A Sneak Peek Of The Daranak Trails: Tanay Discovery Run (Leg 3)

Awed, shocked and  amazed! Three words that described how i felt while running and hiking the trails surrounding Daranak Falls in baranggay Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal. Last Sunday, i had the privilege of visiting this old town known for its gorgeous waterfalls and now for its newly discovered running trails which will be discovered and conquered for the first time by trail runners.

I was in the company of Race Organizer and Pimco President, Manny Santos, Norphyl President (Viking Trail Shoe Distributor) Cesar Valmadrid, Race Director Alvin Balderama and his assistant Christian Candava plus some guides to test run the route of the forthcoming 3rd Leg of the Tanay Discovery Trail Run at Daranak Falls on November 25.

If running trails could be awarded a star for its breath of scenery, then this place comes close to earning 10 perfect stars. Runners entered in this race will surely gasp for breath not only for the raw, mesmerizing vistas but also for the arduous route that will see them crossing rivers, climbing up a monstrous staircase and hold your breath…entering a historic cave that will take you a full 10 to 15 minutes of weaving around the dark, narrow maze from start to end!

A limited field of runners including many foreigners will be put to tasked in running what is probably one of the most beautiful stretches of forest trails in the whole of  Tanay, Rizal. The seemingly endless rugged terrain will transport you past quaint towns with goats that just abounds every backyard, under-ground water streams and spectacular sceneries of flowing rivers.

The entire route, from the 5k to the 21k distances will be manned by marshals and volunteers and this time, drinking water will be made abundant on stations which was an issue during the last Leg2 trail run in San Andres. They are not going to provide paper cups so every runner should bring their own hydration bottles!

Here are some pictures i took of the route.

After a two hour drive, we finally reached the park

The bridge that connects to the resort proper

Daranak bridge

The view from atop the bridge

The view on the west side

The art of rock balancing. How on earth do they do this?

…and this

The race start area

Runners will traverse along this river. There will not be as much water come race day in November than it is at this time so runners will have the option to thread along these waters or go slow by running over sharp rocks on its banks.

Part of the route

Runners have to run/walk this 800 meter stretch

Photo: Another photo of Alvin and Jazz Runner at the bank of Daranak River navigating their way. This is the first 900 meters from the starting gate. The River is awesome parang nasa Whitewater. We check on the tricky part and how long it will take the runners to finish this short stretch but long in action. Jazz Runner commented "Its like I have already gone through 5km after the first 1.5km. Sulit na sulit" Thanks Jazz Runner for joining us in the survey and inspection of the race route. Its great having you there and see how we plan the route for the most special Final Leg of this trail running exploration, discovery, and adventure the Nature's Trail Discovery Run.

Threading our way along Daranak River. (Photo credit to Pimco Sports)

Runners will now turn left here, climb the short flight of stairs before doing a gigantic obstacle course….

…running up the 348-step to the Virgin Mary shrine fondly called by the natives, “Hagdanang Parusa”

It is so steep that you can’t see the top and can’t see down where you started below!

Photo: After taking the mighty Daranak river as seen below, Jazz Runner still able to run the 346 steps of the Grotto. Whew! Lung busting vertical climb for all runners. But this is one part of the route that makes the first 1.5km really special all variations are there.

The running part. Had to “crawl” many times on this stretch! (Credits to Pimco)

Not that i was praying very hard at the Grotto of the Virgin Mary but was reduced to a kneeling position because of sheer exhaustion after climbing those stairs!

Atop the hill you’ll see this farm. I hope they put a leash on the dogs.

Check out the number of steps written in green. With me are, (L-R) Cesar of Norphyl (distributor of Viking Shoes), Alvin the RD and Manny of Pimco

Going out on a real trail this time

The Calinawan caves have been an old fixture in Philippine history wherein our first revolutionaries, the Katipuneros made this as one of their base camps during the Spanish time. Later, during WWII, this was used by the Japanese Imperial Army as a camp.

The street leading to the caves is called Calinawan Pass and is part of the route. Many battles were fought here between the Japanese and the Fil-American soldiers and many Japanese died on this cave so expect some eerie moments while crawling inside the narrow cave. DON’T FORGET TO BRING A FLASH LIGHT! There are some very sharp over-head rocks which you might accidentally bump into so be very careful! There will also be some surprises inside! Boooh…!:-)

You won’t miss this sign at the cave’s entrance

Yes, you’re going to sneak on this hole

This is where many Japanese died during WWII! But don’t tell the race organizers i told you!:-)

Weird things you’ll find inside the cave. This looks like the heel bones of a giant rhino with plantar fasciitis.

