Finding a new place to run can be at times tedious and frustrating, specially when you have covered almost all possible running routes there is to run in the city. Even the most unlikely places have been traveled: Quiapo, Juan Luna Street in Binondo, Rizal Avenue, Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (at night), McArthur Highway to Valenzuela, N. Domingo? Been there, ran that. Unless you have the time to travel outside of Metro Manila and breathe clean air, admire the sweeping views of mountain peaks, you would still want to pile up those miles in a convenient place near home and without spending much time travelling into a distant place to run.
When ultra runner Ronald Declamador proposed to do a long run that would start at the corner of Julia Vargas and C5 Road (Shell Gas Station) and go all the way to Fort Bonifacio (via C5) and back going to the Marikina Riverbanks and ending up in U.P., i immediately enlisted to join. Little did i know that we would be running the whole stretch of C5 Road, going all the way to the South Luzon Expressway and back, going further to Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.
C5 Road is one enormous stretch of highway with combined techno-industrial, commercial and residential establishments lined-up along the route. It cuts through Paranaque, Taguig, Makati, Pasig and Quezon City and is probably the 2nd busiest artery (next to EDSA) where thousands of vehicles pass each day. It sometimes amazes me that some runners get to train and run on this busy beltway that one false maneuver from a sleepy truck driver could hit and trample you to pieces and send chunks of your body flying inside the grounds of Heritage Park!
I invited Betty and Tonette, two novice but very determined ‘halimaw’ (monster) runners who would like to include a long slow distance (LSD) run into their training for the full marathon at the QCIM this October. I know these two ladies have not ran a distance of more than 21k so this run would be a good baptism of fire to run beyond 21k and hopefully prepare them for the rigors of a full marathon.
Ronald invited his regular long run training partners so the nine of us (ronald, rico, mye, tonette, betty, erick, chris and wilnar) were ready to tackle C5 Road.
We started at about 4:45am, running southbound towards Taguig. We ran up the Bagong Ilog Flyover Bridge that crosses the Pasig River from Pasig City to Makati City. It’s the only portion of our run that we get a picturesque view of the Pasig River.
After stopping at the Taguig Shell Station for some refreshments, we continued our run until we reached the Fort Interchange. The right side of this road is the entrance to Bayani Road, Fort Bonifacio which i thought was where we were heading but instead of going there, we went straight. In Taguig, we ran on the side streets perpendicular to C5 where we were relatively safe. After 10.6kms, we reach the SLEX Interchange and passed under a tunnel for our U-Turn back to C5 Road.
We stopped at all convenience stores to buy provisions of water, energy drinks and bars but it was the heat that slowed most of us. When we reached a Jolibee branch in Libis, Betty, Tonette and myself decided to continue our run ahead of them so we could avoid the heat. But instead of passing thru the Marikina River Banks, we took the Katipunan route instead in going to UP.
Betty and Tonette finished their run for a total distance of 29.7kms while i continued further to U.P. and ran a total of 31kms (walking the last kilometer to home). Ronald later told me that his group ran a total of 35-36kms passing by the Marikina River Banks. It was a nice run over-all and we plan to do this again, maybe at the QCIM route.
(Pics courtesy of Ronald. Thanks, bro!)