Manolito Divina returns to victory in Rizal

One week after his surprise DNF at Tahura Trail in Indonesia, the 2016 Asia Trail Master champion Manolito Divina has bounced back during the Rizal Mountain Run in his native country of Philippines. Divina won the tough 50 km race in just under 6h30 and joins Abdoullah Mitiche at the top of the 2017 ATM championship with 500 points. He beat some prime runners in the process yesterday: last year's winner of this race Kristian Joergensen was able to resist for a while but eventually still lost 17 minutes to the champion. Still, Joergensen himself did a fantastic run, as he was almost an hour ahead of Mark Koi Grey, with whom he battled so fiercely for victory in this race last year! Another great performance was delivered by Thumbie Remigio, who despite significant rib injuries succumbed before the start made it to fourth place today! Kyle Antolin and Ernani Occiano were next up, followed by Malaysia's Abang Jamadi Rosli. 

Diorella Cerujano was fastest woman, seventeen minutes ahead of Patricia Morota and last year's winner Cheryl Bihag. Majo Liao opted not to start this year and instead help out with the race organisation, which received praise from the participants. In particular and to note were the excellent marshals and markings, and the adequate medical staff which made runners feel safe and secure on the sometimes quite technical parts of the race course. 

The men's podium.  Credit: D. Salongo dela Cruz

The men's podium. Credit: D. Salongo dela Cruz

Manolito solo in the lead.  Credit: MGM productions

Manolito solo in the lead. Credit: MGM productions