April 14, 2024

The “Last Stand of Yamashita” trail run being held in Kiangan, Ifugao is now a qualifying race for the King of the Mountain (KOTM) events in the country. 

Team Malaya founder Stephen Felices, who organizes the Yamashita trail run, said the top male and female champions will now be qualifiers for the KOTM national championship. 

Being a qualifying event for the KOTM is an honor, as the latter is one of the pioneers in trail running events in the country.

The KOTM series consists of five trail running events held annually in the  mountain ranges of the Cordillera and Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya.

The events are the Mount Pack Ultramarathon (MPU50) conducted in January, Old Spanish Trail 50K (OST50) and Four Lakes 100K (FL100) in February, Pulag 100K (P1) in April, and Hardcore 100 Miles (H1) in May.

Felices said the KOTM also gives a chance to local athletes to race abroad, such as at the world’s oldest 100-mile trail race – the Western States Endurance Run.

Launched in 2015, the trail run designed by Felices traces the trails of Japanese Imperial Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita in Hungduan and Kiangan, Ifugao where he and his army tried to make their last stand at Mt. Napulawan, but eventually surrendered in Kiangan on Sept. 2, 1945.

The last stand of Yamashita race, which is the first leg of the grueling Mountain Mountain Man Ultra series of Team Malaya, is slated on Nov. 19 to 20.

The event features two categories – the 21-kilometer and 50-km race.

The event is in partnership with the municipal government of Hungduan. 

Registration is ongoing.

Visit the Team Malaya Facebook account or www.teammalaya.org for more information. – Ofelia C. Empian