"The mountain is calling and I should go." So is my running friends who wants to do a mountain run on a weekday. I just have to make arrangements at work and do a little extension when I get back in the afternoon. It's been awhile since my last trail run. Been too busy with lots of things lately. But who can say no to an invitation of two great friends whom I haven't spend some time with.
Destination: Mt. Balagbag to the famous "Don't Look Back Trail". One of the many and long playgrounds of our Coach JLB and few other hardcore trail runners and bikers in the Metro, it is where few got their grit and wit on how to approach major trail races in the country. I'd like to think that slowly in my own time I will be able to follow their foot steps and eventually finish few major races that I am aiming to do.
A short car ride from Manila Hills, we travel through rough and bumpy roads to the jump off of Sitio Licao - Licao. A restaurant opens as early as 6:00am, final check of food and water supply and off we go. Slow walk on a rough road warmed us up, a little push on the uphill until we reach the house before the place they called "helipad." My first time here, been thinking where exactly this place is. We are now higher in elevation and view of the mountain ranges are now more visible. The view is a such a breather. With few scattered clouds, the trek up is not so humid. After a short break we proceed by turning right from the rough road. We decided to try the famous Don't Look Back trail. No idea what to expect I just enjoy what nature brings me.
From the top of the hill, we headed down to the valley down to the lowest part of the valley, a long descend which I find challenging hopping especially on some eroded parts. A beautiful view of mountain tops as far as your eyes can see. A little eye sore though on those parts that mining starts destroying the side of the mountain. This is a long descend with grass in between single trail. Once at the lower most part of the valley is a stream where we can cool down, swim and enjoy the water.
We went straight to the nearby community to replenish some water and food, then head back to the same trail. Now that long descend will all be going up. Catching my breath as I slowly push my self up, I can feel my legs now slowly complaining. A real challenge. A total leg workout. It slowly hurt my calves and quads.
As I slowly pushed it dawned in my mind, how come they call this place "Don't Look Back", for me it should be called "Don't Look Up." Really. Just don't look up for you will never be happy to see how far you are still going to go to reach the top most part of the peak. And don't look up, just focus your eyes on where you will land your next step, and just imagine that the 80degree incline is just flat. Whow. I am perspiring big time. They said we are still lucky the sky is over cast and no Mr. Sun.
Reaching the view deck is a bigggg relief, stayed a little longer at the nipa hut, had few glasses of juice then proceed all the way down. Reached the community with a blast. Run around 4 hours on a 14km distance. Not bad on that elevation.
What a day. The very start of the many adventure on this area. Happy feet with a healthy soul. Our road to H1 starts on this journey.
Sitio Licao Licao
Nipa Hut before the Heli pad
Dont Look Back to Sition San Isidro
Go back to Licao