Category Archives: trail running

X-Trail Run Pilipinas, 23 July 2017

Committed to push the boundaries of outdoor experience, the world’s leading trail running brand Salomon gears up for the return of the highly anticipated Salomon X-Trail Run dubbed Run the Path of Most Resistance on 23 July 2017 at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.  An annual event organized throughout Southeast Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Philippines), the Salomon X-Trail Run instantly gained traction for its exceptional and technical trail routes that never cease to offer runners an unforgettable and fulfilling trail experience.

Locally, the Salomon X-Trail Run has been held in various premier venues throughout the Philippines quickly gaining a reputation for being the most-attended trail running event in local running history as it managed to gather over 1,000 participants.

On its 6th year, the Salomon X-Trail Run endeavors to deliver another exceptional trail running race that will empower its participants to push the boundaries of their capabilities.

Aiming to resonate with the brand’s core purpose of inspiring people to play and progress in their chosen outdoor pursuits, this year’s Salomon X-Trail Run is sure to pack a lot of enjoyable yet exhilarating obstacles ahead. Salomon X-Trail Run will consist of two race categories, namely: Fun Trail category with  6Km and 12K distances and the Mountain Run with 24K and 32K distances. Resisting limits serving as the ultimate test for the most dedicated trail runners, the Mountain Run will once again simulate the challenging ascents of skyrunning races, an arena dominated by Salomon.

The race will start at 8 AM and 8:30 AM for 32K and the 24K categories respectively. The Mountain Run will witness the country’s top trail runners go head to head in this iconic race.  Positioned as challenging categories of the race and created especially for trail runners who want to take their skills to the next level, the 24K and 32K Mountain Run distances will feature technical ascents and varying terrain–from asphalt, sand, and rocks to river crossing and steep technical ascents. The route is expected to yield an adrenaline-filled adventure for the racers.

The Mountain Run participants will receive a Race Kit containing a race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, Salomon race cap, and post-race meal, and products from sponsors.

Those who finish within the cut off time (five hours for the 24K and seven hours for the 32K) will receive a finisher’s medal.

Given the demanding nature 32K and 24K distances, participants are required to bring the mandatory gear with them such as as whistle, hydration pack or belt with at least 500 ml of water.  Those with incomplete gear will not be allowed to participate in the race. For more information and updates, please visit Salomon’s Facebook Page.

Press Release :The Race to Outdoor Revolution – TNF 100 2016

Boundaries. They’re made to be broken. This is the mantra of those who never stop exploring and pushing themselves to their limits. This is the mantra of the participants of the The North Face (TNF) 100 2016.

TNF held its annual TNF 100 last April 30 to 1 May 2016 at the Camp John Hay Country Club in Baguio-Benguet. The route, which showcased the scenic mountain ranges and trails of the Cordilleras, is a favorite among runners and outdoor enthusiasts. This year, even more adventure seekers thronged to Baguio for this race as TNF 100 opened up its trail courses to 100 km, 50 km, 22 km, and now to 11 km.

This is no small feat for those who know the perils and the thrills of trail running. Training in the outdoors is more than just moving your exercise regimen’s geography. It is pushing your mental and physical limits to adapt to the constantly evolving and oftentimes, uncontrollable nature of the outside environment. It is about always being ready to explore, and that is what TNF is all about.

True to its core values, TNF has launched its official training regimen Outdoor Training this year. This revolutionary workout program will be practiced in the open, subsequently harnessing the athlete’s mental and physical agility, strength, balance, and core power like never before. Because the outside elements can be unpredictable and extreme, it is imperative that the practitioner uses apparel that gives superior breathability and durability that complements their training.

This is why TNF developed its Tekware product line, Mountain Athletics. This performance wear line of TNF applies technology specifically suited for the outdoors, making its wearer Get Better and Go Further in their outdoor training. It is the gear that the athletes use to make them perform their best in the TNF 100 2016, which is now bigger than ever.

TNF 100 2016 is one of the most important events this year as it lines up with The North Face’s 50th year anniversary. Tim Sedo, Regional Marketing Manager for Hong Kong and Asia markets, and a dedicated skateboarder, snowboarder, and outdoor enthusiast himself, has flown in for this very special occasion.

Exploration is a journey, a race if you may, and The North Face is at the forefront of this race, blazing a trail so that others may follow.

Like @thenorthfaceph at their Facebook page and follow them on Instagram to know more about how you can be a part of this outdoor revolution.

