Together with other runner-bloggers, photog-runners, travel-bloggers, and Primer Group - the Organizer and the team behind Nathan Products, we've met at ROX early in the morning of October 8 for a short and fun ride going to Tagatay Highlands. A tropical storm was emerging that day that I thought the test run would be cancelled, fortunately though, only the thick fogs, the cool weather, and the welcoming sceneries of Tagaytay greeted us on our arrival. I gulped when I remember that I haven't brought with me an extra cotton shirt, a long sleeve, or even a thin jacket for some skin protection from the fogs, cold, or for the rainshower/heavy rain that may come. Nonetheless, the weather and exciting peek-at-the-peak-of-the-ridge is hard to resist, so "come what may" is all I can whisper to myself!
First we were briefed about the Primer Group's upcoming event -- the Nathan Ridge Run -- an eco-friendly race that will ditch out the use of plastic and paper cups along the route. I think this is the very first race here in our Country who will do this (correct me if I'm wrong, and I'm curious to know what race first showed that kind of mercy to our mother nature). Instead of using these disposable/recyclable cups, runners will be given Nathan handheld bottle (worth Php 850.00 and Php 990.00) which is already inclusive on the race registration fee of Php 850.00 and Php 1,050.00 for 5K and 10K/21K respectively. More details of the event can be reached on my event post.
Proceeding the event details briefing is the much awaited of all - a short sneak run along the few routes that the runners will come across to. I asked Ms. Mariel Flores how long is the distance that we're going to cover, and the answer was "around 2 or 3km". Some of us was a bit dismayed as we were expecting at least 5K or 10K of distance. But maybe, I thought, it was because of the "bed" weather that we're only going low on the test run mileage.
|You will definitely pupu on this Up-helly route|
I Under-estimated the course!
Reaching just a few meters above the Sports Center, I could feel that my gut wants to puke out some of the bats hanging on its inner walls. If I have worn a lesser cushioning shoe, I might have ran backwards and hid myself on the comfort cubicle of the toilet bowl (what does it have to do with shoes? Well, as I have observed, running uphill on shoes with lesser spring effect makes me exert more effort that on each of my strides, it gives a somewhat equal force to my stomach that creates a flushing effect to whatever's inside my stomach). So as I have realized, the outburst of gingerbread man is 80% possible when running uphill than on flat roads.
As we went on still going above, wondering how much elevation we have already gained, I could sense a bit of tinge on my right ear due to pressure changes. But with the cool, fresh breeze of air, the sweat won't come out even if I was already puffing oxygen so hard. Every now and then, I would try my best to speed up and do some walks downwards to shoot some photos and fetch some friends behind the pack. Though the weather's really cool, my legs are burning and my chest is bursting.
The sight of the Taal Volcano in any angle is so magnificent even with the haze of the fog that's somehow blocking our sight, most specially upon reaching the Peak.
|Far view of the Taal Volcano|
Well, I'm not telling you stories to frighten you, but this is definitely a great challenge to take on. Check out some of these photos I could share with you taken during our rendezvous on the majestic hills of Tagaytay Highlands:
|Inside Tagaytay Highland's Sports Center|
|Jojo and Ed taking a breather at this short downhill|
|An exhausting stop at the Village's entrance|
|The speedsters already on top|
|Ocean of Clouds|
|Getting near to the Peak|
|The Peak at the other side of the ridge|
|After the run, the water is so inviting|
|One of the amenities we have rode on is the Funicular|
|View of the funicular tracks from below|
|The first few who got rigged by the short challenge at the Ridge|