Amazing, scenic, hard-core and more! Words to describe how we experienced hiking and running for more than 13 hours coming from Baranggay Talipusngo, Maragondon, Cavite going to the base of Mt. Marami that traverses straight to Pico De Loro—-trekking a seldom used route mountaineers had utilized years ago. My co-trail runners and I had assumed that the trek will last just 5 or 6 hours at the most so we scrimped on bringing more supplies than what we had prepared for and sort of paid the price of being dehydrated for a couple of kilometers.
Then again, with my years of adventure for joining runs, hikes and races on undiscovered or least known trails, i decided to join this Test Run organized by Race Director JC Igos to drum up support to his group’s upcoming race, the “Beautiful Horizon, Silyang Bato-Pico De Loro 35km Trail Run” to be held on December 20, 2015.
The route passes through the rugged terrain of Mt. Mataas Na Gulod, Mt. Palay-Palay before ascending to the jump-off to Pico De Loro. It was my first time running this route as well with most of the others while i’ve had in two other occasions tipped the apex of Mt. Marami so i kind of knew what i was getting into.
If trails could be awarded a star for its breath of scenery and its arduous paths, then this place comes close to earning 10 perfect stars. Runners who will join this race will surely gasp for breath not only for the raw, mesmerizing vistas but also for the arduous route that will see them crossing rivers, climbing up dozens of hilly terrain, exploring deep virgin forests and running single-track trails (some covered with foliage) in their natural form.
A limited field of runners including some from overseas will be put to tasked in running what is probably one of the most beautiful stretches of forest trails in the whole of Maragondon and Ternate in Cavite. The seemingly endless rugged terrain will transport you past grasslands with wild flowers, bended bamboo groves with cows intermittently seen lurking by.
Trekking the Anino River is an experience on its own. Located inside an old growth forest, the river is mainly untouched that extends up to a kilometer of low streaming waters. The forest is mostly dark, has thick growth and is eerily quiet if you set out alone, so the only light that can be seen inside the forest is a collection of sunbeams. I urge you to stay in groups while crossing its streams.
If you plan of setting up a reconnaissance run to get a feel of the route, i suggest to bring loads of water and food as there will be no available water between the traverse of Mt. Marami and Mt. Pico De Loro except from flowing water from an upstream source near the foot of Anino River. Also bring a flashlight or head-lamp as you may arrive at the Pico De Loro jump-off site near early evening. A fully-charged cellphone and some money is a must!
Details of registration can be viewed here: https://jazzrunner.wordpress.com/2015/10/30/preview-the-beautiful-horizon-trail-run-traverse/
Here are some pictures of the trails which i hope will be useful for this trail race! Enjoy!
(Photos by Vanessa Tagaro and The Jazzrunner)
Trailhead going to the Nuestra Senora Trail:
Resting at the Traverse trail intersection (bahay kubo):
Continuing our trek to Mt. Mataas Na Gulod:
Resting at the tail-end of Anino River: