Tuesday, May 15

Shotgun for the Second Time

I was scheduled to join a climb up North last weekend but because I needed to attend to some important matters in the city, as much as I really want to push through for my climb, I had no choice but to let go of it. Left with nothing to do in the morning of Saturday, I still look for something productive to do, I remember Mia going for a run Saturday to Timberland. Last minute decision, I informed her I will join. 

Determined not to be late at this time, I left home an hour earlier than the agreed time to meet Pat making me 30 minutes earlier then proceed to our final meeting place. We are almost an hour earlier too. We just take our time to rest and take turns on taking a nap. When Mia arrive we proceed to our usual route, take a jeep and get down at Puregold San Mateo. We walk to the tricycle station when a car stop few feet ahead of us. It's Mia's running friend Pen. They offered a ride  up to  Aling Nena's Restaurant, the jump off of our run. Josaw arrive ahead of us with Beth, few minutes after Simon arrived too. Wow, I will be running the group of elite ultra runners, they are the members of the Pinoy Ultra Runners. It's my first time to meet and run with most of them, I just know Josaw and Simon among the eight members.

After final fixing of our hydration pack, do some stretching, we hit the paved minor inclined road. As expected there are lots of bikers too. We run as a group, hit the uphill road of Shotgun. The weather is good, it's still early, the sun is already out and we are greeted with a beautiful scenery of the mountain ranges on the side and if one will turn back where the group started one can see the skyscrapers and the city full of structures and smug too. For the second time on this unending uphill route, I really find it fun and exciting despite my lungs grasping for air while I push myself on the uphill parts with a goal of not stopping. I am among the few runners who is at the back part of the group but I just did my uphill push on a slow and steady pace.

As the group go further uphill, the lead pack chose the gravel road that leads to the other side of the mountain, half of the group is still at the back while half is already ahead, me being at the mid see Simon doing his uphill downhill repeats, Pen followed. I decided to move forward following the more compact rough road. At some point I cant help but stop, the scenery  of the mountain ranges with low clouds is just so beautiful. As I move forward I am facing a road that leads to two different directions, I decided to wait for any running mates or at least look for a sign where the right direction may be. As I stay longer, bikers pass by, at some point I decided to follow the bikers route, I just enjoy running on the rough road  alone while enjoying the morning view of the mountain range. As I go further, the waiting shed is now visible and I can now see the lead pack resting. Thank god I made the right turn. Though I found out that two roads will merge eventually on the same road.

As the group run further after the compression at the waiting shed, Simon decided to take the single trail downhill away from the rough road. We got divided into two group, one group followed the road while we take the single trail track. It's a downhill uphill trail that crosses the paved road under the trees and beside the bushes. I just love the feeling of going through the a bit muddy trail while pushing a faster pace. At some point I decided to position last of the group. We traversed the Blue Zone until we reached Maarat that goes back to Timberland Clubhouse. Towards  the last part, I was already behind few meters from the group, though I am already familiar Simon decided to join with me. I tried to convince him that  he can proceed with his pace among the lead of the group and that I am ok for I am already familiar with the place, but he decided to just pace with me. So we just continue with our downhill run until we reached the paved road and the other group is there as well.

The rest of the paved road is now down hill up to the place where we started. We made a pit stop at Marc's Restaurant right after the gate to get some refreshments then proceed down. The downhill run is being shared with the bikers too. It's getting late and getting hot.

It always feels great to be back on the new found playground that I found. I just love the inclined slopes of shotgun even if it is a paved road. And all the more I feel my run is so productive when we enter the trail, with some parts muddy. And we are with the group of elite runners who serve as my inspiration to train and  improve on this sport. The group end the great run with a good breakfast at Tropical Hut, me with my favorite, halo halo and pancake. Thank you PUR for a great run. New found running friends. Til next time.
Pictures: Shotgun the Second Time

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