|AJ Mercado and his photo ops with Johnny Salinas at the crater summit|
As I have maintained before, organizing events is not my cupof tea. But, once in a while, when I know that the event is worth sharing and the company is worth the time, I would go out of my way to make it happen.
The pilot Run Laon (which I did with just one buddy—Xerxis Tan) left a lot of my friends requesting for a second edition. My stopover in Cebu en route from Leyte to Manila this year was an opportunity to squeeze in RunLaon 2015!
I was joined by nine runners and trekkers from Cebu, Leyte, Negros and Iloilo, most of whom I had already run or climbed with. AJ Mercado and Johnny Salinas were doing this as training for their Mt Apo Sky Race 7 days after. With the help of the former head the guides association in Canlaon City, Jigz Santiago, our permits were secured.
|The Mapot Trail entry|
Then at 10 in the morning of April 26th, we started our trek/run at the Mapot trail. The lead pack reached Makawiwili Peak around 1pm. And they waited until the whole team assembled there at around 2.
|all ten of us at Makawiwili Peak|
I joined the tail pack on our descent and we reached the shoulder campsite a little after 4pm. That time, the lead pack could already be seen as little human figures at the crater.
|The tail pack at the shoulder campsite|
That was the cut-off time for the crater summit assault. I decided that the tail pack pass up the chance to take a peek into the crater. As we heard news that the Guintubdan trail authorities disallowed descent in the dark, we had no choice but to use the Mananawin exit trail. The tail pack started the descent and the lead pack caught up quickly at the grassland.
After that, it was a swift downhill run. I joined the lead pack because I didn’t wanna be an inconvenience to the sweep guide (I didn’t have a headlamp with me). AJ and I reached the road around 6pm. Immediately after, Johnny, Laurence Ortiz, Rey Angelo Padrique, Rey Anthony Narciso, Jake Liarta and Maria Mahinay joined us. We had to wait for Gene and Vince who joined us around 10pm.
Lots of lessons were learned and more friendships were forged. It felt good to give back trail running its original meaning—No medals, no finishers’ shirts, no competition. Just a natural high with the best of companions on the trail! This realization has made me reconsider what I had told the team—that I wouldn’t organize events again in a very long time. I think K3 Run and another RunLaon are just around the corner!
|The mossy forest of Kanlaon|
|the enchanted forest of Kanlaon|
|Feels great to be running with my buddy Jake Liarta again!|
|Laurence Ortiz who ran his first climb|
|Gene Libres who ran his first major climb|
|The ultramarathoner Vincent Parra who ran his first mountain ascent|
|Seasoned ultra trail runner Johnny Salinas training for his Mt Apo Sky Race and forgot his glasses at the crater|
|Awarded ultra trail runner Maria Mahinay proud endorser of Silangan Outdoor Equipment|
|Seasoned ultra trail runner Jake Liarta running down the crater summit|