The first time I ran the Salomon X-Trail run was in 2010. Almost 3 years ago! Back then I wasn’t that interested in trail running, so I ran the non-competitive category of 5km. That was probably the last time the run took place at Macritchie Nature Trail before being moved to the Tampines Mountain Bike (MTB) Trail.
Despite relative inconvenience of travelling West to East in the early hours of the morning, I had a change of heart to take part in the run. This change was mostly due to my developing love and appreciation for trail and ultra running. It was a good choice, as I was very happy to be reunited with fellow Singaporean runners who took part in this years Sabah Adventure Challenge. I haven’t seen most of them in a long while, though I did meet Kim Hong at the Salomon Vertical City Trail run a few months earlier.
I wasn’t familiar with the terrain of the Tampines MTB Trail, given it was my first time running there. I was reminded of how brutal running on undulating trails can be, something I first experienced when I ran in Sabah. And I’m sure to encounter more as I travel to take part in overseas trail races.
I felt quite burned out during the first half of the course. Maybe due to the adrenaline rush of trying to keep up with the lead runners as fast as I could. Nevertheless, I let Andy (my training partner) overtake me during later half of that stage of the race. I soon caught up with him at a water point, before regaining my pace for the second half, and subsequently striding ahead during the last seconds of the race.
In summary, it was a great event. Despite being informed that participant turnout may be have less this year than expected, I felt a closer bond with other like minded trail runners than most other running events I have taken part in. It was good to see familiar faces and great to see young trail runners out in the field.