Farther, Higher & Faster

2:30 PM June 9, 2010 4 Hours 22K (Adidas Adizero Mana)

This was our 4th time to explore the trail of “Brown Mountain” and I wanted to extend our exploration farther than the last turn-around point in our last trail run. We started early at 2:30 PM as we took advantage of the cloudy environment with the hope that it will not rain heavily while we were in the mountain. We went up slowly on those inclines as we tried to preserve our strength for the farther distance we wanted to reach. In my mind, I was thinking that we could reach a distance of 15 kilometers (one way) for this exploration workout.

Trail Finally Dried Up After A Few Days of No Rains

 At Km 6.2, Django was sleeping in his nipa hut while his wife was on the side of the trail smoking her tobacco. We greeted the lady as we passed by their hut. No sardines this time! Elmer went ahead of us as we reached the Km. 3 but he was too fast that we did not see him anymore. As we were about to reach Km 7, we were only three and there are times that I led the group (three runners). However, most of the time Charlie (in black Team BR shirt) was the one infront, me at the middle, and Jack guarding my back.

Higher Elevation & More Steep Trail

We finally reached our first turn-around point where we cleaned the stream/spring water last week. We briefly stopped to drink some water using our palm and crossed the spring. The picture above is about 500 meters after we passed the turn-around point and the trail started to be steeper until we could not see any trace of the trail. We crossed the same spring for two times before we could continue again running along the trail.

The Farther. The Better

 As we got farther and higher, the trail became narrower and later disappeared. We tried to trace the footprints of a horse and the newly cut bananas where we suspect Django could be the one who came earlier to harvest the flowers of the bananas. As we went up the mountain, the horse’s footprints and the cut banana trunks were nowhere in the area!  We tried to look around for trace or signs of a trail but the vegetation was too thick. We immediately decided to turn-around as we were about 2 1/2 hours running, jogging and brisk walking in the mountain. My GF 305 registered a distance of 11.2 kilometers!

Charlie, My Trailblazer & Jack, My Back-up Guard

 As we were tracing our way back to the place where we started, Jack complained that the soles of his running shoes got separated from the upper parts and he was practically running on his socks! Well, the running shoes is Mizuno but it is already old. Charlie’s shoes is Mizuno, too but it works well with him for the runs we had to the mountain.

When we reached the part of the spring that we cleaned, I told my companions that we’ll have a brief shower and washing of shoes and shorts. It could be that my legs were already tired and stiff on our way back that I experienced sliding on the soft trail with my butt pounding on the ground! I slipped for two times! My shorts were full of mud! These things happened when I was brisk walking on the downhill part of the trail. However, if I jog or run through such soft parts of the downhill trail, my foot/shoes would land on the ground without any sliding. With such observation, I maintained running or jogging throughout our trail run and I did not experience any sliding at all.

As we passed Django’s hut, Django was already infront of his hut and asked where we ended our exploration. I told him about our observation and the absence of trails where we ended. From his story, he was the one who harvested the banana blossoms earlier in the morning and he admitted that there is no more trail on top of the ridge where we turned-around. But admitted that the trail became thickly vegetated that it was hard to trace the existing trail.

Elmer & Frank as Our Support Crew

With 5 kilometers to go, Elmer and Frank met us on top of a hill with bread and water. Elmer finished his run earlier and used his motorcycle to go back and meet us along the trail. It was a relief for Charlie and Jack to eat and drink as they were tired already. I was tired, too!  but I still have water from the spring in my Nathan hydration belt. Jack has to ride the motorcycle because of his torn shoes and Frank joined us for the remaining parts of the run.

Charlie and I finished the trail run in 4 hours to include a brief shower for 10 minutes at the spring. My GF 305 registered a distance of 22.4 kilometers. We were able to run farther, longer, higher and we finished our workout faster! I was tired on this run but a massage was scheduled for the evening from an expert.

Due to my commitment and purpose to establish trails in the forested parts of BM and its neighboring mountains, I have ordered two (2) Jungle Bolos from the Philippine Army which we’ll use to cut those plants that have grown on those trails. I recalled when I was the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army that we ordered thousands of Jungle Bolos from Malaysia as a basic jungle equipment for our Scout Rangers and Special Forces. I know that somehow some of the jungle bolos are still available for lease. Luckily, after some coordination, my order will be delivered next week.

Trail running with a mixture of exploration (trailblazing) is fun!

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