Behind the Scenes: Pico Tri Invitational 2013

Pico Tri Invitational is a 1.2K swim, 35K bike, and 8K run around Hamilo Coast in Pico de Loro, Nasugbu, Batangas.  Hamilo Coast is SM Land’s premier leisure destination about 2 ½ hours’ drive from Manila via the usual Tagaytay-Nasugbu route, but there’s also a seasonal ferry service that cuts travel time by about an hour.

This time around I got to enjoy going to Hamilo Coast by sea.
The ferry terminal is located at the SM Mall of Asia compound

Personally, I find travelling to Hamilo Coast by sea more relaxing.  There are no traffic jams and zigzag roads to traverse—just smooth sailing.  It actually kind of felt like going on a vacation in a remote island, but I’m actually just headed south of Manila.

Arriving at Hamilo Coast Terminal: the waters here are ridiculously clear!

Unlike last year where I got to have a first glance of my room at Pico Sands Hotel after sunset, this time around I got to enjoy it the moment I arrived!

I’m not sure if it’s by luck or mere coincidence, but I got to stay at the same room as I had last year!
Nice bikes 😀
The great view from my room 🙂
I’ve been to Hamilo Coast a few times before, but I’ve never had the chance to visit the Country Club until now

Of course I was in Hamilo Coast primarily to cover Pico Tri Invitational, so after lunch I was off, together with other friends from the media, to cover the event due shortly at the Beach Club.

The Beach Club
Exciting 😀
And they’re off!
We went back on land as soon as we can to catch the participants out of the water…
Eye-catching, but Captain America was nowhere to be found…
…after which, you still have an 8K run to endure
Yes!  We’ll be covering the swim leg from the waters in this boat.
The participants of this year’s Pic Tri Invitational waiting for their gun start
The swim leg goes for two (2) loops of the water route
…into the transition area for the bike leg…
…if you had joined any races in Hamilo Coast, you’ll know how grueling are the routes here!
Ms. Tessa Prieto on her run leg, in her signature tutu

Of course these events don’t happen as fast as you scrolled to see those pictures!  Between those legs were some “idle” moments since we’re basically waiting for the participants to complete their stages and be back on the transition area.

Waiting for the first one to cross the finish line…
Say “cheese!” 😀
Everyone gets his/her own finisher’s medal
The operators of this “eye in the sky”
Trophies for the winners of Pico Tri Invitational

And after 1:47:27, the champion of this year’s Pico Tri Invitational is the reigning champ, Mr. Mathieu O’Halloran.  He’d be followed in about three and a half minutes by Benjamin Rana.  The first lady of the event was Ms. Kim Mangrobang clocking in at 2:04:17 followed three minutes behind by Jenny Rose GuerreroYou may view the complete race results here.

Pico Tri Invitational back-to-back champion, Mathieu O’Halloran

It was quite a beautiful afternoon, and I’m by the beach, so after all the “media duties” it was time to take a dip!  I just love the beaches of Hamilo Coast!

No rest yet for the champ…
Sunset from my room
Lazy afternoon back at Pico Sands Hotel

The sun was down, but the fun hasn’t stopped! By nightfall everyone’s looking forward to the awarding ceremonies and of course the well-deserved buffet!

Time to feast!
And more food! 😀
Looks pretty nice at night
The winners of this years’ Pico Tri Invitational
The Beach Club
The beach: perfect place to do some stargazing

After a long day’s work, it was time for me to return to my home in Hamilo Coast, Pico Sands Hotel.  This hotel has some of the best rooms I’ve ever stayed in during travel, and I really have no problems sleeping in (in fact I always had problems getting up! :D).


The following day was quite interesting for me as I got to explore Hamilo Coast on foot and see some nooks and crannies I’ve never seen before.

Pico Sands Hotel as viewed from the lagoon side
There are quite a lot of pathways here
Just a stone throw away from the hotel
The Country Club

From Pico Sands Hotel I decided to walk towards the Beach Club (which isn’t really that close come to think of it) before finally saying goodbye.  Normally, I’d take the shuttle service but since I’ve not been doing much to justify eating all the good food here, might as well walk it off by walking—under the heat of the Philippine summer sun!

The Beach Club from another angle
Always my favorite view of the Beach Club
The kiddie pool that I have never had the pleasure of swimming in 😀
Enjoying the warm weather by the beach 😀

Eventually it was time say goodbye to the beach… and eventually to Hamilo Coast.  For the last time, I decided to go back to the hotel by jogging in the midst of the hot sun!  At least I could safely say that I was able to run along the pathways of Hamilo Coast, and there’s surprisingly quite a lot of it!  I’ll be sure to jog the entirety of this pathway the next time I’m around!

I don’t usually run when the sun’s quite high in the sky, but Hamilo Coast is an exception
With matching great vistas
The pathways here are excellent and long
Until we meet again Hamilo Coast!

The last part of this trip was getting back to Manila by sea. Come to think of it, I’ve never had the chance to return to Manila from this manner, and it was really exciting!

Back to Hamilo Coast Terminal one last time
Pico de Loro
Lovely, lovely Philippine summer weather
Inside the boat where “Big Brother” is watching 😎
Finally, Manila.

I would like to thank Hamilo Coast for inviting me again to cover Pico Tri Invitational.  It was, as always, a pleasant experience.  I always look forward to returning to Hamilo Coast, and hopefully more events will be held here so I can have more chance to return, be as a participant or mere “spectator.”  Until my next visit, Hamilo Coast! 😀

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For more information about Hamilo Coast: SM Land’s premier, sustainable leisure destination in Nasugbu, Batangas, visit

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