Race preview - Cordillera Mountain Ultra
This Sunday's Cordillera Mountain Ultra is the first race for Asia Trail Master championship points in the Philippines this year. The 50km main event takes place on and around Mount Ugo in the vicinity of regional centre Baguio, and is organised to the benefit of environmental NGO Cordillera Conservation Trust. While current points leader Manolito Divina is still allowing his body to recover from the Malaysia Eco 100, several other strong Filipino runners will be starting this weekend. Among those is Majo Liao in the women's, who is the double winner of CM 50 Ultra, the Philippines' SuperTrail race at the end of November. Liao is expected to be one of the protagonists for the women's championship as the season develops. Quite a few women in the start list for CMU, though, so one never knows if someone causes an upset on race day.
In the men's we have an open race on paper. Local area experience may boost chances of Thumbie Remigio, who earlier this week spoke of the challenge of climbing Mt Ugo the way they do in CMU, and Alison Telias. Jonel Mendoza and MTB champion Arnold Lozano are others to watch out for, along with a contingent of foreign runners.
CMU follows the Cordillera Mountain Marathon that was organised last year. While Mount Ugo dominates the race profile, fast climbers will need to ensure to keep something in reserve for the final 8 km to the finish in Dalupirit. The start of the race is scheduled for 4:30 a.m. and as usual we will be reporting live on social media, subject to available connectivity.
All runners are also encouraged to support the work of the Cordillera Conservation Trust. Every small donation counts, and, in any case, the local coffee is excellent!