New vacation trend in PH: Race-cation

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2017 07:08 AM

Athletes hit the beach to warm up before the Aboitiz Tri race. Handout photo

MANILA – For years, we’ve seen Filipinos go on a short vacation without leaving the city (staycation), fly out for work (workation), and travel to another country to watch a concert (concert-cation).

But have you heard of the “race-cation”?

The term became popular in the United States sometime in 2014, but it is recently starting to gain traction here in the Philippines, especially with the growing number of race events in the country.

As the term suggests, a “race-cation” combines a sporting event with rest and relaxation. From being a solitary hobby, running, cycling, and triathlon have become the reason for some couples – even families – to plan a trip. 

Take, for instance, actor-triathlete Matteo Guidicelli and singer Sarah Geronimo, who are frequently spotted on vacation in Cebu during a race event.

Naturally, several hotels and resorts have benefited from this new vacation trend. One can only imagine how rooms are fully booked at areas where race events – which are usually attended by at least 500 athletes – are held. 

One of the first to have tapped this potential for growth is Pico de Loro in Nasugbu, Batangas, which has been hosting a triathlon race annually since 2011. 

The event, now known as Aboitiz Tri, attracts athletes from across the Philippines, and even from other countries.

AFTERNOON RACE

The Aboitiz Tri was created with the race-cation in mind. Unlike most races which is set at around 5 a.m. on a Sunday, this is the only triathlon that kicks off on Saturday afternoon for both the standard and relay categories. 

This allows athletes to have a more relaxed schedule before the race, giving them plenty of time to bond with their partners and families. 

And with the awarding ceremonies held at night, they can go straight to bed and rest instead of returning to Manila.

An athlete reaches the finish line at Aboitiz Tri 2017. Handout photo

Partners and companions of participants also benefit from this setup as it gives them more time to enjoy the sights and sounds of the area. 

NEVER BORING

Perhaps what sets apart Pico de Loro from other race-cation spots in the country is that it offers a little bit of everything – not only to athletes preparing to race, but also for their companions.

The property is home to beautiful beaches and dive spots, and also encompasses three major mountain peaks. Within the resort community are condominiums, a members-only country club, and a full-service hotel, each offering a different vacation experience to guests. Even strolling around the area is enjoyable, with plants, trees, and a man-made lagoon offering great views at every turn. 

One of the many stunning views at Pico de Loro. Handout photo

Guests can hop on Pico de Loro’s free shuttles from the hotel or condominiums to the beach, where the Aboitiz Tri starts, or have a leisurely walk. 

While waiting for the athletes to reach the finish line, they can have a delicious meal, a relaxing massage, a dip in the pool, a quick game (billiards, bowling, tennis, squash or basketball), a dance class, and even a videoke session.

Have a dip in the pool while waiting for your partner or companion to finish the race. Handout photo

If they’re feeling a bit adventurous, they can go out of the resort community and try scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, island-hopping, and hiking.

(ABS-CBN News was invited by Pico de Loro for a race-cation during Aboitiz Tri 2017, which was held last September 2.)