Posts tagged mapawa
Fifty Mapawa: local runners again top the sheets!
Mapawa logo 2018.JPG

Jonathan Pido has won the inaugural 50 miles of the Fifty Mapawa event in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao, Philippines, two years after taking the 50k crown of the same event. Pido had to dig deep, however, as his compatriot Carlo Chiong was less than a minute behind in second place. Both of them were a class apart on the major rollercoaster that is Fifty Mapawa. Established names Kyle Antolin and, especially, Tomohiro Mizukoshi, had to settle for third and fourth place respectively more than one hour behind. Mizukoshi therefore improves his total points tally for the Asia Trail Master Championship, but it isn’t enough to leap ahead of points leader Alessandro Sherpa.

It is not the first time that local runners top the results sheet here in Mapawa. Runners from the south of the Philippines are rapidly making a name for themselves in the Asia Trail Master circuit and beyond.

The 50k race illustrated that fact even more when Arnie Macaneras broke the course record set last year by John Ray Onifa by 3 minutes to win in 6:59:48. Macaneras is from Davao and known as a road runner. Clearly his trail skills are not bad neither as Fifty Mapawa is a technical trail course. Macaneras was unchallenged, yet Spain’s Ander Iza Rekakoetxea and Germany’s Franz Bellot were not slow either. The women’s 50k race was won by Jennifer Quia, who beat Gennifer Bonita and Aggy Sabanal. The latter makes a good move in the ATM Championship, but it will become tough to end the year on the championship podium. Still, Sabanal is just early twenties and certainly one of the discoveries of the season. Majo Liao in the end did not take part in the Mapawa race.

We are looking forward to seeing all those new names back on the ATM tour soon!

Fifty Mapawa: Mizukoshi continues the Sherpa Chase
Mapawa logo 2018.png

After the Thailand blockbuster weekend, the action on the Asia Trail Master circuit continues in Philippines this weekend. Fifty Mapawa is the new name of the Cagayan de Oro event in Mindanao, the second points race on the large southern island of the Philippines after Mt Apo Sky Race last April. Not only the name has changed for this popular race in the Mapawa Nature Reserve, there’s also a new 50 Miles course on the programme alongside the traditional 50k. As this addition came late, it was decided that both the 50 miles and the 50k will be recognised as A-points races for the Asia Trail Master Championship, meaning the winners of each will walk home with 500 points in the bag. Of course, it also means that the field of participants is split up in two and competition will be less dense.

It takes a long time to travel to Cagayan de Oro, but Japan’s Tomohiro Mizukoshi has a mission after his recent inaugural race victory in Plataran X Trail Bali. The Tokyo runner from Roppongi has been an active bee this season and his good string of performances have placed him among the top runners in the Asia Trail Master Championship. Now that he also won a race, and nobody else is really dominant this season, Mizukoshi finds himself in second place, just 110 points shy of championship leader Alessandro Sherpa. The Japanese has already finished 8 points races this season, so is currently trying to eliminate his worst race results under the five-best-count system of our championship. Plataran X Trail gave him the boost, and Fifty Mapawa could propel him into the championship lead this weekend, if he wins the 50 miles race he signed up for. Mizukoshi’s fifth-best result in the ATM books is 6th place in Echigo Country Trail, which gave him 350 points. Only a win in Mapawa (500 points) can put him ahead of the Italian, as a second place equals 450 championship points. That’s a difference of 100, and he needs 110 to overtake Sherpa’s 2300 total.

Obviously, Mizukoshi won’t be running alone and this is a very challenging rollercoaster course that may not be his preferred terrain. Local runner Jonathan Pido won the 50k at Mapawa two years ago and could be his main contender, alongside Kyle Antolin. Fifty Mapawa is the race where in recent years a lot of local talent was discovered, so it will be interesting to see if history repeats itself this weekend in that respect.

In the 50k race most of the attention will go to the female competition. Two of Philippines’ leading ladies will be squaring off against each other for the first time since Cordillera Mountain Ultra earlier this year: Aggy Sabanal and Majo Liao. Sabanal still the new kid on the block, Liao the established front runner with international pedigree. For a long time this season, Sabanal seemed to be a true challenger for the ATM title, but things went quiet after Mt Apo and in Vietnam Mountain Marathon she had to DNF feeling unwell. Today Sabanal ranks sixth. However, a strong result in Cagayan de Oro can put her back on track for a high finish in the championship, which would set her up for some good opportunities in the next season. The same applies for Majo Liao, now 8th in the ranking. The race between them will be exciting as on paper the Mapawa course should appeal to both runners.

