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Conquer The Outdoors at the Merrell Adventure Run 2012

Cold and steady rain showers greeted the 2,000 runners hours before gunstart of the third Merrell Adventure Run, which happened at the breathtaking and steep mountainside of Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal. The toughest off-road run in the country became even more challenging owing to the wet weather conditions.

Designed by extreme adventure athlete Thumbie Remigio, this year’s Merrell course was more physically and emotionally demanding than last year’s. The race started with a dunk in a mud pit, a few kilometers of slick uneven rocky pathways, and was punctuated with an endless string of uphill climbs.

The downpour had turned the already rigorous uphill off-road course into a slippery path. The 5K, 10K and 21K runners found themselves sliding down muddied inclines, groping for handholds at slippery slopes, and splashing across natural streams. Some runners literally barrelled down the hills to get a good spot at the finish line.

"Mas challenging and mas maganda ang run this year," said Alfredo Vedarozaga also known as the running enthusiast “RunningAtom” who completed the 21K Merrell Run. "Maganda yung trail. Iba ang challenge. Hindi siya puro plain na takbo at mas fulfilling kaysa road runs," he said. ("This year’s run was better and more challenging. The trail run’s great. It’s more challenging unlike plain running and it’s more fulfilling than road runs.")

Runners who had a harder time navigating the course also received assistance and encouragement from other participants and race marshals.

Participants also tried out Merrell’s newest barefoot line at the Merrell Barefoot Running Collection station. This Merrell barefoot line gives wearers a “shoe-less” natural feel that allows them to feel and grip surfaces better. It also promotes balance, agility and posture, heightens the senses and strengthens limbs.

The Merrell Adventure Run 2012 was co-sponsored by Timberland Heights and BusinessWorld.

Trying to survive the first in a series of long, rocky stretches

One of the trails

Emerging from the downhill mud trail

A runner zooms past the finish line

The Merrell Team cheer runners on

Visit RunningAtom's race report at Merrell Trail Adventure at It's Finest.

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