Rizaldy Nolasco, MD
It was a dare to myself, as I was thinking out loud, fishing for any takers to join me in this very unlikely and unusual way of spending Sunday afternoon. It was an idea I had been toying for a few weeks now, borne out of boredom from pacing around the oval plaza and the Robinson’s grounds. Perhaps a change of the scenery and terrain could ease the boredom of running circles of the loop.
Pol B had second thoughts joining me, citing security issues among other things. “I’ll run anyway, with or without you.” Fernan M joined us on our second jaunt. and the route extended further more. Time and route vary according to our whims, for Sinawal is vast enough you cannot have enough of it.
Roselie L joined us later. “Hard core pud ni, Doc!” Indeed she is up to this day and counting. How can you join a group of strangers, all men, whom you have to run with in a route unknown, in an unholy hours in the morning with only a promise of adventure and a good work out? Of course, Arnel L was there. Our ever reliable marshall-cum-photog-cum-ambulance-cum-logistics man-cum-everything!
Sadly, Fernan M was not able to join us since then. However, no good thing can be kept a secret for long. Our number increased! Little did I know that a lot also had the same competitive and adventure-filled soul as I do. And our tribe increased.
As the distance extended, the routes changed. As our number increased, the adventure doubled. From Sinawal to Balakayo, Alabel to Lemlunay, Airport to San Jose, Dole to Safi Ranch, Davao/Phoenix Run to Safi Ranch, SMI/Tampakan to PAGASA weather tower, Katangawan to Olympog, Tampakan to Tupi, Sarbay/Glan to Mt Matutum, Sanchez Peak to Makar/Tambler…and of course, the countless Sunday fun runs we indulged ourselves together with GSCPO group and their “Pagatpat planting runs.”
Where else? For we will still run, regardless of the terrain, weather condition – with or without roads!
Ultras of course is in the offing, but as of the time being, let’s train for our first “hail Mary.”
The team up with the Tampakan Runners brought the group to new heights. Another level. This time, social responsibility and socializations came into the picture. What has been a motley group of runners now became a throng of sweaty bodies of varying dimensions and persuassions. Barefoot running became a reality. What has been a repulsive and a ghastly sight became fashionable and de riguer as cross training – “pang-palig-un sa tiil” and a balm for injured feet and legs borne out of running shod. Not to mention, it makes you run the way you should run and run fast! Our like-mindedness brought us also to incorporate caring for the environment through tree planting activities. Seedlings, courtesy of SMI, are now a familiar sight in every trail runs that we do. This now defines who we are. “Tumakbo na, nag-tanim ka pa.” Added also is the concept of a “Birthday Run”. How else can you celebrate another year in your life in a healthy and fitter way on top of a trail? With the ever majestic and omnipresent Mount Matutum as a backdrop and your witness? She will make you feel small and grateful to experience the beauty of SOCSARGEN as you promise a silent yet personal vow to take care of the environment.
Thus, it will be “Tumakbo ka na at nag-tanim pa, sa Birthday mo pa!”
Plans, plans, plans. We have lots of trail runs in the planning board. Needless to say, security issues is of paramount importance. We do not disclose our schedule/s or our route in the social media. More often, we don’t know the route until the last minute. We are second-guessing where our feet will take us as we leave to trail. Does it not add a whole new dimension of excitement?
Join us as we explore SOSCSARGEN on foot. With that beautiful,dormant volcano (hey, she’s more beautiful in the morning and up close, and has a vantage angle wherever you are in the area) as a background, it’s more fun with Mount Matutum!