The North Face 100 2016 was made possible in partnership with Department of Tourism-CAR, City of Baguio, LGUs of Itogon and Tuba, JHMC, Baguio Ayala Land Techno-Hub. Thanks to Microtel & Camp John Hay as official hotel partners. Thanks also to the following sponsors such as SUMMIT Water & Cobra Energy Drink as the official drink sponsors; R.O.X., Garmin, PLDT Smart SME Nation, Zalora, C3fit. Special thanks to Mitsubishi Motors for providing official vehicles to TNF 100. The North Face 100 2016 would also like to acknowledge the following media partners: History Channel, CrossOver 105.1, Retro 105.9, Manila Bulletin, The Philippine Star, Business Mirror, Endurance, Speed Magazine, & www.spin.ph.

Please check this site: http://www.thrillofthetrail.ph/ for more of event and race details.

The Primer Group of Companies, Asia’s next retail giant, is the exclusive distributor of The North Face in the Philippines.

UNIGLOBE TRAVELWARE CO., INC.
A Member of the Primer Group of Companies
Primer Star Center, 2282 Leon Guinto Street, Malate, Manila 1004 Philippines
Tel: +63(2) 567-0611; 303-1234 Fax: +63(2) 567-0634
www.primergrp.com

The North Face 100 Philippines 2016 : The Reason Why I Tried to “Break All Boundaries” in Trail Running

I wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t for fellow runner-blogger Dennis a.k.a. Running Pinoys encouragement to register for 50K instead of the shorter distances, 22K or 11K.  A veteran of The North Face (TNF) trail running event for the 100K distance twice, you need to be a fast runner since Dennis could run awfully fast.  But I did remind him that he could run ahead if he wanted to.  I didn’t want his goal crushed because of my slower pace.  My game plan was to try to keep up with his pace and have someone with me through the trails, at least during the initial stage of the race.

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Photo / Dennis Ravanzo aka Running Pinoy

As for me, having finished a number of ultramarathons before including the Bataan Death March 102K in 2011, it was time to step up my training from road marathon or road ultramarathon and hit ultra trails for the first time. Ultramarathon is an event where the challenge is to run or run/walk the distance as fast as you can.  Since this is trail running, it can be more difficult than road running because the terrain varies.  I wasn’t confident really, but my aim was just to finish before it gets dark or by 5 PM at the minimum and by 7 PM at the maximum as cut-off time for all 50K runners was at 10 PM or 18 hours.  And, TNF 100K trail running event came at an opportune time where I could push me to improve myself.

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Photo / Dennis Ravanzo aka Running Pinoy

After the mandatory gear check at the Start/Finish/Base Camp, running fifty kilometers early in the morning up and down starting from Camp John Hay in Baguio City, to Itogon, and all the way to Ampucao, Benguet with a total elevation gain of 2,591m was no easy feat.  It was like an endless combination of uphill climbing and running.  You need to keep up the pace and use your provisions, foods, and liquids wisely since Aid Stations (AS) were fanned out (about nine kilometers from AS1 to As2) and (14 kilometers AS2 to AS3) from each other.  The trails are steep sometimes with deep ravines, have dry stream and hanging bridge crossing, uphill climbing through cemented foot path, breathing became harder, legs fatigued more quickly, and I felt every painstaking step hiking downhill.  I had to use my hands to keep the balance and the frequent downhill caused a right knee pain.  I did stop once in a while to rub the aching area.  Since I didn’t use any walking stick, I had to take smaller steps for safety and at times walking sideways to control the impact.

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Photo / Dennis Ravanzo aka Running Pinoy

The trail exited onto a paved road with endless uphill climb towards the turnaround point, a very critical uphill run since 50K runners are required to reach the turnaround area by 11 AM.  It was tough going in the heat of the day and my progress was slowing as I stopped to catch my breath.  My left foot was burning with the friction of uphill climbing, and at one point, I so wanted to take off my shoes but decided not to.  It was a relief to finally reach the turnaround point in Ampucao at KM29.  Looking forward to at least do a quick bite and rest at AS3 and replenish my empty bottles with water.  However, no electrolyte drink (except for a choco drink) was provided, which was a bit disappointing.  Good thing I brought some cash with me and bought a bottle of energy drink from a vendor nearby before heading back to the trails.

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Photo / Dennis Ravanzo aka Running Pinoy

One of my very best experiences running TNF 100K was witnessing most of the marshals including aid station workers, medical staff, and all others really did their job.  It also taught me to pay attention and stay alert, always looking for the TNF signage along the trail route.  At one point, I got distracted and walked a few meters without realizing I was already off path.  No choice but to turn around and go back the way I came until I found the signage again.  Then I felt bad due to not being able to run longer with my right side knee bothering me.  It slowed me down.

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Photo / Dennis Ravanzo aka Running Pinoy

I tried to walk fast even under the heat of the sun.  It was at this moment when a foreigner 100K participant ran past me. Amazing!

