently pursuing me, hearing his hard-breathing gives me another challenge to push more and maintain my distance from him. My lack of training mileage for almost two weeks (last two trainings was January 1 and 12 only) made my leg muscles want to surrender early and take some walk breaks. I feel that I'm already slowing down and already thinking of letting the guy behind me take my place when suddenly, a varsitarian-looking guy just ran past me. He looks so relaxed and his strides are fast and long enough that you wouldn't see a pressure from his form (now he's taking the lead). A few minutes later, another man, an older one, ran past beside me too, I looked back to see if he was also the same guy who was chasing me, but was glad that my pursuer, is still pursuing me, lol! Then seconds after, a Kenyan girl made us sniff her trail dust as he run away from us on the dirt road.

Then a great surprise stumbled on me after a hard run on a downhill, rocky trail - a short but very steep trail going to the creek made me doubt what my trail shoes (err, trail toes) could offer. This is where I slowed down and let my pursuer take the lead, and decided to just chase him when we are already on the road. As I traverse the slippery rocks of the creek I thought I was going to slip towards the muddy sides of the creek, face-planted! Nevertheless, thanks for this footsy KSO Treksport for not failing me (will write a review about this one). A few meters after turning around from the watery and slippery rocks, just before we tread our shoes for an incline going up and away from the creek, I was able to chase my previous position from that guy as I hop left and right from the waters and rocks while he was slowly making his way out from the same obstacles.

As I start to climb the ascents from the creek, the marshall announced: "you are third Sir", then to the guy behind me: "Sir fourth place!". More adrenaline came rushing from me that I was able to run the steep climb. What follows next is a seemingly-endless prairie. The course was already flat and I was able to create a good distance from the pursuing guy. In front, I can't see any other runners, the 1st and 2nd placer, as well as the Kenyan girl may have already been far beyond us. I was running alone already that boredom has almost settled into me. I think I miss the guy's hard-breathing from behind. :p

Leaving the Trails

A few more continuous rolling (tempo run) from the grass lands and I can already see the road, the 2nd placer, and the Kenyan girl. Then as I exit from the dirt lands and step onto the concrete, the Marshall re-confirms my position as 3rd place. But then, it was another challenge to run faster on the road since it was no longer flat, but a waving 15-20 degrees incline. But the motivation of maintaining my position kept me going... and going... until I reached the finish line. A silver medal was handed to me.

The Fun and Priceless Moments

Life as it is, the fun never goes out after some hardships. And it started after the race. Some of the six:30 peeps who ran their own categories were already there, waiting for other "Barney" runners. One by one, our pack completed, down up to the last Barney (read his story here) left on the trails of Nuvali.

As we enjoy the runner's high, The blessings of rain and wind whipped our face and our cooling body, or rather... freezing body. We were all stranded like a chick trying to warm ourselves from each other's back.

The awarding also took place on a winter-rainy season-like manner. When it rains, the awarding stops, when the rain stops, the awarding continued! And... as each awarding takes place, a "revolution" of some kind from among the finishers awaits Sir Vince, the Marshals, the Emcee, and even Finishline's Coaches.

RunningAtom award
Yeah, feel it!
My 3rd place award did not even come to me during the proper awarding that I wasn't able to take photos together with the 1st and 2nd place podium finishers (lol!). Later did I know that I am supposed to be awarded 1st Place... Yes, I'm the Champion for the 16K Trail category, outrunning the famous Kenyan Willy Tanui under the time of 0:46:20 comparing to 0:58:57 (Willy's time). Upon further confirmation, my name was obviously encoded under the wrong category. The guy who was wrongly awarded with the 3rd place also admitted that he was supposed to be on the 4th place. Thanks to Coach Jo-ar for the assistance in re-confirming our race result, and to Sir Vince for rectifying the result.

All these commotion was for the sake of receiving a podium prize on the stage, the priceless token, un-exchangeable glory, and treasurable experience of being awarded with an extra... BRONZE medal -- PRICELESS!

Double the prize medal!
In contrast, the experience that this event brought to us, to the six:30 running group was far more enjoyable and much treasurable. We don't need to have a token for each other to prove the friendship and camaraderie. The joys of being with the group, exchanging silly and corny jokes are enough to tell the world... we are all Barney's together!

The six:30 Running Group Family
Race Profile:
Distance: 8 km.
Official Time: 0:46:20
Official Ranking: 4th out of 36 overall category Finishers

Race Info:
When: Jan. 15, 2011.
Where: Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Event: Finishline's InMotion Road xTrail 2011

You may also download the race results from here.


  1. congrats pedz! memories and nuvali talaga, pero mas astig ka, first marathon tapos next race, podium. luffet!

  2. congrats Alfred! more runs to come with the Barneys ;)

  3. is that the new trek sport? sweet! congrats on your podium finish! nawa'y mabasbasan mo din ako at maka-podium din ako, hehehe! :)

  4. @James, laking pasasalamat sa mga Elites na hindi dumating, pati na rin sa mga Kenyans at hindi nila dinumog ung race, hehehe!

    @RunningFatboy, thanks bro :)

    @Ishigo thanks... the Barney's have another scheduled run. I know it'll be one great run once again.

    @Daves, yes it's the TrekSport. Not so sweet though after the run. I'll post a review about it soon :)

  5. CONGRATS...that podium finish must be so sweet! I hope to see you during the Condura Skyway Marathon. Will fly to Manila on Friday, Feb. 4 for a presentation at RUNNR in BHS. Again, CONGRATS!

  6. Hi Bishop, it really is sweet indeed. Yes see you at the Condura. I'll try to check you out also at BHS by Feb. 4, hope to catch you there.

  7. Congrats Atom! Sobrang vivid. Really enjoyed especially the guy behind you with the breathing part. Parang ako lang dun sa mga ka-pace ko. Natawa tuloy ako. Till next run then! :)

  8. @RFM, hehe... actually habang tinatakbuhan ko sya, naaalala ko din ung mga previous runs kong halos masinghot ko na ung runner ahead me dahil lang sa paghinga, haha!

  9. Running Atom, Bishop Osumo here, I'll be at BHS on Feb. 4 at 9 am for a presentation and not on Feb. 3. Hope to you see there. If not let's see each other at the start/finish. My race number is 60909.


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