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Salomon City Trail Manila 2015

Posted by on 8. September 2015

Hot and Humid Fast Paced Tour Around Intramuros

  • Date: September 6, 2015
  • Distance: 12K
  • Venue: Intramuros, Manila

#Salomon #CityTrailManila2015 is among the coolest races you could join.  It combines the rigors of trails with the pace of road and the rich heritage of Intramuros.  Trails can also be in the city in the city as Salomon City Trail gave as 4 different looks of Intramuros. City Trail had us navigating asphalted and cemented roads, cobblestone paths, uneven surfaces, grass lands, stairs and concrete ramps.  The warm temperature and the humid environment also made the course tougher but the scenic historical backdrop of Intramuros made each stride worth it. #SalomonPilipinas #MakeEveryRunAnAdventure #TrailLove

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Salomon City Trail 2015

With The Jazzruner Rene Villarta, Running Diva Roselle Dadal and Takbo.PH founder Jinoe Gavan

It’s my second year running Salomon City Trail and I like how they have reinvented trail running.  Yes, I do love going out of town or out of the country hitting trails and getting lost but I also like the convenience of enjoying the challenges of the trail in the city.  City trail simulates the rigors of trail running by using more common obstacles like stairs, uneven surfaces, steep ascents or a hill and a lot more in an urban setting.  This is Salomon’s way of bringing the trails in the city.  No wonder Salomon is the world’s number 1 when it comes to trail raining with both the Xtrail and the City Trail, which are both global events.  Intramuros was the perfect setting as the run not only felt like a trail challenge but it’s also a tour of history. Salomon City Trail Manila 2015 was held last September 6, which also had a theme of a sunset run with the race assembly starting at 4 pm.

With Ms Tezza, Sir Rene and Sir James

Unlike your average road runs, this race provides unconventional challenges like running up the stairs, bridges and ramps to simulate different foot strikes that one encounters in trail running.  With Intramuros’ landscape and rich heritage, Salomon City Trail Manila takes urban dwellers through the country’s history by running and touring at the same time.  The race was also a green run, which meant there were no disposables throughout the race.  There were hydration stations powered by Gatorade, situated strategically throughout the race route, where runners can refill their self provided hydration bottles and belts.  It was a great experience for everybody whether you did 6K or 12K as everybody enjoyed the scenery of Intramuros, got challenged by its trails and some even got to take home some special prizes from Salomon, SUUNTO and R.O.X.

Everybody’s raring to start the race.

Salomon is the key sponsor of the event in partnership with R.O.X., SUUNTO, HISTORY CHANNEL, GATORADE, AVIDA-Arca South, Rexona, Spy, Stance, Otterbox, ExoXgear, GoalZero, Megafiber.  The Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Multisport, Travellife, Endurance, Raceday, Pinoy Fitness, When In Manila and Takbo.ph were the media partner of the event.

Race Route

Race Route is powered by Suunto Ambit 3 Sports Movescount

The race started in Fort Santiago area in Intramuros and started with the first loop at the outer corridors of Intramuros going over Bonifacio Drive and P Burgos Avenue before returning to Intramuros going through a combination of road and wall portion in Muralla.  The second loop was passing through the roads of Sta Lucia and looping back to Muralla Area.  The third loop was in General Luna area and looping back to Muralla.  The last loop was on the full length of the Intramuros wall, passing by Maestranza before heading back to Fort Bonifacio for the Finish.

The Race

All set for the race

One thing I love about afternoon runs is that you don’t have to wake up early rush your race preparations in the morning.  I headed over to Intramuros around 3 pm for the 4 pm assembly, Gunstart was at around 4:45 pm.  It was nice meeting friends once again who were either runners, bloggers or part of the organizing team.   That’s me on races, I don’t usually get to note who’s running and who’s not but I just know that I’ll be meeting a lot of familiar faces during the race.  We had a lot of time to catch up especially that City Trail would be more of a feel good run for most of us. It was a hot afternoon and from thereon, I added the heat and humidity as an additional challenge already.  After the pre-race activities, it was gun start.

