Despite cramps and abrasions from unexpected falls but the look of satisfaction and contentment were the common feelings in the faces of all winners to finishers of Bohol’s notably most brutal trail.
Endurance runners from Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Leyte all flashed the thumbs up signs at the finish line when asked about the Alicia Panoramic Park Trail R 2018 course.
This as they showed nerves of steel and unparalleled determination as two runners hobbled off to cross the finish line in a classic one-two finish with only 23 seconds difference.
The two successively broke the tape amidst the modest cheering of a crowd two hours and eight minutes after completing the brutal 21 kilometer The Alicia Panoramic Park (TAPP) Trail Run 2018.
Meanwhile, a Boholano marathoner from Inabanga surged into the podium to finish fifth, the only one among locals who barged into the top spots in the grueling race that rolled off at a brisk pace, 5:30 am, February 10.
Bonifacio Monjas of Leyte and now of Naga Cebu, wearing number 18 racing bib and Paul James Zafico #140, of Cagayan de Oro played to the hilt a rivalry to the finish as both picked the pace to outrun each other as the chasing runner was about a minute behind them when they claimed the first and the second place.
Monjas completed the entire loop in 2:08:17, just 23 seconds ahead of Zafico who clocked in at 2:08:40.
Behind them was Andy Tunacao (#9) of Hilongos, Leyte, the pack leader as the runners assaulted the wicked ridges of Cambaol Alicia, towards the DENR ranger station sitting on top of the Binabaje Peak where the first checkpoint was located, some 5 kilometers into the race.
Ilongo, Roger Molinos (#158) completed the race in 2:36:01, about 3 minutes ahead of the runner in pursuit and Boholano pride Candelario Logronio (#21) chested the tape at 2:39:35.
In the women’s category, Baybay City runner Noriebelle Guinto (#137) picked the gold spot for the 21K challenge finishing the race in 3:32:19, ahead of Precious Mae Villaber of Cebu (#144) came in five minutes later at 3:37″23 to pick the silver post.
Another Baybay City runner Fe Hoffner Von Styggenien (#49) picked bronze finishing at 3:43:49 after the gunstart.
Jade Abellana (#66) came in fourth clocking a 4:04:01 followed by Jessie Ejoc (#75), 14 minutes later at 4:18:38.
179 runners signed up for the 21K, another 193 for the 5K run according to Richard Anania, TAPP Trail Run 2018 race director.
For the 5K male category, crossing the line first was Julius Abayabay (#5079), 2nd Daryll Gelicame (#5025), 3rd James Palma (#5181), 4th Benjo Namoc (#5009) and 5th Lloyd Lester A. Liwagon (#5200).
For the 5K run which hied off from The Farm at 5:00, Alicianhon Tarcela Titus (35143) crossed the finish line first and was the swiftest even after conquering the notoriously not for the beginner Alicia trails.
Following her was Rosario Romero (#5129), Mikee Alanis Tuyor (#5180), Czarina Platino (#5023) and (#5171)
Alicia Mayor Marnilou Ayuban and Vice Mayor Victoriano Torres III handed the awards and tokens to the winners as well as witnessed the giving of finishers medals to runners who each completed the race course within the cut-off time.
The TAPP Trail Run is the first running event Alicia has offered as part of its Foundation Days and we were thinking a maximum of 50 runners signing in, admitted Alicia Tourism and Information Officer Gudelia Lumugdang.
Race director Richard Anania however said the turnout was more than expected. Over 300 runners braved the Cambaol ridges, if only to prove they can conquer themselves and mountains before them.
On this, Mayor Ayuban hopes that they can sustain the activities at the TAPP and hopefully reap the tourism benefits of their environment friendly trail race. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)