Salomon XTrail Pilipinas 2016: A Short Race Recap

I’ve always wanted to visit the trails in Subic Bay, most particularly the Pamulaklakin Eco Trail Park of which i had just a sneak peek of its surroundings a few years ago. The chance came when i was able to join last Saturday’s Salomon XTrail Pilipinas 12k Trail Race and that distance wasn’t even enough to see majority of what it had to offer.

I just wanted to get this race off of my bucket list, as i was still nursing a recurring Achilles tendinitis which i got from 3 straight days of running in the Cordillera mountains the week before. But as always, running Salomon is THE trail event to look forward to and i wasn’t disappointed.

As with all venues, with no exception of this year’s edition of the race, the atmosphere at Subic was entirely welcoming! We arrived at the starting grounds at around 4:00am and alighted from the MEDIA bus provided. At the reception area, our race packets were immediately distributed to us. We immediately got caught up with the frenzy at the activity grounds, the happy bustle of meeting and greeting old-time friends, program hosts announcing the pre-race requirements on blaring speakers and some hot coffee and hot dog sandwiches as provided for by our gracious host, Ms. Aileen Frugal of Primer Group.

Competing in any distance at the Salomon XTrail Pilipinas is without doubt one of the highlights of any local trail runner, whether they’re competing on the longer distance mountain runs/skyrunning or the shorter races for the regular trail runner for an easier but no less technical trail route. And the route laid out to all distances, they were all challenging.

The 32k distance seems to have the most number of participants based from what i saw during their early start and it was still dawn when the gun was fired off. After a couple of minutes, off went the 25k runners.

While waiting for my 12k category gun start which started a good one hour after the 25k were sent off, i was able to explore the first few hundred meters of the 32k route which ran counter to those of the shorter distances. Newly chopped cogon grass were evident as you feel your feet sink to soft spots where the grass were sprawled over the trails. It lead to lush forest trails and the backdrop of mountains were there to appreciate.

The start of the 25k, 12k and 6k routes were directed on the opposite direction where you had to run on an asphalt road first. After less than 3 quick kilometers, we found ourselves into various series of uphill fire roads that were slippery as lahar sand was predominantly the surface.

Entrance to the Pamulaklakin trails

We then reached the steel arc of the Pamulaklakin trails and after a few meters, marshals directed us into our first hurdle. It was a short stream crossing located just under a bridge. They could have just led us to cross over the empty, passable bridge and spare us of getting our shoes wet that early but instead, directed us to cross the knee-deep stream!

The small stream crossing

It was a continuous series of uphills thereafter until we reached a second aid station and turned left into a downhill trail going into a secluded forest. It was sad to see that parts of the trails were marked by burnt grass and tree branches on both sides brought about by a  forest fire the day before. The route was hot, dry and what was left of dry leaves on trees served as our only shade. We made our U-turn on the 6th kilometer mark and we traced our way back on this out and back course.

Trails and trees affected by the rash of forest fires

The route back was quite frankly, a blur. It was all downhill at this point and except for moments that you had to be cautious because of the slippery roads, i just coasted along, letting gravity take my body along with it. The last 2 kilometers back on the flat asphalt road was somehow the most difficult as i found myself alternating walking and running under scorching heat. My injury on my left achilles tendon was starting to flare up at this point so my walking breaks had to be frequent. While looking at the runners do the same run-walk in front of me, i suddenly could hear a dull hum of activity which i surmised were coming from the stage activities. We couldn’t be that far.

Suddenly, the big familiar Salomon finish line arc appeared, like a sudden light at the end of a tunnel. Just when you had to cross the final finish, an obstacle appeared for all to crawl a 20-meter, man made pool under knee-deep of muddy water with a low lying net atop and a message that read, “I Ran The Path of Most Resistance!”.

As far as trail races go, the Salomon XTrail Pilipinas is always one satisfying experience. Nowhere else could you find an event staged like a big road race. Everything is well-managed, the cap on the number of runners, the amenities given and the venue itself.

There may be other trail races more more hard-core and scenic, like the races in the Cordilleras and in Tanay but i encourage those who have not ran the Salomon XTrail Run to do so…you won’t regret it!

From my account of the race, here are some pictures:

At the starting line of the 12k Run

A view of the stream along the route

Rough roads with lahar sand

Pat Concepcion on his way back

One of the Primer group runners

Thumbs up to her rad running attire!

This leads to a forest trail

One of my fav trail runners, Jackie Gutierrez.

Ladies i met on the trails

That’s co-blogger CJ Lampad

Crossing the finish line

Nothing beats wearing the Ahon gaiters on a sandy route like this!

 

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Salomon X-Trail Run 2015: The Mountains, The Sand and the Beach

Last Saturday’s Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2015 was a very challenging course which consists of 15% pavement, lots of fire roads, uphills, mountain passes and single track trails. The race is well organized, hydration was well supported and the views were top-notch!

The one thing that stood out to me about this race was the support of locals who were on checkpoints everywhere on the trails. Also the presence of paramedics gave you an assurance of security as with the availability of water and Gatorade which were ever present, specially at the last kilometers of the race.

The last 6 kilometers was the toughest because you had to dodge large rocks along the beach and run along its shores which was next to impossible as your foot gets buried mostly in the sand.

Over-all, i enjoyed this trail race immensely and could see myself coming back next year to savor the sand, mountains and the sea once more!

Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2015: The biggest running event of the season

Post Press Release:

Leading trail running brand, Salomon, gathered over a thousand outdoor enthusiasts and trail runners of varying skills for an adrenaline-filled weekend

Time stopped and the earth stood still as nearly 1,500 trail runners gathered for the biggest trail running event of the season, the Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2015, last April 25.

For more than five years now, the Salomon X-Trail Run series has been one of the most anticipated trail running events in the Asia-Pacific Region. Held in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines, it has attracted numerous participants, from newbies to hardcore loyalists of Salomon. The race’ technical trail route combines different terrain surfaces including vertical ascents, long uphill climbs with multi-surfaces of dirt, rocks, sand, and concrete paths.

On its’ 5th consecutive year, Salomon Pilipinas X-Trail events were held at Premier locations outside Metro Manila, boasting beautiful sceneries, where mountains & coastlines merge together in the race route, with more than 1,200 participants – making it one of the most well-attended trail run races in the country. And this year is no different as it surpasses previous feats – cementing Salomon’s slogan, being the “#1 in Trail Running.”

This year, the race toured the roads, hills, mountains, and valleys surrounding the beautiful enclave of Anvaya Cove, one of the country’s premiere developments in Morong, Bataan by Ayala Land Premier. New trail routes were created exclusively for the event such as trail sections overlooking the cove that are steep and technical, with sharp and loose rocks, roots, and thick foliage. To recharge lost energy, runners were blessed with a breathtaking view of the sunrise that made the experience all the more worthwhile and memorable.

As the clock struck 5:00am, trail racers for the 32km embarked on an adrenaline-filled adventure as they sped through a mixture of challenging terrains, from asphalt, to sand, to rocks, to river crossing and technical ascents. The category simulated ascents of Skyrunning races – an arena wherein Salomon dominates. Given a seven-hour cut-off time, hardcore trail runners were surely tried and tested to push their boundaries and surpass the limits.

At 5:30am, trail runners of the 24km mountain run went blazing off into the trail and were greeted with technical ascents and varying terrain which likewise simulates ascents of Skyrunning races. The cut-off time for the 24km race is five hours.

By 8:00am and 9:00am, the participants of the 12km and 6km Road-To-Trail category were tested with a unique yet introductory trail running course, which consists of road & trail routes that are likewise challenging and technical. The cut-off times for the 12km and 6km categories are two and a half hours and one and a half hours respectively.

As the Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas is a Green Run, no disposables were provided at the hydration stations and participants were required to bring their own provisions.

At 11:00 am, the awarding ceremony commenced and this year’s roster of winners earned not only a range of prizes but most importantly, the ultimate sense of achievement upon taking on and conquering such a challenging feat as the Salomon X-Trail Race.

As an added, no one went home empty handed as Salomon gave away items during a raffle portion, together with awesome items from sponsors—Suunto, Otterbox, Eco x Gear and R.O.X.

It has been the absolute objective of Salomon to promote trail running and passion for the trails. Each year, it never fails to push every runner’s boundaries and test their limits as it inspires each one to recognize their potential and overcome challenges. Once again, the Salomon X-Trail race has proven to be the trail running event that runners can aspire to take part of each year.

The Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2015 is in cooperation with AXN & R.O.X., with official venue partners: Anvaya Cove, an Ayala Land Premier property. This event is also sponsored by Honey Stinger, Suunto, Gatorade, Sea to Summit, Sudeco, Otterbox, Goal Zero, Eco x Gear, Nalgene, and the Primer Group of Companies. Thanks also to our media partners:The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, PinoyFitness.com, Endurance Magazine, UNO Magazine, Clavel Magazine, Psst! Magazine, Multisport Magazine, and Speed Magazine.

Race Results can be viewed here: http://www.results.runningmate.ph/index.php/event/result/197

A Sneak Peek of the Salomon X-Trail Run 2015 at Anvaya Cove

Anvaya Cove shoreline

From the harsh trails of Hamilo Coast, where the past two Salomon X-trail races were held, this year’s race will now happen at Anvaya Cove in Morong, Bataan that will showcase its more tolerable but still technical trails and its imposing mountains merging with the coastlines for a new exciting route.

Like the previous venues, Anvaya Cove is an exclusive country club and beach resort with mostly white sand, upscale housing units, hotel and restaurants and all the amenities you’ll find in a prime vacation resort. However, we were here yesterday to see for ourselves the new route, what it has to offer runners for their upcoming road to trail run on April 25, 2015.

The route gives you breath-taking sites of the ocean, the beach and the cove that fronts the Anvaya resort. The ocean takes on a variety of hues from different vantage points. When the clouds uncover the sun, the waters take on a shiny, silvery spark of brightness but when it’s overcast, the water transform into light blue with white shreds of overlays with mountain ranges as backdrop.

The race will start on a well-paved road that’s only a few hundred meters long before runners venture into trails that were developed for this event which then leads to the outskirts of Anvaya Cove. Although we were brought to the 6 km shorelines of Anvaya which is part of the route, we were not able to see much of the trails outside of the resort except for a birds’ eye-view of the valleys underneath Mt. Natib with ridges, uphills, a river plus a hanging bridge where runners will at one point converge to cross it.

However, we were assured by Salomon Brand Manager, Janice Tanada that this year’s route will be much more forgiving than the Hamilo Coast route of the last 2 years where from last year’s race alone, only 50% of runners of the 32k distance were able to finish it with-in cut off time.

245 MASL at the 12.5km mark of the 32k distance

Here are a few pics i took in sequence the moment we were sent-off up to the end of our run. Because of lack of time, we were only able to recon the beach part of the run and its adjacent areas including a visit to a Vietnamese memorial which will form part of the route.

Enjoy!

Jazzrunner (c) Franc Ramon

With Franc and Pedz, the Running Atom

Thanks to Franc for this pic! 🙂

Like last year, there will be a speed boat-in-waiting for those too tired to continue..

A deserted Vietnamese memorial where a Vietnamese village once thrived

The trails, valleys and river below Mt. Natib are part of the 24 and 32k trail route

There’s also going to be a hanging bridge crossing

A closer look below

Outrun the Road, Outlast the Trail at the Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2015 The World’s #1 brand in Trail Running, Salomon– gears up one of the biggest trail events of the season

Trail fanatics & Running enthusiasts are sure to be thrilled once again, with the announcement of this year’s highly-anticipated Salomon X-Trail Run. Back for another round of exhilarating action, this race is one of Salomon’s trail running race series in the Asia Pacific Region, namely in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Reputed for being a technical trail running race, the “X-Trail” branding includes a mix of different terrain & surfaces– dirt, rocks, sand and concrete paths. The past years’ Salomon Pilipinas X-Trail events were held at Premier locations outside Metro Manila, boasting beautiful sceneries, where mountains & coastlines merge together in the race route.

Attracting more than 1,200 participants during the past years, this race attracts all kinds of participants, with varying trail skill levels– from newbies to hardcore loyalists of the Salomon brand. Hence, the brand has made it a point to keep things exciting and challenging for everyone, offering different race courses, different routes and challenges, creating excitement & anticipation year on year.

This year’s X-Trail Run will be offering four distances – 6km road to trail, 12km road to trail, and the much anticipated 24km & 32km mountain run. These are perfect for all types of trail runners and outdoor enthusiasts who want to test their skill and endurance in the sport.

For the 6km and 12km Road-To-Trail category, outdoor enthusiasts who want to take their running to a higher level will get the chance to do so, as it is a perfect introduction to trails.

The registration fee for the 6km Road-To-Trail category is P850 including a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, and a post race meal. Meanwhile, the registration fee for the 12km category is P1,100 which includes a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, and a post race meal.

The 24km and 32km Mountain Run is targeted for experienced runners who wish to test their limits with steep ascents and multi-terrain challenges which stimulates skyrunning – an area of discipline where Salomon dominates. This category is considered a more ‘hardcore’ route, the course is meant for trail runners who wish to partake in the real Salomon Experience.

