Finishing CM50 once makes you earn the title BAD ASS. How about four times? We interviewed five runners who have finished the race four times in a row from 2012 -2015.
I’ m Aldean Phillip Lim, a lawyer an and entrepreneur. I have 16 years of experience in mountain biking, 12 years in mountaineering, 6 years pf running, 5 years in triathlon, and 5 years in Trail Running. I am a Salomon Pilipinas Trail Running Ambassador and Team Suunto Philippines Multisport Team – Team Captain. My major races are Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc (Finisher), Fatdog120mile (Finisher) and Hardcore 100miles International Trail Ultramarathon (Finisher/Hall of Famer).
I’m CJ Paran, an administrative officer of the Mayor’s Office in Pasay. I still go to school after work until 9pm. I used to play volleyball and badminton and got into running in 2010 when I ran 5K at the Globe Run for Home.here.
I’m George Javier, an entrepreneur who’s in the printing business. I played baseball in high school. My sports was drinking at night (kung sports yun) and then run 2k to 3k. In 2012, I joined trail races like the Makiling Quest, Salomon and TNF race and then eventually CM50. That’s when running started. I still drink.
I’m Maria Josephine (Majo) Liao, a member of Team Salomon –Suunto Philippines. I’m a Medical Technologist by profession and currently teaching in a university in QC. I started running in 2008, joining short distances road races and eventually joined my first ultra trail race which in the 2012 TNF Philippines Baguio-Benguet 100k category. Since then, most of the races I join are trail runs.
I’m Simon Pavel T Miranda, working as a Cargo Officer for Cathay Pacific Cargo –Manila. I have a partner , Doodsie, who’s an ENT Doctor. I’ve always been into sports since I was a kid, tae kwon do, football, swimming, biking, baseball, and badminton but running, especially trail ultras is what I enjoy the most.
Why do you keep joining each year? What is special about CM50 for you?
It is like first love, you’ll never forget it and you’ll keep coming back for more.
Training ground ito ni Atty.Jon, our RD. Minsan nakakasama kami pero iba yung challenge pag nasa race ka mismo.
I have been joining for the challenge it offers, the route and the time barrier.
It is one of the toughest trail race in the country. Pag sumasali din ako, laging 80k pataas para sulit ang bayad, pagod at hirap. Enjoy ako sa race na ma-test ang endurance.
Well, after finishing in 2012, I wanted to improve my time so I ran it again with my friend Alfred in 2013. I ran with Doodsie in 2014 because I wanted her to experience the race and since I finished it 3 times already, I might as well go for five. The beauty of Miyamit falls plus the ever changing landscape of the race, makes CM50 very special. And who wouldn’t want to be called bad ass!!!
CM50 is known to be a tough race. With so many trail races around, why should one join it?
SIMON: If you’re doing trail ultrarunning in the Philippines and you don’t have this in your resume, there’s something missing.
MAJO: Join it for the challenge it offers, the route and the strict time barrier.
ALDEAN: One race where you can see the whole Philippine Trail Running Community together enjoy trail running.
GEORGE: CM50 has different terrain. Bukod sa 3120meters na akyat, extra challenge yung lahar sand at yung init pabalik. Astig pag natapos ka at mahigpit yung cut-off.
CJ: Isa ito sa mga kinikilalang race sa Asia, super trail sa Asia Trail Master at makaka-earn ka din ng points sa UTMB. Isa ito ang testing kung gaano ka kahusay na trail runner, pag-akyat sa peak kailangan talaga “Dig Deep”. At yung makapag-suot ka ng shirt na may Bad Ass title, achievement na iyon sa akin.
Having finished four editions, we asked them to identify the easiest, most memorable and most challenging edition for them.
Aldean: 2015, because racing mentality and competitiveness were turned off. I just enjoyed the run.
CJ: None. CM50 is not a walk in the park race. Each edition has a challenge.
George: 2nd edition for me in 2013 because I know the course and what to do. I am more excited.
Majo: No edition was easy. Each year offers different challenges for me.
Simon: My 4th in 2015 because I came in the race prepared and at the same time the course was cut short.
Aldean: 2013, that's when I won and set the course record
Cj: The edition where I had to cross the Pasig-Potrero river that was waist-deep. The river can either be dry or waist deep.
George: 1st edition in 2012 I ranked 15th of 31 who finished, mere 50% finishers. Wala pa ako kakilala parang nakisali lang. (I hardly know anyone then.)
Majo: Last year (2015), I was recovering from an injury but still was able to beat my PR.
Simon: It will always be the first time. To be called bad ass back in 2012 was something to be really proud of when very few have finished the race.
Aldean: 2014, I feel that I lack training and motivation
CJ: 2016 since I wasn’t in good condition at the start.
George: 2016. I already knew the course and what to expect so it was harder to find something to push me.
Majo: My first year to run the CM50. It was 2012 and I still do not have idea of the course with additional challenge of getting lost. At lot of times.
