May 21, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian

Visiting runners Ian Acierto of Nueva Vizcaya and Shekinah Glory Velasquez topped the grueling Pulag 100 race event set at the tri-boundaries of Kabayan, Bokod, Baguio City and Itogon in Benguet and at Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya on April 6.

Acierto, a native of Solano, Nueva Vizcaya, led the race with a record of one day and five hours and 41 minutes to lead all 35 starters where 20 runners did not finish (DNF) the 110-kilometer race.

PULAG 100 CHAMPIONS — Ian Acierto and Shekinah Glory Velasquez won as individual champions while Team Bolt consisting of Brenda Lyn Balucas and Nephil Villalon Parel (not in photo) was the relay champion of the grueling Pulag 100 held at the tri-boundaries of Kabayan, Bokod, Baguio City, and Itogon in Benguet and at Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya on April 6. — Intrepid Spirit photos

The annual Pulag 100 race is a mix of dirt paths, single track trails, and concrete roads with many demanding ascents and descents.

Florence Alave of Iloilo province placed second as he finished the race in one day, seven hours, 41 minutes, and two seconds while Juan Basilio Salang III of Malaybalay City, Bukidnon came in closely by a hairline in third place with one day, seven hours, 41 minutes, and three seconds.

Terence Nicolas Go placed fourth with one day, nine hours, 49 minutes, and 59 seconds while fifth place finisher was Jake Pointer Conte with one day, 26 minutes, and 39 seconds.   

Velasquez has emerged the female champion as she finished the race in one day, 15 hours, 42 minutes and three seconds and placed in 13th overall.

Team Bolt, meanwhile, emerged as the relay champion with Brenda Lyn Balucas on leg one and passing the baton to Nephil Villalon Parel on leg two. The winning duo recorded an official time of one day, 11 hours, 47 minutes and 34 seconds.  

With a starting line at the Pulag Ranger Station, the participants went through the seven aid stations racing in Kabayan, Benguet; Kayapa; Itogon, Benguet; and with finish line at Camp John Hay.

The total elevation gain of the race was around 8,946 meters while total elevation loss was at 9,882 meters.

The Pulag 100 is a precursor to the Hardcore 100 Miles (H1), which is the centerpiece race of the King of the Mountain (KOTM) Trail Run. H1 aspirants are encouraged to join the Pulag 100 event one year prior to H1 to “get a feel for the longer-distance race”, according to organizers.