It’s not a corpse of a pre-historic animal but a mineral formation (stalactites), i think…

Emerging from the cave

Photo: Jazz Runner coming out of the Calinawan Cave. We entered from one side and we exited at the other side. The longest 10 minutes...ha,ha,ha. We made it to the light :)

The cave’s exit (photo credits to Pimco)

Runners will surely start running out of the cave to gain some lost time

Up in the mountains, you’ll find nice trails like this

Most of the route are shaded except when running on banks of rivers

One long uphill

Single track rocky trail, guaranteed to give your trail shoes a good beating!

The last trails of the route are very technical; rocky, muddy because of the streams that gush out from various origins

I hated this part because it was so slippery so be prepared to get your gear muddied!

Doesn’t get muddier than this!

Photo: The Final Leg as can be shown in this final stretch to the finish line is all action from start to the finish. No boring moment. This is a forested downhill and the sound of rushing water is coming form everywhere because its at the top of Daranak falls. In this downhill stretch some runners maybe tempted to swim as there some portions where it seems to inviting but this finishing stretch wait until the finish, dont be tempted. At the finish line you will be at awe! There you can swim at your hearts desire.

I was still sliding down this slippery trail while Cesar and Alvin check on their shoes.

The downhill trail to the finish

The sight of Daranak Falls as it appears a few meters from the finish line

The falls in all its magnificence!

Bathers enjoying the cool waters of the falls!

Runners will have the chance of dipping in these waters after the race

Thanks to Manny & Alvin of Pimco and to Cesar of Norphyl for a wonderful experience!

Regular Registration are now open at their following Registration Partners –

  • ROX BGC (4-8 pm only daily except Sundays)
  • Chris Sports at SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Mall of Asia, and SM Fiesta Mall at Alabang;
  • ARC Manila.
  • Online Registration will be conveniently available 24/7.

Nature’s Trail Discovery Run Final

Date: November 25 (Sunday)

Venue: Daranak Falls, Tanay, Rizal


5-k Trail Fun Run (Beginners) : Entry Fee is P500.00 per runner inclusive of race kit, provisions, giveaways, finishers medals only to the top 25, Finishers Certificate of Finish and Participation to all. Open to Filipino Runners only.

10-K Trail Run : Entry Fee is P850.00 per runner inclusive of race kit, finishers shirt, and medal including breakfast. Open only to Filipino Nationals.

21-K Half-Marathon: Entry Fee is P1,050 per runner inclusive of race kit, finishers shirt, and medals. Inclusive of Breakfast. Open to all nationalities.


For runners who want to be near the venue you can get accommodations from hotels and resorts nearby such as Sacramento Valley Hotel and Resorts (Contact Infos: 654-1043 Fax: 654-1588); Bahay Bakasyunan (Website: http://www.bakasyunanresort.com/tanay); Momarco (Website: http://www.momarcoresort.com/). They are all in Bgy Plaza Aldea where Daranak Falls is located.

Public Transport:

To get to Daranak Falls using public transportation, you can ride jeep at Star Mall in Mandaluyong City to Tanay market. From there you can get tricycles that can bring you directly to the venue.

Runners and their families and friends who would like the outdoors may get accommodation near the venue. This is highly recommended as there are amenities that you can try your hands for very affordable rates.

Shuttle Services for Metro-Manila Runners:

Additional fee of P300.00 per runner will be charged for the shuttle bus to the race venue and going back to the same pick up points as follows:

Pick up Details:
Date: November 25, 2012

Pick up points:
Shell Station, Makati Edsa
Mandaluyong, City Hall Circle
Quezon City Circle
Masinag, Marikina in front of Mercury Drug

Time of Pick Up:
2:00 am Shell Station Makati Edsa
2:15 am Mandaluyong City Hall Circle
2:40 am Quezon City Circle
3:10 am (Subject to change)

The Bus will passed-by and will not be standing by please be at the pick-up point at the time to avoid inconvenience and present your Service Stub. The Time of Pick-up are estimated arrivals at the pick up locations given.

If you miss one pick up place, you can still catch up by proceeding immediately at any of the pick up points ahead. The Shuttle Bus will not wait.

Time of Return Trip: All Runners must be at the shuttle bus for the return trip to Metro-Manila from the race venue after the race event on November 25 not later than 1:00 pm.

Hydration Stations – There will be hydration stations every 2.5 kilometer distance for free.

