BONTOC, Mountain Province – Contenders participating in the 2017 Lang-ay Trail Run found local runners a tough nut to crack as four of them stood up to the challenge and shared the spotlight with two runners from Benguet atop the podium.
Bauko’s Thomas Combisen clocked 10:23:52 to top the men’s 42k category, siblings Gilbert and Rowena Agang-ang of Sadanga got into a mad dash towards the finish line to emerged with the best time in the 21k category, and Sagada’s Katrina Luspian grabbed the women’s 12k jewel.
Combisen nipped Ronnel Valero of Nueva Ecija, who checked in a second later. Romando Cumahling form Nueva Ecija got the bronze courtesy of his 12:25:13 clock.
Gilbert’s time of 4:56:19.65 was 20 minutes ahead of his closest pursuer, Larrson Ganayhan of Kibungan, Benguet, while Rowena came just a split second later at the 4:56:20.34 to outgun perennial podium finisher Arlene Uyamni of Ifugao, who checked in at the 5:10;19 mark.
Shindler Blanza (5:46:08) of Bontoc and Jascel Picat (6:37:08) of Ifugao bagged the bronze for the men’s and women’s 21k, respectively.
The Agang-ang siblings were the only 21k runners who had a time of below five hours.
Luspian crossed the tape at the 1:55:02 mark, shadowing Marilyn Bunolna (2:24:35) and Sandra Inobiahan (2:46:37).
On the other hand, two runners from Mankayan, Benguet took the other two golds. Renee Taguibos clocked 12:40:57 to top the women’s 42k distance while Jovencio Luspian, Katrina’s hubby, topped the men’s 21k with a clock of 1:30:11.
Taguibos was one of the two women who survived the 42k distance within the cut-off time. Sharon Rose Torres came in second at the 14:19:21 mark.
Jovencio’s time was trailed by Jephonneh Anongyen with 2:01:38 and Limuel Brien Buenafe with 2:02:50.
The Luspian couple were the only 12k runners finishing the distance under two hours.
This year’s Lang-ay Festival Run brought together beginners and elite runners from inside and outside of Mt province due to the racecourse designed for runners who are looking forward to have their first taste of a trail run as well as the setting of a fleeting record time for a half marathon trail run for the experienced.
It also helped raise funds for establishing a stable and self-sufficient blood bank of the Red Cross, Mountain Province Chapter, aside from its usual raising of environmental awareness, sports tourism, and physical fitness through the sport of trail running.
This year’s edition featured three of the 10 beautiful municipalities of Mountain Province, Tadian, Bauko, and Sagada, who showed distinct and captivating sceneries as well as their hospitality and warm reception to the participants.
By: ARMANDO M. BOLISLIS with reports from JENNIFER C. GUEVARRA.
Other sights from the run (photos by WILFREDO DAOAS, THOMAS COMBISEN AND AYA MONARES):