Pictures: April 26 Trail Run @ Montalban, Rizal

A run up in the mountains sounds like a really good idea for a seasoned runner. It’s a glorious escape from the cityside and a chance to breathe some fresh air, enjoy the view from up above, and feel the wind brushing across your face.

That is what takbo.ph members did on April 26 at Montalban, Rizal. The event was hosted by Sir Rene, AKA Jazzrunner. A lot of people participated in this event, even though it was way out of the metro. Even I was surprised to know that Norio Tanaka, one of the finishers in the recently concluded Bataan 102 Ultramarathon, will be joining the party. Much kudos to you, sir, for gracing us with your presence. =)

From Commonwealth, the mountains in Montalban were about 30-45 minutes away. We left as early as 5AM so that we’ll be able to greet the sun when it rises. Fortunately, on the way there we were still able to catch it midway. Our run started at around 6AM.

The way up our destination is not as easy as it seemed. Again, it will be a stupid idea to underestimate the path, much like any other mountain trail. Though we had nothing but hydration belts and iPods strapped to our backs, the trail is quite difficult. Imagine battling continuous ascents roughly averaging 45 to 50 degrees. It was LITERALLY an uphill struggle. Even though we want to run our butts off to the peak, there were several moments when we had to walk. In addition, we had to brave through LOTS of muddy paths. It’s not just any kind of mud – it’s more of a clay type that will stick to your shoes and will be very hard to get off. If I remember correct, only a handful of us wore trail shoes. Good thing I decided to bring my Merrells for this effort. But the rest had their Nikes and New Balances soiled for the day. =(

I was one of those who were left in the tail. The usual baby steps strategy proved VERY useful on the way up so as to save my quads from further trouble. But when we were nearing the peak, there were already a handful who were waiting and screaming for us to hurry up, so we pushed to the top of the mountain in sprint mode. When we got to the top, it felt so invigorating. I may have been a human sweat machine at that point but I felt so relieved. =)

After spending nearly an hour at the peak, it was time for us to go down. Since we went uphill a while ago, heading down should be a cinch. But even going downhill was a problem since the inclines were that steep, and if you tried to run it, there’s no stopping you. Gravity is working at that point. So there was no choice but to walk it out – Eric even suggested walking backwards so that it wouldn’t be painful to the legs, and he’s right about it. When we reached flat portions, there was opportunity to run again.

We finished at around 9AM since there were lots of opportunities on the way down, thanks to Rodel. In the end, we got ourselves a view of the Wawa Dam (we didn’t take a bath in it since it was quite dirty), and ended up lots of cups of taho. =)

Will I be doing this again? Yes, indeed! This is my first attempt at a trail run and it feels good. =) If this is how the TNF works, then count me in next year. Scaling a mountain, whether with backpacks or not, should not be much of a hard ordeal if you’ve got the company of good friends with you. GO TEAM!!!

Here are some pics of what happened during that day:

The participants.

Take 2!

Almost there…

Jump!

We’re here!

My moment.

Just before we go down, one more shot.

After completing the route.

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One response

  1. ntanaka

    It was such a wonderful experience for me to jog & run rural areas in Philippines. Thank you guys for welcoming me with warm hearts.

    Ohayo, Tanaka-san! =)

    In behalf of takbo.ph, we thank you for gracing us with your presence during this trail run. We are indeed honored to have an ultramarathon finisher be part of our group, and we hope to run with you more in the coming months. =)

    May 1, 2009 at 7:09 AM

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