Tuesday, May 15

Another Trail Run on a Weekend

Sunday, May 13. After my run at Shotgun-Timberland-Maarat the day before, I promised BoyP to join him this time. My legs are still fine from the run yesterday,  so I decided to give it a go. Though waking up again on an ungodly hour of the morning for two consecutive days now is just really a big challenge. Leaving home and riding a public bus that early most of the time gives me apprehension, I always pray that I will not encounter any bad people along the way. I arrived Cubao safe and sound. 

We travel to Mcdo Masinag, the group's final meeting place. I will be with a group of runners whom I will be running for the first time except for two persons. The usual motto, just enjoy the trail and enjoy each others company. Bringing one car,  the group travel to Tanay through Cogeo. As the day breaks and the side of the road  now visible, the place looks familiar, I have run this route before. We  go further until we reach Sierra Madre Resort, where we park the car and started our run.

A little less than 100 meters of  paved road from the resort where we started we turn left to a rough road surrounded with community, we just continue running until we are greeted by vast horizon of mountain ranges perching above the clouds. What a beautiful site. As we go further down on the never ending downhill compact rough road, we are followed by the beautiful scenery until we reach a point where each of us is like being swallowed by the mist and the fog. The visibility is just few meters. We continue running down hill, literally it  is all a down hill road, mostly compact rough road. There are short parts that is paved but very minimal. Which means if all of this part is now a downhill slope on our exit for sure this is going to be all an uphill trail on a midday probably. All the more that makes this escapade exciting.

As we come to the valley of this place,  we are surrounded by mountain slopes above us, we also start to cross  parts of the river. This is the big Daraitan River that passes through the several communities  we pass by. We find joy crossing the river through the filed boulders that served as a bridge with extra care just to make sure we will not fall into the water and get wet.  At some point we even  look for an easier passage beside the river bank. Such strategy continue up to the 9th crossing until there is just no way for us to pass but through the knee deep river. There are 13 river crossing all in all. We register at Barangay Laiban to make sure of our safety,  continue on to Barangay Manggahan where we cross the very last river and replenish our food supply and hydrate at the community. I think this is lowest part and community of this valley. 

The night before, I totally forgot to ask what kind of trail we will be running. I never thought we will cross a river so many times. One more time I thought of using my over used more than 4 year old TNF Rucky Chucky shoes. The moment I find out that there will be river crossing, I just prayed that the traction of my shoes will hold on up to the last river crossing and up to the end of our run. The reason the moment we enter the very first river crossing, I am one of those who really take an effort to carefully cross the boulders filed as bridge. I can see some parts of  the traction now slowly tearing apart, thank goodness my shoes survived up the end of trail and up until I reach back home. I did not bring any slippers with me. Now I can say, it's really about time for me to retire my very first and favorite trail running shoes.

Just before we will face the grueling uphill part of the rough road, the group decided to take a dip on the deeper part of the river. We enjoy the coolness of the water. And off we continue on. It's now almost noon time, almost all the locals that we will inform where we are heading tells us that it is still a long way to go for us. An uphill slopes are balanced by a minor descends making my legs rest for a while. What we expected to be sunny on this part, it rained. Wet from bathing in the river, all the more we are wet by the rain and by our sweat. As the rain stop, the sun come out, it's sunny but not so hot. We make 1 pit stop at a house that sells fruits, vegetables and bread. I replenish my food again, I can now feel I need to eat, ask for drinking water as well. As we continue on the uphill slope, I cannot cope with the pace of my running mate anymore, I am already few meters behind him. In as much as I want to move faster, I just cannot anymore. Until we reach the junction that leads to the highway. With both of us a newbie to this route, we decide to just stay and wait for the remaining members of the team.

While waiting, we order freshly picked buko for just P8.00 per piece. This costs P25.00 in the city. We indulge on the coolness of it's juice and freshness of its meat. I consumed 2 while waiting for the rest of the team.

Twenty four kilometers, 5 hours, 13 river crossings, passing by four communities. The stunning mountain landscapes, the beautiful downhill uphill trail, the magnificent river crossing with the company of new found running mates makes this a perfect weekend getaway. I get what I wanted, a quality run and it's on trail. Amazing.Thank you so much to my five teammates on this run, I had so much fun. Til next time.
Pictures: Sierra Madre Trail Run

1 comment:

  1. Hello Cheryl, Thank you so much for posting, been looking for a blog like this, may I just ask if you've had an itinerary for Sierra madre trail run, I'd like to try this for fun as I'm not really into competition, I really would like to enjoy every moment of climbing this mountain.