The registration fee for the 24km Mountain Run is P1,400 with race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, Salomon handheld water bottle, post-race meal, and a finisher’s medal for those who finish within the cut-off time. For the 32km Mountain Run, the fee is P1,600 with race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, Salomon water bottle, post-race meal and a finisher’s medal for those who finish within the cut-off time. Mandatory Gears for this category is a headlamp, whistle, hydration pack/belt which will all be checked prior to race start. The race employs a strict No Mandatory Gear and No Race rule. The Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas is a Green Run, no disposables will be provided at the hydration stations and participants are required to bring their own provisions.

For those who wish to reserve a bus slot from Trinoma Mall to Anvaya Cove and back, registrants may simply add another P600. The offer is exclusive for the first 300 registrants only.

For all interested runners, registered participants will also get 20% discount across all regular priced items at Salomon Stores including SM Aura, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa Annex, Glorietta 3, Abreeza Davao, and in R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street.

Registration is ongoing until April 20 and registration may be done online via the http://www.salomonxtrailpilipinas.com website or at the following registration centers:

  • Salomon Store SM Aura, 4th floor, SM Aura Mall, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig;
  • Salomon Store SM Megamall, 3rd floor, Bldg D, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong;
  • Salomon Glorietta 3 Store, 2/f Glorietta 3, Ayala Center Makati City;
  • Salomon Store SM Annex North Edsa, 2/f, SM North Edsa Annex Building, Edsa, Quezon City; and at
  • R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street , Fort Bonifacio Taguig, 3/f Runner’s Runner Booth (Starting April 10).

The distribution of race kits is at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street, starting April 10 to 23, at the 3rd floor (c/o Runners’Runner Booth). For accommodations, special rates of partner hotels of Anvaya Cove will be available at the website. For accommodation inquiries and reservations, email inquiry@ salomonxtrailpilipinas.com or visit www.salomonxtrailpilipinas.com for more details. (PRESS RELEASE)

Trail Chronicles #10: Salomon Xtrail Run 2014 All Set

The yearly Salomon XTrail series are always a challenging lot! And their trail venues are awesome with the most recent at Tagaytay Highlands and Hamilo Coast topped with the longest distance last year at 24kms of heart-pumping uphills!

This year, the Salomon X-Trail Run will be back for the 2nd time at Hamilo Coast, which has some of the most scenic trails i have ever ran and with its vertical ascents and steep descents, it has added a 32k distance category which the organizers have dubbed as “hardcore”! It’s for the experienced trail runner who want the real “Salomon Experience”.

Yesterday, the organizers conducted a short race briefing for the members of the press showing us some videos of their previous races, the description of this year’s race course and what to expect along the race route.

NO WATER STATIONS ON TOP OF MOUNTAINS

The organizers have reiterated that no water stations will be positioned on top of mountain trails as they will only be situated at the base of these uphill climbs. However, there will be adequate hydration in these stations offering both water and sports drinks.

Suffice it to say, that runners should be self-sufficient always–sees to it that their hydration bottles and other containers are always in “full tank”, filling them up always at every water station available.

The race course will cover most, if not all the race route that was used last year and you can see why many trail runners are looking forward and coming back to run this race:

With Ms. Pen Nepomuceno, the Race Coordinator/Director and a top trail runner herself

During last year’s race

REMINDERS: Mandatory Gears, Bus Sched, Entry at Hamilo Coast

MANDATORY GEARS

Mountain Run (32k/24k)

  • Head lamp
  • Whistle
  • Hydration bag/ belt

Road to Trail (6k/12k)

  • Hydration bag/ belt

*Mandatory inspection will be conducted before the race. No mandatory gears, no race.

*Salomon XTrail 2014 is a green event. Bring your own hydration packs as no plastic cups will be distributed in the event.

 

RACE KIT CLAIMING

  •  Claiming is at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street from 12nn to 9PM everyday until April 6, 2014 only. No race kits will be distributed after April 6.
  •  For store registrants, claiming of race kits at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street is after 3-days upon registration date.
  • Registrants who cannot personally claim the race kit within the specified date & time, please prepare authorization letter.

BUS SCHEDULEPick-up Point: R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street

Meeting Time: 12:30AM

ETD: 1st batch- 1:00AM; 2nd batch- 1:30AM

Requirement: Online & Store Registrants must present valid ID

DIRECTIONS TO HAMILO

The shortest and fastest route to Hamilo is via Cavitex- Naic – Puerto Azul Route 

ACCESS

Gates open at 3AM. If the guest is not checked-in, they cannot enter

Hamilo before the said opening time.

