Hamilo Coast Trails: A Peek At The Salomon Trail Run Route

One characteristic that The Salomon X-Trail races have lately is its unique locations, often on exclusive residential mountain resorts with stunning views of mountain ranges, lakes or oceans. Last year’s venue, the Tagaytay Midlands and Highlands offered lush mountain ranges with its cool climate, high peaks and great running trails.

This year, the venue will be at the mountains of the Pico de Loro Cove, part of the Hamilo Coast situated in Nasugbu, Batangas where i, together with several runners had the chance to discover and run parts of its trails that will form part of this year’s Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2013 race.

The venue is an exclusive country club and beach resort with fine white sand, condominium housing units, hotel and restaurants and all the amenities you’ll find in an upscale resort. However, we were here for the trails and what it has to offer runners for their upcoming road to trail run on March 23, 2013.

Me and about a dozen other runner-bloggers and the media left before daybreak from ROX at the Fort and arrived at the Hamilo Coast-Pico de Loro Cove 2 hours later. After some light breakfast, we were given a brief background on the event led by Salomon Brand Manager Janice Tanada and apprised on the route for the race by Pen Nepomuceno, one of the event’s race directors. Thereafter, we were led outside for the actual trail run and did parts of the 6k route.

Since it was only going to be a short run, i didn’t bother to bring my hydration vest any more and instead, opted with my trusted water bottle waist pack which could carry about 26 oz of water. The starting area is just at theĀ  mouth of the residential condominium units. The first 400 meters was immediately on an uphill going to a rotunda where we would turn around and go straight to the beach shores. Then, we were on to the trails.

The Pico de Loro Cove mountains are lush and green, have challenging hills in the form of stair paths which are quite slippery when wet. The old-growth forest possess some tall trees and are quite peaceful. The 6k route forms part of the other 12k and 24k distances and is the only spot where the range dips down to greet the ocean via its view-deck.

The trails are mostly single tracks, gnarly and has undulating climbs with views of the South Philippine Sea.

Here are some pictures i took in sequence the moment we were sent-off up to the end of our run. I hope this will give runners who will be joining this race a good idea of what the trails look like. Enjoy!

(For more details of the race or on how to register, you can check out my previous blog here: (details/registration at salomon-x-trail-run-2013-now-set-at-hamilo-coast-batangas)

Mariel Flores leading the runners to the starting line

This is where the race starts, just a few meters away from the Pico de Loro club house

The starting line view, at the mouth of the Pico De Loro cove

No wasting time, first 400 meters was uphill!

The Running Atom (Alfred) leads the way

From the road, a view of the Pico de Loro Cove

We make a u-turn at the small rotunda

The pathway to the ocean-side then to the trails

Nearing the shores of the cove

I could just imagine runners making a stop at this berth and taking pictures. That’s Christine, Mars and Blas

Trail to the sea shore

Ms. Pen, one of the race directors guiding us to the entrance of the trails

A sign mark of the Eco Trail route

The trails begins here

Dried leaves and small roots take stage

Runners can still speed-up here before the uphills occur

Nearing the foot of the mountains

The start of the dreaded “stairs”. It’s all uphill from here!

Didn’t know that Ms. Mars is an excellent climber!

Surging up non-stop

A break from the stairs on the way to the peak

The views of the ocean are on the left

A nice teaser leading to more uphills…

The trails seem not to have been affected by the rains the previous days. It was dry but windy

More of the stair trail here

More uphills to the peak

My 2 friends seem to be nearing the peak

And there’s the peak with some guides waiting for us

The signs that says, “Highest Peak” at 115 meters but not so high for regular mountain/trail runners. Higher elevation will be encountered by the runners in this route.

The views along the peak

Birds eye-view of the Pico De Loro Cove

At the left side of the peak

More of the trails going to the view deck

With Ms. Pen, one of the race RD

With runners from the media

An ascend to the view-deck

150 meters away before the view deck and turn-around point

Turn-around point


The south Philippine Sea

More views from the deck

On the way back (photo by Rodel/Blas)

Return up to the trails

Some scenes on the way back

Met CJ and Laira on my way down

Taken at about 11:30am, the sun was right above us

Running back to the beach club

Our group at the Pico De Loro Beach club

Finally, a sumptuous lunch of the middle eastern cuisine