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Quezon Coast to Coast 100 Miles: An Enduring Classic




Completing a long distance run more than an ultramarathon is not that easy specially when you're conquering a 100 Mile Distance. But for our ultramathoner idol Rodel Tecson Florendo, he courageously took this challenge amidst of a flood and a heavy rain.

And here is his story written by him sharing his inspiring experience conquering the race. Let's check this out:    


Sixteen of us stood at the start: I see barrel-chested ultramarathoners dressed in white technical shirts, et some are wearing black et apple green. Hydration vests on their back. Everybody is solemnly fixing every detail on their running gears. I see enthusiasm et eagerness on their faces. I couldn't help but recall the many moments from my youth when my mother et I were busy preparing the goods we just brought from Cagayan to Ilocos to sell it in various places in Dingras Ilocos Norte. Now at my prime years et my mother at her golden years, I fully understood why she kept on doing those hard-earned living during her prime years. At present time here in Infanta, I'm uncertain what lies within the next 100miles. I just stood firmly on the ground. At some point, I asked myself, is it worth to run this far? What should I get from it if I finished et crossed the finish line? Still very profound to me. All I knew, I'm ready to take off! June 10, 2017 at exactly 4:30AM, when the Heavens pour continuous heavy rains to the earth, we left Infanta Quezon.

This race, like many great endeavors, just like with my mother during my youth as we walked on the rice paddies in Ilocos to reach the different barrios, began to take shape. I ran quietly, not fast nor slow, just enough speed to warm my chillin body. The heavy rain has not stopped. My friendMclan Obi et I were leading the pack but at some point at KM10, he gave-up. Then I reached the infamous Tignoan Bridge, this landmark is where my first agony begins. 

The elevation is too high that I couldn't run with the pace I wanted. I just walked as fast as I could. With a little help from my both legs, I just enjoyed the beautiful sceneries of Real Quezon with the continuous heavy rain showering me from above. I looked at upon my back, I saw a runner chasing me et he's only 400m behind. It wasn't my friend Mclan Obi. I ran though my legs were aching. I reached the highest peak of Real et this marks KM28 of the race route. 

My support crews were waiting me there. I took some boiled potatoes et water et ran again. It's 8AM. The weather began to get better. It's downhill, my forte. I couldn't help but to take my first selfie :) From here, it's 30KM to the town of Famy et I should be there by 12NOON to have my lunch. From KM40 to KM60 was where the fearless battle of two Warriors began. The runner who was chasing me just after the Tignoan Bridge had outran me 5 times! But, I reclaimed my position 4 times because the last moment he had outran me, I gave up. I couldn't longer endure his endurance. It's 5KM to reach the KM60 mark in Famy. My left foot was already in pain. I'm using my Asics shoes et it's not comfortable to use when it's wet. I just continue my slow pace, I preserved my energy for I know he will also have his lunch in Famy. 






I reached Famy according to my target time of 12NOON. Took my Bulalo lunch, changed my shoes et wore my Altra. He then left Famy 15mins ahead of me. No more rain, but still cloudy. Perfect  weather. I walked, ran, alternating because I'm still in full. I reached Paete et I asked a local if he saw a runner, et said, the runner had already passed by 30mins ahead of me. So I began formulating my Plan B. 30mins of continuous running could take you 4KM away, et that's not an easy job to an exhausted runner like me.

Meanwhile, I received a txt message from my ever supportive mentor, sister, team-mate, support crew, manager (lol), all in one, that the runner who had outran me 5 times is a 2 time H1 finisher et a runner-up of a 240KM ultramarathon race! Deyymmmm! This runner must be so tough! But, teka lang ha, H1 din kaya ako, kaso pacer nga lang pero Champion naman ang pi-nace ko at #TeamAmihan pa! May laban tayo dyan #newbie!:) Seriously, from the moment I knew that he's a trail runner; I formulated my Plan B easily. I ran as fast as I could for 20 mins, never stopped a single moment. Et upon reaching the intersection going left, the Lumban-Cavinti road, I saw him there eating together with his crews. The momentum is now within me. But I sat with them, took a bit rest, took my energy bar et liquids, it's time to play fo the 6th times. But we're facing our second agony; the Lumban-Cavinti road going to Caliraya is horrible! Not runnable! Well, we're both exhausted at KM75. But, the moment I reached the peak of that road, I ran again as fast as I could. Et never saw him again until our last battle, for the 7th times at the last 17KM to the finish line.

