UTMB is the world cup of trail running and our Pinoy Bets gave their best efforts. We’re hitting several milestones. Majo Liao becomes the first Filipina UTMB Finisher while Gene Olvis set the fastest Pinoy time for the UTMB Course. Sandi Menchi also finished 21st female in the TDS category.
Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is regarded as the most difficult foot races in the world that takes the runners to the Alps of France, Italy and Switzerland. It’s about 166 kilometers with about 10,000 meters worth of elevation. Team Philippines was well represented in the main race as well as the other side events.
The journey to the starting line is also another story with the participants earning points in the different trail events. There were also numerous fund raising activities in the trail running community. Everybody who started the race is a winner already just by qualifying for the races. It’s also good to give a hand to the different race organizers offering qualifying points and a venue to harness the skills and endurance in the different trail events. Of course, we also have a very strong trail community headed by Trail Running Philippines who was there every part of the way. It takes a village to raise a champion.
It was really exciting following the UTMB race as the elites pushed themselves to the limits with Francois D’Heane of France finishing 19:01:52 followed by Killian Jornet of Spain. At the side events, we had also a lot of noteworthy performance with Sandi Menchi setting the best Filipina ranking in an international race of this caliber being the 21st Finisher of the 119K TDS Distance. Aldean Lim also finished the TDS distance. Carla Jereza finished strong in the OCC Category. Erick Guieb, Mark Itol and Edmund Cura finished the CCC Category. We have five finishers in the UTMB distance with Gene Olvis setting the fastest known time by a Filipino Athlete in the event at 35:33:54 followed by Miguelito Carranza, Conrado Bermudez, Majo Liao and Donald Hermoso.
It’s a good week for trail runners and this opens the doors for more trail runners joining international meets and also performing well. Congrats to the participants and to the Philippine Trail Running Community. See you at the trails.