CAR PASS

  • The Carpass attached should be surrendered to Hamilo GuardHouse Entrance, with all the participants’ names riding the car.
  •  NO CAR PASS, NO ENTRY.
  •  If you are riding the bus service, please disregard the carpass.

HAMILO WRIST BANDS

  • Each registered runner is issued a Grey Hamilo Wristband, included in the race kit.
  • Please do not lose the wristband. NO WRISTBAND, NO ENTRY to the event staging area.
  • If misplaced, Hamilo will charge P600 for guest daytrip fee.

HAMILO COAST BEACH & CLUB ACCESS

  1. Strictly no brining in of food & drinks inside the club.
  2. Hotel Guests: Registered Runners & Guests of Salomon X Trail who are checked-in Pico Sands Hotel have automatic access to Pico Beach & Country Club.
  3. Registered Runners have automatic access to Pico Beach and Pico Country Club.

 Day Trip Fees for Salomon X-Trail Event

  • Use of Pico Beach (swimming) – P 600 / head
  • Use of Pico Beach & Country Club – P 1,000/head
  • Companions who just watch and eat in Pico Beach  – No Charge
  • Cash Card – All purchases in the club for food and other services are done via cash card. Therewill be a cash card loading station in the event area where guests can load cash.
  • Credit Card – Credit Card (Visa and Mastercard) is also accepted as mode of payment.

For fruther queries:
Registration, Race Kits & Bus Reservation: lolarr@runnersrunner.com or feedback@salomonxtrailpilipinas.com
Pico Sands Hotel Reservation: salomonphils@gmail.com

The cutoff time for the 32 km Mountain Run is 7 hours. It is 5 hours for the 24 km Mountain Run. Mandatory gear for both of these categories are a headlamp, a whistle, and a hydration bag or belt.

RACE ROUTE OVERVIEW

A tour of the roads, hills, mountains and valleys around Hamilo Coast. The trail sections overlooking the cove are steep and technical, with sharp and loose rocks, roots and thick foilage, but the view if you need to stop and rest is worthwhile.

32km mountain run – P1,600; 5:00 AM Gunstart; cutoff time: 7 hours (with race bib, timing chip, Salomon Xtrail technical jersey, and Salomon Racing Belt. All finishers (official finish within cut-off time) of this distance to receive finisher’s medal & other Freebies).  Post race meal will also be served.  Mandatory gear: headlamp, whistle, hydration bag/belt. These will be inspected by race officials prior to run.

24km mountain run – P1,400; 5:30 AM Gunstart; cutoff time: 5 hours (with race bib, timing chip, Salomon Xtrail technical jersey, and Salomon Racing Belt. All finishers (official finish within cut-off time) of this distance to receive finisher’s medal & other Freebies).  Post race meal will also be served.  Mandatory gear: headlamp, whistle, hydration bag/belt. These will be inspected by race officials prior to run.

 

12km road to trail – P1,100; 6:30 AM Gunstart; cutoff time: to be announced (with race bib, timing chip, Salomon Xtrail technical jersey) Post race meal will also be served. Mandatory gear: hydration bag/belt. These will be inspected by race officials prior to run.

6km road to trail – P850; 7:00 AM Gunstart; cutoff time: to be announced (with race bib, timing chip, Salomon Xtrail technical jersey) Post race meal will also be served.  Mandatory gear: hydration bag/belt. These will be inspected by race officials prior to run.

Briefing being given by Ms. Janice Tanada, Product Head of Salomon Philippines

WATER STATIONS

The Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2013 Race is a GREEN RUN. No disposables will be provided at the hydration  stations. All participants MUST bring their own provisions.

NOTE: NO WATER STATIONS WILL BE PROVIDED ALONG THE MOUNTAIN ROUTE! WATER AND SPORTS DRINKS WILL ONLY BE PROVIDED AT THE BASE OF THESE MOUNTAINS OR BEFORE THE ASCENTS!

AID STATIONS

There will be 2 Ambulances on standby and roving medics around the trail exit areas. Search & Rescue Mountaineers will also be on standby around the mountain trails. Medic Station will be at the Start/Finish Line.

Ms. Pen Nepomuceno, Over-all Race Coordinator explaining the details of the route

MANDATORY GEAR

Mountain Run (32 & 24km) headlamp, whistle, hydration bag/belt.

Road to Trail Run (12km & 6km) – Hydration bag/belt.

Race Officials will check the gear prior to gun start.

(Special thanks to Ms. Janice Tanada of Salomon Philippines and to Ms. Aileen Frugal of Primer Group for inviting us to the press briefing)