I still managed to walk fast even when the clear skies suddenly became filled with puffy clouds which produced thunderstorms. This was not surprising at all since weather forecast was announced during the race briefing.  Running in the rain didn’t bother me in the slightest and not a problem so long as I can keep myself warm in a rain jacket or wind breaker. Before the rains fell, two colorful butterflies  fluttered near me. Perhaps my guardian fairies? 🙂

The trail route was already a difficult hike even without rain and adding rain made the rocks slippery and the path muddy, which made the way extremely difficult to traverse.  I knew it was a temporary setback on my ranking but I knew very well that runners run for the finish line even if a number of competitors had reached it first.  

Not wanting to take the last three kilometers through the rain and darkness without any companion through the trails in the next thirty minutes or an hour or so, I was grateful with the two guy runners Mervin Paras and JP Lipardo whom I had little chitchat with at AS1.  We tackled the last three kilometers together.  Four hundred meters now before the finish line, I let both of them to reach the finish line first.  The proposed pre-sunset finish turned out to be an evening finish, approximately two hours and a few minutes earlier from the cut-off time.   I crossed the finish line with a grateful heart and received my first TNF finisher’s medal.  Woohoo!

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Arriving at the finish line with just over two hours and a few minutes left before cut-off time (unofficial). (photo / Rosher Cruz)

Returning to basecamp next day with fellow peeps from the media team, we were able to witness the awarding ceremony.   The lucky stars must have connived with me when I was given a few minutes to interview TNF 100 Philippines 2016 trail run male champion Norwegian, Jan Nilsen (JN).

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During the awarding for 100K top finishers (photo / runningdiva.ph)

This was the same guy who asked a question at the race briefing and the same runner who ran past me so in the zone while racing. While my media friend Rhoel was interviewing the winner, I was there to just observe at first.  When the interview was about to be concluded, I couldn’t help but throw these questions real quick.   Here we go… (Interview recording and transcription credits / Rhoel V. Fernandez)

Running Diva (RD): What do you want to improve about the TNF 100?

JN: “The organization! They should involve some runners when planning the race.  Because this out and back in the beginning was complete chaos.  In the briefing there was no information about this: we were running on very narrow single tracks and were following the tracks in the beginning. Then we were coming to a turnaround point and then they start coming back, now there’s people turning back because they did not know what would happen. When we started coming back, because we were in the front, we were meeting 200 other runners so they started to turn around before coming through because there was no information and it was very narrow.”

RD: What made you decide to come back for TNF 100?

JN: “I like the mountains in Philippines.  I like coming back to the mountains of the Philippines.” 

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Photo / Dennis Ravanzo aka Running Pinoy

If there’s one recommendation I wanted to say is for the organizers to improve race briefing and provisions in every aid station.

Overall, I had a blast and this race is definitely one for the books! Super thanks The North Face and Primer Group of Companies for having me in your trail running event. Thank you Aileen Frugal for taking care of us.

With great appreciation to Dennis Running Pinoy Ravanzo for pacing with me from start up to the summit, and for the photos including the featured image used and those taken along the trails.

Many thanks to fellow runner bloggers and members of the media team for an enjoyable experience.  

Special shoutout to Rhoel V. Fernandez of Spin.ph for transcribing my two questions.

Thank you Baguio mountains.  I had nothing to bring but good memories. You were formidable and your ups and downs were a force to reckon with.  You made me do the painful penguin walk afterwards.  

Now if given the opportunity to come back, my answer would be, “Why not? Let’s break all boundaries!

Salomon X-Trail Love

I never got the chance to write my Salomon trail race experience, which took place in Morong, Bataan last year. Suffice it to say I loved the course and there were many moments to remember while racing.   Thanks to Salomon Philippines for having me during the route reconnaissance and on race day itself.

Salomon race route recon in 2015
Salomon race route recon in 2015

Though I have run the shortest distance, which is six kilometers, it was an unforgettable one—somewhat difficult terrain (harder than this year’s edition), beautiful scenery, first podium finish in a Salomon sponsored trail competition.  So happy with a fifth place performance considering a number of strong trail runners in said race category!

Fifth place winner for women's 6K trail category
Fifth place winner for women’s 6K trail category
With fellow choirmates/fishies
With fellow choirmates/fishies Jez and Wilbert (Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2015)
Happy to see my niece joining this race
Happy to see my niece joining this race last year

This year, Salomon had their trail race in Subic, Zambales.  So to at least level up in terms of trail distance, I signed up for the 12-kilometer category.  To me, it was a good choice since the race route allowed participants to run part of Pamulaklakin Forest Trails, home of native Aetas.  So on race day while we were running up the hill toward the trail, we met along the way some of the natives walking down the dusty dirt road unmindful of the hilly terrain.

Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2016 12K starting line
Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2016 12K starting line (photo / X-Trail Pilipinas)

After a few kilometers of running a steep hill, I heard distinct huffing and puffing behind me.  The ‘pacer’ mode suddenly switched on (where you have to look for the welfare of a fellow runner), and because of it, I slowed down my pace a bit to ask if he’s okay.   Walking fast now, I asked him to breathe into his belly, contract his abdominal muscles, and let air suddenly out of his lungs by shouting, “Haaa!”  Funny thing was the rest of the runners behind us followed suit.  The “Haaa” sound echoed from one runner to next.   Two runners became my newfound friends along the trail.   Then both decided to pace with me all the way to Tower 40 and to the trail part.

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The trail is a mix of stream crossing and off-road running (photo / X-Trail Pilipinas)

If we suffered a bit during the uphill run, the downhill part seemed to ease it a bit.  To me, running downhill is easier since gravity is working to move you forward, but downhill running can also beat up your quads, hips, and lower back when not done properly.

Doris and Andrew not in photo) paced with me all the way to the finish line
Doris and Andrew (not in photo) paced with me all the way to the finish line (photo / X-Trail Pilipinas)

Back on the road and surprisingly still running strong, we all ran the last two or three kilometers passing groups of runners who are already walking, and finally making our way to the finish line.  Nothing beats trail love, running, and nature!

Salomon S-lab Series

The S-lab series is range of Salomon performance shoes designed for freedom.

S-Lab SONIC

Salomon’s first road racing shoe of the Citytrail line is for city urban roadrunners. Whether climbing the stairs, running through a bridge, or enjoying a short route across the park, the S-Lab Sonic is made specifically for urban setting with its dual-density midsole, which offers exceptional impact protection. Meanwhile, the Contragrip in the outsole provides traction for making tight turns or cutting across urban trails. Its stretchable upper with nylon fabric keeps one’s feet comfortable and cool when running  over hot asphalt.

 S-Lab SENSE ULTRA

Kilian Jornet’s personal choice for being a lightweight trainer for trail running or a racer for ultras, Salomon’s S-Lab Sense Ultra is engineered for performance featuring a reflective mesh upper that snugly holds the feet in place.  Meanwhile, its Endofit technology allows one to fend off debris.  As added security feature, its outsole provides optimal grip in dry and warm conditions and for support and protection over rough surfaces.  Its upper has a breathable mesh and an updated lug design.

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Highly recommended for an ultramarathon with the toughest conditions.  The S-Lab Sense 5 Ultra SG is a specialist in wet and muddy trails for its aggressive lug pattern with an embedded rock plate that provides supreme traction and protection. The mesh upper has a reflective material that snugly holds feet  while the endofit technology fends off debris.  The trail shoe is engineered for performance and a great choice for ultramarathon runners.

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S-Lab WINGS

The  S-Lab Wings is the epitome of  performance trail running shoe designed for high-mileage trail running with its cushioned and supportive midsole for protection and comfort plus the lightweight material and sleek design that supports a runner’s trail racing needs while the outsole serves to ensure traction and has been tried and tested on various surfaces.

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Step out into the traills, follow your passion, and run the path of most resistance at the Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2016!

Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas, 9 Apr. 2016

Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas is back on its fifth year will be held in the thick forest and majestic valleys, abundant hills, and rivers of Subic in Zambales.  Known as one of the technical races and much anticipated by the trail running community in the country, Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas has attracted both newbies and hardcore runners considered as loyalists of the Salomon brand.

This year, a combination of new routes including motivational and historical trivia signages along the race route, new obstacles, and challenges are prepared exclusively for this event.  Since it is considered a Green Run, there’ll be no disposables provided at the hydration stations.  All participants are advised to bring their own hydration bottles.

EVENT DETAILS

Race Registration

Registration is ongoing until 31 Mar. 2016.   Contact Extribe at (032) 439.3007 for delivery options.

Online Registration using credit card and other information at Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas. Registration Centers at the following Salomon branches: 4F SM Aura Mall, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig; 3F SM Megamall (Building D), Mandaluyong; 2F SM North EDSA Annex Building, Quezon City; 2F Glorietta 3, Makati City

Bus shuttle to and from Subic is available for the first 300 registrants at an additional fee of ₱ 600.  Race kit distribution is scheduled on 1-3 Apr. 2016 at Salomon Stores.