Simon: It was my 3rd in 2014 when I ran with Doodsie. Pacing was not allowed so basically it was her pace and I was just there to motivate her. We made the cut off by 7 mins and Doodsie became a bad ass finisher as well.
TIPS ON HOW TO CONQUER CM50.
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVICE TO RUNNERS WHO WILL RUN CM50 (OR PLANS TO JOIN IN UPCOMING EDITIONS)?
ALDEAN: Train Smart. Train Long. Train Hard. The runners should have at least been logging 50km per week mileage and progressing to 80km per week 3 to 4 weeks before the race. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Talent is overrated, it is all about hard work.
CJ: Join the recons from parade ground to sandbox. Memorize the trail and the route. Don’t run fast on recons. If any recons scheduled up to the peak, join also.
GEORGE: Mag-ensayo ng long ascent para lumakas ang lungs at quads.
MAJO: Join recce run and do your assignments. Train not only for endurance but also for speed since the first part is a bit flat and the race has a tight cutoff. Prepare also for the heat. There’s no way you can avoid it. Enjoy the experience! It will be hard, but it is worth it.
SIMON: You should have at least done a 50k trail run if you want to do CM50. I advise you to join the recon run if it’s your first time because even veterans still get lost because of the ever changing landscape especially in the first and last 20kms of the race. Regarding getting lost, it’s better to spend a few seconds looking for the markers than getting lost by minutes or even hours. Follow the RD’s rules and instructions on what to bring things like a jacket will come in handy at the peak. Make sure you load up on the junction AS because for 20kms you will have no water source going up and down the peak. This is a race with a tight cutoff so don’t spend too much time on the AS. Expect the unexpected in this race.
PACING. How do you pace yourself during the CM50 Race?
ALDEAN: Start slow, finish strong. Run the flats and downhills, power hike the uphills.
CJ: Make a battle plan. Don’t stay long at Aid Station on race day.
GEORGE: Pumondo ng oras sa start pa lang habang di pa mainit; hydrate, kain and power walk sa lahar.
MAJO: Conserve your energy for the second part of the race (going up miyamit). You can get carried away with the fast pace in the road and sacobia river but this can cause suffering going up. This is one of the importance of doing recce run, to familiarize yourself with the route and decreasing your chance of getting lost. Eat and hydrate properly – when the sun is up, it will be a killer!
SIMON: I usually start a bit faster on the first 3k so as to avoid the bottleneck leading to the lahar entrance. It’s ok to be a bit faster on the first 20k as you will surely slowdown in the start of the uphills at km 25. Bomb the downhills as you will gain the much needed time. If you’re a used to being at the back of the pack, you have to lessen your long stops and try your best to speed up on portions that you can.
MILEAGE. What is your average mileage build-up to prepare for CM50?
ALDEAN: At least 50km to 80km per week with significant accumulated elevation gain with active rest days which include swimming, biking, and rock star training.
CJ: I just train on the rain. Train on the heat of the sun. Train a lot. Train on the mountains. Train. Train. Train. Practice power hike on uphills. Run safe on downhills; watch your knees run on flats
GEORGE: I train once a week with elevation gain of 1000m+ kay Maria 4hrs medyo kulang sa heat training.
MAJO: Gradually increasing the mileage is the key. Running also in flats or doing speed intervals can also help.
SIMON: Since this is a trail race, it is common sense that you train in trails. But for those without access to one, climbing stairs or hill repeats is a must do. I normally get by with about a 100k total weekly mileage for this kind of race. CM50 offers everything so train in different kinds of trails. Be prepared for heat, cold, mud, river crossings, rolling hills. If you’re pressed for time, short faster runs are better than slow runs just to keep your heart rate up because in CM, your heart will be doing a lot of work after km 22. 25-35km trail runs two days back to back is ideal until about 30 days to race day.
FUELING. There’s no blanket recommendation on what to eat and drink on race day. Give us some nutrition tips that have worked for you in CM50 four times in a row.
ALDEAN: Eat and Drink often and in small amounts. Don’t wait for thirst to come in, it may be too late. Carry a lot of water after AS3 before going up to the peak. Every year I meet a lot of runners begging for my water because they fail to carry enough water for the 20k out and back section to the peak.
CJ: Iwas sa food na makakapagpataas ng uric acid at hyperacidity. Iyan ang matindi kong kalaban sa trail races.
GEORGE: Advice ko is to hydrate and eat regularly during race. Kumampai ng Red Horse before ng race for calories intake and para ma-relax.
MAJO: Most problems that runners encounter in CM50, aside from bonking is dehydration. Use your drop bags wisely especially the one in AS4. The 20km with no AS going to peak can make or break you if you don’t plan well.
SIMON: I usually rely on my gels, chocolates, sports drink and some nuts in my pack. The Aid Station in CM is well stocked with fruits, breads, chocolates, and chips so unless you don’t like these or they don’t work for you, better have your drop bag ready for the race. I also have beer the night before but this is not advisable for everyone.
GEARS. For a trail race like CM50, you should carry your well dialed-in equipment: Trail shoes, headlamp, hat and sunglasses, hydration packs and bottles, among others. What have you been using and any MUST BRING GEAR?
