Early Friday morning of July 20 in Bicol, I had a big itch to run. The night before, a physical therapist applied some deep tissue massage on me which made me feel good and optimistic of having a pain-free run. For the past two weeks, I have been feeling some pain on my right calf area during and after a run. This time, my muscles felt good, energized even.
I just had to run. Question is to where? No problem. I would go where my Mizuno Wave Rider 15 would take me.
So at 5am, I “escaped” from our house and went for a jog to the city proper of Iriga. There, at the side of the grandstand, is a colored map of the various barangays of Iriga City. I decided to choose my route there.
|Map of the River Unit barrios of Iriga City|
Five kms after, I was in front of the map and I noted that there were several barangays at the bottom part of the map that I had not visited in my 46 years of being a native of Iriga. These are barrios such as Del Rosario, La Anunciacion, La Medalla, La Tinidad, San Antonio and Sto. Nino. These barangays are part of the River unit area in Iriga, which is a lowland part as opposed to the Mountain unit (refer to http://www.bicolanopenguin.blogspot.com/2012/07/mt-iriga-mt-asog-adventure-run-43-kms.html#more of my running in this highland part of Iriga).
My feet decided then to go for running thru a few of these river unit barrios.
I went straight for the bridge in San Francisco and at the Masoli Road turned left which had me entering San Vicente Sur. A few years back, I remembered our LCA 8379 batch having a medical mission in the public school of this rural barrio.
|Welcome Arch of San Vicente Sur|
|Welcome Arch of La Trinidad|
|The road fork in La Trinidad|
After San Vicente Sur, I reached La Trinidad. At the center of this barrio is a fork on the road. If I take the road to the left, this would take me to La Medalla and Sto. Nino. Taking the road to the right, this would take me to San Antonio. I took the road to the right. Why? Because I wanted to find out what is after San Antonio. Is it the town of Bato or the province of Albay?
|Welcome arch of San Antonio|
|Farmer busy at work|
|College student on her way to school; Venus Raj style|
|Sa susunod, kuya, ako naman ang mag payong...|
This curiosity spurred me on the road which was getting lonelier as I hardly saw any oncoming vehicular traffic. I then entered San Antonio. The rural view was lovely: farmers tending to their fields of rice and kids scampering for the nearby public school. After a few kilometres, I again reached another fork of the trident kind. I queried a bystander where the three roads led. The first curve goes to the Iriga barrio of Salvacion, the second goes straight for Bato and the third one leads to the mighty Agus River.
|Trident fork in San Antonio|
The third road piqued my interest as I knew that the other side of the Agus River is already the town of Polangui which is part of Albay province. I took this road and after a couple of hundred meters, this narrowed considerably and in no time, metamorphosed into a trail that could accommodate only single file trekking. This was a signal to me that I was already very near the river.
Then, I was on the riverside where the other side is the province of Albay. What surprised me was that there was a big bridge spanning the river in front of me. At the foot of the steel bridge was a sign thanking President GMA for this project. The problem is there was no road on either end that would make the bridge usable by both vehicular and foot traffic. What happened here? A mystery, this bridge with no road.
|The bridge with no road in Agus River|
|No abutment for this bridge|
The Agus River is my U-turn spot. From this riverside point, I double backed to my starting point in San Agustin, 11.5 kms away.
All together, my run thru these River unit barrios and back took me 3 hours & 10 minutes, my Mizuno Wave Rider 15 covering 23 kms. Another brilliant run with my Mizuno Wave Rider 15. In this run thru several rural barrios, my Mizunos fared well thru asphalt, gravel and muddy trail. I encountered a couple of serious downpour of rain but the Wave Rider is a quick dry one.
The running itch of mine this Friday morning was surely scratched. What a feeling.