Race Route Maps and Scenic Trail Paths
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Race Category, Registration Fee, and Race Kit Inclusion

Category and Race Fee

Description

Race Kit Inclusion

32K Mountain Run

(₱ 1600)

For advanced trail runners with advance trail running experience. The route is a mixture of different terrains from asphalt to sand, to rocks, to river crossing, and technical ascents. This category simulates ascents of sky running races. Participants need to bring the following mandatory gears: headlamp, whistle, hydration pack/belt. Important: These items will be checked prior to gun start. No Mandatory Gear, No Race! Finisher’s medal for participants who finish within the cut-off time of seven (7) hours. Race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, Salomon race bag, post-race meal
24K Mountain Run

(₱ 1400)

For trail runners who want to take their race to the next level with technical ascents and varying terrain. This category simulates ascents of sky running. Participants need to bring the following mandatory gears: headlamp, whistle, hydration pack/belt. Important: These items will be checked prior to gun start. No Mandatory Gear, No Race!  Finisher’s medal for those who finish within cut-off time of five (5) hours.
12K Road to Trail

(₱ 1100)

For runners with basic trail running experience who want to experience technical terrain. Cut-off time is 2.5 hours.
6K Road to Trail

(₱ 850)

Targets beginners who want to explore the world of trail running. Road runners are very welcome to experience a different adrenaline rush.  Cut-off time is 1.5 hours.

Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas, 25 April 2015

OutRUN the Road, OutLAST the Trail.

The Salomon X-Trail Run is a series of trail running events in the Asia-Pacific Region namely in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines. Known as a technical trail running, the past Salomon X-Trail events attracted more than a thousand participants with varying trail skills.  To get a glimpse of what the trail challenge this year, Salomon conducted a press conference and event launch on March 25 at Anvaya Cove in Morong, Bataan to give everyone what to expect this year and to prepare gears, which complement the race.

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The upcoming Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas will be held in Anvaya Cove, one of the country’s premiere developments by Ayala Land Premier in Morong, Bataan.   To attract more trail running enthusiasts, new trail routes are created exclusively for this event.

 RACE AND REGISTRATION DETAILS

32K Mountain Run  P 1,600    Gun start: 5:00 AM

·   Advanced trail runners who look for more adrenaline and adventure  ·  The trail is a mixture of different terrains from sand to rocks, to river crossing and technical ascents  ·   It simulates ascents of sky running races   ·   Mandatory gear: Headlamp, whistle, hydration pack/belt.  

Important: Gears will be checked prior to race start. Participants who can’t comply with the gear requirements will not be allowed to race. 

lnclusion: Race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, Salomon water bottle, post-race meal, and a finisher’s medal for those who finish within the cut-off time*

24K Mountain Run P 1,400  Gun start: 5:30 AM

·    For trail runners who aim to take their race to the next level ·    With technical ascents and varying terrain  ·    It simulates ascents of sky running races·    Mandatory gear: Headlamp, whistle, hydration pack/belt

·   Important: Gears will be checked prior to race start.  Participants who can’t comply with the gear requirements will not be allowed to race.

lnclusion: Race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, Salomon water bottle, post-race meal, and a finisher’s medal for those who finish within the cut-off time*

12K Road to Trail P 1,100   Gun start: 6:00 AM 

· Targets runners with basic trail running experience who want to level up  and experience technical terrain

lnclusion: Race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, Salomon water bottle, post-race meal

6K Road to Trail   P 850   Gun start: 6:30 AM

·   For beginners who want to explore the world of trail running.  Road runners are welcome to experience a different adrenaline rush.

lnclusion:  Race bib, timing chip, Salomon X-Trail technical jersey, Salomon water bottle, post-race meal

The Race Course

The race will tour the roads, hills, mountains and valleys around Anvaya Cove. The trail sections overlooking the cove are steep and technical with sharp and loose rocks, roots and thick foliage, but the view, if you need to stop and rest, is worthwhile.

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The Salomon Xtrail Pilipinas 2015 Race is a GREEN event.  No disposables will be provided at the hydration stations. All participants are required to bring their own hydration packs/belts.

All registered participants get 20% discount across all regular priced items valid at Salomon stores  including SM Aura, SM Megamall, SM North Edsa Annex, Glorietta 3, Abreeza Davao, and at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street.

Registration is ongoing until 20 April 2015.  Interested participants may register online via www.salomonxtrailpilipinas.com or at the following registration centers:

  • Salomon Store – 4F SM Aura, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
  • Salomon Store – 3F SM Megamall Bldg. B, Mandaluyong City
  • Salomon Store – 2F Glorietta 3, Ayala Center, Makati City
  • Salomon Store – 2F SM Annex North EDSA, Quezon City
  • R.O.X. Store (beginning April 10) – 3F Runner’s Runner Booth, Bonifacio High Street, BGC, Taguig City

 Accommodation

Special rates of partner hotels of Anvaya Cove will be available at www.salomonxtrailpilipinas.com.  For inquiries and reservations, please email inquiry@salomonxtrailpilipinas.com. Camping is not allowed.  There are hotels/resorts in Morong and at SBMA.

