Sneak Peek at the Trails of Hamilo Coast (Salomon XTrail Run 2013)

Last February 23, 2013, yours truly alongside with other runner bloggers and the members of the media were invited by Salomon Philippines to have a sneak peak of the trails of the forthcoming Salomon XTrail Run to be held this March 23, 2013 in Hamilo Coast, Pico de Loro, Nasugbu, Batangas.  If you plan on joining this race, you absolutely must see this post before picking your distance!

Let’s just say that this year’s
Salomon XTrail Run has some “killer views”

As usual, I didn’t have any sleep before we were off for Hamilo Coast as we departed Manila quite early, but I didn’t mind as Hamilo Coast in Pico de Loro is one of the nicest places I’ve ever been (and has some of the best foods in the country, no kidding!).  The area does sport some really scenic routes and interesting terrain but I’ve never ran in the area so it was a really exciting trip for me.

Hamilo Coast, Pico de Loro is around two and a half hour drive from Manila

View from the lobby of Pico de Loro Beach Club

The peaks of Pico de Loro is hidden by clouds when we arrived

The first part of our itinerary is the formal introduction of the event at Arribada Lounge along with all details you can expect from an event launch.  And from the presentation we all knew that this year’s Salomon XTrail Run will be one of the most “technical” trail running events of the year!

Arribada Lounge

They have quite some interesting food here

View from the balcony of the lounge

…these seats sure come with a view!

The lounge is located at the second floor of the beach club


You may just lounge around here because…

Even the table settings were quite interesting…

After the briefing and some light meals, we were off to test the trails of the route of the 6K leg.  We expected it be more challenging than the usual, but no one was quite prepared for what was coming…

All routes start from the paved areas
of the beach club

And also curvaceous

View from the top

Afterwards it is followed by a run along the beach

I’m not sure if you can see it but the rocks
in here are of blue and violet hues

Marker to the trail route: this would be
the exit point from the trails during the race

But quickly it turns to a steep uphill

This rotunda serves as the turnaround point

The rest of Hamilo Coast, Pico de Loro

Aside from sands, there are also
rocky portions along the beach

Picture taking with sky runners

After the exhausting uphills and the tiring sands of the beach, we entered the trails.  We thought those parts were not so easy, the ones that followed were anything but easy!

Entering the trails…

Until this marker came along.  Note the
keyword “ascent”

Eventually you will reach this marker indicating
the highest point of the trails: 115 meters
above sea level (MASL)

From the summit, it’s now time to
go further… down!

It’s a long and steep way down!
(But what a view!)

The bad news is that what comes down
must come up!

Eventually, you’ll find your way out of your misery the trails and you’ll end up at the start of the trail marker I showed earlier

Nothing unusual so far…

Some segment of the trails are established
and has these steps… quite a lot of it!

View at the top

Savor the view before heading further… (gulp!)

And of course eventually you will reach
your final destination this side
of the trails: 30 MASL

And that includes the stairs!

For the 6K leg coming out of the trails is a great news as you’re headed back to the starting area.  For the other legs it’s not so as you have just passed the “easy” part of the route.  The 12K would have to brave some more tough trails ahead, and the 24K will have to endure much more difficult trails on top of that!  Clearly with this test run we were made aware that Salomon XTrail Run is anything but a walk in the park!

Registration is open

This year’s leg is the most challenging Salomon XTrail Run leg thus far, and it’s definitely for those thrill-seekers looking for a challenging “fun” trail runs to join.  If you don’t have much experience on the trails I highly recommend not to join anything farther than the 6K.  Meanwhile if you’re experienced with the trails and is in for quite some challenge, do the 12K, but if you really want to push yourself and has quite some endurance to go with your guts, by all means join the 24K.  Just remember that there’s a strict five (5) hour cutoff for the 24K, which in my opinion is barely enough to complete the really tough route.  And also note that this is a “green” race so you better bring your own hydration containers, suitable for the distances you’re running.

Make sure that you’re properly “suited” for the race. I strongly encourage using proper trail shoes for this race for your own safety.

For what it’s worth, despite being so much more difficult than any of us expected, the test run was really a lot of fun!  I highly suggest that if you’re skeptical or lacked training or just really want to enjoy your trail run, go for the 6K.  Trust me, there’s more than enough “fun” to go about this distance that you’d imagine.  But aside from that, if you were to ask me, I’ll definitely pick the 6K over the other distance because I could spend more time at the beach! 😎

Finish your race quick so you can enjoy the other facets of Hamilo Coast

If you don’t see green flags near the beach, better consult one of these signs to know what they meant

Ahhh… this is the life! 😀

Thank you Salomon for giving us the chance to test the 6K route of XTrail Run!  It was a blast and I really had fun!  I’m looking forward to this great race, and I can’t wait to see the look on every finisher’s face (especially the 24K participants :D).

The event is open to only 1,300 participants, and as of February 23, 2013 it is about halfway filled so better signup quick before the slots run out!

For more information about this event, email inquiry@salomonxtrailpilipinas.com, or go to www.salomonxtrailpilipinas.com.

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