Trail Chronicles #15: The Trails of Silangan To Wawa

This is one of the roughest but most picturesque trail runs that i have ever done! It’s tough not because of the hills that were constant on the trails of Silangan in San Mateo, Rizal but more of the heat which were hovering in the mid 30s. Running in mid-day for about 6 hours certainly does not make it any easier when you’re exposed in open spaces but the overwhelming feeling of satisfaction is well worth it.

This is one of the more popular trail routes many trail running enthusiasts use on their training runs. What makes the run more worthwhile for me is running this route with my teammates (Team 90%) for the first time, given how some of them really don’t like running on trails. So we all met up early last Sunday, at 4:00am in Pure Gold Supermarket and after parking our rides, we started our run towards Barangay Silangan, near Timberland Heights.

I’ve ran these trails before except for those in Silangan, which is where the trail part starts. From Pure Gold on the main highway of San Mateo, it took us about 7 kms of concrete roads inside small baranggays before reaching Silangan, working our way through small villages leading up to several low mountains.

The trails and rough roads from Silangan, Timberland, Pintong Bukawe, Amianan, Casile and finally to Wawa where the famous Wawa Dam is located is one scenic route one would expect. The trail route starts in an undeveloped subdivision and goes up a grassy valley with rocks on the apex that leads to trail ridges overlooking the Timberland Heights.

Up there, it’s a cascade of rolling hills, forests, open fields then exit out an open gate and suddenly realize that you were inside the Timberland trails all along. Then down we went to Pintong Bukawe, scene of the Merrell Trail route all the way to Casile then to the Marikina River leading to Wawa.

Hill crests, river crossings, single track trails, towering bamboo trees, unparalleled views–this is a route of an unforgettable trail run. Well, we were worried about the glaring heat but still some parts of the trail were windy and cool so you didn’t feel uncomfortable running and once you got used to the sun, you were fine.

The run took us about 6 hours to finish covering about 25k to 30k at the most. It wasn’t easy but you do get to enjoy the scenery. This run was to prep us on our forthcoming trail races at the NTDR Pimco Trail Run this Sunday and the Soleus Nuvali 50k/30 trail race on June 29.

Hope you like these pictures taken of our run:

Team 90% with Ultra runner Gene Olvis whom we saw on our way to Silangan

Entrance to the trails

Uphill to the mountains

The view of Timberland Heights below

Going up that ridge while Chito and Leo were waiting for us at the top

Nearing the top

With the “ninjas’ at the top

It’s on at the Timberland Trails

The ninja look. It’s the only way to beat the sweltering heat!

The view from the top

Betty and Tonette on one of the bamboo bridges

Betty with her improvised pole sticks

Picking out Kasuy along the way

Chito walking over the streams

Back to the trails

The green pond

Chito patiently waiting…

Downhill towards Casili

Bumping into ultrarunner, Jon Las Bruce

Last pit stop before proceeding to Casile and Wawa

Main river of Montalban (using an old Nokia CP cam)

Run culminates at Wawa Dam