Review: Nature’s Trail Discovery Run

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.

Part of the Tanay Discovery Trail route

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
As i had hoped, i had finished the race comfortably without any hint of pain in my knee. This is indeed one of the best experiences in my running life.
Here are some of the pictures i took during the run. Hope you enjoy them.
I’ll be at the Merrell Trail Run next week! See you there!

The 21k start

Start of the mountain climb

Just above the clouds, Nette is ready to summit

Newly trimmed trail

The part of the trail where you have to sit and “slide” to go downwards

Capt. Arlene Trillanes (in blue) and her sister, Carol who i ran with during the sliding episodes of the trail.

We were on tiptoe mode during this trail. One false move on this muddy parts and off you slip on all fours!

The rough road going to the rivers

Running along these streams was a pleasure

The trail leading to a hanging bridge

You would never know what lies ahead as you get lost running in these routes

And here are the scenes that will take your breath away…

The Sierra Madre mountains at the background

Crystal clear water

My favorite scene when i was in the middle of this shallow river, water gushing inside my shoes

One of the many teams that i belong to. Norphy is the sole distributor of the Viking trail shoe in the country

The hanging bridge. It sways vigoruously when 2 or more people try to cross it together

One of the lowland scenery in the area

The trail near the finish

With Team Norphyl

Vener, June and Darryl

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15 responses to “Review: Nature’s Trail Discovery Run

  1. This was one really fun run. And awesome landscape, too! :) See you next week at the Merrell Adventure Run, Sir Rene. Another fun run, I expect haha :))

    • Thanks, Mit and see you too this Saturday! This time, there will be no sliding and hanging on tree branches anymore!:-)

  2. Nice race summary review Sir Rene, you never fail to take a shot of the great views along the trail route.
    Congratulations Sir Rene for finishing and for the knee pain that DNHd (did not hurt) :)

    • Thanks Pedz! i might have the greatest of views but you always get the newest running shoes! You should be banned from taking part in future raffle contests! Winner ka talaga!:-) See you saturday!

      • haha don’t ban me Sir. Hindi pa po kumpleto ung collection, hehehe. Compared to me, you’re the first Filipino who owned a viking shoe :)

      • Pedz, that distinction should go to Ceasar Valmadrid of Norphl, distributors of the Viking Trail shoe! :-))

  3. Great run sir Rene. I like your inputs about your run experience in Nature’s Trail Discovery Run. It puts me a smile and say’s good thing I’m a mountaineer and a runner put together and fit to be a trail runner. Please read my blog about my run experience at http://kalongkong.wordpress.com also. We’ve been following your blog and shoe reviews. It’s a pleasure to have a picture with you sir. See you at Merrell Adventure Run I’ll be running for 21K again. Yay Excited.

    • Hey Pao! Thanks for the kind words! I’m sure you had a good time on that trail discovery and i wonder if you also “slid” on those all-natural slide trails! Looking forward to Saturday for the Merrell Trail Run! Hope to see you, bro!:-)

      • I’m an experienced mountaineer then became runner. I called myself the downhill specialist hehe so I didn’t slid down the trail sir. I may trip a little but no sliding hehe. Did you slid going down Sir Rene? Hehe!

      • No bro, nag tumbling ako!:-) The trail was crowded so we had to wait for our turn.

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