December 2, 2023

A historic run was recorded by three ultra-runners, who conquered the 100-kilometer run from La Trinidad, Benguet to the two highest points of the Philippine highway system in Atok, Benguet and in Tinoc, Ifugao on March 13. 
Cordillera ultra-runners Dennis Garret Lee, Jessica Amos, and Isabel Quipse finished the challenge in 19 hours.
Lee, who conceptualized the activity said no one has ever ran traversing both the highest points in the region with the newest in Tinoc at 2,428 meters above sea level (MASL), and the 2,225 MASL in Atok.
Some bikers passed through both points but no one did it running before them.
“Our months of running and fitness goals were realized in this achievement. Anything is possible if you envision, prepare, and execute the plan. The pandemic has brought us together as a running gang, earned us the moniker as “ultratito” or “ultratita” and ultimately solidified our friendship,” Lee said.
The trio started their journey at the Benguet Capitol in La Trinidad at 1:15 a.m. then ran towards their first aid station in Natubleng, Buguias with friends led by Team Pinikpikan trailing them for the first 60 kilometers.
“The climb on Natubleng was quite hard. We took our time, walking and jogging in between. Atty. Isa was still going strong, as she usually took the lead in pacing us. I made sure that I was running behind the ladies, as there were vehicles that were zipping past us from behind,” Lee said.   
From the Amgaleygey view deck in Buguias, the trio proceeded to Loo, Buguias, where they prepared for the 12-kilometer ascend to the highest point in Tinoc.
With fatigue setting in at the first four-kilometers ascend, the trio walked at the steep portions and jogged some runnable sections, all while encouraging one another to take a step further.
At the middle of their climb, it started to rain but they persevered until they reached another mobile aid station as night settled in.
Equipped with lights and blinkers, the ultra trio braved the rain and the cold while thick fog blanketed their route.
They were relieved when biker friends told them they were just eight kilometers away to their destination.
They reached Barangay Eheb, the seat of the highest point, and pushed until reaching the highest point marker onto kilometer 100.
“We were cheered on, met with hugs and congratulations. We were overwhelmed and happy to have achieved a historic milestone. We were the first in the country to bridge the gap between the new highest point and the old one on foot. To add to our happiness and elation, our friends secretly made impromptu chopping board plaques to award us for our daring attempt. It felt like we won a race and we were all champions,” Lee said.
The trio thanked Team Pinikpikan for the mobile aid station and transport: Louie Ganayan, RJ Tan, Sepbirt Awisan, and Pao Arganosa, Michaela Dumelod, Janessa Calaowa, Marlon Africano, and all those who cheered for them. – Ofelia C. Empian