ALDEAN: Cap, Shades (especially on the second half), good shoes and vest (Salomon), and most important Ahon Gaiters
CJ: Sa training isuot yung komportable ka.
GEORGE: Magdala ng extra mejas at insole pamalit pag nabasa, pabalik ang pinakamahirap at mainit.
MAJO: Extra socks and/or shoes for AS3 drop bag. These can save you from blisters after the sandy/lahar run. Good headlamp that can last for 5 hours since the start is 1am.
SIMON. I use a Scott Jurek vest, Nitecore 1000 lumen lamp, New blance or North face trail shoes, Drymax socks, Vans trucker cap and Garmin fenix 2 as my must haves. Optional are my salice sunglasses, ahon gaiters (a must have for others) and flipbelt. Wear what you use in training and don’t try to experiment on race day.
WEATHER: The conditions during CM50 can be very chilly, rainy or extremely hot. What should runners prepare for based on your past experience?
ALDEAN: Cap and Shades. Douse yourself with water when passing streams or Aid stations on the second half.
CJ: Train for all weather conditions.
GEORGE: Magdala lang headwear pang protection sa katawan, regular na binabasa katawan, mukha, braso, leeg para di mag over heat.
MAJO: When it’s hot, it will be really hot. So it will help if you train or run also under the heat of the sun while practicing your hydration strategy.
SIMON: It can get very cold at the peak so bring a jacket. I usually race with a long sleeve shirt so as to avoid the need for arm sleeves.
MANDATORY GEARS: The organizer has prescribed mandatory gears. What would you recommend to runners (who sometimes think this is just extra weight)?
ALDEAN: Aside from mandatory gear, always have enough water and gear to carry that amount of water you need.
GEORGE: Sundin at i-simulate ang mandatory trail gears specially weight ng hydro bag para sanay na katawan sa race proper.
MAJO: You will never know what can happen in an ultra race so it is better to be prepared. Always run smart.
SIMON: You comply to the rules of the RD because he knows what’s best for his race. Mandatory gears are for your own good. Even the whistle that you think is of no use will be very helpful in an emergency. Make sure you have enough water containers to bring you up and down the peak.
MENTAL STRATEGY: Like in any other ultra race, it would get tough. What has kept you from finishing sans all the challenges?
ALDEAN: Enjoy every bit of it and if it gets tough, always remember that it’s all good; mental training.
CJ: Run on your own race.
GEORGE: Important ang food intake, kailangan hindi ka magutom, nakakalusaw focus. Mag-hydrate at magbasa lagi. Kailangan maka-focus at wala ka intindihin kung hindi matapos.
MAJO: I think CM50 is more of a mental challenge because of its out-and-back route. There are no short cuts to develop mental toughness. You can develop this through training and experience.
SIMON: I always think that if others can do it, so can I. In ultras, as long as you keep moving, you will reach the finish line. Keep moving to beat the tight cut off. If ever you DNF, don’t despair, there’s always a next year.
What's next after five consecutive finishes of CM50?
On 2016 CM50: I am looking forward to the presence of more foreign runners
On racing plans after CM50: Multiday stage racing and adventure races
Will there will be a 6th Edition onwards for ALDEAN? TBD
On 2016 CM50: CM50 sana matapos, ito yung nilook forward ko talaga na matapos ng 5 consecutive years.
On racing plans after CM50: 2017 Fat Ass. I’ll try to defend my 2016 24 Hours Fat Ass King title.
Will there will be a 6th Edition onwards for CJ? Tapusin ko muna ang 2016. Pero yung possibility andun yun.
On 2016 CM50: Matapos ko yung pang-lima. Para mapakita ko na kung kaya ko tapusin na, kaya mo din. Mas madami pa malakas sa akin pero ginagawa ko ito for maintenance and my passion, para masaya lagi lalo na at 40+ na tayo.
On racing plans after CM50: Siguro, qualify for UTMB again or sa GSER100 miles - Australia. Staple race ko ang TNF baguio, H1 and CM50 every year, parang panata ko.
Will there will be a 6th Edition onwards for GEORGE? Tingnan natin. Pag hindi tuloy ang GSER Australia, malamang 2017 ulit.
On 2016 CM50: I look forward to faster course records and bigger contingent from different countries.
On Racing Plans after CM50: Maybe I will volunteering as marshal just like MF42. hehe
Will there will be a 6th Edition onwards for MAJO? – Let’s see. J
On 2016 CM50: I want to really enjoy it this time. I do not care about my time this year as I know regardless of the finish time, I’ll get my baddest ass award. Of course I hope nothing goes wrong. I’ve only been lost in the 1st edition and hopefully this time will be the same as the last 3 years.
On Racing Plans after CM50: I already told Doodsie and the RD that I want to volunteer next year because I want to give back to the race. But….haha
Will there will be a 6th Edition onwards for SIMON? After a few days of saying my answer in number 2, I said I’ll go for 10 bad ass finish!!
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