Coming into the race yesterday, i was doubtful if i would be able to run the 21k Tanay Discovery Trail Run. My left knee was giving me some problems right after my T2N Ultra race the week before and i was still under medication to ease the dull pain and was reduced to a few long walks before yesterday’s race.
I had almost considered the advise of some well-meaning friends just to forego the race, take another week’s rest to avoid aggravating the pain into a full-blown, long term injury. But this trail run was too good to miss-out so i promised just to do this one race and assured them that i’ll downgrade to just running the 10k.
I arrived at the race site in San Andres, Tanay with running buddies June and Darryl in a convoy with Vener and Pedz (Running Atom) who were just right behind. I then requested the race organizers for a downgrade of my 21k race category into the shorter 10k and luckily, they acceded my request. As part of the Norphl Team, the main trail shoe sponsors of the event, i donned the Team singlet and was wearing the Viking Anaconda Trail shoe provided by Norphl.
There is really no simple way to describe the Tanay Nature’s Trail Discovery Run. It is just something you have to experience for yourself:
For me it was:
- An out-of-town trail run that is very accessible to Metro Manila runners
- Complete change of scenery with rustic views, cool breeze, laid-down feeling and the breath-taking vistas along the route
- One of the most engaging trail courses i’ve ever done and the climb to its highest mountain peak (1,960 feet) was heart pounding that you have to stop several times to catch your breath
- The view of the runners on top, lined-up to summit was awesome!
- Reaching the top of the mountain rewards you with stunning views of clouds and fogs, mountain fauna, broad valleys and the final section offers sweeping views of the Sierra Madre mountains
- Water and eat-all-you-can bananas were provided at the mountain top
- Bits and whole pieces of some shoes’ outsoles, midsoles were scattered along the trails
- The rivers and streams were crystal clear, refreshing and shallow enough to run over it
- Running on rocky dirt roads is never too easy
- The descent down the mountain was made into a playground. Runners sat down and slided on the slippery and muddy trails, crawled with their hands touching the ground for support or made monkey bars out of tree branches to avoid falls
- Witnessed a lot of runners slid down uncontrollably, slipped down and fell, bumped into each other because of the gridlock. All movements were in “slow-motion”
- Newly cut grasses along the path were not removed which caused you to slip. Ropes should have been provided to provide a safety harness on the steepest downhills. Safety here was compromised. If one careless runner decided to run through the muds and fell, he would have put the other runners at risk and the scene would be something like falling dominoes.
- Runners were shouting, screaming and cursing during this down-ward episode. Some were laughing at the slip-ups!
- Race marshals that gave you the WRONG directions! Some 10k runners were led to the 21k route!
- Runners greeting other runners “good morning” along the route
- Picture-taking galore along the rivers
- A swaying wooden bridge which felt like an intensity 8 earthquake when 2 or more runners cross it together
- Hearing Jared announce my name when i was about to cross the finish line in his supladong twang-twang Irish accent. Thanks, bro!
- Your white shirt turned into golden brown and runners’ shorts and tights bear mud markings on the rear
- Waiting endlessly for June to arrive at the finish who arrived after 4:30+ to finish the 21k. Whew! Almost sent an ambulance to search you, buddy!
- Freebies on paper bags
- Photo-op with the town mayor at the finish line
- Raffle prizes for 3 Viking trail shoes (worth about P8k each) and no surprise for one winner Pedz, the Running Atom who almost always win in raffle draws!
- Lots of eats at the Team Norphl table