About Me

My photo
I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

September 1, 2013

QUMR 70KM Race Report: Proxy Edition

EmoticonBlogger’s Note:  

Coming into August, I had the valiant idea of registering for a 70-km ultra marathon in the 1st congressional district of the big province of Quezon. It was called QUMR and was scheduled for August 18,  a day before the anniversary date of the great war-time Philippine President, Manuel L. Quezon. I did register for the QUMR70 and managed to convince another 83nean, Ernie Badong, to join me. By that time, I was already in  training mode for the Tagaytay to Kawit (T2K), a 50-km ultra happening a weekend after QUMR. Going for back-to-back ultras  added pressure to the training runs. More long slow distance runs  were needed.  Now from the valiant, this became a crazy idea as the runner was exposed to the unwelcome possibility of muscle fatigue or much worse,  injury. And the muscle fatigue set in on the weekend before the QUMR70, as I went for a 28-km and a 25-km LSD. I could not  risk aggravating it into an injury and sideline myself for the  T2K. I promised a running buddy that  I would be a pacer at the T2K, her first taste of an ultra. Thus, my decision to forego the August 18  race.  Good thing, another 83nean, Bob Castilla, agreed to take my place and teamed up with  Ernie in conquering the QUMR70. Hence, this Proxy report by Bob (with additional commentary from Ernie in italics).    

Bob in full stride amidst the rural setting of QUMR70

QUMR poster
It was Tuesday, August 13, 2013 that I received a call from my batchmate and friend Vicboy De Lima aka Bicolano Penguin (BP) to be his substitute to run the QUMR 70 Km ultra. Injury on his knee forced him to miss this race. I could not refuse his offer due to the fact that it’s free and he would provide a support vehicle and a driver to bring us to Tayabas City and support throughout the race. So I accepted it without hesitation. Also, it was an opportunity again to represent our batch in this race as I normally do. What an accommodation from our Maestro! He was the one responsible in bringing me and some of our classmates into running. Another good friend and batchmate, Enie Badong, was also registered to run this race.

Ernie and myself  headed for Sucat in Paranaque Saturday evening, August 17 for the designated pick–up point and time where BP and Orly, his driver, would meet us. Ed, another friend and batchmate whom Ernie convinced to be with us, would also be there. After some instructions from BP, we proceeded to Tayabas via SLEX. At past 12 MN, we reached the starting area in the centuries-old  Basilica of St. Michael Archangel in Tayabas. Good enough to have some rest before the assembly time at 3 AM considering I had no sleep in the afternoon. There were already some runners in the area. Yung isa nag-aalmusal ng kanin at ang panulak nya red horse beer in can. We saw Val at the start pero dun lang, hindi na kami nagkitakita pa even after the finish.

Past 3 AM of August 18, organizers of the race came and we lined up to claim our respective BIB numbers. I looked at the race map and it showed that from City of Tayabas, we are passing 3 towns namely Mauban, Sampaloc, Lucban and back to Tayabas proper. After some stretching, the Race director (RD) gathered  all the runners for some race briefing and reminders. Then, the countdown to gun start began.

Route map
Bob and Ernie at starting line

We positioned ourselves at the middle pack and started slowly going to Mauban. The road was mostly downhill and some rolling hills for 10 to 30 Kms. But from Mauban to Sampaloc, the uphill portion of 8 Km was terrible. Lung busting! Although I managed to run the initial uphill stage, I decided to do power walk, trot, so on and so forth until I reached the downhill portion and resumed my running.  In Sampaloc matindi na.  Meron 8kms na uphill na zigzag (bitukang manok din ang tawag ng race director) nilakad ko lang yun pero si Bob tinira pa nya. I noticed that I already reached the 50 Km marker. Then I passed by the town proper of Lucban and then  saw the Km 60 marker. It was almost rolling hills now until I made contact  with  the Km 65 marker and to the finish line where we started. 70 kms "survived" in 8 hrs and 38 mins. Hindi ko kaya pace ni Bob kaya pinauna ko na sya. At ang isa pa, meron syang kakilala na gusto nyang lampasuhin. Hahaha. Umulan ng malakas at km 62. A race marshall told me that if walang mag-oovertake sa akin pang 25th ako. sabi ko sa sarili maganda standing ah. Pero di ko na-maintain kasi parehas na may paltos mga paa ko. May 3 na lumampas sa akin and meron isang  togot na sumusunod sa likod ko gusto ring mag overtake. Di ako pumayag. Hinataw ko kahit mahapdi na mga paa koBob finished number 11th and 29th ako (actually 27th place with a time of 9 hrs and 37 mins per the official results at https://www.facebook.com/events/333238346806756/). Again, not bad for "old man my ass runners"

Side by Side Running

Ernie leaving Mauban town proper

Mt. Banahaw in the background

Bob at the finish line

Ernie at the finish line
In my opinion, the race route was ultra friendly with less vehicular traffic except in the town proper. Likewise, it gave us a lovely  panaromic view of mountains especially Mount Banahaw,  and best of all, it was pollution-free. The water and food stations were good enough at 10 kilometer  intervals until the  60-Km point where it went down to a 5-kilometer interval. A welcome benefit for the runners at this stage. Our support vehicle was waiting for us every 5 Km. I was  ready for the  tropical heat of the sun but luckily it was a no show throughout the race. Fresh air of the mountains reinvigorated us. Rainfall started at the last 5 kms which no doubt energized us in  our conquest of the QUMR 70 Km with a cut off time of 14 hrs.

Overall, the organizers did a great job handling the race. Marshals were all over, either in  motorcycles  in almost every corner, and in roving vehicles equipped with  hydration. Ambulance roamed back and forth. A nice trophy, medal, finisher shirt, colorful certificate, and a post-race meal awaited us all. Also, I observed that it was patterned after the Mayon 360 Ultra  when it came to food and water station plus the route which was similar to the Albay-held ultra marathon. Ang napansin ko, parehas na parehas ang laman ng mesa  sa stations (water, gatorade, saging na saba, peanut butter sandwiches,  eggs, salt,and cloud nine chocolates). Wala nga lang mga masahista katulad ng sa Mayon 360 kasi tumakbo na din pala yung race director sa Mayon 360. Hehehehe. 

I spoke also to the Race Director, Rodelio Mendoza, and  told me that originally he was looking at an 80-km ultra for the QUMR but he decided not to do so considering some runners might be stunned or surprised. He added that if it were a 50-mile race, the town of Pagbilao would have been  included in the route that would complete the 1st district of Quezon. But the starting area would be in Pagbilao and would finish in Tayabas. 

I think this may happen next year given the area was ultra friendly and abounding with smile-ready residents, and simple hospitality from hardworking folks of the  agricultural part of the Quezon province.

With Ed and Orly

In front of the Basilica of St. Michael Archangel
QUMR70 trophy
Despite lack of training due to the fact that it’s not in my calendar and I had some leg cramps which slowed me down past 50 Km, I think I could say that I still had a respectable finish time and a good ranking. Nakatsamba na naman. Since it’s a Sunday, we went inside the Basillica to thank God for the safe and happy run. 

Special thanks from me and Ernie to Vicboy, Ed, and Orly for the help and support.

Keep running and see you in the next race!


  1. nice! thank you Bob, Ed, Orly and thank you BP for the free run. thanks for providing us your new Montero. nag enjoy kami! :)

  2. Thank you Ernie. You and Bob have an impressive performance doing back to back ultras : QUMR70 and T2k50. Superior.

  3. Ms. Marcelo, thank you for the compliment.