I know, I know – I’ve been remissed on my blog entries for the last few weeks. As you will realize later (once you start reading on my activities), it has been a hectic running/travelling life for me as of late. Complicating matters was my mission to finish the Game of Thrones 5-book series + its TV serials and you have one sked OC juggler. I’m not really complaining because it gives me a bottomless source of blog materials. So here goes nothing. First off – my 2nd visit to Mt. Pinatubo with a group of gym buddies who have lately been discovering the excitement and joys of traveling around Luzon (so far) since our Mt. Pulag sojourn.
Last May 22 or 4 days before my King of the Mountain 100KM race, we found ourselves venturing across the desert-like lahar land of Zambales on our way to the crater of Pinatubo, an aftermath of its 1991 volcanic explosion after more than 400 years of dormancy. The first time I was here was in 2010 when I joined my first trail race – the PAU Pinatubo 50KM race. You can read my entry here – https://rundmd8.wordpress.com/2010/10/ – which features a military exercise at the climax of the race, a lost shoe, surprise quicksand traps and searing desert adventures culminating to a strong finish before darkness set in.
This time around, I was bent on enjoying the whole Pinatubo expedition with nary a clock ticking every minute nor the beating sun following me throughout. Instead of 50KMs, we just went up 10KMs and another 10 going back to the drop-off station where our 4×4 vehicles were waiting for us. I simulated the climb to the crater lake as if I were in the KOTM race (my last attempt at trail training), meaning I was moving faster than the rest of our party consisting of more than 30 gym denizens.
The route was quite familiar though with Pinatubo’s ever changing terrain of ash hills and waterways, I had to rely on my internal compass – by tracing the river’s source to reach the lake. When before, we slowed down many times whenever doubt set in if we were going in the right direction – this time, I was moving through stones, boulders and hills with familiarity and ease. I reached the lake quite ahead of everyone and proceeded to take in the glorious views and dive in its turquoise fresh waters. A great relief from all sweat and sand I’ve accumulated on the way up.
More pictures and swimming sessions later, I was already gliding back to where we had started, still in trail training mode. The terrain and the waterways have changed form and direction in just a few hours. More minutes of waiting for the rest of our company and we were driving back to Capas where we had a hearty lunch and a refreshing shower.
The great shots of Pinatubo are courtesy of gym mates Rowie Co, April Almanon & Mark Nuezca
Finally, I got to enjoy Mt. Pinatubo and all it has to offer. But I won’t mind racing back, though, along its lahar and river trails.