Daraitan Trail Run With Team Soleus: Trail Recon #1

Way back 3 or 4 years ago, i would occasionally run into an energetic group of runners wearing black dri-fit shirts with a yellow patch of “S” emblazoned on it and would later learn that it was the Soleus Running Team . I wasn’t really into any other running watch except for Garmin which i had acquired for a review on this blog and another one as a gift from a friend. However, i really had my sights on having one of those Soleus shirts they were wearing.

Those first generation Garmin GPS watches didn’t last very long with me as it had issues on quality and durability after only 8 months of use so i switched back to my old reliable chronograph watch . Later on,  i was invited by L-Time Studio (distributors of the Soleus watch) big boss, Judith Staples on the launching of their very first GPS running watch, the durable Soleus 1.0. It was great that they adopted their first GPS running watch which was simple in design and performance yet very affordable at that!

Getting to know Judith was my introduction to their running team. She is a huge motivator, very supportive of her growing team and most importantly, i get to run with a really friendly and equally supportive group of runners! Oh, and did i tell you that i got to have the shirt i was pinning for?

Team Soleus is open to all ages and the levels vary from elite, ultra runners, marathoners, beginners and fun runners who mostly wear a Soleus GPS watch. The runners here are super friendly and have a great bond with one another which i think is cool because you get to challenge yourself more and share that extra motivation from being with a team who share the same interests not only in running but by the watch they wear.

Last week, i had the chance to bring the team at my favorite trail playground, the Sierra Madre trails in Tanay, particularly the route going to Daraitan and the popular Tinipak River and rocks. To describe the group’s reaction of the trail route would be a task but to put it in two words: refreshing but hard-core!

Many struggled over those uphill climbs and slippery river crossings but got over those as time went by. The trails are moderate to very technical, a run-hike route depending on your level of fitness. Everybody though, were able to survive it. Although it is not as steep as other trails, there are lots of stream/river crossings and you tend to get lost if you’re not familiar with the route.

Once we were out of the trails, we all found ourselves back on a primary road and it was a short jaunt to the road leading to Daraitan and to the Tinipak Rocks. After about 6 kms and a short halo-halo stop, we finally reached Daraitan with the rocks and boulders looming everywhere like gem stones sparkling in ice water. I’ve been to this place many times before and it still was mesmerizing seeing it that day like it was the first time i saw it.

We lost no time in getting ourselves cool and dipping into the cool water. Here’s a run-down of our adventure in photos. Enjoy!

Team Soleus with the Rundezvous runners before the start of the run.

Irish and the Sierra Madre mountains as backdrop

At one of the stop overs on a hill top

Judith always rams the downhill parts

With Kerwin and Judith

That’s Abet cooling off her bruised knee

The team doing their balancing act

A very difficult part of the route where you thread on sharp jagged rocks and should maneuver with caution

With Judith (c) Running Atom

Finally at the Tinipak River

Mirjam enjoying the views

Bulalo, Gourmet Tuyo Pasta and Fried Chicken–thanks to Abet and Judith!