The bus stopped right in front of my face. A little closer then I would have been a fatality. When the bus left, I continued on my way.
The Mud Run
Finally, I reached the nature park. I asked a runner, who was with me on the same bus going to Argao, for the courtesy booth. After I deposited my bag, I bumped in to an old friend—a high school classmate. Though I’ve seen her in a couple of times in the previous races I’ve joined. I never really came up to her. You can’t blame me for staying away from my high school classmates. I called out her name. She answered, ‘Uy, Carl!’ I don’t know what made me call out to her at that time. Perhaps, inside, I was happy that in a distant new place I met someone I already knew.
After some catching up, she invited me to join her group. She came with her boyfriend, her brother and her brother’s girlfriend.
Finally, the race was on. At the start I was very fast, I was a little behind my classmate and her boyfriend. Fact: You’ll run faster if you run with your friends. I was not behind nor leading the race. I was ahead of the middle-runners until the road started to go uphill.
Going uphill I was already walking. We went up and passed by the Riverstone Castle Resort. And still we kept on going uphill. A girl runner said, ‘It seems to me that we’re going up and up the mountain. Are we ever going downhill and back to the finish line? Seems to me we are not.’ It made me smile. Fact: Smiling makes you run faster. I was happy when I reached the top where the path was already flat, I ran as fast to catch up with the other racers. I love it when I out run the other runners. It was a fun run though the route was both rocky and muddy.
Going downhill, I slowed down my pace so as not slip and roll down the hill. A slow pace, going downhill, was not a pace I can keep. I tried to out run another runner to show off to the people, who came out of there houses to watch us. Running downhill was gravity-driven. When I started running faster, it seems that I can not stop. I just continued on going down. The velocity of a body remains constant unless the body is acted upon by an external force. It was faster and easier, though scarier, going downhill compared to going uphill.
Finally, I was on flat land. The route went through rice paddies and through roads paved or unpaved. The paved road was my marker that I am nearing the finish line. Residents, whose houses are located along the route, went out with their children and dogs to watch us. Though I wanted to show off and run fast in front of them, I had to slow down seeing the dog. I did not want the dog to chase and jump behind me. Another turn, I was back to the road where we started—finish line—at last.
A few meters before the finish, instead of continuing through the road, we had to turn left and jump in to the muddy rice paddy—that’s why it was called Mud Run. I have no qualms getting in to the mud, unlike most participant of the race. One runner—some varsity athlete—even ditched the mud pool. He went through the finish line following the road. After removing my shoes, I jumped to the muddy pit and ran even though it was difficult since the mud was inches above my knees. It was a race; I did not allow the mud to slow me down. Some of the participants took their time through the muddy obstacle, like they were on a tight spot and that they needed to face the problem slowly and calmly.
When I got through the mud pool, I just walked, slowly, going to the finish line. I was not able to put my shoes back on since my feet were very muddy—I wasn't able to run since the pebbles hurt my feet. I finished the race after an hour, five minutes and twenty four seconds. I ran seven kilometers. My time was disappointing—I can do better—way better. I wanted to hear my named called out when I crossed the finish line. I wanted to be recognized for finishing the race but instead it was some guy’s name that the announcer called out. It did not matter really, I was glad to have finished my race.