LARRY Apolinario of Antique and Baguio’s Elizabeth Dagandang scaled the mountains of Bontoc, Mountain Province to reign supreme in the full marathon leg of the Philippine Trail Running Championships (Philtra).
With the scenic Cordillera mountain ranges serving as the backdrop, Mr. Apolinario and Ms. Dagandang endured the high altitude, 42-kilometer race while braving the challenging terrains and cold weather for the title of the Philtra event sanctioned by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA).
The thrilling win of Mr. Apolinario catapulted him to the top of the Philtra series leaderboard, tie with steady rival Arnie Macaneras of Davao as Rizal’s Jayson Zonio completed the marathon podium to stay in the Top 3 of the overall race for the men’s division.
Ms. Dagandang, for her part, solidified her lead in the women’s category with her marathon win to keep chasers Agustoralin Sabanal-Marte of Caloocan and Cecile Wael of Leyte at bay
Standouts from the full trail running series will be part of the Philtra national development team, from which the Philippine representatives to the World Mountain Trail Running Championships in Austria this June will be chosen.
“We are thrilled with the success of this year’s Philippine Trail Running Championships,” said Tin Ferrera, vice president of Philtra, on the event participated by 23 elite runners and almost 200 enthusiasts.
“The athletes showed incredible determination and perseverance, and we are proud of all the participants who took part in this year’s event. It is also a great opportunity to discover new talents, especially among the local athletes who joined the 12k and kiddie run categories — the future of the sports.”
Meanwhile, Rizal’s Randolf Gonzales and Benguet’s Gretchen Felipe won the short distance category for men’s and women’s division, respectively.
South Cotabato’s Angeli Cabalo, despite finishing second, maintained the lead in the full series with Baguio’s Vinson Ramos ruling the 12km race. — John Bryan Ulanday