Part 3: Trail Chronicles Recap: Highlights of 2014 (Last of a Series)

Trail Chronicles #20 : A Dozen River Crossings (August 24, 2014)

Puray and its trails commands the attention of serious trail runners wanting a challenging route and it won’t be complete unless you reach its main attraction, Puray Falls and climbing up further to its crest to see the magnificence of the various lagoons of streaming waters.

This trail route is probably the most river crossings we had, no less than a dozen of them, one of which we had to maneuver right smack in the middle of deep waters, crawling horizontally, clinging to rocks in order to reach the other side. Against strong currents and slippery boulders, our trail running shoes were no match for it.

The trails going to Puray Falls (Rodriguez, Rizal) are mostly technical, many with rocky terrain and to compound things, some of the rocks covered under the rivers are mossy making them quite slippery. Been to this place on previous occasions although temperatures were swelling during this time post the rainy onslaught of the previous days. Jun and i together with old running friends Darryl, Jeyson, Werner and Chips, all established trail/ultra trail runners were on for this adventure!

Trail Chronicles #21: A Sneak Peek of Mt. Talamitam (September 1, 2014)

It didn’t matter that i would be waking up early at 2:00 in the morning, hie off to Makati and meet up with blogger-friends, Franc and Henri at 4 am or that we would be driving to Nasugbu, Batangas and discover Mt. Talamitam. The trail route to Mt. Talamitam did not dissapoint! Gorgeous and scenic views, not to mention the tremendous uphills that were waiting for us along the trails.

Here on this secluded area, far removed from any modern amenities of civilization (except for the locals use of cell phones too), i felt as though i could run forever with different views switching on every few seconds. We took trail routes which were longer, used exclusively by the locals, far different from those that hikers and trekkers regularly use. Our hosts, the Cavite ESE Team, led by JC Igos and his co-Race Directors were gracious enough to bring us up their training grounds!

Trail Chronicles #22: Salomon City Trail Intramuros Run (September 10, 2014)

It was great to be part of this first ever Salomon CityTrail 12k Run inside and around historic Intramuros in Manila where you get to immerse yourself in the walled city’s vintage atmosphere from start to end!

So what is a CityTrail (or CityTrail running), one might ask? How could it be possible to have trails similar to Tanay, San Mateo or on wooded forests when this one is located in a highly urbanized, old city like Manila?

Well, it’s a venue event label by Salomon, the shoe brand that brought us their famous trail running shoes. The  CITYTRAIL™ Races are part trail and part concrete running events that challenges runners to explore different terrain settings like pathways, bridges, tunnels, grass, stairs, etc. within urban landscapes simulating those in trail running. And what better venue to exemplify this than the historic Spanish and World War 2 settings of Intramuros!

Trail Chronicles #23: Dalandanan Trails (October 4, 2014)

Many trail runners, specially those with an eye for technical or long, mountainous and river paths often flock to the peaceful hinterlands of San Mateo, Rodriguez and Tanay, all in Rizal province. But the trails and peaks of nearby Bulacan, with Licao-Licao, Mt. Balagbag, Mt. Maranat, to mention a few, which is just an hour away from Metro Manila is just as ideal for adventurers–and a lot less known to runners.

Nearer still is Ciudad Real in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, one of my favorite  venues for unlimited trail running as many trails here remain untouched from runners, just waiting to be discovered.

We returned to Ciudad Real but instead of going through our usual route, we explored trails that we haven’t ran before, discovering in the process raw natural landscape, where water is clean enough to drink, fresh air blowing from atop trees and flower-filled forest with reds beaming on the side of the trails.

Trail Chronicles #24: The Other Side of Timberland (November 23, 2014)

There are still so much to look at here at Timberland and explore. If you look past the former garbage dump when you’re on the trails past Shotgun Road, there’s a nice little chunk of woods at the other side of this dumpster that runners try to avoid because it’s either stinky running near it or they just don’t know how to get there.

There are a few runnable trails that connects the usual trails inside Timberland Heights and past this landfill with several smaller offshoot trails. Jun and i went beyond our comfort zones and explored a few kilometers of random single track paths. You run through both wide open areas and under a lush treeline and can truly get the feeling of floating over a mountain ridge even though you know you’re only a few breaths from a landfill!

Trail Chronicles: Indang, Cavite Trails: Dash For The Elderly 21k Race (August 14, 2014)

The Dash For The Elderly Half-Marathon Trail Run in Indang, Cavite, was another unforgettable adventure with trails 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 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. Beautiful place!

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