UT Mapawa - Filipino aces to get in the mix
Ultra Trail Mapawa is on this weekend with nearly all the Filipino stars present in Cagayan de Oro. That includes Asia Trail Master champion Manolito Divina, for whom it will be an important race to safeguard his chances to defend his title later this year. Mapawa Nature Park features a rollercoaster of a course that is 50k in length and has quite some technical bits. It is one of two ATM races on the southern Philippines’ island of Mindanao, the other one being the Mt Apo Sky Race in April.
For ‘Tolitz’, winning this race is not a given. First of all, he only arrived fourth in this race last year, even though he did suffer an ankle injury on the way. Secondly, last year’s winner - local runner Jonathan Pido - is back along with other strong competitors like Kristian Joergensen and Wilnar Iglesia. Especially Iglesia is doing well in the ATM championship himself and will be keen to grab as many points as possible this weekend to boost himself into the top 10. For all top Filipino runners there is still their own SuperTrail coming up next month, Clark-Miyamit Falls Ultra, which means it can be expected several of them will still be making strides forward in the ranking. Other outsiders for podium placings are Thumbie Remigio and Dean Lim, the latter from the AHON squad.
In the women’s race, the big favourite is of course Sandi Menchi, who will be doing her third ATM points race of the season after winning Cordillera Mountain Ultra and Sungai Menyala Forest Trail. Interestingly, including this weekend’s UT Mapawa, Menchi seems to have a preference for 50K races. Generally acknowledged as one of Asia’s most talented trail runners, Menchi is not out of the championship battle yet, but she will need both CM50 and Izu Trail Journey SuperTrail races to still catch up with the current female top 3 in the ATM Championship. Candidates for the podium of the 50K race in Cagayan de Oro are Patricia Ann Morota, Trisha Reyes and Maria Luisa Prado.
We will be reporting on our social media channels as usual as soon as information flows in. Connectivity in the area can be modest.