Soleus Buddy Trail Run was a beautiful course. You’d be challenged by the long climb. You get to test the daredevil in you on the slippery descents. You get to test your will and endurance along the course while appreciating the beautiful views of Rodriguez and San Mateo Trails.
Soleus Trail Buddy Run
I haven’t been in a race for almost two months since I promised myself to rest my body after all the wear and tear over the past 6 years of running. The rest was good on my system but it also pulled down by my endurance level. Soleus always creates a more relaxed environment so it would be a good race to make my come back. No expectations though but find out if I can still withstand the rigors of trail running.
Race Route and Elevation
The Race starts at entry point to Wawa Dam and heads on an immediate climb to Parawagan area for the first 5 kilometers. The race then moves to a rolling descent along the New Casile Trails for the next 5 kilometers heading to the hanging bridge. The last 6 kilometers is a rolling technical trail beside Wawa River before completing the loop back to Wawa Dam Entry Point.
We arrived at around 5:30 just a few minutes before the 21K Buddy gun start. We had our gun start 5 minutes later. It felt unusual to be in a race again but it’s always fun seeing people who share in your passion. It’s always a more laid back feel at the start where people get to chat while waiting for the gun start. I’m a bit worried though since being away for so long makes you think if you still have the energy level for a race with so much ascents.
I knew that the hardest part of the trail was the first 5 kilometers of mostly ascents. In cases like this I just condition my mind to just focus on the first five kilometers and the rest would be easy. At gun start, I took the short paved area just to have a fast start and from there I got the feel of how being rusty feels like. I had my shins and calves in pain, which I had to endure until my muscles warmed up. After the short run, I went back on the brisk walk pace on the climb. I just wanted to be consistent in the climb without much stops.
It was exhausting but at the same time, I want to test my climbing threshold so I endured the slow paced climb as long as I could. The first kilometer were mostly paved grounds and shifts to dirt tracks on the second and 3rd kilometer. It gets technical on the 4th and 5th kilometer with broken ground and rocky terrains. The views get better as you go higher.
After enduring the long climb, things should get better right? Well yes and no. There were some slippery stretches on the descent that brings out the dare-devil in me. Let’s just say when the trails are wet, gravity is not on my side. I also noticed that without much training I don’t have much endurance. I noticed that I don’t recover as fast as I could on the climbs. It took me some time before I was able to speed up on the descent. That’s something I have to work on again. The next 5 kilometers were mostly descents with several short climbs along the route. Some of the trails were slippery so I also slowed down for this part. It felt a while on this stretch of the trail and we’ve finally hit the tenth kilometer after crossing the new hanging bridge.
It was nice crossing the new hanging bridge at Casile. It’s a bit shaky as people gets to pass by the bridge. After the hanging bridge it was the last 6 kilometers of the race. I’m a bit exhausted already and that’s what I get for missing so much training time. Well, I’ll build on this. I just went on a brisk walk pace even if the terrain was run-able. The next 3 kilometers were surprisingly challenging as it had steep ascents and descents as well as technical trails. Approaching the end of technical part, I miscalculated my step and ended up falling two steps of the trail. Nothing serious just a lot of mud and some minor bruises. It’s just the way of the trail welcoming me back.
The trails led us a small boat, which was the option for the trail because of the deeper river at this time. It was the last 3 kilometers of the race after this. It had a nice view of the large fields as well as the view of the two mountains, Mount Binacayan and Mount Parawagan. I just went on to walk my way to the remaining part of the trail. It was nice to see the view of Wawa Dam again as I exited the trail en route to the finish line.