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A Peek at the 2013 Salomon XTrail Route

For the 3rd consecutive year, Salomon Philippines is once again bringing us to another heart-pumping road with crossover to wild trails. On March 23, this will be another fun challenge to every trail lovers and beach bum as well because this time, it's not just the trails that we have to tame, but as well as some rocky shores and soft sands of Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Last Saturday, together with other bloggers, media guests, and PhilSky Runners, we were given chance to take a plunge and run on some parts of the road and island trail routes of the upcoming 2013 Salomon Pilipinas XTrail Run. The starting line will be near Pico De Loro Beach Club - one of the 13 coves of Hamilo Coast with luxurious residential community condominiums plus hotel plus country club offering an extensive range of recreational amenities.

Bloggers, Media, and PhilSky members pose before the test run

After the three-hour ride to the venue, light breakfast, event and venue introduction and race route briefing led by Ms. Janice Tanada, Salomon's Brand Manager, and Ms. Pen Nepomuceno, a PhilSky Runner and one of the Race Directors, we were then led to our short 6K teaser test run. The test route, albeit short, will be part of all the three categories awaiting the participants come race day.

It started on a concrete road, slowly going up until you get to higher grounds where you will already have a good view of the coastal community. Continuing upward will lead us to a rotunda where the first turn-around point is. From this point, it will be downhill going back towards the first entrance of running in the shorelines of the Beach Club. The combination of soft sands, loose and sharp rocks, will be a challenge for the quads and a beat-up for those who will be running barefoot, yet this will be the only point of way towards the opening of the trails.

From the beach club towards where the starting line would-be

The first trail route is a small mountain island eco-trail with a maximum of 115 meters-above-sea-level (masl) elevation awaiting the three distance categories, yet, it is the lowest elevation which the 12K and 24K participants will be passing through as there will be much higher elevations and much steeper ascent of about 90-degrees awaiting them (talk about mountain literally in-front of your face). This eco-trail route is also the only area that is open for the guests and members of Hamilo Coast, while the other mountainous area, specially the tower trail, is off-limits for unauthorized personnel except for the participants on race day.

This year's XTrail run will also be composed of a beach run

From sea level, runners will ascend towards the eco-trail path with views of the lush, tall trees, slippery man-made stairs, and scenic views of the West Philippine Sea towards the highest peak (115-masl). The hills and sets of climbs will be both friendly and challenging as well, given the elevation gain at a short distance of less than a kilometer. The trail ends on a beautiful view-deck with 85-masl elevation loss in less than 400-meter distance, approximately. The view-deck will be the 2nd turn-around point, and is also one of the best area where you can have a photo-op with great oceanic background. Going back, runners will exit towards the shoreline, 6K runners should head towards the finish line while the 12K and 24K participants will have to go straight to the other side of the cove, and enter a small entrance at the mangroves leading to the next mountain trails.

Our test run ended there, but truly the short route gave me the sweat, heart-pump, and leg stress of running a 10K hill-repeats, and although I survived the 6K test run without bringing with me a hydration, I know it will be much different come race day.

A short flat road to prepare you for the first ascent

So just to remind everyone, the race will be a GREEN EVENT, meaning there will be no water cups or disposable cups will be provided along the route and at the hydration stations. Each runner are required to bring their own hydration bottles or vest, keeping in mind to become self-reliant just like when you are mountain climbing. If you still don't have a hydration bottle, get the Nathan handheld bottle being offered at the registration for a discounted/fraction of amount, or you can also choose to buy a hydration vest from Salomon. Gear up better and perform better on your trail race! See you on the 23rd of March, 2013.

Check out the following photos below taken during the test run.

Ed, Ms. Laira of Primer, Christine, and CJ attacking the introductory uphill

One of the scenic ocean views along the course

Towards the shoreline

One of the great spots for photo-ops like pre-nups, sweet-togethers, or just for running-break

Shoreline trails

Dennis (RunningPinoy) a few meters from the trail entrance

You may grab a tree branch such as this one to aid your balance

Stair ascents, it's almost endless

After the stairs, here comes the natural trails, but are still uphill

and then... more stairs!!!

Finally a flat, yet uneven terrain. Views of the ocean can be seen from the sides

Now we're going down..

Single trail tracks after the first descent

The stairs going to the view deck

At the view-deck with PhilSky Runners Rashel Pena and Romano Jorge

Mt. Pico De Loro overviewed from the peak

A refreshing dip at Pico De Loro coast after the run

More photos may also be found at my Facebook album. You may also find detailed race information from the event announcement post.


  1. Wow man, very good post. I especially loved all of the pictures as well. Thanks for sharing man. That does seem like a lot of fun to do, not so much for time.

  2. Hi, any comparison from other trail runs before like Tanay trail run and one in baguio ? I ran in that events, citing the difference will somehow helps. I reg in the 24k here in salomon but due to some "tough" feedbks abt this run, I downgraded my run to 12k.

  3. Hi Atomn, What is the difficulty level of 24k? Is it almost impossible for first timers to finish? I've been training for 12k marathon and had a couple of mountain hikes, will I be able to survive this one?

    Thank you and will be waiting for your reply.

    By the way, I think I'm healthy and won't tire that easy.

  4. Sir Kenley, yes it doesn't only seem like a lot of fun, but a lot of challenge as well. :)

  5. @Anonymous, I can't actually easily compare Tanay trails to Hamilo Coast's trails, much more in Baguio as they are on different levels. Baguio's challenge is not just the climb but also its cold weather, and dry and thin air. Also, we weren't able to check out the full or even the more challenging route of the 24K distance.

    As for the trails of Hamilo Coast, the ascend may not be as long as Tanay (comparing to the 21K route for the 2012 Nature's Trail Discovery Run 1) but the degree of incline in a short distance may prove that it's also worthy to be categorized a tough trail race. Salomon's XTrail races actually simulates Skyrunning or high-altitude races, and it will be the same for this year. The race directors informed us also that there will be ropes on some high-level inclined areas of the route to help the runners pull themselves up at an almost 90-degrees incline.

    If your longest training/run is only 12K on roads, I wouldn't recommend you racing for a 24K trail run immediately, specially on mountain trail runs such as Salomon's. Hiking is still different than running on a mountain athough you have an advantage of being already familiar with the dirts, trails, tracks, and nature in general! Still, it's only you who knows your own capability and yourself really well. I'll see you on race day :)


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