Tomohiro Mizukoshi is 110 points shy of Alessandro Sherpa, but can come closer this weekend

Tomohiro Mizukoshi is 110 points shy of Alessandro Sherpa, but can come closer this weekend

Majo Liao returns to action this weekend and is the favourite on the 50k course

Majo Liao returns to action this weekend and is the favourite on the 50k course

Fifty Mapawa is a continuous up & down rollercoaster

Fifty Mapawa is a continuous up & down rollercoaster

Fifty Mapawa now also offers 50 miles!
Mapawa logo 2018.JPG

As announced some time ago, the second Mindanao points race in the 2018 Asia Trail Master Championship series has decided to upgrade its flagship race to a 50 miles distance. Trail Fifty Mapawa thus not only gets a new name (the event used to be called Ultra Trail Mapawa) but also a new face.

Trail Fifty Mapawa will now criss cross the entire Mapawa Nature Reserve, as you can see on the map below. The new 50 miles race is arguably also the biggest roller coaster you can find, as the trails go up and down continuously to reach an elevation gain of over 4500 hm. Asia Trail Master Championship and points chasers should be aware that the “old” 50 km race remains on the event programme as well. Moreover, it has been decided that - this year - the ATM points allocation will be the same for both 50 miles and 50 km distances. Winners on both distances will thus score 500 points.

Last year at Mapawa we witnessed the emergence of John Ray Onifa, who took the measure of 2016 ATM Champion Manolito Divina. It was also the race where current young female protagonist Aggy Sabanal appeared on the ATM scene for the first time. Aggy finished third and this season has built on that performance to become a race winner at Rizal and Mt Apo. One of the most popular running events on Mindanao Island, Trail Fifty Mapawa in Cagayan de Oro not only has an extraordinary profile, it also every year gives us a glimpse of new trail talents.

Registration remains open and is convenient via raceyaya.

Mapawa 50 miles map.JPG
Fifty Mapawa shot.jpg

Trail Fifty Mapawa returns on 28 October

For the third year in succession, Trail Fifty Mapawa, previously known as Ultra Trail Mapawa, will be the second points race for the Asia Trail Master Championship in Mindanao, the large southern island of the Philippines. The event in the Mapawa Nature Reserve, close to major city Cagayan de Oro, is scheduled for 28 October as usual and will again feature the hilly rollercoaster of 50 km and approx 3000 hm of elevation gain. Trail Fifty Mapawa is a very popular local event and over the years has seen the best runners of the country taking part in it. Last season, the trail world got to know current Filippino hot newbie John Ray Onifa in this race, when he dropped Manolito Divina and gave him nearly 30 minutes come the finish line. 

The local organisation in Cagayan de Oro is very welcoming to international runners. There's two main ways to get there. Via a domestic flight from Manila or Cebu, but you could also consider just to fly to Davao and take a bus from there. 

Registrations for Trail Fifty Mapawa will open soon, and technical updates for the 2018 course are also expected in due course.  

Mapawa 50.jpg
Mapawa view.jpg
UT Mapawa - Onifa upsets Divina!
Divina: 2nd place in UT Mapawa. 

Divina: 2nd place in UT Mapawa. 

ATM Champion Manolito Divina had better fortunes at the Ultra Trail Mapawa in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, compared to last year, but he still had to accept one runner was faster than him. John Ray Onifa from Visaya is a new face in the Asia Trail Master circuit and one we will be following closely in the future! Onifa took the bull by the horns at the Mapawa Nature Reserve and led the race very quickly, even building up an advantage of half an hour over Divina, who ran alongside Dane Kristian Joergensen. Tolitz did what he could to bridge the gap to Onifa in the final 10K, but crossed the line 16 minutes adrift. Second place means 450 points, while for sure he was hoping to get the full pot of 500. Divina is still a strong candidate to keep his Asia Trail Master title, but nothing else than victory at Clark-Miyamit Falls Ultra - a race he won the past three years - may be essential. Divina is now 5th with 1950 points, 450 and 1 race less than championship leader Arief Wismoyono. 

Wilnar Iglesia tried to keep up with the pair, but eventually had to settle for fourth place in his third ATM points race of the season. Aldean Lim from our sponsor AHON gaiters & socks had an excellent run to finish in fifth place, even one place ahead of last year's winner Jonathan Pido. 

Introducing John Ray Onifa: winner of UT Mapawa ahead of Divina and Joergensen!

Introducing John Ray Onifa: winner of UT Mapawa ahead of Divina and Joergensen!

In the women's 50k race, Sandi Menchi delivered another commanding run and won her third ATM points race of the season. With 1550 total points in the bag and five races to go, Menchi is still a candidate to join Tahira Najmunisaa, Ruth Theresia and Kim Matthews in the battle for the women's championship. Will she run CM50 or will she not? That is the question. Joining her on the podium at Mapawa were Maria Luisa Prado and Agustorain Sabanal. 

Sandi Menchi remains unbeatable in Philippines. WIth 3 race victories in 2018 she still is in the mix for the ATM Championship with 5 races to go

Sandi Menchi remains unbeatable in Philippines. WIth 3 race victories in 2018 she still is in the mix for the ATM Championship with 5 races to go

UT Mapawa - Filipino aces to get in the mix
Mapawa UT logo.png

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.