June 21, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

After being declared as champion, an ultra-runner was disqualified for breaking a rule in the recently staged King of the Mountain: Hardcore 100 Miles race in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and Itogon, Benguet on May 23.

Jacob Madalang of Sagada, Mountain Province was the first to arrive at the finish line of the grueling race with a record of one day and seven hours, 40 minutes, and 40 seconds. He was essentially declared as champion with a three-hour advantage from the second placer.

H100 TOP WINNERS — Baguio’s own Miguel Carranza placed second in the grueling King of the Mountain: Hardcore 100 Miles race in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and Itogon, Benguet on May 23 which was topped by Kik Russel Suello of Zamboanga with Marvin Aniñon placing third. — MC Facebook photo

But after deliberation, organizer Intrepid Spirit led by race director Robert Watson issued a statement of Madalang’s disqualification for violating rule 33, which prohibits running without a shirt or top.

Video and photos of the triumphant arrival of Madalang at the finish line showed that he was only wearing a hydration vest, which Watson said was not considered a top.  

“We understand the disappointment this news brings, but adherence to race rules ensures fairness and safety for all participants. We wish Jacob a swift recovery and hope to see him compete again under the highest standards of sportsmanship,” Watson stated.

GRACEFUL IN DISQUALIFICATION — Despite being disqualified from the King of the Mountain: Hardcore 100 Miles race on May 25 for running without a shirt in the latter part of the race, Sagada, Mountain Province’s Jacob Madalang (left) graciously accepted the race organizer’s decision and is seen here sharing a light moment at the podium with champion Kik Russel Suello. — Migz On-onod

He added the disqualification does not undermine the race performance and effort of Madalang to finish the race.

Madalang, for his part, said he agrees with the decision of the race organizer and admitted he did not read the rules making him unaware.

He said other runners abided by the rules despite the hot weather, and if they would reconsider his mistake, it would be unfair for the others.

“I would be lying if I say this does not hurt. No one knows that better than me. But I’m also aware that it hurts for everyone, including our race director,” Madalang said.

He said the experience of running the H1 race is enough incentive for him.

“That was my very goal ever since last year. Plus, I finished it in under 32 hours. Disqualified or not, that’s mine and no one can change that,” he said.

The organizers gave Madalang a free H100 race kit for next year, where he promised to comeback stronger.

Zamboanga City’s Kik Russel Suello took his place as the official champion of the H100 race with one day, 10 hours, 11 minutes, and 51 seconds time while UTMB alumnus Miguelito Carranza followed with one day, 12 hours, 24 minutes and 50 seconds on second place.

Marvin Aniñon came on third place with one day, 12:58:48 time while fourth place finisher Freddie Blanco followed with one day, 13:23:32 time.

On the distaff side, Julian Morales took the top spot with one day, 17:22:54 while Michella Joyce Aradanas was on second with one day, 18:17:12 and third placer was Ann Jillian Pulanco with one day, 18:29:03 time.

Baguio City’s Elizabeth Dangadang championed the Hardcore 50-mile event, overpowering her male counterparts with a time of 8:53:44 while Canadian Scott Alm trailed her on second place at 10:35:52 and Delfin Osias on third place at 11:12:55.

The KOTM-Hundred miles is the first 100-mile trail race in the Philippines. It takes runners to two major peaks: Mount Pulag Tower and Mount Ugo, and several hills and hamlets in bet-ween.