 Bus Reservation

Buses will be available for the first 300 participants for an additional P 600.  To avail, simply click the tickbox in the registration form and include payment with the race registration fee.  Each registrant may avail of ONLY one (1) additional seat in the bus (maximum of 2 seats per race participant). Please keep the bus stub in your registration/waiver form.  It will be surrendered upon boarding the bus on race day.

Pickup Point: Trinoma Mall (fronting Starbucks, Mindanao Entrance) | Meeting Time: 12:00 AM | ETD: 12:30 AM (First Batch); 1:00 AM (Second Batch) | Requirement: Online and in-store registrants must present a valid ID

Access

Gates will open at 3:00 AM.  If guests are not an Anvaya Cove Members,  they will not be allowed to enter before the said opening time.  A car pass will be attached to the Race Kit and must be shown at the entrance gate for entry.  No car pass, no entry.  Runners get to wear a wristband to have access to the event staging area.

 *Cut-off Time (TBA)

Schedule of the race start can change due to weather conditions.

The Salomon X-Trail Pilipinas 2015 is in cooperation with AXN and R.O.X. with official venue partners Anvaya Cove and Ayala Premier Property.  This event is sponsored by Honey Stinger, Gatorade, Sea to Sumit, Sudeco, Otterbox, Goal Zero, Eco x Gear, Nalgene and Primer Group of Companies.  Media partners are the Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Pinoyfitness.com, Endurance, UNO Magazine, Clavel, Psst!, Multisport, and Speed Magazine.

About Salomon

Salomon (www.salomon.com) was born in 1947 in the heart of the French Alps and the birthplace of modern alpinism.  During the following 60 years, Salomon’s commitment to innovative design and passion for mountain sports  created a vast range of revolutionary new concepts in bindings, boots, skis and apparel for both alpine and nordic skiing and brought innovative solutions to footwear, apparel and equipment for snowboarding, adventure racing, mountaineering, and other sports.  Salomon’s heritage, culture, and commitment are tied together by one simple concept: the world’s leading mountain people creating the world’s leading mountain product.

Urbanathlete Diva 3/e

MH URB 2014, Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna 

Yours truly has been an urbanathlete since. I started out with a 10K distance sometime in 2010.  [Related: Urbanathlete Diva 2010, please click here]  Well, I did miss joining this race for two years in a row as I was into ultra distance then and had a hiatus from racing.  In 2013, instead of signing up for the 21K race, I opted to do a 5K only courtesy of Men’s Health Philippines, and skipped the following obstacles: climbing a net over a bus, climbing a rope, monkey bars, and the dreaded eight-foot wall. [Related: Urbanathlete Diva, second edition or 2/e, please click here]

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Urbanathlete Vicente Blue about to tackle the monkey bars. (Photo by Leadpack)

I wasn’t able to attend the Men’s Health Urbanathlon (MH URB) media event two months ago being out of town at the time of its launch yet so lucky still to have been invited to be part of the MH URB race this year in Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna.  Many thanks to fellow bloggers, Queenie of Lifeofque.com and Jinoe of Takbo.ph for the complimentary kit that they gave not only to me but also to a fellow ultramarathon runner, Norvs.

I think I’ve messed up in the last few weeks before the big race that it became a race week summed up as a stressful stretch days. I had to strike a balance between work life and social life. A bit sleep-deprived getting into the groove of consistent nighttime workouts (running and swimming), weekend racing, attending media events, and updating this blog. Not that I’m complaining on all of these.  In those moments where I am so challenged by these activities, I am thankful for the love,  opportunity, and support of my family and friends.  

Men's Health Urbanathlon 2014
Yours truly, Jinoe of Takbo.ph, and Norvs of Team Soleus at the activity area. Vibrant shirt colors make us look  so Christmassy. (Photo by Leadpack)

I found the route a new experience for a 21k for MH URB being used to running this event on the roads of Metro Manila. The first 15 kilometers included gradual uphills and the latter part, which to my surprise, included a route of two or three kilometers of the trail reminiscent of the last few kilometers of the Soleus Valley 30-kilometer Trail Challenge in June this year.  There was one obstacle to tackle before the turnaround point at approximately KM10 or 11.  Water and energy drink stations were set up in just the right areas  to keep us hydrated, and with very friendly and courteous staff.  Both the road and trail route marshals cheered on urbanathletes as they passed them on their way to the next obstacle challenge, and they are just as courteous as the water station staff.  Medic Rescue is on standby the day of the race.

