June 20, 2024

Three women trail runners of Benguet are set to join the Philippine contingent for the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships on June 6 to 10 in Innsbruck, Austria.

Trail running champions Elizabeth Dangadang, Christabel Martes, and Gretchen Felipe will represent the country in the international event along with nine other members of the Philippine Trail Running Association (Philtra) who showed their mettle in the recently-concluded Philtra Championships in Bontoc, Mountain Province.

Dangadang of Baguio City led the women’s category in the 42-kilometer category during the event sanctioned by the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (Patafa). 

Runners-up of the full marathon – Zamboanga’s Aggy Sabanal and Leyte’s Cecille Wael, will also compete during the international outing.   

As the top winner of the half-marathon, or 25-km, Felipe of Itogon, Benguet has qualified for the international race along with former marathon queen and coach Martes of La Trinidad, Benguet who placed third during the Bontoc Trail Run, and Angeli Cabalo of South Cotabato who placed second in the same event.

The country’s male representatives are Antique’s Larry Apolinario who topped the Bontoc marathon and will be joined by Arnie Macaneras, Godwin Mirar, and Randolf Gonzales.

Completing the men’s lineup are Jayson Zonio and John Ray Onifa.  

The 12-man Philippine team will join the biennial event organized by the World Mountain Running Association, the International Association of Ultrarunners and the International Trail Running Association, with support from the World Athletics.

The team’s training is ongoing led by renowned trail running coach of elite athletes Andy Dubois of Australia and will be assisted by Martes. 

The team will undergo an exclusive trail running camp in San Mateo, Rizal and Baguio City and will need any assistance to be given to them for their training and logistics for the world championships. – Ofelia C. Empian