Fast forward, I reached Cavinti town proper just before the world gets dark. This mark KM97 of the route. I'm already terribly exhausted; my systems now begin to shut down. I thought, my second agony in Cavinti was the last, but it was not. The road going to Louisiana was as horrible as the one in Cavinti. I didn't have my headlamp also because I forgot to get it from my support crew when they headed ahead of me to Lucban to prepare my dinner. Holy shit! I was walking-running in the darkness alone with so much astray dogs in every houses! I have my CP with me but I need to preserve the batt. I had my headlamp back at past 8PM when my support crew headed back to Cavinti to look upon the other runners. Just a 1.5KM before reaching the town proper of Louisiana, a van suddenly stopped across the street. I couldn't easily recognized the people inside but I just stopped, but when I heard a voice calling-out my name, it was ate Gudelia Marcelo of Sariaya Runners! They handed me Tamales, soda et water. When they saw me along that road, I almost wanted to give up et just wanted to wait whoever runner who would take my position. Louisiana town proper marks KM107 of the race route.

Fast forward again, I need to reach the town of proper of Lucban et it's 13KM from Louisiana. At 10PM of July 10, I reached Lucban. This marks KM120 of the race route. My pacer brad Bac Navarro was there waiting. I ate my dinner et took a 10 mins sleep. Last 40KM to the finish line in Mauban. We reached Tayabas City at past 12MN of June 11. This marks KM131 I think. We rested for a while in a convenient store, bought waters, ate some chocolates. This is where the final battle begins - the final leg. We ran, we walked, most of the time power walk. Before reaching the Mainit Hot Spring, heavy rains began to pour again. The road just after the bridge near the Hot Spring was already flooded. Good thing, there was a shaded open house with a jeepney inside, so I positioned myself at the tail end of the jeepney et took a nap. Maybe after 15 mins of shallow sleep et the rain has not yet stopped my pacer suddenly woke me up, telling me that the trail runner is fast approaching et just before I opened my eyes, he had outran me again, for the 7th times! Last 17KM to the finish line, my headlamp was broken in Tayabas, flooded road along Mainit Hot Spring, continuous heavy rains again at 4AM in the very cold morning of July 11. 

All the hard-earned sacrifices of my mother when were young suddenly flashback at the back of my mind why she'd just kept on doing those almost impossible to do by small woman, that she would carry a bundle of Walis Tambo on top of his head with a sack of coconut on her one hand with a bag of our baon on the other hand. My role? I would carry our water et guide her as she walked along the rice paddies in Dingras. She just wanted to give to her children the best that she could ever give as a mother. It's was like I'm dreaming far beyond my youth. I just woke-up into reality, I suddenly grabbed the headlamp of my pacer, no words between me et my pacer, he just nodded his head et said "Goodluck brod"! Et I ran as fast as I could like an Urban Gazelle et never looked back! 4:05AM, 17KM left, I reached the finish line at 6:04AM of June 11, 2017.  The first runner to cross the finish line in Mauban Quezon.

I chose QCC as my very first one hundred miles than any other one hundred miles foot race I know. QCC is a story of my life too. The flat terrains, uphills, downhills beautiful sceneries of Laguna et Quezon, the different types of weather we've gone through, the astray dogs, the wonderful people of Quezon et laguna, et of course, the battle between me et my closest rival, are all ingredients of a great yet simple life. Believe me when I tell you, your running career would never be completed if you don't have the courage to run QCC100miles!

Lord I owe everything to you! ~ ~Rodel Tecson Florendo ~ ~



This is truly a very inspiring story! Thank you brother Rodel for sharing us again your new story in the field of running. This put a strength to every runner who want to exceed themselves to go on extra  mile! 06/21/2017 (Runner Rocky)


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