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 2016: A Sneak Peek

 

The Salomon X-Trail Run is back and for this year, the race venue will be at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone in Zambales which again will offer challenging, lung-busting but scenic trails. This premier trail run will be held on April 9, 2015 and will offer a 6k, 12k Road To Trail Runs and the more challenging 24k and 32k mountain runs!

Both the 24 and 32k distances will be for the veteran trail runners and offers a very tough course and as with all previous Salomon Trail races will pass through arduous mountain peaks, breathtaking views, the El Kabayo Falls, several stream crossings and rolling hills.

The 6k and 12k events are designed to be easier, flatter, and faster than the longer distances. The courses are exhilarating & typically along a combination of roads, dirt trails and river crossings. Highlights of this course is the Pamulaklakin Trails.

During the launching of the Salomon X-Trail Run 2016 with Salomon Philippines Brand Manager, Janice Tanada (sitting, 2nd from right).

Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2016
April 09, 2016
SBMA Subic, Zambales

Registration Fees:

6km Road to Trail – P 850.00
12km Road to Trail – P 1,100.00
24km Mountain Run – P 1,400.00
32km Mountain Run – P 1,600.00

Note: Medical Certificate Required for 24km and 32km Mountain Run (Please submit upon race kit claiming)

Salomon Brand Ambassador Erick Guieb wearing the 2016 Salomon Dri-Fit Shirt

CHECK HERE: RACE INCLUSIONS,  RULES AND MANDATORY EQUIPMENTS OF EACH CATEGORY.  

Cut-off times:
6km – 1.5 hours
12km – 2.5 hours
24km – 5 hours
32km – 7 hours

Categories & Gun Starts:

  • 32km* – 4:45am
  • 24km* – 5:00am
  • 12km – 5:30am
  • 6km – 6:00am

Registration Centers:
Registration is until March 31, 2016.
Online registration -> http://www.extribe.com.ph/salomonxtrailregform.html

Online Fees will be added to the the Registration Fees and Bus Reservation Fees to facilitate online transactions.

In-store registration:
Salomon Store
– SM Megamall
– Glorietta 3
– SM North Annex
– SM Aura

Race Kit Claiming

You may claim your race packet at the following Salomon Branches on April 1-3 only.

  • Salomon SM Megamall
  • Salomon Glorietta 3
  • Salomon SM North Annex
  • Salomon SM Aura

Please select where you wish to claim your race packets in the online registration form.

​Please present a valid ID (with picture) and a copy of your confirmation letter. 24KM and 32KM Mountain Run participants are also required to present Medical Certificates to guarantee that they are fit to engage in this activity.

Online registrants for 6km or 12km categories, may have their race packets delivered via courier for P150. METRO MANILA ONLY.

BUS RESERVATION

Bus Shuttle Services are available to transport you to Subic. Meeting place for the bus will be at Trinoma (Mindanao Parking) on April 9 at 12:00am. Buses DEPART AT 1:00am.
​You may reserve your seats through your online Registration Form. P650 per person for online reg.

Entrance to the Pamulaklakin Trails

PRESS RELEASE:

The Salomon Pilipinas XTrail Run 2016 is calling all trail fanatics and running enthusiasts, as the much-awaited running event of the season is upon us once again – the Salomon X-Trail Run. Hosted by the leading brand for trail running, Salomon presents a series of trail running in the Asia-Pacific Region. For nearly ten years, the brand has mounted some of the more challenging trail running races, which features different terrain surfaces, vertical ascents, long uphill climbs, with multi-surfaces of dirt, rocks, sand, and concrete paths. This much anticipated event of Salomon has been making waves around Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

On its 5th consecutive year, the Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas is thrilled to have the event in Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Zambales, on April 9, 2016. As a trademark of Salomon’s race route, new trails are designed & opened just for this event. The race will allow the participants to experience Subic’s Majestic valleys, abundant hills and rivers & thick forests, while providing a breathtaking view of the countryside.

Salomon X-Trail Run Pilipinas Categories

The 32km Mountain Run is targeted for trail runners with advanced trail running experience. More for the adrenaline-junkies, this route presents a mixture of different terrains, from asphalt and soil, to rocks, and mud. This category includes some river crossing, and technical ascents, a simulation of Skyrunning—the turf of Salomon. There are mandatory gears for this category: headlamp, whistle, and hydration pack/belt – all of which will be checked prior to the race. The event imposes a strict “No Mandatory Gear, No Race” rule. Registration Fee is P1,600 which include a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-trail technical jersey, Salomon race bag, and a post-race meal. Those who finish within the cut-off time of 7 hours will receive a Finisher’s medal.

The 24km Mountain Run is targeted for trail runners who wish to push the boundaries of their endurance. This category presents itself as a ‘level-up’ from the usual trail runs, as it includes technical ascents and varying terrain, simulating Skyrunning as well. The mandatory gears for this category include: headlamp, whistle, and hydration pack/belt – which will all be checked prior to the race. The event imposes a strict “No Mandatory Gear, No Race” rule. Registration fee is P1,400 which include a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-trail technical jersey, Salomon race bag, and a post-race meal. Those who finish within the cut-off time of 5 hours will receive a Finisher’s medal.

The 12km Road to Trail Category, is targeted for runners with short-distance trail running experience, with the hopes of leveling-up their trail skills to a more technical level. The registration fee is P1,100 which include a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-trail technical jersey, and a post-race meal. The cut-off time is 2.5 hours.

The 6km Road to Trail Category, is targeted to entice beginners to try the sport of trail running. Registration fee is P850, which include a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-trail technical jersey, and a post-race meal. The cut-off time is 1.5 hours.

The Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2016 is a GREEN RUN. No disposables will be provided at the hydration stations.

Registration for the Salomon X-Trail Run Pilipinas 2016 is open until March 31, via the registration centers: Online Registration via credit card at http://www.salomonxtrailpilipinas.com , or via Registration at the Salomon Stores – Salomon Store SM Aura, Salomon Store SM Megamall, Salomon Glorietta 3 Store, Salomon Store SM Annex North Edsa.

Bus Shuttle to and from Subic is available for the first 300 registrants, for an additional fee of P600. Race kit distribution is on April 1 to 3, at Salomon Stores. Delivery option is also available, please contact Extribe at (02) 439-3007.