Salomon Science Lessons

I just got home from the Salomon 24K mountain run. It was a very long 24K walk/run/climb for me. Took me almost an hour to finish the route. Some thoughts while running/walking/climbing:

Going downhill or uphill is all about managing gravity. I am no Physics wiz but trail runs with its uphill and downhill course involves managing gravity by using your speed and momentum built by running downhill faster and using the push from that run to propel you to the uphill climb. I wish I paid attention during physics class as i was trying to come up with a formula while running the first part of the trail earlier. As I recall my thoughts, I am fighting the urge to get a pencil and plot the forces acting on the runner while going downhill and uphill. I am also stopping myself from looking up Newton’s laws on Google. Well, anyway the route was one tough and tiring uphill climb. I like the downhill part but the mud just adds to the difficulty of the run.

Bahay kubo route. Bahay kubo ba ito? I asked myself that question when we passed the vegetable gardens along the route. The sight of eggplants made me feel hungry and reminded me of Nanay’s ensaladang talong and tortang talong. Ampalaya, Upo, Sitaw, Patani, Gabi, Talong – your bahay kubo vegetables are just good distractions as we ran on the route. Reminded me of my younger days when we used to live in a farm surrounded by those vegetables. It was also a Botany lesson. So which of them are monocots/dycots?

The things your money gets you to do. After a little fun with vegetables, we were once again on the road. The road part was just a short one. It was a short break for the terrible 1.5 mountain climb! All we did was climb up, up, up ,up. It was an 80-degree climb to the turn around point. My heart was beating so hard while climbing. Strategically placing your foot on a safe spot that would allow you to pull yourself up. Rocks, branches, vines, and an occasional rope aided me on my way up. “How on earth did you get here with your white jacket and white shoes on?” – I asked the marshal on the way up.

Is this what I paid for? I paid a thousand to do this? Can’t I do this without paying a thousand? What could I have bought with a thousand that is more rewarding than this? Things you think of when you are starting to feel pain from cramps and when you start to feel exhausted and dirty and smelly and hot. Back on the road again we went after that climbing ordeal. And, as if the climbing part was not enough, we had a two-kilometer climb on the road. The road just went up, up, up, and up. There were no breaks it just went up! Just when cramps are on both legs and the sun smiling on you.

I finished after 3 hours and 40 minutes. Was it worth the thousand? Well I got a medal and this story to tell. I also had a bulalo lunch with friends so yeah it was well worth it. Just don’t ask me if I will be doing it again next year. Not yet 😀


About Kit Atienza

A researcher/runner/triathlete/cancer survivor who found himself in the world of development work. He enjoys, reflects, and rants about things while doing his job, improving his personal record in running distances, and training for the IronMan in 2016.
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