Last Saturday, I joined the Pinoy Aspiring Runners at Mall Of Asia where we boarded our LimoJeep to Lumban, Laguna where the event took place.
When we arrived, I was overwhelmed with the number of runners in the plaza. Someone told me that there were over 600 runners just in the 34km category. That's a lot! We immediately put on our running gear, stretched and at 4:30am the 34km run started.
Timing chips were also used in the event. I guess this would help prevent
some runners from cheating.
Aside from the running singlet and finisher's shirt, finishers also received this glass
trophy and a certificate.
Bags checked in and in a few minutes we would be starting our 34km journey through the beautiful scenery of Lumban, Cavinti, Caliraya Lake and Pagsanjan. But,aside from that it was also the time when Typhoon LUIS landed in the Philippines. Heavy rains poured all night yet the show must go on. During our last year's run, the weather was really hot and exhausting and now we had the opposite.
Mr. Pat Maranan, the founder of Run Mania Promotions gave his opening remarks and instructions to all the runner before the start of the race.
The run started at 4:30 am. It was pitch dark and raining hard from the start. As the light began to shine from the horizon, beautiful scenery greeted us with the most beautiful views and lush green forest.
The presence of the police and marshals made this event safer for the runners.
Also another great photo opportunity with them.
Passing through Cavinti, Laguna, I couldn't take my eyes off the hats used as decorations on their houses. Another photo opportunity everyone must be part of.
Recently, Cavinti, Laguna celebrated their SAMBALILO FESTIVAL. They even grabbed the Guinness Book of Records for having the biggest straw hat in the world. Amazing!
The landscape throughout the route was just pristine. We couldn't helped ourselves not to stop and take pictures. This is why I prefer running in the provinces. There's so much to appreciate more than simply running.
Group pictures with other runners while Jobats and Glenn were taking selfies.
They made sure nothing was missed.
A selfie moment for Andrew and Jobats .
Hydration was very visible during the event. They never ran out of ice, water and Gatorade. A boost of potassium (Bananas) were also given to the runners. I guess the cloudy and rainy weather kept the runners hydrated longer than the usual.
More than halfway from where we started, the scenic view of the Caliraya Lake began to appear in our sight.
There were times where we felt hungry along the way. Good thing there were stores along the route where we could stop and grab something to snack.
Even had time for coffee since others were feeling sleepy.
The rain stopped for a while and kids approached us wanting high fives or candies. Some even greeted us with a hi, hello, good morning and so on. Running here connected us not just with nature but also with the people. I like that!
And finally, one of the highlights in running in the Caliraya 360 was
also seeing this tower.
Another opportunity to pause and just enjoy the calm view of the Caliraya Lake.
Welcome to Caliraya. Known for its beautiful man made lake with so many recreational and water sports activities. I want to come back again!
For the last few kilometers, it was a non stop downhill all the way to the finish line and this was where some runners got their blisters.
And after over 6 hrs, I finished the race. I guess I find the route easier compared to last year since I had the idea of what the route was like. But, the scenery, the people and the ideal cool weather added more fun to the event. But more importantly, I felt the strong camaraderie amongst the runners. They said hello, greeted each other, making friends with other runners regardless of your running group. It's was a friendly atmosphere! Some runners were more conscious about there times, but many were just enjoying the moment.
Congratulations RunMania for a well organized event.
Looking forward to more events soon!
Lumban, Laguna is also considered historical .You can check out some of their old churches and their craftsmanship in embroidery is something not to be missed.