April 24, 2024

Elite Cordillera trail runner Rhys Yvan Dale Pawid and seven-time defending women’s champion Majo Liao emerged as top winners in the King of the Mountain Trail Run-Hardcore 100 (H1) Miles trail race set in the mountains of Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet on May 18 to 20. 

Pawid, an Ibaloy from La Trinidad, Benguet with a rank of senior jail inspector, clocked in at 28 hours, 25 minutes, and 12 seconds to rule the race while Liao from Quezon City defended her reign in the distaff side finishing with 37:35:12.

KOTM H1 CHAMPION — Bureau of Jail Management and Penology S/Insp. Rhys Yvan Dale Pawid has emerged the overall champion in the King of the Mountain-Harcore 100 Miles with a time of 28 minutes, 25 minutes, and 12 seconds. In second and third placers were Nel Valero and Don Santillan, respectively. The trail route covers Mount Pulag and Mount Ugo, both in Benguet. — KOTM photo

Both runners led the grueling 100-mile race which has a success rate of 28.5 percent or 45 finishers out of 158 starters. The organizers said this is the second lowest rate of all time since the first edition of the H1 race, which was 27.9 percent or 12 finishers out of 43 runners.

Notable in the race is Pawid becoming the fast-emer-ging figure in trail running in northern Luzon. He also earlier topped the inaugural KOTM Pulag 100 edition last April.

In the Facebook post of his sportsman father Harland, he said the success of Rhys is also due to the person who worked behind the scenes, his brother Zachary, who assisted the runner from the start to the finish.

“It warms our hearts to see Rhys and Zach fighting together against the toughest terrains and weather conditions – being each other’s advocate and wall to lean on. The best one-man support crew indeed, our Zachary,” the older Pawid said.

Tailing Pawid in second place was Nel Valero with 31:39:30 time and Don Santillan in third place with 34:20:18 time.

Pawid and Valero both took home the much sought-after gold buckle for finishing under 32 hours.

Completing the women’s podium were Nikki Han on second place with 38:23:10 and Kimberly Gaela on third place with 38:52:02 time during the race that took runners to two major peaks: Mount Pulag Tower at 2,800 meters above sea level and Mount Ugo at 2,150 MASL, and several hills and hamlets in between in the towns of Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and in Itogon and Kabayan in Benguet. – Ofelia C. Empian