Savoring The Killer Trails of Timberland, All-Terra KOM

trail posterI came, I Saw, I Savored! Savored may be a cheezy term in relation to Julius Caesar’s conquest over Pharnaces II in the battle of Zila but it may be true too to all runners who both conquered and savored yesterday’s All Terra – King of the Mountain 10k Trail race at Timberland Heights in San Mateo, Rizal. Missing out the TNF 21k trail race 3 weeks ago because of another race i attended on the same day, i didn’t miss this opportunity this time as Timberland heights just lies less than an hour from Quezon City.

While most runners came to race the trails, my purpose was more on discovering and appreciating the trail itself, as i aimed in experiencing the roughness and challenge as i was going to run here for the first time. However, the toughness and physical demands of the route, as i would later learn, was more than i had hoped for as they, for the most part, left me gasping for breath.

The 10k Trail Route

The 10k Trail Route

This mostly forest-enclosed trail will challenge even hardened trail runners. The steep inclines, wet and muddy terrain kept many to walk and exert great effort just to remain in balance while moving forward. However, along the route, we were rewarded with many scenic views of mountain vistas, fauna, a natural running stream and even an old chapel in the middle of the forest.

June, posing before the start of the race

June, posing before the start of the race

Posing near the start

Posing near the start

Warm up before the start

Warm up before the start

Final briefing by a race organizer

Final briefing by a race organizer

Seconds before the start. Seconwind's Hec Yuzon at left.

Seconds before the start. Seconwind's Hec Yuzon at left.

The race started about 50 meters past the guarded entrance gate as we quickly ascended into a moderate but long incline on a cemented road. Many runners had to walk past the 800 meter mark and i had to work my way through the field to keep up with running partner June Santiago but he was strong and kept pushing forward. Past the resort complex on our left, we started to enter the trail. The trail was soft and patches of stagnant water were present brought about by the rains that poured the morning before. I stopped to take photos of significant portions of the route while runners were careful to avoid the flooded part of the trail. Everyone was in good spirits, runners cajoling and teasing one another like kids until we reached the first water station two kilometers after the start.

Taking their time on the uphill near clubhouse

Taking their time on the uphill near the clubhouse

The trail starts here

The trail starts here

The trails were single to double tracks, passing through open fields with small mountains and valleys as backdrop. The route were very well-marked by sign directions although i wished they would have also placed kilometer marks along the trails. By the 4th kilometer, the hills became unrelenting and the ground unstable under our feet as we walked-up inclines.

The marshals were very nice and friendly, some giving encouragement, the others forewarning us about the type of surface we were going to thread on. The water stations were adequately stocked and well-placed and i was even wondering how they were able to set up tables atop a ridge. If you had expected a Gatorade station, the organizers would have been able to set one up but that would be asking for too much. I and with many of the other runners were equipped with energy drinks in our hydration belts.

I'm just at the back of the pack at this point

I'm just at the back of the pack at this point

Runners ahead

Runners ahead

Past an isolated warehouse

Past an isolated warehouse

Approaching a minor hurdle

Approaching a minor hurdle

Approaching an open space

Approaching an open space


Marshall on motorbike

Marshall on motorbike


Nette of Happy Feet/Takbo.ph. I hope i got your name right (?)

Let (http://itsmysocalledlife.wordpress.com/) of Happy Feet/Takbo.ph.

I was with a group of runners that i occasionally pass or get passed by when i stopped to take pictures.  Surprisingly, when i ran in step beside them and converse, they all knew who i was and they tell me enthusiastically that they keep tab with my blog, my trail runs and so on. Wow, that sure was music to my ears, better than hearing jazz on anyone’s I-Pod! I forget to ask the names of some while i was also able to ask others but later forgot them–probably because of the constant jarring and pounding of the brain while running! 🙂

One of more than ten hilly sections of the course

One of more than ten hilly sections of the course


Walking the incline in muddy conditions

Walking the incline in muddy conditions

Trail leading to forested area

Trail leading to forested area

The narrow pathways approaching the 6th kilometer were mostly uphills with overgrown grass shrubs scrapping our legs. We ran/walked most of the hills until we reached a gravel road at the edge of a cliff which was flat. We took a stab at running once again and i was fine, being able to catch some rhythm again. I overtook some runners until we reached the last uphill as we scrambled up to the crest. Here, i took my last photo of the runners and decided to run seriously the last 2 kilometers.