Banana Stations – There will be banana stations for each of the race category at the finish line for free.

Breakfast – Breakfast pack will be served

Finishers Kit – All finishers will receive their kits that include the medal, finishers shirt, and loot bag at the Finishers Booth for the 10k and 21k only. 5k has no Finishers Shirt but will have finishers Medal.

Nearby Hotel & Resorts – There are nearby hotels and resorts where runners may choose to stay.

For more info, you can go to their website at: http://www.pimcosportsevents.com/ with telephone nos. 5321645 or 5710524.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PimcoSportsEvents

42 responses to “A Sneak Peek Of The Daranak Trails: Tanay Discovery Run (Leg 3)

  1. Hi! Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos… and of course you running.:)

    I am a newbie in rnning and i get really get good motivation reading interesting articles like the ones you share with us.

    I hope I get to meet you one day soon and perhaps join you and your group in one of the many runs you make.

    See you soon. Travel light.Run happy.



    • Hi May! Glad you’re into running too. Keep it up and try to join short races to buoy up your enthusiasm more! Hope to meet you soon in races.

      Thanks for dropping by!:-)

  2. Pingback: A Sneak Peek Of The Daranak Trails: Tanay Discovery Run (Leg 3) | Marathon Events | Marathon.ph

  3. Hi!thanks for posting those pics.i’m interested to try running to lose some weight and be fit.hopefully me & my husband could join the daranak trail in november.😊

    • Hi Arlene! This trail run may well be a very good introduction for you and your husband to trail running. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy the experience! Hope to see both of you soon!:-)

  4. we r now officially registered together w/ my husband.it will b r first time 2 join trail run….i hope i will b able 2 survive……but am excited&i can w8 4 november25.c u guys.

    • Hi Chinky! Not only will you survive this trail run but you’ll also enjoy the adventure, i assure you! I envy the first time trail runners because they’ll savor a very scenic, challenging and exciting trail course waiting for them! Don’t forget to bring a small flash light and your hydration bottle.:-)

    • Hi Noel! I’m sure kaya nya ito. Walang “peak” dito although the stair climb will be a bane to many runners. That’s all. Some hills, river crossings, a cave (bring flashlights) and very nice scenery will await all runners. See you and Nette here!:-)

  5. pamatay sa tuhod yung stairs 😉 nice photos Sir Rene.. ang ganda ng trails at nice route, having the waterfalls at the end 😉

    • Correct Zaldy! This will replace the peak that was offered during the first leg of the trail series. Oh yes, nice dramatic ending! See you there!:-)

  6. hi, coach i will try with my husband nature lover kami, 5K , have hill,river crossing ? thanks see you there:)

    • Hi Evelyn, it will have everything included in all categories! I’m sure you’ll enjoy! See you both there!:-)

  7. See you there! Will run in 21km distance.. 😀 Thank you for sharing these photos. More excited than ever! 😉

  8. We already register for the natures trail.This will be our 1st trail run.We’re really excited!see you all there😉

  9. Hi!We already register for the natures trail run.This will be our 1st trail run.We’re already excited!see you there…

    • That’s great, Arlene! Please don’t forget to bring a small flashlight and your water bottles! See you!:-)

  10. Hi! Thanks for this blog.. I am now more convinced to try trail running.. May i ask what kind of shoes are ideal for this event? I join road races and use a cross-trainer. I climb and have a reliable pair of trekking shoes, but it may be too heavy. My husband and I are signing up.. just need to figure out good shoes.

    Appreciate your thoughts, thanks!

    • Hi Noemi! A good pair of trail or all-terrain running shoe would be most ideal. Get them cheap at any Sports Warehouse outlet (P2,000-3,000/pair).

      Good luck and hope to meet you both soon!:-)

  11. Hi! Thanks for the blogging regarding this event. I have actually signed up for the 21k. I was just wondering where we could avail of the said service stub for the shuttle service? Thanks once again and see you there 🙂

      • thanks po. how about the 10k. wla po kc nakalagay gun start sa site nla n its my first time to join a trail run.

      • It’s usually about 15 minutes after the 21k runners have started. So about 5:30am, more or less.

  12. Hi,
    i already online… just heard that the ride(shuttle) going to the venue is already full is there any way that they can add a ride going there:-(

    • Hi Mel, i think they are going to add another bus shuttle if it so warrants. Just check out their page on Facebook or their website (Pimco Sporting Events) for any updates.

  13. Pingback: Feet on the Trails, Head in the Clouds « The Runt Runner

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