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Total Performer

Total Performer

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

Spartan racers and pickup trucks are all extraordinary workhorses

By Ronald delos Reyes

SPARTAN racers grittily conquer every obstacle thrown their way. After all the challenges, they proudly wear their medals and finisher shirts. Spartan races have not just painted the perfect picture — but also the perfect environment — ideal for the modern-day athlete. Its simulation of ancient contests suiting today’s sporting environment has pitted thousands of athletes throughout the world since its inception several years ago. From the obstacles such as spear throwing, Hercules Hoist, rope climb — just to name a few — all the way to trail and long-distance runs, participants are undeniably hooked.

In fact — at least for this scribe — the Spartan races have been one of the ultimate depictions of man’s triumph over adversity in a controlled environment these days. Aside from physical gains and incredible highs its races have provided for the “Spartan warrior,” it also serves as venue for mankind’s insatiable desire to compete with one another and conquer every obstacle thrown his way. Since time immemorial, international sporting events of such caliber have pushed one to his limits and have, at the same time, captivated the rugged and adventure-seeking soul of every weekend warrior everywhere. In turn, its unique mechanics and sporting suave have defined the course of athletic events of this generation and probably the years to come.

In a similar fashion, tools used for transportation such as vehicles, particularly pickup trucks, have evolved throughout generations according to man’s needs. From just a plain utilitarian workhorse in the 50’s, it has transformed itself to a stylish conduit without sacrificing its manly and brutish appeal. In turn, it has — not only pickup lovers — but motorists looking for a utilitarian vehicle with a modern taste likewise hooked. Pickup trucks today, like those athletes competing in Spartan races, have depicted that certain toughness and grit needed to overcome adversity, and also — at the same time — have adapted that certain latest panache. In short, it has the same game, the same spirit, but it is a totally different breed of animal.

The latest-generation Isuzu D-Max, for one, is one such pickup.

Compared to its predecessors, it is a vehicle with a different kind of flair. Not only this, it is now prepped to provide one with better driving experience. Its durability, power, performance, innovation and safety features are all on another level.

Particularly, it stands out with its slew of safety features that operate automatically and independently. Its new advanced driver assist system comes with a first in its class Smart Duo Cam, which constantly maps the surrounding area to measure distance of every obstacle on the road. Since it uses a dual camera set-up, it can detect 3D objects just like how human eyes recognizes depth of field.

Because of this, the pickup truck now has multiple active safety features like pre-crash safety, speed assist, lane support and headlamp control. It also offers an eight-eye parking aid with reverse camera, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert, which, in turn, the ASEAN New Car Assessment Program’s reason to give it a five-star rating.

Moreover, because the pickup is on another level, it has been recognized by a number of outfits, both here and abroad.

“There are vehicles in the market that look great but don’t perform well. With the D-Max, it does it all. It actually is. You know that it has the Isuzu reliability, you know that it has the strength, all the users are looking for,” one particular magazine even stated.

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Hurricane Heat

One time, this writer was able to experience both the Isuzu D-Max and the physical rigors of a Spartan Race — all in the idyllic island of Bohol. There, I joined the four-hour Hurricane Heat category of the prestigious international event. It’s not just its usual 5k or 10k obstacle course races we’re used to as it pits one to countless arduous activities for the whole four-hour duration of the event under the scorching heat of the summer sun. The mental and physical demands were excruciating as participants were treated like foot soldiers inside a boot camp.

Good thing, prior the event itself, our friends from Isuzu Philippines Corporation and Isuzu Bohol were kind enough to lend us the latest-generation D-Max. And so, from Tagbilaran, the northern part of the island, we were able to tackle the uphill and downhill terrain of the two-hour trip down to Anda, its southern tip, with a cinch. True enough, all the testimonials about the workhorse were true as we were able to personally experience the vehicle. Indeed, it was a total package. In short, it was not just a looker, but it was a total performer and it made us save energy for the upcoming race events we were about to tackle the next day.

And speaking of performance, as dedicated athletes, together with my so-called “comrades”, we were able to finish the whole four-hour endurance course with flying colors. And at the end, by just simply looking back, all I can recall was a perfect picture of the sun, man’s tireless grit, and one incredible workhorse.