Chance to pose while catching her breath

Chance to pose while catching her breath

Nearing the crest

Nearing the crest

Good view of the wide vista

Good view of the wide vista

Markers for directions were all over the route

Markers for directions were all over the route

Going downhill

Going downhill

Long stretch in the open

Long stretch in the open

Muddy trail before us

Muddy trail before us

Enjoying the run

Enjoying the run


Skirting to the sides

Skirting to the sides

Crossing a stream. A sight to behold!

Crossing a stream. A sight to behold!

Just one at a time

Just one at a time

Dressed to run...in the forest

Dressed to run...in the forest


You go girl! Thumbs up before climbing the top of the hill

You go girl! Thumbs up before climbing the top of the hill

Now running on gravel

Now running on gravel

Last uphill, 2.5kms before the finish

Last uphill, 2.5kms before the finish

Posing for a member of Team baldrunner. The name "Salazar" emblazoned on his shirt. Must be the famed coach?

Posing for a member of Team baldrunner with the name "Salazar" emblazoned on his shirt. Must be the famed coach?

The Skywalker, Rainier 6666 taking it easy

A light moment for some of the runners

The last 2k was mostly flat and i was back at the cement road leading to the resort hotel as i sprinted back to the finish line. Yes! June, who said he came in about 10 minutes earlier lead me to the tent for some nice cold drinks.

Running in trails is peaceful, you only hear the breathing of the runners beside you or that of your own. There are no crowds that sometimes mock at you, there are no motorists that angrily blare their horns when caught in traffic and there are no jostling between runners while taking their cups of water. There is only decency in trail running. Maybe the forest gods have cast a spell on whoever runs through it. Here, we are given a doze of tranquility, fresh air and whatever else nature presents itself.

Over-all, this race was one of the best organized races i have even been to. The route was challenging with some very nice scenery and i would recommend it to anyone who would want to enter this same route again.

I’m still savoring the experience as i write this.

Posing after the race. With Jonel (Bugo-bugo), Jonel's friend and Neville of Secondwind

Posing after the race. With Jonel (Bugo-bugo), Jonel's friend and Neville of Secondwind

With Vince Mendoza (r) of Finishline

With Vince Mendoza (r) of Finishline

Charmimg ladies who also conquered the trails, Josie & Carmen, friends of the Jazzrunner blog

Charming ladies who also conquered the trails, Josie & Carmen, friends of the Jazzrunner blog

June and speedster Totoy

June and speedster Totoy

Mud soaked shoes

Our mud soaked shoes


Kiss mark on the leg (?)

June with kiss mark on his leg (?)

The bike race after the 10k run

The bike race after the 10k run

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12 responses to “Savoring The Killer Trails of Timberland, All-Terra KOM

  1. It was nice meeting you jazzrunner!! What a thrill to talk to you in person =) I have always enjoyed reading your posts plus I learn so much from your blog. If it’s not too much can I request to have copies of some of the pics. here via email? I wasn’t able to bring my camera so I have no souvenir shots of the trail.

  2. Thank you Carmen! You can grab any pictures you want or i’ll e-mail to you the original pics with their sizes.

    Hope to see you in future races.:-)

  3. Hi jazzrunner! On behalf of Elite Multi-Sport Resources (EMR) and our partners, we want to thank you for the kind words you posted on this blog entry. It is so fulfilling to hear that you and others had a positive experience at the 3rd All Terra King of the Mountain trail run. We are so glad you enjoyed the course, liked the scenery and were challenged by the race itself. That is just the reaction we were hoping to get from the participants. I hope your experience will encourage you to join us for our future trail runs!
    Thanks again!

  4. Hi Raul! The positive response is very well- deserved. You guys did a wonderful job directing the race despite the difficult terrain and logistics.
    Most importantly, everybody went home happy bringing with them memorable experiences from the run!

    My kudos to EMR, race organizers and to all involved!

  5. had i stumbled on your blog earlier prior to the KOM trail race, i would have the honor of meeting the fabled JAZZRUNNER. King of the mountain is my debut when it comes to trail runs, and it was a superb initiation. with your words from this blog post, i second the motion. really had a great time myself.

  6. Nice post Sir!

    Congrats to all finishers and to the race organizers for a job well done… ng-enjoy ako sa 1st trail run ko… 😀

  7. Francis and Ecks– thanks for the encouraging words and nice of you to drop by. Hope to meet you soon at the races.:-)

  8. Pingback: The 4th All Terra King Of The Mountain Trail Run « JAZZRUNNER

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