Trail running has its special magic. It is mostly quiet with no cars and traffic to contend with. The scenes appear to change every few meters and you seem to be in sync with nature itself, appreciating unspoiled woodlands, rivers, vegetation and the like. Expect the unexpected as many experienced trail runners would fondly advise. The jazzrunner and his running friends were in for a surprise as the trails would lead to uphill mountain ridges, rock climbs and a great view of the Angat river basin and dam.
Last Sunday, we hied off to San Jose Del Monte (SJDM) in Bulacan to pick up non-running friends who were our main contacts in order to gain entry into the heavily secured Angat Water Dam and Reservoir. This Reservoir is strictly off limits to the public except when special requests are made in advance for groups who wants to tour the place. So Darryl, June and myself met up with Edwin Ang, our point man (June’s friend) and Joel Salazar, our main man who knew contacts inside the reservoir who would let us have access inside the reservoir.
We left SJDM at 6:00am and arrived at the first main gate of the reservoir at about 6:30am. Both reservoir and dam are located at the Angat River in San Lorenzo, Norzagaray, Bulacan. Its main purposes are to supply water in Metro Manila, provide irrigation for the provinces of Pampanga and Bulacan, to reduce flooding to downstream towns and villages and to generate hydro-electric power to feed the Luzon grid.
There are 3 main security checkpoints before we could reach the reservoir itself. We started our run at the first main security gate where we left June’s car which would be later driven by Edwin to follow us wherever we went.
We ran up to the main view deck where you could see a bird’s eye view of the reservoir.
From the view deck, we would later run down on the mountain slopes where lush green trees and other fauna were on both sides of the road, similar to those of back wood roads in Baguio City.
From the main road, we would enter trails that offers challenges in navigating its different terrain. We had to traverse dirt, pathways of dry leaves, grass, rocks and roots. Unlike running on paved roads in big cities, running trails is rarely monotonous.
It was a good day for a run, the early morning breeze was cool but the sun was about to come up. We all came prepared with our hydration belts, trail shoes with both June and Darryl wearing their caps on.
After coming in and out of different trails, we were lead back to the main road which was now all 3kms of downhill. We were now running along another bridge way just atop the spill way. The view here was magnificent like we were on a lake somewhere in Europe.
There were still many trails that were to be discovered so off we went further…
It was one of the most exhillirating trail/mountain runs we ever had and one of the most scenic. On this run, we had forgotten to track our time but time was not of the essence here anymore as we had before us spectacular views we wished would have continued on and on.
Our heartfelt thanks to Edwin Ang and Joel Salazar for their support and friendship for without them, this run would not have taken place.
We’ll see you on our next trail run.
THIS RUN IS DEDICATED TO THE COURAGEOUS PARTICIPANTS OF THE 1ST BATAAN DEATH MARCH 102K ULTRAMARATHON RACE THIS COMING SUNDAY, APRIL 05, 2009. GOOD LUCK AND SUCCESS TO YOU ALL!!!