Posted by: prometheuscometh | February 15, 2010

Love at the TNF Thrill of the Trail Nuvali

3:50 a.m. Valentine’s morning found me driving  on the SLEX all the way to Sta. Rosa Laguna for the TNF Thrill of the Trail in Nuvali. Since I was taking it easy this week, I decided that I would run a relaxed pace and take plenty of pictures of the scenery.

I arrived at the site just before 5 a.m. and the first thing I noticed as I got down from the car was the chilly air from Tagaytay. I zipped up my shirt to neck and brought down my old TNF Xenon Hydration Belt. I had packed 2 500ml bottles of sports drink, an energy bar, gel, and my camera. As I walked towards the 11-K starting area, I glanced at my watch and mentally calculated the sun’s arrival. It was still quite dark and I wondered whether I should bring my headlamp and my sunglasses. With the 22-K race start at 5:45 a.m., I figured I wouldn’t need the headlamp for long so I decided to leave it. Fear of river crossings and losing my glasses to the water, made me decide not to bring them as well. I saw some familiar faces : Bards, Dingdong, Marga, and Hector but none of them were running the 22-K. After saying our hellos and happy valentines, I boarded the bus which would bring the 22-K runners to the starting line at the Montecito gate from the race site.

Early at Base Camp

Everyone's Excited to Run

Hector of Second Wind Takes My Photo

On the Bus to the Starting Line

22-K Run Starting Line at Montecito

A few minutes after the last of the 22-K runners had been ferried to the starting line, we were soon off and running into the dark.

Running in the Dark

Over Hills...

...And Plains.

Sunrise on the Run

With so many runners jostling for space as we made our way to the Mahada plains, I slowed down and began taking photos until I was at the tail end of the group. At the back, I could take my time and not pose a danger to the runners behind me. The open landscape, overcast sky and strong cool breeze felt like something out of a TNF advertisement in the US.

At the end of the plains was a forested area which we ran into until we came to a steep ravine leading down to the first river crossing. I made friends with the 2 runners behind me, Aaron and Cris as we made our way to the bottom.

It's a Steep Descent...

...Down to the River

Aaron and Cris Make it Down

The First River Crossing

Going Over the Rocks

Resting By the Falls

Time to Leave the Falls

 While negotiating this part of the course, I met Jen Wallace, an avid runner and teacher from Brent. We would run together past the river, to the spine exit, until the second river crossing. At this point , we were running part of the 11-K course already although most of them had already finished running.

Jen Climbing Thru

Second River Crossing

Headed Towards the Ravine Exit

 We had been running for more than 2 hours now. Despite 2 river crossings and the debris that had accumulated in my shoes, my feet were still okay. At the end of this river, I cleaned out my shoes for the  last 6-K of the course of mostly mountain bike trails which I imagined would be harder with the sun shining down on us already and little shade provided by the wall of talahib grass.  From there, I raced all the way to the finish line hardly stopping even to hydrate. It had been a beautiful run but I needed to get home to my Valentine.

Jason and Me at the Finish

Not as Dirty as TNF Sacobia

Back to Civilization

Feeding the Koi

Feeding the Runners



  1. Oh wow, the 22k race has a more awesome view compared to our 11k route

    I was actually surprised with the route myself. Am sure we will be able to get another chance to run here again one day. Hopefully we don’t need to buy a house and lot in Nuvali to do so.

  2. wow! good thing i missed this… NOT! hay naku inggit! haha! beautiful run, indeed! -D

    It’s the start of the year and we have more running adventures to come! Am sure it can only get better from hereon. See you soon!

  3. […] […]

  4. Wow! Super nice trail! =)

    Better if you guys were there to run with me. In the meantime enjoy the post marathon glow!

  5. Jay, the eating part was the best hehehee 🙂 Weather was wonderful though 🙂

    Yep! I wish I had some of that cake you guys ate but it would be too much for me to stay any longer while the wifey was waiting. Next time …perhaps at the BDM?

  6. Those are some very nice trails! I hope there’d be more trail runs in that area in the future for those of us who missed it hehe 😀

    I hope so too. I know many shied away from the trail run because they were afraid of injury so close to BDM. Perhaps if Ayala Land was aware how runners loved the trail they might hold another one again.

  7. great pics sir ! 🙂

    it was fun seeing you there ! we ride on the bus hahaha standing tyo ! 😀

    sir pa grbe some trail pics…

    salamat poh !

    panalo ang trail sa Nuvali !


  8. And I thought your darling Angel was with you kasi your title started with “Love . . . “.

    What a great way to start Valentines Day, Jay! But I bet the “end” was even greater.

    Hope to see you again soon. Would you believe I ran 21k at the Condura Race and even signed up for the TBR Dream Marathon?

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