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With Yael Yuzon, vocalist and guitarist of the band Sponge Cola, also a MH URB finisher. (Photo by Running Photographers for Leadpack)

It was also nice to see long-time friends Michelle and Craig Logan, and had the chance to pace with them albeit a short one before they ran past me.  Good to also see familiar faces among the gathering crowd at the finishline. Thank you Bave DC and fab Vicente Blue for the cheer as l crossed the finish line. Pretty much appreciated. Thanks also to Norvs for the support.  A shout-out to Running Photographers, especially,  to Reggie Cruz and  RJ Knight Runner for the nice photos.

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Urbanathlete Michelle Logan looking so fit and about to try the monkey bars. (Photo by Leadpack)

To sum it up, yeah, I enjoyed the MH URB so much! Out of nine obstacles, I only skipped the monkey bars. That I had to climb over the van with the net twice and the dreaded eight-foot wall, I successfully redeemed myself.   Super thanks to the attending marshals including Coach Joar who assisted me to complete the obstacle challenge.  

Congratulations to Men’s Health Philippines,  Doc Lyndon of Leadpack Race Organizer, their media partners, sponsors, and to all finishers and winners for a job well done.  By far the best Urbanathlon race l have had experienced! Looking forward to the next one!

Filinvest City Endurance Weekend, 8-9 Nov. 2014

RACE INFORMATION

ENDURANCE MTB
8 Nov. 2014, Saturday
Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
6 AM – 6 PM
3 KM/lap
Gun start: 12-hour category – 6 AM
6-hour category – 12 noon

Minimum number of laps to qualify as a finisher (solo and team categories)
12-hour category – 20 laps
6-hours category – 12 laps

All finishers will get a medal!

Race Pack Inclusion

Race bib with RFID
Bike number with RFID
Event shirt
Lunch meal (for the 12-hour category)


ENDURANCE TRAIL RUN
9 Nov. 2014, Sunday
Filinvest City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City
6 AM – 6 PM
3 KM/lap
Gun start: 12-hour category – 6 AM
6-hour category – 8 AM
3-hour category – 3 PM

Minimum number of laps to qualify as a finisher (solo and team categories)
12-hour category – 18 laps
6-hour category – 9 laps
3-hour category – 5 laps

All finishers will get a medal!

Race Pack Inclusion

Race bib with RFID
Event shirt
Lunch meal (for the 12-hour category)


RACE ROUTE

REGISTRATION FEES


REGISTRATION CENTERS

Soleus 30-Km Valley Trail Challenge Finisher

29 June 2014 — It’s about time.  I normally try to avoid trail races.  Being a road racer for quite a number of years now, I’m confident in my own turf.  But for trail running on unknown place, I get scared somehow as trail racing is a new thing for me.  I received invites for a test run or a road race in the south of Manila in the past, but I always begged off.  Yet on Sunday, I finally got to run and finished a more* than 30-kilometer (km) trail race on the trails up back in Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna.
*My Garmin registered 31.46 km which is more or less almost a 2-km extra distance.  Race Director Jonel Mendoza mentioned these extra kilometers hence a cutoff time of 6 hours and 30 minutes was set to all 30-Km participants.
  
Sometimes Things Just Fall Into Place
Do you ever have those times when things just seem to fall into place, where everything will just cooperate?  It happened to me countless of times that I considered myself fortunate enough to have experienced them. 
When I received an invite from HPC assistant brand manager for Adidas Body Care Mark Antonio to join a trail race for free, I immediately took a rain check.  But Francis, a co-worker/fellow ultra distance runner, talked me into running my first trail race and found myself claiming our race kits at 100 Miles Café in Bonifacio Global City.  
I wouldn’t have met Mark if not for Que of Takbo.ph.  Que had been instrumental in getting me a free half marathon race entry to Run United 2 last June 1.  And it was Jinoe who recommended the place where I could possibly stay in Nuvali.  Thanks Que and Jinoe for being supportive.
I usually capped my Sunday training run by going to Legazpi Park for the Sunday market and buying my fave veggie siopao (steamed bun), Barako coffee, and suman (sweetened rice cake).  It was in that place where I bumped into fellow Happy Feet Caesar, and friend/ultra distance runner Ivy aka Running Contessa.  It turned out we would be in the same running event.
Hours before Race Time 
The final 24 hours before the big race are always filled with nervous anticipation that I could barely slept the night before.  And I was so glad that the hotel where I stayed has a lapping pool.   I did try to take a nap after the swim but just couldn’t sleep because my thoughts were in the upcoming race.  
Finally, the time had come for us to proceed to the event venue.  From the hotel, I together with Ivy, followed two lady runners who were also on their way.  Ivy and I jogged down the street leading to The Fields.  We arrived at the venue with 32 minutes to spare and exchanged pleasantries with fellow old new running friends.  I also dropped by at the Adidas Body Care booth and Soleus booth to just say “hello” to some people who have facilitated my entry in this race.
Couldn’t help but notice some new things though at the race venue.  I saw a Start/Finish arch pretty much like when one is in a road race.  Well, I got used to seeing the usual Start/Finish tarp placed on the road. Also, the number of participants had significantly increased that I hardly knew anyone anymore (except for a few friends in the crowd). They even installed a timing clock now.  Truly, organizing a race like this was no easy feat considering this is not a usual road race.  I even wondered how they were able to set up the hydration tent and other stuff at KM15. That was a lot of hard work on the part of the organizing team.  
 