Taking Selfies with Neville while running – Photo by Neville Abuso

One of the key changes in the route this year was doing the outer corridors of Intramuros first and that changed the complexion of the race.  Since most of the areas in the outer corridors along Bonifacio Drive and P Burgos Avenue is relatively flat, this meant it was a fast start for all of us. The first two kilometers of the race was in a fast and furious environment.  We were able to take some selfies though as I met Neville along the route in P Burgos. It was basically run, catch your breath and run again.  The first 2 kilometers was really fast and add the heat and humidity in the equation, I was fast draining my energy reserves.

It was a fast and furious start.

As we entered Muralla area in the first loop, it was a short run before the ascent to the walled area.  I took the walled area as my chance to rest a bit as the uneven surfaces meant a slower cadence.  I would take a chance at the bricked area to run, rest on the ascents and go fast again on the flatter area of the wall though I remained cautious with my strides as the uneven surface can cause me to trip.  I would then walk the remaining area to the water station and the steps that led back to Muralla Street where I would run again to finish of the first loop.

It was a faster tour of history

The second loop started at General Luna and headed to Sta Lucia where we were running below the wall.  What I noticed here is that I am starting to struggle getting longer run intervals as my heart rate is already high and my energy reserve is low.  The heat and humidity can be a real energy drainer.  I had to shift strategy. I didn’t want to just walk it off.  So I had to alternate a shorter run and walk interval.  So I tried different combinations of run – walk and just wanted to ensure that I would keep on moving forward and won’t be lazy the rest of the race. I would also splash water on my head to cool down a bit from the warm environment.  I had the same strategy on the wall, rest on the uneven surfaces and climbs and push on the flatter areas.

Balancing the effort on the walls.

The third loop was passing through the whole stretch of Gen Luna and crossing over to Muralla Area.  The rest of the stretch of General Luna had some cobblestone paths, scenic churches and also some old structures.  I had to slow down a bit to appreciate the views.  It was the same effort of doing short runs with short walking rest intervals.  I just had to sustain the effort.

The 4th Loop was the scenic loop.

The fourth loop was like the second loop except that we had to run on the walls instead of the streets.  We had more variety of surfaces here as there were grassy area. There were stone surfaces that were mossy and slippery.  There were a lot of uneven surfaces that went along with several ramps to scale.  The best part of the area was the scenery. You can see the golf course. You can see the historical structures.  I just had to stop every now and then just to take photos.  This was my sight seeing loop but of course, I still had to insert some effort in between.

Run Franckee Run Photo by Jose Ramizares of Running Photographers

This is one of the reasons I love running this race as you get for different views of Intramuros and the last loop was my favorite. After navigating the wall, we then headed off to Maestranza area where we had to run in the dungeon and it was already dark inside.  We had a Zombie Outbreak on this dark corridors before so you should know what’s going in my mind at this point.  It was spooky but even if I would worry about ghost or zombies, I was more concerned of not tripping while running in the dark.  After the corridor, it was then the last run to the finish.

Time to finish the race. – Photo by Hansen Buasen

It’s the last few meters of the race so it was time to give it an all.  I let go if checking the heart rate and I just went on the road back to Fort Santiago for a strong finish, which was faster by more than 10 minutes from last year’s finish time.  That was a really fast, fun and challenging race.

Credits to Race Director Erick Guieb and the rest of Team Salomon for a great race.

Outfit Of The Race

Back in the Race

  • Race Singlet: Adidas with Francramon.com My Runs designed by Breakout Design
  • Shorts, Socks, Trucker Cap: Under Armour
  • Shoes: Newton Distance IV (Debut Race)
  • GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
  • Eyewear: Salomon
  • Camera: Go Pro Hero 3+



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