Abahan to defend title in OCR World in Mt Pulag
Cordilleran elite athlete Sandi Menchi Abahan will defend her title this year in the Altitude Obstacle World Series slated at Mt. Pulag on March 25 to 27.
Abahan, together with fellow national team member Elias Tabac of Davao, won gold medals in their respective categories in the first World’s Highest OCR-Asia in Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania in September 2021.
Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation head coach Thumbie Remigio, in a press release, said it would be the first time that the country will host such world-class event in the heart of the Cordillera.
“Hopefully, this event will allow more Filipino athletes to have the chance to participate and represent our country in the world championships,” said Remigio, who is also the competition director of the World Obstacle Federation.
The event will be at Sitio Babadak, Bashoy, Kabayan, Benguet. Participants will go through the trails heading to the summit and back with 12 to 15 obstacles along the route.
POSF Event Manager Tin Ferrera said they are targeting 300 participants for the event with 150 athletes per day during the two-day event.
She said they will also provide slots for local athletes especially coming from the grassroots in Benguet and nearby provinces surrounding Mt. Pulag.
POSF will follow the protocols submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force and the agreed safety protocols with Kabayan and host barangays.
Only fully vaccinated participants from alert level 2 and below areas who have negative antigen test results may participate.
Ferrera said the POSF has also pledged donations for the community outreach activities, professional training of mountain guides, athlete grassroots project implementation, and repair of tourism facilities in the Mt. Pulag area.
She said the event will help Kabayan and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected Area Management Board in benchmarking the restart of its tourism. Mt. Pulag has resumed accepting tourists from Baguio and Benguet.
She said all the resources including the participants’ meals and accommodations would be supplied by the community around Mt. Pulag.
The top 50 male and 50 female athletes will qualify for the altitude OCR world finals in Mount Toubkal, High Atlas Mountains in Morocco in July.
After the OCR event, the Mt. Pulag Trail by Philippine Trail Running Association will commence on March 27 following the same trail in the area. – Ofelia C. Empian