Running in Batanes: Basco Town Proper to Valugan Boulder Beach (Part 1 of 2)
Running in Batanes: Quickie Runs at Sabtang Island (Part 2 of 2)
I was pinching myself just to make sure it was not a dream. It all started with a desire to run around the Philippines (one of the reason why I call this blog JourneyingJames) and I can’t believe it, I was running on the northernmost part of the country- Batanes, specifically in Batan Island (2nd largest island among the 10 islands of Batanes Province).
The Route: Town Proper to Valugan out and back
I can’t wait to run on this island and I will not forgive myself if I will be a slacker. So I woke up before dawn and readied myself for an easy run to Valugan (Valugan means East in Ivatan language).
At the first 2 kilometers, the run was kinda normal (about 6:45/K) except for the constant pinching to check if this is for real. On the 3rd kilometer, the sound of the crashing waves became my iPod (as I don’t bring iPod while running), then the view of the majestic Mt.Iraya surprised me! It was stunning that I have to stop for a while and breath as much air as possible, it surely took my breath away. “Words are not enough to describe the experience” is such a cliché but that was the feeling.
Valugan Boulder Beach, you can see a portion of Mt. Iraya covered with clouds (Photo credit: Wanderlass)
After some more meters pave roads are no where to be found and the Boulder Beach is posing me a challenge. You know me, I love trail running, so I ran (and jumped, and scrambled ) on the boulders (the photo below shows the terrain) for about 1.5K. Then back to the pave road towards the town proper.
The boulders on the beach lining were actually andesite rocks spewed by Mt.Iraya when it last erupted, 1454. These rocks were smoothed overtime by the undulating tides of the Pacific Ocean (Photo from Izah of Tripadora).
At the last kilometer, I saw an Ivatan kid, Robert (Grade 6 student), he was running after me. I thought it will only last for about 50meters because I was getting faster, but he kept pace and we ran together (and have some chit-chat) until I reach the airport (finish line). He was walking to and from school everyday, but he ran with me that particular day. I said thank you and my heart was smiling for an unexpected thrilling run.
The Ivatans are genuinely nice, all of them smiling as I pass them on my route and their “good morning” greetings are straight from the heart. I was touched. THIS IS RAVE RUN!!!
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Date of Run: February 12, 2011 (Saturday)
Route: Basco town proper to Valugan Boulder beach, Batanes (out and back)
Distance covered: 7 Kilometers
Pro’s: The weather was fine, fresh air, Ivatans were smiling when I pass them, the sound of the crashing waves amped me, the majestic Mt.Iraya was breath-taking, the boulder was challenging and develops sense of balance.
Time: 47:38 (6:48/km)
Temperature: 18°C or 64°F
Running Apparel: Nature Valley tech shirt, Craft running shorts, cycling shorts and Nike cap.
Shoes: VFF Sprint (Red)
*So sorry I have no picture of myself while running.
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***This happened during the Batanes Bloggers’ Winter Tour last February 11-14, 2011. The trip was made possible by SEAIR. My heartfelt thanks goes to Tita Lydia of Batanes Seaside Lodge & Restaurant and Dir. Bless and the rest of DOT Region 2 staff. Dios Mamajes!
I was able to join this tour because my entry, “Batanes, Ichaddaw ku imu” (Batanes, I love you) won the SEAir Bloggers’ Contest.