Trail 2 Cave 2018 was a feel-good trail with a little dose of elevation and a rolling terrain. It was a fast 20K yet I enjoyed every minute of it as my eyes feasted on the rich green Laguna scenery.
Trail 2 Cave
I’m easy to please when it comes to trails. Just give me some dirt and a scenic natural back drop for me to run. Trail 2 Cave was a feel good trail with smooth rolling terrain that rewards you with a refreshing scenery. It also came with the perfect rainy and windy weather. Well, it’s not the usual trails I’ve join lately since all of those were steep and technical ones. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect with the trails of Cavinti and really didn’t have a game plan in mind.
I came in early since I came with a group from Bulacan heading to Laguna. It was raining non-stop before the start of the race. Luckily, I was able to grab my Berghaus jacket as the last item before I left the house. The 32 kilometer runners were sent out at 4 am while we had a 5 am gun start. It was an intimate race, which made me realize that I can’t laze around on this one or else I’ll end up as a sweeper.
Lost and Lonely
As we started the race, I took advantage of the short downhill stretch to go with the lead pack before settling for a more relaxed pace after a kilometer. I got separated with the pack entering the short trail section going to the second kilometer and I felt lost and lonely. I was worried that I could have missed a turn or entered the wrong side of a fork, that’s why I can’t see a single runner. There was a dog barking in front of me. I had to stop and tried to go back to wait for runners. After a few minutes, nobody came so I just braved walking past that section. I few hundred meters, I saw some marshals. Thank God, I’m on the right direction.
Back on Track
I’m now around km 2.5 and its pure road from here to kilometer 6. While the surface is concrete, the view was rich with large track of fields, plantation and some peeks of mountain ranges. I started to feel warm with my jacket but funny that every time I took my jacket off, it would be so windy or it would rain. It was a net uphill climb, I tried to run as much as I can at this stretch speeding up on the descents and brisk walking the shorter climbs. The last kilometer before the aid station was pure climb so I just walked my way to kilometer 6 until the aid station
After the aid station, we were now at the Cavinti Trails. The trails were run-able but it was continuous climb with a few descents. I tried to feel my way into the next 2 kilometers since I am conserving my energy for the second half of the race, which would be mostly descents. From kilometer 8, I started speeding up and started seeing runners coming back from the u-turn. It started to rain once again. I’ve reached the u-turn slot where I had a few drinks, one banana and one espasol.
I switched to a faster pace on the way back and started overtaking some runners. I think I was able to pass about 5-6 runners in Cavinti Trails at this stretch. I would run on the descent and brisk walk on the short climbs. It was crazy as my pace was even faster on the trails than on the road. By the way, Brooks Caldera was so effective keeping me feel secure even while speeding up on the muddy trails. After a series of runs, I headed to the road section for the final 6 kilometers of the race. I took my Gu Gel at the aid station and went off.
Last 6 kilometers
The next kilometer was pure downhill so it was crazy fast on the descent. On the rolling part of the road, I played elevation management with a mix of runs and walks. I did enjoy the adrenaline rush of the run and the green views that really felt like a welcome change from the usual city-scapes. I then headed back to the trail and while it was dark and scary early in the dark, it was beautiful at this time of the morning. There were large lush-green fields and a lot of trees that were really scenic. I then hit the road for the last kilometer of the race. It was a short rolling segment to the finish line and I started to run again.
I went on to finish the race strong at a surprisingly good time. I’m not really that time conscious but it’s nice to feel good about your time once in a while. This was a 20K run that didn’t feel like it since it’s fast pace and you get too occupied with the views. Now, to start planning for their leg 2 on July 8.