Awed, shocked and amazed! Three words that described how i felt while running and hiking the trails surrounding Daranak Falls in baranggay Sampaloc, Tanay, Rizal. Last Sunday, i had the privilege of visiting this old town known for its gorgeous waterfalls and now for its newly discovered running trails which will be discovered and conquered for the first time by trail runners.
I was in the company of Race Organizer and Pimco President, Manny Santos, Norphyl President (Viking Trail Shoe Distributor) Cesar Valmadrid, Race Director Alvin Balderama and his assistant Christian Candava plus some guides to test run the route of the forthcoming 3rd Leg of the Tanay Discovery Trail Run at Daranak Falls on November 25.
If running trails could be awarded a star for its breath of scenery, then this place comes close to earning 10 perfect stars. Runners entered in 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 a monstrous staircase and hold your breath…entering a historic cave that will take you a full 10 to 15 minutes of weaving around the dark, narrow maze from start to end!
A limited field of runners including many foreigners will be put to tasked in running what is probably one of the most beautiful stretches of forest trails in the whole of Tanay, Rizal. The seemingly endless rugged terrain will transport you past quaint towns with goats that just abounds every backyard, under-ground water streams and spectacular sceneries of flowing rivers.
The entire route, from the 5k to the 21k distances will be manned by marshals and volunteers and this time, drinking water will be made abundant on stations which was an issue during the last Leg2 trail run in San Andres. They are not going to provide paper cups so every runner should bring their own hydration bottles!
Here are some pictures i took of the route.
After a two hour drive, we finally reached the park
The bridge that connects to the resort proper
The view from atop the bridge
The view on the west side
The art of rock balancing. How on earth do they do this?
The race start area
Runners will traverse along this river. There will not be as much water come race day in November than it is at this time so runners will have the option to thread along these waters or go slow by running over sharp rocks on its banks.
Part of the route
Runners have to run/walk this 800 meter stretch
Threading our way along Daranak River. (Photo credit to Pimco Sports)
Runners will now turn left here, climb the short flight of stairs before doing a gigantic obstacle course….
…running up the 348-step to the Virgin Mary shrine fondly called by the natives, “Hagdanang Parusa”
It is so steep that you can’t see the top and can’t see down where you started below!
The running part. Had to “crawl” many times on this stretch! (Credits to Pimco)
Not that i was praying very hard at the Grotto of the Virgin Mary but was reduced to a kneeling position because of sheer exhaustion after climbing those stairs!
Atop the hill you’ll see this farm. I hope they put a leash on the dogs.
Check out the number of steps written in green. With me are, (L-R) Cesar of Norphyl (distributor of Viking Shoes), Alvin the RD and Manny of Pimco
Going out on a real trail this time
The Calinawan caves have been an old fixture in Philippine history wherein our first revolutionaries, the Katipuneros made this as one of their base camps during the Spanish time. Later, during WWII, this was used by the Japanese Imperial Army as a camp.
The street leading to the caves is called Calinawan Pass and is part of the route. Many battles were fought here between the Japanese and the Fil-American soldiers and many Japanese died on this cave so expect some eerie moments while crawling inside the narrow cave. DON’T FORGET TO BRING A FLASH LIGHT! There are some very sharp over-head rocks which you might accidentally bump into so be very careful! There will also be some surprises inside! Boooh…!:-)
You won’t miss this sign at the cave’s entrance
Yes, you’re going to sneak on this hole
This is where many Japanese died during WWII! But don’t tell the race organizers i told you!:-)
Weird things you’ll find inside the cave. This looks like the heel bones of a giant rhino with plantar fasciitis.
It’s not a corpse of a pre-historic animal but a mineral formation (stalactites), i think…
Emerging from the cave
The cave’s exit (photo credits to Pimco)
Runners will surely start running out of the cave to gain some lost time
Up in the mountains, you’ll find nice trails like this
Most of the route are shaded except when running on banks of rivers
One long uphill
Single track rocky trail, guaranteed to give your trail shoes a good beating!
