Running the trails of Silang in Cavite was a culmination of a week of short and wet neighborhood road runs which have become tiring or tedious at its worst.
But when we arrived early yesterday morning in the quaint town of Silang to run the Dash For The Elderly Half-Marathon Trail Run, the traffic and pollution in the city were soon forgotten, being replaced by trails which were almost dry and packed, throwing some of its best routes, scenery, humidity, small town hospitality and fresh air for trail runners! And with only about 150 runners, we had all the trails by ourselves!
The morning started at about 2am when Erwin, Iris and i left Quezon City for Cavite, making a stop-over first at Erwin’s office quarters in Dasmariñas where we had boiled corn on the cob before heading to Silang which was just 10 minutes away. We parked in front of the Silang Municipal Hall and Erwin got our race packets just across the street at the town plaza which would also serve as the starting and finish line areas.
We expected some rain but there was none as the weather somewhat cooperated–a little overcast and comfortable although it was still dark when the gun went off at exactly 5:00am. The first 3 kilometers or so were ran on pavement and saw many runners dashing off, intent maybe to reach the trails the soonest possible time. I had planned just to run the course slow and steady just enough time to take pictures along the trails and complete the cut-off time of about 4 hrs or so.
Past 2 kms in i started to realize that eating boiled corn on the cob was not the best choice for breakfast we had an hour earlier. My acid reflux (acidity) started to act up and i had a hard time breathing as the tightness of my chest became palpable so i had to slow down considerably, taking walk breaks just to ease the pain. I popped-up my usual antacid tab which i always bring during races and although i felt uncomfortable for a while, i was able to ride with the flow and started to feel better at about the half-way mark.
Despite feeling the blahs, i found the scenery invigorating! The trails were mostly double tracks, an obvious reference to the mountain bikers who frequent these routes. The place is basically an agricultural area where different crops are planted including pineapples and other plant varieties. Some parts of the trails were really grassy and wished that they had trimmed it off a bit to reveal those shallow canals located in between the double tracks to warn runners of the dangers in stepping on it. I saw quite a few who stumbled when they stepped on these holes.
Kudos to the aid stations which had plenty of iced water and to the marshals who probably had a hundred ways to say, “good morning”! There were adequate arrow markers along the way although there were points along the course we weren’t too sure where to proceed but were saved by runners coming back and pointing to us the right paths.
Other than that, i thought the race was very well-organized and i thoroughly enjoyed the over-all experience and would definitely recommend this race if it happens again. It was one great event! My hats off to JC Igos (RD) and his Cavite Organizing Team for a job well done!
Here are the photos i took along the course. Hope you enjoy them!