July 13, 2024

EMPOWERING PWD FOR SPORTS — Nine para-athletes in the country have joined and finished the grueling 12-kilometer event of the Asian-leg of the Altitude Obstacle Course Racing World Series in Mt. Pulag National Park on March 26. The participants will also have a chance to join the inaugural World Highest Altitude Obstacles for para-athletes in Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa in March 2023. — Contributed photo

Nine para-athletes showed their prowess as among the 97 participants during the Asian leg of the Altitude Obstacle World Series held at Mount Pulag National Park on March 26.
Mark Joseph Casidsid, a visually-impaired, led the men’s 12-kilometer distance followed by Renson Embradura and John Michael Brecino after going through the 12-obstacle race just like everyone else in the 12-km. race. 
Andrea Estrella ruled the distaff side followed by Ma. Angelica Torres and Jeanell Kay Lorenzo.
The para-athletes are composed of nine persons with disabilities, amputees, and visually-impaired participants.  
The inaugural World Highest Altitude Obstacles for para-athletes will also be held in Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa in March 2023.
Meanwhile, local trail runners dominated the 12-km. distance race held on March 27 still in Mt. Pulag and organized by the Philippine Trail Running Association.
Dexter Barian, a police officer from Baguio City, led the 12-km. men’s category at 1:18:04 followed by Bokod Deputy Chief of Police Lt. Reynaldo Bonuan at 1:18:05 and 14-year-old Clint Roy Tomas.   
Marjorie Belo of Baguio topped the female side followed by local female tour guides Jane Ymana and Sylvia Pacliwan. 
World-renowned runner John Ray Onifa ruled the male side of the 21-km. at 2:07:26 followed by fellow elite trail runner Kristian Jorgensen of Denmark at 2:13:10 and Randolf Gonzales at 2:20:09.
Cecille Wael topped the distaff side at 3:27:47 followed by Chantal Abiao at 3:37:29 and Irish Glorioso at 3:39:07.  
Philippin Obstacle Sports Federation (POSF) event director Tin Ferrera said the organization donated handwashing sinks with water tanks, projectors, printers, school supplies, and laminators to support the residents of Sitio Babadak in Kabayan, Benguet. 
“The association of local guides was also provided with computers, projectors, and printers.  In addition to these, a local guide training will be conducted from April to June to prepare the residents for the full reopening of the Mount Pulag National Park for tourism,” Ferrera said.
POSF president Alberto Agra said their partnership with the community in the inaugural event would also be a long-term relationship as training ground for the athletes and in turn, empowering the community where the sports will be held. – Ofelia C. Empian