Joergensen and Wael claim victory on Mt Talinis
Kristian Joergensen has won his second ATM points race win in his running career in a difficult Mt Talinis Mountain Ultra on Negros Oriental in the southern Philippines. The Manila-based Dane ran together with Davao’s surprisingly quick Arnie Macaneras for 50k, until the Filipino left aid station 7 at the end of the mountain descent half a minute slower than Joergensen. Macaneras apparently felt the pressure and then somehow took a wrong turn, which eliminated his chances for victory. Joergensen’s time was 10:14 unofficially. It was a pity to see Macaneras quitting the race after going the wrong way. A second place would have been his and a podium picture alongside Joergensen and Sherpa would have put him on the Asian trail map with opportunities to come. Unfortunately, now he is just a footnote in the race story. Asia Trail Master Champion Alessandro Sherpa therefore finished in second place, adding 450 useful ATM Championship points to his tally. As in Borneo TMBT, the Italian was only a minute, two minutes behind the leading duo for the first half of the race, yet somehow did not bridge that gap and eventually lost more terrain. Still, for Sherpa it is an important result as he keeps his title ambitions alive, even though he will be needing a win soon and preferably in a SuperTrail (Thailand or Japan, or the ATM Final in Malaysia). Baguio’s Koi Grey is the highest ranked male Filipino runner in this year’s ATM Championship and after a conservative early phase, made his way up the leaderboard. Nobody descends a mountain faster than Koy Grey but even Talinis was a tough one for him. He caught the very solid Noy Gentoleo only after the most technical parts but still he stormed to the podium and grabbed third place. Koy Grey moves back into the Championship top five. Noy Gentoleo came in as fourth.
The women’s race saw a first ATM career win for Ces Wael from Manila. Ces Cornista Wael was also the dominant force in the race, but she made her own life hard by taking a wrong turn towards the end and losing heaps of time. As such, Bangkok-based Elviemma Catabay actually managed to catch up still. Nevertheless, Ces Wael claimed victory and she is now a superb third in the ATM Championship ranking. That’s impressive as she has been working very hard to get to this competitive level. A lot of people were very happy to see the women’s podium being completed by Grandmaster and Filipino trail icon. Cheryl Bihag. When the going gets tough, Cheryl’s always right up there at the end. Even established and younger podium runners such as Melanie Hingpit were unable to match her pace on and around Mount Talinis.