June 19, 2016
This day marked my most anticipated run for the year. It was a race through the trails of my favorite mountain, Mt. Batulao! I’ve been waiting for this race since 2015 when trail-running was just a pipe dream. Now that I’m more comfortable with the trails, I’m happy to say that this was my strongest finish for a trail run yet.
I caught one of the night buses the day before, heading to Nasugbu. When it comes to trail runs, I prefer to arrive at the starting line early and get some sleep before the gun start. I arrived at Kaylaway Elementary School at around midnight. Already, there were some runners who had set up camp and were asleep. Sadly, I wasn’t able to test out my new hammock, so I just laid it out on the floor of a classroom and went to dreamland.
A few hours later, I was woken up by the commotion of the other runners. It was race-bib claiming time. After I got mine, I went to do my bathroom ritual and waited for the rest of my friends to arrive. As dawn broke, the gun start neared and I readied my gear.
I decided to try something new this race, by not wearing my hydration vest. Since it was Mt. Batulao, a mountain I was familiar with, I ran it using only my newly-bought Simple Hydration bottle. I was confident on the buko stations along the trail that I was going to risk dehydration for it. You won’t know until you try, right?
Finally, the race started and the 21km runners set off. The first part was a bit silly because of the single track trails. There was a bottleneck at some parts of the trail so instead of a run, it looked like a field trip. Everyone was just walking along the trail. Some friends and I advanced at rare opportunities but we never got the chance to run until the trail widened at the Caleruega Church area.
The next part of the trail was a mix of concrete roads and farmlands. A highlight of the trail was landmines aka animal poops all around the area. I accidentally slipped and my whole right foot landed and got covered with shit. My whole shoe was green with gunk. I pretended not to mind it but deep inside, I was crying. I wanted to DNF right at that moment. But I decided to block the image and just brushed my right shoe against the tall grass and carried on.
After that, we emerged onto the main trail of Batulao. This was where I got energized. Being familiar with the trail, it was like running in my home court. I was smiling the whole time, even if I was walking up the ascents and huffing and puffing. Running through Batulao is definitely one of the best experiences in my trail running journey.
I continued up the new trail towards the summit where the turnaround point was. At the top, I rested a bit for pictures and a bottle of Mountain Dew. Then I proceeded down to finish the race.
Thank goodness that the route going back was a bit different. There were less poopshits and more breezy trails and views of the local farms. It was amazing running through this area and I hardly felt the ache in my legs. The kilometers just kept flowing and I was surely enjoying myself.
The last few kilometers had some steep descents and ascents but it was all manageable. And finally I crossed the finish line with a sub-4 hour performance!
For the first time, I finished a trail run without major aches in my legs. Granted, this was the shortest trail run I’ve done, but it was still a challenging route. Strong finish indeed!
I immediately went off to wash my shoes since there was still some shitpoop on them. Then I waited with my friends for the rest of the runners to finish.
Afterwards, we set off for late lunch at Lady‘s house and then it was sleep time on the ride back to the Metro.
Once again, extending my heartfelt gratitude to the people who made this event possible.
First, to the Big Guy, for the wonderful weather. Not too hot, and not too cold. Just right for a very beautiful trail run up and down Mt. Batulao. Thank you for guiding my steps and for ensuring the safety of not just me, but of all the participants and people involved. All this for Your greater glory.
To my fambam for the neverending support despite me always being unavailable during Sundays. Labyu.
To Team TUSU, and Team Innova for the support as always. Especially to Lady and Dean and Gabby for the drive and the post-race carboloading. Thank you very much.
To Sir Tolitz, thanks for the Simple Hydration. It made the run very convenient and I’ll be using this bottle a lot. #RunSimple Oh and congrats, Champ!
To all my wonderful trail friends, old and new, thank you very much for the wonderful time together and for the greetings along the trail. See you on the next races.
To Sir Jigs and the rest of Team Conquer, as well as the supporting organizations like WISAR and all the sponsors. This event wouldn’t take place without you and thanks for consistently pulling off successful events. I am forever a fan. Kudos to the local government and officials of Brgy. Kaylaway as well for the good hosting of the event.
Race: Conquer 2nd Jagged Peak Batulao-Caleruega Reverse
Finish: 03:16:16 (Rank 20/173)
Food: [Self] Beng-beng x6, H2O, Powerade
[Aid Stations] H2O, Chocolate Milk, Biko, Banana, Softdrinks
Gear: Simple Hydration, Vamos Socks, Salomon X-Scream Citytrail Shoes
What a good race this was! I hope that more of my races end with this note. I’m going to enjoy the rest of my #OffSeason before returning back to the good trails!
Train smart, and never stop running!