Fitness, Hike, Travel

Takbo: Monte Alba 21km

December 17, 2016

It’s a bit late, but I just have to share my year-ending trail race experience. Once again, I return to Wawa in Montalban, this time to run for Team Marupok’s Monte Alba event.

Team Marupok, as you might remember, are also the hosts of the Deadman’s Trail Run that I enjoyed a few months ago. They’re known for their no-frills trail runs on a budget which are also for the benefit of local institutions. Monte Alba is for the benefit of the Athletes of Rodriguez Swimming team & the Boy Scout of Philippines (Rodriguez Council).

The race will go through the trails of Parawagan, Lagyo, Susong Dalaga, and Binacayan before heading back to sitio Wawa for the finish. There is just the 21-kilometer category for the runners while locals also have their own 5k category. I’m excited because Mt. Binacayan is the only part of the route I’ve been to so hello to new routes and trails!

For this race, I paced my hardcore mountaineer friend, Khat, who’s curious about trailrunning. This will be her first race so we already decided not to let any pressure get to us and just enjoy the route.

Before 4am, we were already at the venue in Wawa, claiming our race kits. I saw familiar faces once again and it helped calm me down from the excitement. At exactly 4am, the gunstart sounded and all the runners were off.

The first challenge was Mt. Parawagan, it was a dark ascent around local trails. Since it rained a bit, the trail was also quite muddy and slippery. Fortunately, I know that Mt. Parawagan is runnable and this is actually the training ground of a lot of trail runners. The wide trails eventually narrowed until the turnaround point at the viewdeck. There, we got to see a good view of the city with all its lights against the morning darkness. We were offered coffee but since I was watching out for my stomach, I declined.

We backtracked through the trails until we reached the fork to Mt. Lagyo. Mygad, Mt. Lagyo. It was very slippery and also deadly because of the very sharp rocks. A newly opened peak, think Mt. Pamitinan, but with sharper rocks. Some rubber was actually sheared off the sole of my shoes because of Mt. Lagyo. Slowly but surely we rock-scrambled our way to the summit. Finally we reached the turnaround point and admired the view. I was too haggard I didn’t take any more pictures, sorry. After a quick moment of rest, we slowly made our descent.

The next bit was easier, it was rolling hills up to Susong Dalaga Peak. This was my favorite part of the race because we had to literally slide down from the peak via fallen talahib grass. And it was all downhill through rivers and local trails up until we reached Wawa river once again. We combed the riverside until we reached the last aid station where BoyP and mam Dio were providing refreshments for the runners. From here, it was only Mt. Binacayan and then the finish.

Haggard running towards the aid station || Photo by Running Photographers
Haggard running towards the aid station || Photo by Running Photographers

The hike up Mt. Binacayan was long and arduous. The trail was very slippery with all the banana leaves and mud. Not to mention that it was almost all uphill. Khat and I weren’t talking to each other because of the effort and concentration we were doing. Probably the only time I smiled was for the pictures. Nyahaha.

Haggard with dirty pwet || Photo by Pong Pags Macy
Haggard with dirty pwet || Photos by Pong Pags Macy

Finally we reached the familiar Binacayan route and I started to relax. We just followed the established trail up until the rockies where we took some photos near the stone cliffs. This was the part where I got a bit of an adrenaline rush. Seeing all the rocks to climb gave me that energy I didn’t know I still had. We reached the Binacayan turnaround and finally it was just the familiar route back to the Finish!

With Champlet at the finish; Congratulations!
With Champlet at the finish; Congratulations!

We went down via the local trails and it was nice to see all the locals watching the runners, there was even a time where the local kids also ran down with us. We reached the familiar concrete road and finally, the finish! What an adventure that was! Because of our time, there was no more photographers lolololol so we just recorded our times and then went back to the elementary school to claim our finisher’s loot and hug BoyP.

With Sir Eric of Wawa
With Sir Eric of Wawa

This was my last trail run for the year and I’m glad it was a success!

Thank you dear Papa G for this good opportunity to run. The weather was fine af, and thank you for not letting me get shredded by the rocks on Mt. Lagyo and Daraitan. I Lagyo so much.

To the standard trail buddies, Mark, Jeff, Darell, Cheri, Papi Dabs, Baldo, Summer, Alfredo, Jerwin, Phen, Jaja, Champlet, and all the others I can’t remember. You know who you are. Thank you for the time spend. Kahit iniwan ako ng iba dyan, okay lang.

To Khat, thank you for pacing me. Congrats on your first trailrun. Madadagdagan pa ba? Nyahahaha. Salamat.

And most especially to the organizers. Team Marupok, Sir Eric and Boy P. Congratulations on a successful event and I’m glad to be here to run and help. Looking forward to your next activities that I will always promote and enjoy. Kudos!

With the strong Marupok friendships
With the strong Marupok friendships

Race: Monte Alba
Distance: 21km
Finish: 07:00:00 (58th overall)
Food: [Self] Cloud 9, H2O, Powerade
[Aid Stations] Gulaman, Water, Softdrinks, Kakanin
Gear: Amihan Crosswind, Vamos Socks, Salomon Speedcross Pro

I know this route is just a training ground for the strong trailrunners out there. Maybe soon I will be able to join them and keep up with them. In the mean time, I’ll just slowly and surely try to improve my time. All I know is that I’m not in a rush to climb Mt. Lagyo again!

Champion???? With the race organizers.
Champion???? With the race organizers.

Strava data Here

Thank you, race again soon!



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