Taken at KM 15 (Photo Courtesy of Alex Jones)
I didn’t have any game plan for this except to try and finish it before 9AM as I found the sun too hot the previous day. I also prayed that it would not rain on race day.  Thank God it didn’t.  My only concern was getting lost during the race that’s why I decided to stay at the back of the pack while waiting for gun start.  It was a wrong move on my part as it was hard to overtake once we were already traversing the trail.  Some slow moving runners didn’t know how to give way to other runners who were faster than them.  Once I saw the road ahead I tried to make up for lost time by running the first uphill.  Mind you it was an extra challenge to really find the balance when running a trail road. 
 
Those who are unfamiliar with trail running (like myself) would likely learn very quickly that one has to wear the correct shoe for the terrain since it can be difficult to navigate largely because of the unevenness of the path. Plus the fact that at times I would be ducking and dodging low branches and overgrown brushes, these definitely slowed me down. One thing I’ve learned from this race is that trail running would have more lateral movements and extra time needed to finish a good race.
I was oblivious to my surroundings, so absorbed in thought and anxious to get the race over and done with. But I did notice how beautiful the path was before KM 15. From afar, I could see runners ahead of me in a single line, some have even reached a hill, and if only l had brought with me my camera that would have been a great moment to take. When I saw a herd of cows I thought, “So this must be the “New Zealand” that they were talking about.” I saw a couple of runners took time out to take some photos with the herd.  I continued to run. Up ahead were runners on their way back.  I thought the turnaround point was almost there but I was wrong.  Those runners approaching me were the 50-km participants.  Holy smok! They were fast! It was nice to see some familiar faces, mostly batchmates in previous ultra races. I had a nice time greeting each one of them.  Just like the old days.  I never knew until I’ve reached KM20 that we, 30-km runners, wouldn’t be doing any loop.  And I was happy with that.  It became a run-walk strategy for me. 
 
My Way to the Finish Line 
 
On the last 7KMs, I did some speed play since there were lampposts on the side of this much developed path. Each lamppost became my target.  The sun shone brightly on that day.  It was no easy walking now in between overgrown grasses that at times, the clouds are a welcome respite from the relentless heat and sun.  It was here that I found myself humming songs so as not to get bored.  
Photo Courtesy of Running Photographers
What is the area of the last few meters before the finish line called, a waterway where one had to jump over it and avoid getting the shoes wet?  I jumped over it but my right foot hit first and I supposed I landed wrong that I lost my balance, teetered and almost hit my head on the ground, but a runner behind me reacted quickly enough to catch me before I hurt myself.
 
However, I had a calf muscle cramp.  The pain was excruciating and lasted five or so minutes that I almost fainted.  I couldn’t move my leg and it went numb.  The two runners assisted me and the other one even massaged my right calf.  These two guys were my angels that day.  Though I didn’t get their names, would be forever grateful to them for helping me that day.  Thank God I finished this trail race still in one piece…
 
Many, Many Thanks
 
Ivy aka Running Contessa for being with me in this race, for all the support; assistant brand manager, Mark Leo Antonio and marketing manager, Elma Magbuhos of Adidas Body Care for sponsoring my entry to this race and for accommodating my fellow runner/colleague FR Hortelano. Thank you Jinoe and Que for all the support.  Many thanks to Seda Nuvali Hotel staff Niel, Arman, and Chino for accommodating my request; Soleus brand manager Judith Staples for assisting me during the race kit claiming.  You truly are a woman of action. Team Soleus is so lucky to have you.  Jonel Mendoza, race director and Frontrunner magazine editor, thank you for the warm welcome; to Ana Que for the photo; Running Photographers for capturing the moment. Congratulations, too, to John Lozada, my running coach who, just like me, was a finisher in this race.  Kudos to all who made this race a huge success!  Until next time!