The Mt. Pinatubo Eco-Trail Run: Weirdest Place I’ve Ever Ran!

We got lost going to the Nayong Filipino grounds at Clark, Pampanga, site of the start of the Columbia Mt. Pinatubo Eco-Trail Run last Saturday. The driver of our media bus got lost as we were already heading straight to Capas, Tarlac instead of Pampanga so imagine our dismay when the driver realized his mistake after several frantic calls with other bus drivers who were also bringing other runners to the site! so we turned back and when we arrived at Clark, we were still groping our way inside the former airbase.

By the time we finally arrived at Nayong Pilipino, the 25k runners, the distance i was to run had already been fired-off, a good 15 minutes ahead and now the 10k runners were about to be sent off! Wow, this is the second time i had been late at the start, the Rexona Run a few weeks ago being the first one but that was just about 5 minutes late! The runners in my group were still struggling to get their bibs and gears ready and as we proceeded to the starting line, the 10k runners were now sent running. Oh such pressure!

As we struggled at the tail-end of the 10k runners, i realized that i had forgotten to put water in my water flask and if this wasn’t still enough, i felt some growling noise in my stomach, not a good sign for somebody who was going to do a 25k run! The first 2.5kms was running like hell, a lot of things going into my mind as i knew i was far behind from the original 25k group and had nobody to run with the rest of the way.

Finally the first water station appeared, the growling in the tummy had gone away by then and i was finally able to take a few sips and fill up my water bottle. So now, it was time just to enjoy and concentrate on the race.

This race is dubbed the Eco-Trail Run but if you look at the course itself, it sure looks far-fetched from the ordinary forest trails we’re used to running. If this is a trail, then this should be the widest and biggest trail in the world! It’s like running in a wild-valley, almost similar to trekking in a moon-like surface with vast ash fields and rushing river streams.

I made a photo-blog of this run for you to see the place. Enjoy!

Less than a kilometer from the start, we turned right into a short trail leading us under a bridge to start our journey to the Pinatubo river bed

An ash trail of about a km long leading to the open river

The first water station, right before the main route. Drinking water, at last!

The main route now visible and ready to be conquered

This is it! A vast field of sand, streams and the mountains of Pinatubo

The runners kept on the left side which was drier and the route seem endless

Pockets of streams were ever-present during the earlier part of the route. The rivers would be flowing on the latter part

The “widest” trail in the world!

River streams begin to emerge after the 6 km mark

No matter which part you went, the sea of streaming water seem endless. Safest part was on the left side going towards the crater

Approaching a crease, one of several near the 9 km mark

Here, the streams seem to be the trail itself!

Approaching runners on their way back

Now more of a river trail, you can’t stop on your tracks because once you do, the sand below you would sink to about the height of your shoe so you have to keep moving

The waters here are about 3 to 5 inches deep. No dry part on sight

The feeling of running through the water is indescribable! You just have to push and wade along

Getting through between these mountains was a relief after seeing an open space view

He took my picture as i took his. Way to go, bro.

From Raiders of the Lost Ark!

Lady offered me an energy drink! Thanks, mam!

Ultrarunner Jhunbie Serna emerges with his wife tagging along

Time out to remove sand off the shoe

My own time-out

Thumbs up for a nice run, so far

Marie Joyce Negapatan

Gey Enriquez and her friend, Neil

A few meters from the turn-around point (12.5kms)

At the home stretch

Finished the 25k. No, that was not my time

My Fila Everest Volcro Trail shoe, part of the outsole detached from the midsole after it had endured so much water and rocks during the run.

Oh and also, if you ran this race and want to know your time results, check it out here   http://strider.ph/

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2 responses to “The Mt. Pinatubo Eco-Trail Run: Weirdest Place I’ve Ever Ran!

  1. Pingback: The Mt. Pinatubo Eco-Trail Run: Weirdest Place I’ve Ever Ran! | Marathon Events | Marathon.ph

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