John Ray Onifa and Kristian Joergensen delivered an awesome battle at the end of the Philippines SuperTrail in the 2019 Asia Trail Master Championship, the iconic Cordillera Mountain Ultra. With just a few km of the 47km left to run till the finish in Tinongdan, Joergensen caught Onifa, who had been dominating the proceedings almost from the start. However, the Filipino still found an extra gear to outsprint Joergensen again in the last Kilometre downhill towards the suspension bridge that leads back to the main village! Onifa’s time was an amazing 5:31. Last year he came second in this race behind Harry Jones.
Koi Grey finished in third place a bit later. The home favourite opted for a quiet start but returned to the front relentlessly. Third place is a fantastic result confirming his come back to competition once more. He could have been the new leader in the ATM Championship as well, had it not been that Anders Iza Rekakoetxea and John Ellis were next in the finish. The Manila-based Spaniard Rekakoetxea was overtaken by Koi Grey in the last few kilometres, but fourth was good enough to become the new ATM points leader! Earlier this season, he was 3rd in the 50 miles race of the 9 Dragons in Hong Kong.
John Ellis ran very well after five weeks of rest, and fifth is a strong result for him. He left Davao’s Elias Tabac and Japan’s Hisashi Kitamura behind at the end. Ellis, Kitamura and leader Rekakoetxea are scheduled to compete again in the Dalat Ultra Trail next week, the Vietnam SuperTrail in the ATM Championship.
Filipino Arnie Macaneras was brave to follow Onifa for roughly 8 km, but paid the price at the end. Macaneras, who won Fifty Mapawa last season in a time faster than Onifa’s in 2017, arrived back in Tinongdan in 8th. Miguel Lopez and Malaysian Azuan Asmuni rounded up the men’s top ten of a fantastic racing day.
In the women’s, Veronika Vadovicova scored a highly impressive victory in 6:31. The whole morning she had a small margin over American Laura Kline. When the young Slovakian ex triathlete briefly went off course, Kline took the lead but eventually could not respond to Vadovicova when the latter caught her again. Sandi Menchi did well to finish third, even when the two western ladies proved too fast. Cheryl Navarro comes in as fourth and is the new points leader in the Asia Trail Master Championship! Navarro was second in last month’s Akyathlon. Fredlyn Alberto is fifth today, and misses just 11 points to claim that points lead. Alberto was second in the 9 Dragons 50 miles race earlier this season.