It was a last minute decision but ended up driving myself to Timberland, registering onsite and enjoying the 12 kilometers distance for Lagalag Sundown Trail Run. The trail was a roller coaster adventure with the higher part of the trail having an overlooking view of the city and the lower part showing the rich Forrest reserve of Timberland.
Lagalag Sundown Trail Run
Sundown runs are a different kind of challenge from the usual morning and evening runs. You start at a warmer temperature and cools down a bit as the afternoon crosses into the night. Lagalag Sundown Trail Run is a unique offering as it’s an afternoon run and it happens at the very scenic Timberland Sports and Nature Club. As for me, I wasn’t supposed to run here as I attended a Runner’s Bootcamp in the morning and had another meeting at noon. I did have several clothing alternatives in my car. I had a setup for trail, for a road run and for the gym. Anything goes really. By noon, I decided to join and was hoping there would still be onsite slots available. I needed my weekend trail mileage and this was a great chance to see Timberland. I was in the venue less than an hour to the race and was able to register for the 12K distance. I also considered the 21K distance but I wasn’t able to bring a headlamp so it would be difficult to run in the dark without a headlamp.
Race Map and Elevation Profile
The race starts at the Glades and goes to the yes or no trail for the first 4.5 kilometers, which was rolling and had several descents. It then goes over a steep ascent over the next 2 kilometer in the Forrest trails before going back to the rolling bike terrain until kilometer 8. The trail shifts back to an uphill course at Roxas loop for the next 2 kilometers. After a short descent, the climb resumes at the Nursery Trail en route to the finish line.
It’s a different trail run when you go on a route without a plan and without checking out the route or elevation profile. I’m always strategic when it comes to races but since this was a last minute thing, I have to go by feel. I’ll also have to manage my pace because of the warmer temperature for an afternoon run can also be energy-draining. I needed to add some trail mileage so it’s important to not run lazy. We had a 3:30 pm gun start and I hope to finish before it gets dark since I don’t have any head lamp.
The run started fast with everybody wanting to get to the trails early. I went at the pack’s pace to start the race but I did slow down on the short climb before entering the trail head. We entered the Yes or No trail shortly. It was single track dirt roads. This was the usual bike trails they use at Timberland. The first kilometer was an uphill climb so took this chance to slow down and allow my body to warm up.
The route shifted to descents and short climbs. We were looping along the bike tracks. Since it was mostly descents, everybody was moving fast along the trails. It also took a little bit of courage to blitz the uneven dirt tracks on the drops. The views were amazing as each trail corner had an overlooking view of the city and some would give you a view of the zigzag trails heading to the Forrest. I wish I should have done this part slower and had taken more photos of the views.
It was also a warmer weather made the run a lot more exhausting. I had to sip every now and then from my hydration bag to keep myself hydrated. Gravity was on my side on this part as it was mostly descents. The kid in me just took over as I went on to enjoy the fast descents. Forget that it was a bit steep and a bit dangerous but it was just fun running downhill. I guess if there’s one thing I’ve learned lately, it’s braving the downhills. The first 4 kilometers had us going through loops at the Yes or No trail. We were literally eating dust as we had to go though the dirt roads.
The single tracks slowly shifted to Forrest trails after the first 4 kilometers and the first water station. I am starting to feel exhausted at this point. Way to go Franc!!! Exhausting most of your energy reserve on the first 4 kilometers of a 12-kilometer race. I had to switch my race strategy and be more conservative on my run. I went on fast on the first half of the kilometer before walking the uphill portion. The Forrest trails were beautiful as it was covered by the trees and also had improvised wooden bridges.
The race started heading upwards starting at kilometer 4.5. I just want to be consistent in my pace and to keep on moving. I went at brisk walk pace on the long climb, which lasted to about 2 kilometer as we shifted from the forest trails to the bike trails. The bike trails had as looping for the next 1.5 kilometers as we went up and down as we navigated back to the higher part of the bike trails. I just went at a steady pace here.
The route then goes back to the climb over the next 2 kilometers at the Roxas Loop. I just went at a consistent brisk walk pace. The climb was moderate so it was tolerable doing the climb non-stop. It also helped that some of the areas here are on paved single track roads. After the ascent, we started to descent to the Nursery Trail. Before shifting to the last trail, I saw a store and took a chance to drink an Ice Cold Coca Cola and it was really refreshing. It gave me the sugar-rush and energy to go over the last 2 kilometers.
It was time to climb once again. I pulled all my remaining energy to have one final and consistent push towards the last long climb. I was able to go on without stopping except for the last water station about 700 meters to the finish line. I went on to run the final stretch and cross the finish line with a decent time. This was a really fast course. It was one of the more scenic and run-able trails I’ve ever visited.
Outfit Of The Trail
- Shirt with #TaleOfTheTrail design by Breakout Design and Shorts – berghaus
- Shoes: Salomon Speed Cross
- Hydration Bag: Under Armour
- GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
- Trucker Cap: Gainz with #TaleOfTheTrail design
- Socks: Ahon.ph
- Eyewear: Oakley Radarlock Oath