Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Natures Trail Discovery Run 2012 culminates at Daranak Falls, Tanay



last Sunday, November 25, 2012 was the culmination of the last leg of three of the Nature's Trail Discovery Run. This run is an initiative of the government of Tanay, Rizal and Philippine Trail Runners Association - PTRA to highlight the tropical rain forest, the rivers and falls of Tanay, Rizal for local and foreign adventure seekers, outdoor enthusiasts and of course trail runners. This program will also encourage civic oriented groups and environmental organization to support and protect the natural flora and fauna of mountains Tanay Rizal.



The first two was held at Tanay Adventure Camp where I run 21k on the second leg. I missed running the first one because there was already a scheduled run I needed to attend. The course of the second leg was quite exciting because runners got to experience to do seven river crossings inside Sampaloc, Tanay. The trails was a mix of rough road, narrow tracks and flat pavement. The tougher part of the course was the almost forty-five degrees steep ascent.

At 2:30am, waiting for the ride to Tanay, Rizal...



The third leg, however was literally test of everyone's limits. The course was generally rough with chunks of   lime-stone rocks covered most of the trails. At the gun-start, the 21k runners immediately faced an early challenge with a steep ascend going up to the trail head. After which, runners creeped through Calinawan cave 300 meters long. the path way was slightly lit that's why navigating through the narrow and sharp limestone was challenging but a fun experience. For some who brought their head lamps, the passing through the cave was much easier but it was a life and death situation for some who did not bother to bring one, including me. 

Running friends Joan and Modj Mojdeh inside Calinawan Cave...


After the race, a fellow runner Nickson Yucom,  had an accident inside the cave and fell in one of ditches. He immediately got back on his feet and undermined his injuries until the finish line and ranked third. Only then he realized the gravity of his injuries was a bit serious. He incurred heavy bruises on his shoulder and back and a big bump on his forehead when he hit hard limestone rocks inside the cave.

The cave is full of natural limestone formations...

After going through the Calinawan Cave, most of the runners made a quick pause for a short photo ops just to document an unforgettable experience. Then back to the trails again until we got to the portion where runners will do some vertical stair climbing 340 steps to be exact. The climb was one hell of a cardiac exercise and a quads buster. After which, we got to do a short river traverse that made us cool-down from the fatigue.

With Choi, Joan and modj at the mountain summit 1.5k climb...

After passing through the U-turn for the 10k category, that was where the real challenge began. The trails at that point became much narrower with more jagged limestone rocks all over. With a minimalist shoes I used, the sensation was definitely felt, but i got to do a lot of technical scrambling running technique with it since its very light weight. The distances of the 21k runners became much father apart. One by one some runners lagged behind to stop for rest because of exhaustion and fatigue. Some totally retired from the race because of extreme cramps and other running related injuries. The ascent was 1.5 kilometer steep trail climbing. Slowly, one by one started geared down on a much slower pace then to just walking pace.

Savoring the sweet 21k trail run finish...

After reaching the U-turn at the summit, most of us decided to just drop down, enjoy the cool breeze of mountain air and enjoy the nature, another fun part of trail running where i don't get from running on roads. after a few minutes of rest, we loaded up our hydration bottles and headed down to finish the race. The trail running down the mountain was much easier and faster because of gravity,  but way much too dangerous as well. Then, it was full speed a head until we reach the last one kilometer of the race where we had to navigate our way through thick vines as we traverse the side of a stream. Suddenly, a load sound of Daranak Falls welcomed us as we cross the finish line exhausted, battered down, beaten up by fatigue but with full of high.

Cooling down at the finish line near Daranak Falls...


The Natures Trail Adventure Run was for me one of the toughest I ever run. The fatigue, pains and heat after the run eventually subsided and strength was recovered for another trail running in the near future. A special thanks of course to Chris Sports and Ms. Arleene Lindo for allowing to experience this awesome trail run. Thanks also to Iris Torculas for the effort of getting it for me. A special thanks also to Merrell Philippines for equipping me with the best trail shoes, the Barefoot Trail Glove and to the husband and wife running friends Joan and Modj Mojdeh for treating us with a mouth watering feast at Berhuz Persian Cuisine.




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