By 4.30am, I was already up and dressed. However, I missed the call, and ended up running fast to catch up with the 464-strong runners. A training officer accompanied me on a bike; she had just recently given birth and could not run long distance without injuring herself.
The pace, although brisk, was fine with me. The weather that dawn was perfect for running. I thought I could go on forever.
However, it turned out that I underestimated Lingnon Hill (pronounced Lin-yon). The distance from the foot to the peak is over one kilometer, and the slope was a minimum of 45 degrees. I thought I was ready enough for it, with all the training I have done in Puerto Galera, but I turned out to be wanting. A few meters from the peak, I had to stop and walk. 🙁
The view at the top, however, was all worth it. Mt. Mayon at 6am looked majestic. I did not take the photo above, for I was not farsighted enough to take a camera with me while running, but it approximates how the volcano looked at that time. From the Lingnon Hill, the whole Legazpi could be seen, too, and I spent my time recovering from the steepness of the slope by trying to identify Legazpi’s landmarks.
Going back to the training school, I was already a bit winded. What kept me going, and in fact, gave me enough strength and motivation to continue running for a kilometer more after they stopped, was the chanting of the 464 police recruits who ran with me. Truly, there are times when running with a group becomes better than solitary running.
If you find yourself in this small city, don’t forget to admire Mayon, the most active volcano in the Philippines.