This year, Salomon X-Trail Run delivers a trail route that has a huge variety of terrains: dry soil, grasslands, puddles, mud, gravels, boulders, tarmac, boardwalk, you name it. The start line and finish line is at the same location, 50 Punggol East, Parade Square.
Race Pack Collection
Participants collected the race packs one week before the race, at Salomon outlet in Kallang Wave Mall. The race pack consisted of a Salomon shoe bag, an orange-coloured event T-shirt, race bib, two bottles of Lucozade Sport isotonic drink, a RUN magazine, and a voucher for Salomon products.
Before the Race
As I alighted from the train at Riviera LRT Station, I could hear the pre-race warm up music filling the air. I exited the station, walked to Parade Square, and felt the immense enthusiasm from race participants as well as organisers dancing to the upbeat songs.
While waiting for flag off, I got myself ready for the run. I grabbed and gulped a cup of plain water, provided by the organiser. Then I deposited my lucky draw paper into the lucky draw box on the stage, even though I knew I usually have slim to zero chance of winning any lucky draws.
The 10km Competitive Run started at 4pm. Less than 5 minutes into the race, we faced our first obstacle: mud. Fortunately, it was just a short stretch, and not long after that, we reached Park Connector.
Along Park Connector, the race marshals directed participants to run on the designated trails and to avoid running on the tarmac. I appreciate the organiser’s effort to include as many trails as possible, this is a trail run after all.
There was no distance marker along the way, so we didn’t know how far we had run. The route was well-marked with arrow signs and orange ribbons. There were many marshals to guide runners in the correct directions.
Next, we found ourselves running on grasslands. It was a little wet in the beginning, but my feet stayed dry, thanks to my waterproof shoes.
The first drinking station was located here at the grasslands. The organiser called it “water point,” but only Lucozade Sport isotonic drink was being served, not water. I was hoping for cold drinks but sadly it was not cold. Anyway, I gobbled it up and continued my run.
What I saw next, left me dumbfounded. A vast green grassland with tall trees on the horizon, complemented by blue sky. No sight of civilisation, only humans and nature. It was enchanting. It was surely a rare sight in Singapore.
My excitement was short-lived. Next up was puddles. I thought I would survive with waterproof shoes and come out dry. But then reality hit me.
At one point, the water was higher than my ankle, thus my feet had to say goodbye to staying dry. I heard another runner’s desperate mourning, “Oh no, that’s it.” From there onwards, I ran with wet feet, there was no escape.
Moving forward, we ran along the trails at Park Connector towards West Entrance of Coney Island.
The second drink station was located outside the entrance.
It was my first time in Coney Island despite my frequent runs at Punggol Waterway Park. My first impression of Coney Island? It was a peaceful place. I felt like I was in a remote area, far away from the hustle and bustle of Singapore.
Orange coloured traffic cones were placed in the middle of the trail, the right side was designated for race participants while the left one was for the public. The island was not crowded on that Saturday afternoon; it was a perfect place to reconnect with nature.
Over 2km later, it was the East Entrance. I left Coney Island behind and was guided by marshals to a stretch of boulder slope by the water. This is something I didn’t expect. This became my second favourite part of the trail; the first being the vast field. I couldn’t resist asking a fellow race participant to take my photo.
The trail continued on to soil ground, then pavement. Soon, we reached the third drinking station. From there, the route led us to Lorong Halus Wetland Park. When I saw the steel truss bridge of Lorong Halus, I knew I was back to civilisation and getting close to the finish line. The marshal on the bridge remarked that it was 1.5 km to the finish line.
I pushed through Punggol Waterway Park, then turned to Punggol East. It was finally the last stretch of the race. Marshals were cheering as I approached the finish line.
After the Race
I did it. I completed my first Salomon X-Trail Run. With damp feet, legs covered in dirt, body and face covered in salty sweat, I crossed the finish line. The finish line entitlements were plentiful: a medal, a banana, a bottle of cold mineral water and a bottle of orange-flavoured Lucozade Sport isotonic drink.
I settled myself down at Parade Square, fuelling and hydrating with the entitlements I had just received, while watching the prize giving ceremony and lucky draw. Five fortunate winners received prizes from the lucky draw. And I was not one of them, as usual.
As the lucky draw concluded, the 4.8 km Fun Run began at 5.30 pm. I made my way home, reminiscing about the good times I had during the run.
The race had lived up to its slogan: It’s your time to play the great adventurer and make all trails your playground!
Did you participate in the Salomon X-Trail Run 2016? Share with us your race experience.