After a year’s absence, the Salomon X-Trail Run graced the grounds of the Tampines Mountain Bike Park & Trail once again in its fourth showing. Kudos to all 2,459 runners who braved the mud-riddled grounds with true raw grit. The white-based shoes that probably wouldn’t see the light of day ever again. The brown-stained apparel. The physical, mental and emotional drain gotten from keeping a tight focus on the terrain. The near falls and ankles twisted. Need we say more? If you were a mere road runner before attempting this race, we’d say you’ve more than graduated to the next tier.
Standards were definitely above par in terms of timings achieved. This year’s Salomon race saw runners from Kenya, China, Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, America, France and the United Kingdom, all impress. The winner is not exactly a surprise package. Moses Kandie, a 25-year old aspiring Professional Athlete from Kenya, snapped up the top prize in the Men’s Open with a time of 37min flat. Note: this is undulating trail, not smooth tarmac.
When asked about his motivation to race, Kandie says “About 3 years ago in 2008, I’m upcoming professional. I just see my friends in Kenya and then I decide to run because it’s a good source of income now in Kenya.”
Our blessings are with you Kandie. We sincerely hope you make that dream come to pass.
From what we observed from afar, there were a few sections along the route where the plethora of runners had to shuffle into a single file – causing a massive reduction in overall pace. Yes, there were those who were frustrated but in good spirit, the not-so-fast handfuls weren’t all that hopeless.
“It’s only because people get tired and especially because the men started first. So the slower men, you’re kind of stuck behind them. But if you just shout ‘coming through on your right’, they do move aside and you got trail shoes – doesn’t mean that you have to run on the path right?” shares Jeri Collett, the 36-year old Stylist & Photographer who claimed Silver in the Women’s Open.
It’s also heartening to know that those unfamiliar with trails reaped exponential gains in off-road experience.
“I mean when you run road, it’s pretty straight, easy to predict. And it’s not like trail where you got all the elements. You know, natural elements. The weather, the terrain, rocks. I have to fix my eyes on the ground constantly to prevent myself from falling down in case I trip over some rocks.” comments Clement Zhuo, 29, Civil Servant.
Just a word of advice for future trail attempts. Purchase proper trail shoes. They wash easier than whites. They are sturdier. And they offer better protection.
- Moses Kipsan G. Kandie – 37min 00sec
- Dev Kumar Rai – 37min 15sec
- Jason Paul Lawrence – 38min 48sec
- Anna Helowicz – 47min 29sec
- Jeri Collett – 52min 45sec
- Pamela Chua Hui Ting – 52min 59sec
- Al Yeoh – 44min 14sec
- Yap BK – 48min 00sec
- Ng Wee Hock John – 48min 28sec
- Itsuko Lewnes – 47min 44sec
- Anne Lavandon – 55min 03sec
- Sara Tristan Lee – 56min 16sec