Monday, June 4, 2012

Trailing Above The Clouds (Part 3)

Have you ever felt so little and irrelevant? So small and yet abundance of everything are provided to you every day? I have. My faith was renewed when I ran Natures Trail Discovery Run. I appreciated all my blessings just by looking at this canvass which is a masterpiece that was painted by the Hands of God. Moreover, being able to run on it with enough strength becomes my realization of how wonderful this life I’m given.

Leaving the staging area for the second time marks the hardest part of the race. We trailed on gradual ascend occasionally bumping on short steep climbs. We passed by race marshals in camouflaged uniforms with long firearms strapped around them. Despite the intimidating stands, we still greeted these brave soldiers and thank them for watching over us runners.

The idea of running on the edge of a cliff does have effects on my stomach. But not this time, the thick fog served as my cushion from feeling sick. From that cliff, I can hear a faint sound of celebration on the staging area. That’s what made me aware how high my location was from our initial elevation.

(photo by JazzRunner) Thanks Coach for waiting for Nette)
Then the long climb on a very steep hill started. Shoes with good traction suddenly become necessity. It’s an open hill. Nothing but tall grasses covers the ground except the occasional large stones and compact dirt along the single track uphill. The sight of a long single lined runners crawling on this track made me wonder how the Kenyans ran this part minutes before us.

The morning mist was so visible. I can feel the wet air going into my lungs as I huffed and puffed working my way up onto the peak. I only paced 14 minutes per kilometer and yet my exertion reaches 94% of my maximum heart rate. I am literally crawling only with a slight forward lean from an upright position. I have to stop and step aside of the single tracked trail to catch my breath. I really need those stops; however, I’m only on the 3rd of my 21K journey so I can’t afford long rests and just limit it to 30 seconds. I promised myself that I will take a long rest on the summit and savour my achievement where I expect a pleasant view. Finally, 70 meters up front up top are group of runners drinking and eating bananas. That should be the peak. It must be. It has to be.

Trailing Above The Clouds
The spectacular view from the summit made me hope that the 10K runners would also pass here so my wife Nette could also be mesmerized with the view just like I am. In just a short while, that wish was granted. I didn’t see her but saw runners with green bib numbers that simply means all 10K runners will certainly be climbing this summit. I took some pictures of the great view. I even can’t resist asking a stranger for a favor to take a picture of me with a backdraft only few could have a chance to enjoy.

As much as I wanted to stay; after praying, hydrating, and eating banana, I took a deep breath and decided to continue. Eighteen kilometers more! That’s the word that mutters in my mouth to which the guy in front of me laughs and simply gave me a high-five.

Confused? They are all going down.
Forty five minutes. That’s how long it took me to cover three kilometers. I’m beginning to worry about my time. I don’t know if the bus will wait for me to finish. I need to pick up my speed. Its downhill and I will... I will… What the!? A Long traffic of crawlers was in my way. We have no choice, that’s how steep it is. The organizers should had tied a long rope down the 45 degrees slope so the runners could rappel down that slippery hill. I crawl backward holding on grasses or anything within my reach. I also sat on my butt slowly sliding down and breaking with my hands and feet that anchors on anything. But there was a time when there’s nothing to hold on to, and my slides were getting faster. Oh my God, I don’t remember signing a life insurance form in the registration booth!

Finally, I could get on my feet now. We can run a little faster this time. I focused on the track and concentrating on where should my feet land next. I hear other runners on the other side cursing on their uphells. Well, I can’t blame them.
Out of the dirt and back on the road. I ran. But short after, its dirt again. Not a plain flat one but the type I was running on when I was a kid. See how happy I was to be like a kid again? Thanks to this race for bringing back the child in me. I had a lot of fun!

This is the third and most exciting part of my Natures Trail Discovery Run experience. If you missed the two earlier parts, please do visit the first here then the second in here. I had covered this stage on dirt, mud, gravel, grass, boulder, and water. I traversed the trails with my feet, hands, and ass. I ran, walk, slid, fall, and flew. As a reward, I get to see a spectacular view and get to trail above the clouds.

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"Trailyeserye" - that's how
Franc Ramon calls my way of blogging this event. (pangangatawanan ko na)

To be continued .......

9 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

  1. Thanks for quoting my term "trailyeserye.". I'm hooked na! Natawa ako dun sa part na 18K na lang. I hope I can have my own trailyeserye when I go for the trails.

    1. Thanks Franc!! Kinilig ako actually sa term. Parang musician n nakilita ang tenga sa isang melody. :) Good thinkin. Thanks again for following. :)

  2. Wow, what an adventure! What mountain peak is this then? Maulap pa rin ba nung nakarating si Nette sa peak?

    1. Hi Sha! Thanks for the question. I enjoyed the place so much but I didn't bother knowing whats it called. Thats stupid right? hehe!. I asked PIMCO and heres their reply - "Bangkaan while the other one is Anito. The Peak is called Paltok (meaning peak in local language so Pimco calledl it The Peak. Its a little known mountain with elevation of 600-800 meters above sea level middle level in comparison with the others that towers over 1,200 meters -2,400 meters. However the uniqueness of the place is that clouds at certain days and months appear there like a sea of clouds hovering for hours. Its not all the time that you have the sea of clouds there as what our runners experienced that is why your batch is lucky to have seen it. There are times there that clouds that envelop that mountain is so thick you could hardly see the man ahead of you and you feel the tiny droplets of water in the clouds. The Trail Above the Clouds picture is unique only in San Andres considering the elevation because you normally see such beauty climbing 2,000 meters or more and travelling great distances yet its only 45 minutes from Metro-Manila."

  3. Hi Sharon! yup, maulap pa din naman nung nakarating ako ng peak ;)
    kahit medyo may araw na din nung time na yun :)

  4. Replies
    1. "I want to try that" - words that gives realization to the goal of this blog. Thank you very much for dropping by and I hope you can come back and visit this blog again.. :)

  5. These tips proved very useful for me and for this, I really want to mention thanks for sharing it with us.


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