a journal on hiking and traveling around the Philippines

Friday, March 29, 2013

Post Run Dispatch : Salomon X-Trail 2013 (Hamilo Coast) + Race Results


The sun, the beach and the finish line, an amazing prelude to summer
Last March 23, 2013, I was among the hundreds who  joined  the recently concluded Salomon X-Trail, a trail running event held at Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Knowing that one of the  persons behind the scorching race course is Pen Nepumoceno, an ultra runner and mountaineer, I expected it to be grueling. For my sanity's sake and my aching limbs, which have just been subjected to rough terrain for the past two consecutive weekends  hiking in Mt. Palali and Mt. Mayon, I opted to join the 6K.

We arrived in Hamilo Coast at 4:30 AM, 2.5 hours before the gun start for our division. I had plenty of time to chat with friends, wander around, grab a snack and change my mind about running (hehe! It was so humid and the beach, which was just a few meters from where we sat was  too inviting!).  I almost back out of the run, but then I  remembered how amazing it is to eat after a good sweat and so I went on with the race.  


By 7:00 AM,  I was running along with other participants. There was a long uphill on a concrete road ahead, definitely not a favorite but I did just fine.  After the road, we headed towards the rocky section of the beach and entered a small, very steep 115-meter hill.  I heard some runners grumbling that it was not running but mountain climbing. Salomon is actually a mountain running brand and this course truly describes what the brand is all about, a brand you can rely on when breezing through a rough terrain.


The steep trail led to stunning views of islands near Hamilo Coast and the turn-around point where we were given thick black bands. I continued  to move in a quick pace, not because I was aiming for a podium finish but because I was dying for a good meal and  a nice relaxing swim, ah my priorities. :P


The trail down was on a different route which was good because there was congestion on the steep section up.  The exit point from the hill was also along the rocky beach. After that, we had to run on fine sand, just a few inches from the water. At this point, the sun was glaring happily . Thank God, I was only a few meters away from the finish line. 

As I turned on a bend along the road, I saw Jules, a good friend of mine from way way back who ran the 12K, about to cross the finish line too. With  vibrating tonsils, I called out to her and talked energetically the rest of the way. It's been a while since we finished a race together. She had focused on sky running and I remained loyal to hiking mountains on a much slower pace. Still, we remained good friends despite pursuing different passions and that's what matters more.



According to the official race results, I completed the course in 1 hour 11 minutes, with an over-all ranking of #48 out of 206 runners in the 6K division. I'm just pretty psyched that I finished  and that I was able to get a great meal afterwards and swim! The area where we picked to swim had some interesting fishes under it and I was able to do a bit of snorkeling. Yes, I came prepared with my goggles. Priorities!

The 6K experience is challenging  and provided an excellent introduction to trail running. We experienced a bit of various trails - steep concrete road, sharp rocky beach,  mountain trail and fine sand. The hydration stations were adequately placed and I was happy that no disposable cups were given out. We all had to bring our own refillable bottles/hydration packs.

Congratulations to all the participants - whether you received a finisher's medal or not, the organizers and sponsors (big thanks Hamilo Coast!). Special thanks to Laira Legaspi, PR Associate for Primer Group for allowing me and my fellow bloggers to experience the trails of Hamilo Coast.

Official Race Results can be found at here.
Concerns with the results? Email : feedback@salomonxtrailpilipinas.com

I'm also sharing with you the blogs of my companions:
Jazz Runner on his 12K Experience 
Titanium Runner on running 24K 
Running Pinoy who I ran along with the at the 6K division 

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