Wifey and I will be joining the Jagged Peak 10km trail race held by Conquer in Nasugbu, Batangas this coming June 4, 2017 (see details here), and since this will be our comeback run after more than a year, we needed to get back to training. I needed to get back to the trails. Since last Tuesday, May 2, 2017 was still no-work day for me, I decided to take advantage of the fact that far less outdoor people will be going up the mountains on this day, thus, I went to the mountains of Rodriguez via its Wawa jump-off. My trail running shoes have been crying out for so long to have a sweet kiss on good old soft earth again.
Brgy. Wawa in Rodriguez, Rizal is the jump-off of several dayhike-able mountains around it, such as Pamitinan and Binacayan (which I’ve done a double dayhike already), Ayaas, Hapunang Banoi, and the likes. The jump-off could be seen below:
With just my running camp, arm warmers, buff, and my spanking Amihan Crosswind running vest, I started my ride. It was quite late when I left home with my trusty Trinx XC3. It was already past six in the morning when I started my 14-km-ish bike ride. From my home in Nangka, Marikina, all I needed to do was just to follow the main road going all the way to Wawa, passing through the towns of Ampid, Gitnang Bayan, Maly, and Dulong Bayan (all in San Mateo) and Burgos, San Rafael, San Jose, and finally, Wawa (all in Rodriguez). Most of the traffic were going opposite my direction, thus it took me just about 35 minutes to get there at chill bike pace.
After kindly asking permission in one of the carinderias there to leave my bike for a couple of hours (chained, of course), I immediately donned on my running cap and started my run.
A lot of trail running enthusiasts do some sort of mix and match when it comes to choosing their routes in the area. Just search for Strava workouts and you could see trail runners getting giddy in any of the mountains there (I still would be experimenting with the Strava recordings I’ve been seeing around the area!). With the extensive network of trails around the area, one could actually not really get lost around; it may seem that you might be lost, but look it up at Google Maps, and pretty soon, you’ll see the trail snaking around and leading back to the Wawa jump-off. For today, I chose Mt. Parawagan for my training grounds. Firstly, it doesn’t require a guide, unlike Pamitinan, Binacayan and the other neighboring mountains, and secondly, I’ve tried running it before, but was not able to reach the summit because then, I thought I was already lost – suffice to say I want to redeem myself hehehe. 😀
The first section of the route passeses through the local community via a concrete road for about 2.5 kilometers. The road used to be rough then, and the road being concretized and all means that the community is slowly getting urbanized. Until where will the road reach? That I have yet to see.
The trail begins where the road ends. You could feel the elevation gradually getting higher starting from here, though there is no steep climbs yet anywhere along the trail. Nonetheless, after more than a year without regular training in the trails, I found myself doing a dayhike instead of a trail run! I actually needed to go slow several times just to catch my breath! Ang hina ko na, huhuhu! 😦
Less and less people now live within this next part, and you will actually be passing by an electrical tower.
After about two kilometers, the trail now leads to a clearing with a hut now built there, probably serving as a rest point for those hiking here (first time I ran there, that hut wasn’t there yet). At this point, the wide trail now forks, the left going to Mt. Lagyo, and the right, going to Mt. Parawagan. Of course, I took the right fork after about five minutes of rest.
The steepest grade of this route running for about a couple of hundred meters now begins once you take the right fork. On the brighter side, you will be rewarded with a scenic view of the neighboring mountains around the Wawa area at this part.
The trail soon flattens out a little, turning into a narrower one. A few shanties still could be found here as some locals still reside here, probably the ones taking care of farmlands around the area. Take note that motorcycle tracks can still be seen on the ground, proof that, indeed, locals still reach up to here. Aside from that, cows could still be found here. One actually got up and blocked my path when it saw me!
The trail widens a little bit again with the foliage lessening. More and more cogon grasses now could be seen, and a gentle ascent of about a hundred meters brings you to the summit of Mt. Parawagan. Woohoo! Finally, I’ve redeemed myself! 😀
Take note, though, that the summit is open, no shade whatsoever. It was already 9 a.m. when I reached the summit and Mr. Sun is already pouring out its heat on me, so after just about five minutes of taking pictures and rest, I started my way back. For now, I went straight back to my starting point as I only planned to do an out-and-back run.
Here is the elevation profile and my Relive video of my Parawagan run. Phone GPS seemed to have gone haywire when I was on the way back as I ran exactly the same route, only in reverse. I believe an out-and-back run will just tally to about 12.5 kilometers, and not 14.5 kilometers as what my Strava has recorded.
I missed trail running! With this run, I realized that indeed, I need to train more to get ready for my comeback run this June. After all, it will be Mt. Batulao where I will be playing at. 🙂
I had a quick meryenda upon returning to the carinderia where I left my bike, and after that, started my ride home.
And that’s that! Reverse duathlon done! 🙂
PS This perfectly-timed shot perfectly shows how overpronated my foot is. I’ve known since way before that I’m flat-footed due to my overpronation, but this is just the first time I’ve seen how bad it is. I’ve tried using different running insoles before, but none seems to work or leave me satisfied. Any suggestions, running friends? 🙂