November 25th, 2012 – Nature’s trail discovery run, half marathon – Tanay (Philippines)

Finish @Daranak Falls

Finish @Daranak Falls

That was amazing. Easy said after 24 hours of rest, but that was quite an experience. Trail-running to the max! And much tougher than I expected. Climbing, going through water, a cave, it was all there. It wasn’t about winning or a good time today.
Trail-running in the Philippines, what to expect…. The location was a bit far-off, so it took me a taxi, a bus and a tricycle to get there. Well, to my hotel. On race day I had to get up at 3:30 in the morning, and I had a tricycle-driver (kind of motor-taxi) promised me 4 times he would pick me up at 4am. I offered him to pay 5 times more than normal. But, surprise, surprise, he wasn’t there. Luckily there was a man who called me another one. I arrived at 4:45 at the starting-area.
This was only my 2nd trail-run, after the beautiful Dutch Sallandtrail, but it was a totally different one.
Starting time was 5:30, and it was already getting light.
Gertjan Lahuis

The cave

Advantage: better views on the spectaculair scenery. Disadvantage: the bright sun at the end of the race.
The first kilometer went in more than 8 minutes, due to altitude. I still thought this would be one of the slowest kilometers. Silly me! The first few kilometers we could run for most parts, some descending, some ascending, never more than 100 meters flat, and very few parts of them. We passed some villages (a couple of houses) where the local people cheered on us and helped with the water posts. Enough of those, thank god!
The river

The river

Then we went into a cave for a few 100 meters (bring your flashlights) with some very small passages to crawl through. No running allowed, not possible either. We left the cage after about 5 kilometers in the run, the toughest part was about to start. We arrived at a small river. Worst of all, we had to cross it a few times. Jumping from slippery stone to stone. And later on – even crossing a part through the water. Not more than about 30 centimeters, but enough to make your shoes soaking wet. This was not my favourite part. Nor was the climbing on the side of the water, which I found dangerous (must be the age).
The river

The river

I used a tactic which I would use more often that day, only look for 1 meter in front of you and to the side, and don’t imagine what would happen if you would slip or fall. Actually, don’t think at all!
The river was only a couple of hundred meters, but I was glad I passed it. Next: climbing! And I don’t mean a road up a mountain, but a small (most of the times not more than 50cm) path with rocks to put your feet on.


Where possible you could use trees to pull yourself or keep in position. The next 3 kilometers took exactly an hour! The ascend was tough and already a little slippery. I didn’t have trail-running shoes, luckily I had the most slippery shoes in the world πŸ™ Finally we reached the top, where we got an orange “necklace” as proof we made it to the top. Then the descend. Wow! Ascending may be tough, but the descend was pretty dangerous with my shoes. I slipped a couple of times, luckily only some scratches and a bit bleeding knee, nothing serious. But the climb, and most of all the descend… couldn’t almost do it, slipping all the time. My slow pace forced me to let many people passing me. Too bad, cause in the running part I was pretty good today.


Not much running but no problem, time&pace were not important today.The last 6 kilometers were a bit of everything. The sun also started to play a role. There was some more small climbing, never a dull moment. We had to avoid cats, dogs, chickens, goats, never seen that in a Dutch race.
Finally the finish was there at the beautiful Daranak waterfalls. Happily I crossed the finish line after 3 hours and 21 minutes. It took me longer then my slowest full marathon, and it was the longest race (in time) I’ve ever done. What a race! After the finish we were taken good care of. Banana’s, water, a medal and a finisher shirt was our reward. As well as a common breakfast, although I missed that, had to go early.
My Garmin stated only 19 kilometers, but it might be wrong, because of the climbing. However, that was no problem in Croatia. When I’m home I can check all the data from my watch, and I’m curious to know how much the altitude was.


Last week I had some critics about the organisation, not today. It was spotless. Well done guys! It was absolutely amazing. Well organized!
Crossing the river

Crossing the river

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9 Responses to November 25th, 2012 – Nature’s trail discovery run, half marathon – Tanay (Philippines)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hello Gertjan, congratulations for conquering DARANAK, RAWANG, MASUNGI, AND CALINAWAN. I think the total ascent at the summit was 1614 meters.

  2. Congrats sir! We spotted you on your way back from the summit.. You greeted us with a warm good morning and a smile. Your knee was bleeding but still very energetic. πŸ™‚

  3. princess says:

    hi sir,congrats u made it! i saw u when ur on ur way back to Finish line,u smiled and greeted us and said its about an hour and a half we can get there and when i saw ur knee with a wound my mind started to think how hard it is to get to the top to get the red string,but tough enough i did it and same i got wounded also a little my compression was even tored..hope to see u next year for the ultra marathon trail again organize by PIMCO.again CONGRATS!

  4. nastyboy says:

    Good day sir Gertjan. Congrats sir. We conquered the trail. I was with you in the ascend and descend of the turn. It was indeed the toughest and dangerous part of the trail. It was nice seeing you and running along with you in the last meters going to the finish line. Hope to see you next year for the ultra marathon.

  5. syd says:

    i’ve seen few foreigners along the road but which one was you? i’ve ran almost neck & neck with a tall white guy but i couldn’t outrun him. he’s got pretty long legs which were quite perfect in stepping over big boulders =P last time i saw him was in the final kilometer, he asked how much longer and i said less than a kilometer according to the marshall then he sprinted away. pretty fast for a 6’5″ or so… anyway, good you enjoyed the event =)

  6. Gertjan says:

    @Anonymous: Wow, and Holland is totally flat πŸ™‚ Nice experience! Thanks for letting me know.
    @Noel: Well done, congrats!
    @Princess: I remember you guys. Congrats too, great job, it wasn’t easy!
    @Nastyboy: Ah, nice to hear from you. Yeah, the descend was harsh, not my favourite part. But a very nice track.
    @Syd: I only saw one other foreigner. He was the taller one. I think he’s the one you mention… I was wearing a white shirt with on the back

  7. jazzrunner says:

    Nice account too of your run! Will take heed of your tactic! Great advice! πŸ™‚

  8. Hans Kroeze says:

    Hallo Gertjan,

    Dat is nog eens wat anders dan de Rietplasloop of de Oliebollencross. Lijkt me achteraf wel genieten, maar op het moment zelf denk je daar volgens mij wel anders over. Succes met je overige wedstrijden en ik ga je volgen.
    Hans Kroeze

  9. Gertjan says:

    Haha Hans, kijk, en die Oliebollencross, die hebben ze hier dan weer niet!

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