July 23, 2024

Bontoc, Mountain Province is currently hosting the 1st Southeast Asian Trail Running Cup that started on June 19 and ends today, June 23, with participants from eight countries in Southeast Asia.

The event is a biennial competition that gathered trail runners from Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and the host country – the Philippines, as they showcased their courage in the challenging terrains in the province.

TEAM PHILIPPINES — Cordilleran ultra-trail champions form part of Team Philippines currently competing in the 1st Southeast Asian Trail Running Cup happening in Bontoc, Mountain Province. The international event will surely boost the eco-tourism industry in the capital town and its environs. — SEA Trail Running Confederation graphics

 With over 200 elite runners participating in the event, the competition has displayed athleticism and cultural exchange. It also serves as the platform to showcase the landscape and natural beauty of Mountain Province to the world.

Bontoc Ma-yor Jerome Tudlong, Jr. said he is looking forward to declaring the municipality as the “Trail Running Capital of Northern Luzon” if the mountain trails of the ca-pital town become a favorite spot for runners. 

Cordilleran runner Christabel Martes, a participant in the short trail category has shared her excitement in taking part in the competition, “I am excited in joining the first South East Asia Trail Cup. I have been running for 32 years, and this is my third year in trail running.”

Martes has highlighted the learning experience the event offers for coaches and the privilege it presents for Bontoc tourism. She believes the community will experience and watch how international athletes perform and showcase the best of Filipino runners.

The event has allowed the runners to traverse through mountain ranges, pine forests, waterfalls, rivers, rice terraces, and grasslands. – Celeste T. Galuten