On its 5th year, Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2015, gathered as nearly 1,500 runners last April 25, 2015 as one of the most anticipated running events of the year, held in Anvaya Cove, Morong, Bataan. Keeping its tradition and reputation as having not only the most scenic trails in the past five years, they are also known as having technical trails that would challenge trail runners from beginners dipping their foot on the trails (the 6km and 12km Road to Trail) and to avid trail runners looking to test their skills and endurance (24km and 32km Mountain Trail). Like last year’s Xtrail in Hamilo Coast, I was able to join this year’s trail run as well, upping my ante a little on the 12km Road to Trail Category. And here I share my experience and photos from this run.
The 12km Road to Trail
We watched the stronger and hardcore runners at the 32km and 24km take off consecutively at 5:00 and 5:30am. Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2015 was strict on their gear checking that each runner have the required amount of hydration, whistle, and head lamps for the run. With lights on, each runner sprinted out of the starting line and hope to cross finish before their respective cut-off times of 7hrs and 5hrs.
I and some of the media decided to run only the 12km Road to Trail. Last year’s 6km was already tough so I thought I’ll just go to the next level the 12km since I also have little preparation for this run. Our start time were 7:00 and 7:30 am respectively. The sun was already high up at this time so the heat factor would be one of the obstacles. Unlike the higher categories, they decided to not give a cut-off time to the road-to-trail routes.
The first part was mostly road at times paved but and some dirt. Elevation was beginning to peak early and we found ourselves somewhat at the perimeter fences of the estate. It really begins to get interesting on the 100meters up elevation as the view of the nearby mountains of Bataan, the cove and the sea are seen. There’s this fun but dusty steep descending trail one has to traverse carefully, fast but sure steps. Then the scenic beach make most of the remaining part of the route. The heat and running on the beach was the challenge here as well as the little bouldering parts. The last 1km felt the longest as we were on the dusty open trail with the heat bearing down on us making the last stretch a bit of an effort. I finished the whole route at 2:01:28 ranking 123 out of 227 runners in the category. Not that bad being in the middle this time as I enjoyed the view, the picture taking, the exercise and finishing injury free. I am hoping that next year I’ll be more prepared for the next category.
More photos on the next page…