May 27, 2024

An ultra-trail challenge featuring four categories is set within the scenic Camp John Hay forest reserve on Jan. 28 to 29 next year.

Dubbed “VJ100 Ultra Trail Challenge” the event will feature 10-kilometer, 20-km., 50-km., and the premier 100-km., according to event chief organizer and seasoned ultra-runner Robert Watson.

GRACING VJ 100 TEST RUN — Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurztbach, a long distance enthusiast, joined other personalities in gracing the test run of the VJ100 Ultra Trail Challenge that will take place within Camp John Hay reservation on Jan. 28 and 29, 2023. Bemedalled ultra-trail runners from the Cordillera also joined the test run. — VJ 100 photo

Each loop covers 10 kilometers, which means participants in the premier 100-km. race will need to complete 10 loops to finish the race within the cut-off time. The 50-km category will have five loops while the 20-km. will have two loops.

Powered by Intrepid Spirit, the event registration started on Oct. 31.

Top ultra-runners in the country and overseas are expected to join the challenge.

Watson said some of the country’s top ultra-runners, including those based in Baguio City and Benguet, joined the VJ 100 test run on Oct. 1, as he claimed some of them are future VJ professional team members and VJ ambassadors.

Gracing the test run was ultra-run enthusiast, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

Watson said they tested two promising timing and tracking solution providers and a solution that delivers personalized highlight videos for each and every event participant within 24 hours.

“These solutions will soon be available for other event organizers who wish to improve their event experience and engagement for all participants, their family, friends and fans and most importantly, greatly improve the safety of participants whilst out on the course,” Watson said.

Among those who joined the test run are Southeast Asian Games obstacle course racers Kyle Antolin and Sandi Abahan; siblings Al and James Tellias, who are both champions in some of the toughest ultra-races in the country; Gabb Rosario, who saw action in three Spartan World Championships; Miguel Carranza, a silver and gold medalist in the World Police and Fires Games 2022 cross country race; Ybeth Velo, the champion in the 2019 Pulag 100 champions and 2019 The North Face 100 Philippines silver medalist; and Silamie Apolistar-Gutang, a silver medalist in the 2021 World’s Highest Obstacle Course Race and champion in Spartan Ultra.

Local ultra-runners Dennis Lee, the age group champion in 2022 Spartan Trail 21-km and age group winner in the 2019 Tawid Mountain Marathon; and Edu Losnong, fifth place in the 50-km. of the 2019 TNF 100 and second place in 49-km. event of the 2020 Akyathlon Philippines joined the test run. – Harley F. Palangchao