The last trails of the route are very technical; rocky, muddy because of the streams that gush out from various origins
I hated this part because it was so slippery so be prepared to get your gear muddied!
Doesn’t get muddier than this!
I was still sliding down this slippery trail while Cesar and Alvin check on their shoes.
The downhill trail to the finish
The sight of Daranak Falls as it appears a few meters from the finish line
The falls in all its magnificence!
Bathers enjoying the cool waters of the falls!
Runners will have the chance of dipping in these waters after the race
Thanks to Manny & Alvin of Pimco and to Cesar of Norphyl for a wonderful experience!
Regular Registration are now open at their following Registration Partners –
- ROX BGC (4-8 pm only daily except Sundays)
- Chris Sports at SM Megamall, SM North Edsa, SM Mall of Asia, and SM Fiesta Mall at Alabang;
- ARC Manila.
- Online Registration will be conveniently available 24/7.
Nature’s Trail Discovery Run Final
Date: November 25 (Sunday)
Venue: Daranak Falls, Tanay, Rizal
5-k Trail Fun Run (Beginners) : Entry Fee is P500.00 per runner inclusive of race kit, provisions, giveaways, finishers medals only to the top 25, Finishers Certificate of Finish and Participation to all. Open to Filipino Runners only.
10-K Trail Run : Entry Fee is P850.00 per runner inclusive of race kit, finishers shirt, and medal including breakfast. Open only to Filipino Nationals.
21-K Half-Marathon: Entry Fee is P1,050 per runner inclusive of race kit, finishers shirt, and medals. Inclusive of Breakfast. Open to all nationalities.
For runners who want to be near the venue you can get accommodations from hotels and resorts nearby such as Sacramento Valley Hotel and Resorts (Contact Infos: 654-1043 Fax: 654-1588); Bahay Bakasyunan (Website: http://www.bakasyunanresort.com/tanay); Momarco (Website: http://www.momarcoresort.com/). They are all in Bgy Plaza Aldea where Daranak Falls is located.
To get to Daranak Falls using public transportation, you can ride jeep at Star Mall in Mandaluyong City to Tanay market. From there you can get tricycles that can bring you directly to the venue.
Runners and their families and friends who would like the outdoors may get accommodation near the venue. This is highly recommended as there are amenities that you can try your hands for very affordable rates.
Shuttle Services for Metro-Manila Runners:
Additional fee of P300.00 per runner will be charged for the shuttle bus to the race venue and going back to the same pick up points as follows:
Pick up Details:
Date: November 25, 2012
Pick up points:
Shell Station, Makati Edsa
Mandaluyong, City Hall Circle
Quezon City Circle
Masinag, Marikina in front of Mercury Drug
Time of Pick Up:
2:00 am Shell Station Makati Edsa
2:15 am Mandaluyong City Hall Circle
2:40 am Quezon City Circle
3:10 am (Subject to change)
The Bus will passed-by and will not be standing by please be at the pick-up point at the time to avoid inconvenience and present your Service Stub. The Time of Pick-up are estimated arrivals at the pick up locations given.
If you miss one pick up place, you can still catch up by proceeding immediately at any of the pick up points ahead. The Shuttle Bus will not wait.
Time of Return Trip: All Runners must be at the shuttle bus for the return trip to Metro-Manila from the race venue after the race event on November 25 not later than 1:00 pm.
Hydration Stations – There will be hydration stations every 2.5 kilometer distance for free.
Banana Stations – There will be banana stations for each of the race category at the finish line for free.
Breakfast – Breakfast pack will be served
Finishers Kit – All finishers will receive their kits that include the medal, finishers shirt, and loot bag at the Finishers Booth for the 10k and 21k only. 5k has no Finishers Shirt but will have finishers Medal.
Nearby Hotel & Resorts – There are nearby hotels and resorts where runners may choose to stay.
For more info, you can go to their website at: http://www.pimcosportsevents.com/ with telephone nos. 5321645 or 5710524.