Monday, 3 September 2007

trAil #2

Ever dreamed about lush… beautiful rain forrest????

This is as good as it gets people of Metro Manila. And yes! It is right in the heart or shall we say at the edge of the heart of the city. This picturesque place is the

La Mesa Eco Trail

The place is being taken good care of the people from Bantay Kalikasan, a project of the Lopez’s of ABS-CBN. They have been reforesting the place since the late 90’s. I’ve last visited this place a good 3 years ago already. Having an assignment to do a portrait of woman behind Bantay Kalikasan, Ms. Gina Lopez. Back then I just saw trees, trees and more trees… But the place didn’t give me any idea’s of it being a safe haven for runners, bikes and hikers alike.

Just a mere 20kms away from the 0km marker this place welcomes everyone with 200 pesos for entrance fee(minimum of 5 persons). Groups going in the forest are provided with an aerobically capable trail guide. ☺

After our first taste of the trails in San Mateo, Doc and I planned on doing another trail run session. The date was set and thank god we have the minimum number of participants. ☺

The runners:
Ben :: Brent :: Judah :: Renz :: Roselle :: Chaia :: Julie (Trail Guide)

The day started a bit late at 630am meeting of the group along Buendia Ave. Since no one knew where the place is, we arrived at the place about 730am. We didn’t waste and hit the trails as soon as we arrived. We did the “medium” loop towards Tower #5.
Just about 200meters from the start, our trail guide took us under heavy forest. Guess, where our route took us???
This is where most of Metro Manila gets its water supply.

We then took the route going back to the main road. It’s a single lane wide rough road mostly covered with either mud or loosely compacted rocks. Most of the route is covered by the tree canopy, so for all the "i don't want to get dark" runners out there, this is the trail for you. The only gripe that I have is the mosquito bites. I think it was only me that was complaining about this thing though. How was I any different from the rest of the pack???? I did take a shower before going out my pad. :)
- Roselle's VSO buddy Judah -

Most of the runners headed out with a slow pace. While I stayed behind of them and joined Miss Roselle’s pace. I think this was her first time to tackle the trails. Good thing we were only doing the 9km loop this time. More or this thing Miss Roselle and road racing will be very easy for you.

We arrived at Tower #5, got some rest and chatted a bit then we were off going back to Violago gate. This time, Doc Brent joined us in our pace and chat. The terrain also changed quite a bit. It was more muddy and grassy on this part, so definitely the climbs are harder to do and the flats are still slowly paced.
The trail was still enveloped by the tree canopy but this time, you will know that you are still running within the metro running. The smell of fish being fried and some wood for fire, was also noticeable. And there were also parts where you can hear the jeepnies just at the other side of the bounding wall. Still, this was still a great trail to run in! :)
The final stretch towards the parking lot, everybody ran at almost race pace! It was a fun end to a short (9km) long(2:11:00) run. So, where will the next trail be??? I think I can smell the pineapple plantation of Sta Rosa.

Chaia wearing her new NB roady :: Renz sporting also his new TNF (Mt Apo Break-in)