Fans and dear readers, you should know upfront that I am committing myself to join next year’s Bataan Death March (BDM), a 102 kilometer running event that traces the historical WW2 event. But in order for me to survive that insane distance I must master the art of Heat Training. It’s a very simple training, one must run under the blazing heat of the sun. The problem is, it’s definitely easier said than done. It was hellish.
I have about 11 months to train, and perhaps only 2 months left to complete an ultra marathon since BDM is a ‘per-invitation only’ running event and runners must send application letters to prove he deserves to run. A minimum of 50k Ultra under the belt is the minimum requirement, I only got a 42k from the Cebu Marathon. Time is running out. I have to start training, and in the heat I did!
I’m blessed to live in the province which houses a lot of beautiful places, most of them not really promoted well. So for my first session of heat training I chose to go to Gunhuban Falls, a nearby falls at the next town. It also happens to be located on another province. I’m from Southern Leyte and the falls is situated in Brgy. Buli, Bato in the province of Leyte. One run, two towns, two provinces! Epic.
But the run wasn’t epic, it was a struggle! Damn heat training is super hard. The sun drains my strength, accelerates my fatigue and increased my thirst. It was something I am not prepared for, but something that I have to master if I have to survived BDM. For 14 kilometers I struggled and persevered. The course is mostly uphill and not much shades around so I was left and exposed to the sun. My only recourse was the thought that at the end of the line is that there’s a beautiful waterfall waiting for me. Funny the last time I chased a waterfall I got myself in a middle of a storm, injured my calf and disgraced myself for a DNF (Did Not Finish).
I was already running for two hours when I crossed the Southern Leyte – Leyte boundary. Great, I’m just a few kilometers away from the crossing to the falls. Then I reached the marker. Ok fat boy, I’m just two kilometers off-road to the falls. But by that time I’m already laspag, too tired to run I had to resort to walking. How on earth am I going to beat the heat?
Then the grand finale came to sight.
Hello there Gunhuban Falls!
The falls is a marvelous sight. I think it’s around 30 fee tall. The water is cold and is simply perfect for summer. There are cottages installed already for the tourist, even a KTV unit. There are tables and chairs around. And the place is surprisingly well maintained.
The sight simply washed away my lower body pains and the tiredness that seems to last eternal. Whew, this is bonding with nature after the suffering. Of course I went out for a swim! I wished she was here. She was here last year I remember. That brings my smile to me, despite being still an outcast into her life. Well, I guess there’s still a lot of incredible young women to meet in my running career. Just like this trip, it’s hard and it’s frustrating but ultimately it’s very rewarding. And this is only the beginning.
By the way here’s my performance (it sucks i know):
How to get there:
From Cebu – board a ship going for Hilongos, Leyte (daily and nightly trip), fare is usually 300-450 depending on the accomodation type. From Hilongos, Leyte ride a bus for Sogod, Southern Leyte. You have to inform the conductor to drop you off at the crossing for Brgy. Buli.
From the crossing you can walk or ride a habal-habal for the two kilometers towards the falls.
From Manila – catch a plane for Tacloban. Then from Tacloban ride a van for Bato, Leyte (or Maasin, Southern Leyte), price should be P200. Then from Bato ride a bus for Sogod, Southern Leyte and drop off at the crossing for Brgy. Buli, Bato.
Next destination is also a trek to another falls and trust me, it will blow you away!