Abahan tops females in 3rd Pilipinas Akyathlon

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

SANDI Abahan blazed past other competitors to add another stellar moment to her running career after topping the female overall during the recent 3rd Pilipinas Akyathlon held in Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet.

Renewed from her third place finish in the 21K Subic International Marathon January 26, Abahan snatched her first gold medal this year after checking in at 4 hours 59 minutes and 50 seconds.

“Hindi ko akalain na ganito pala itong race na ito, simula pa lang ramdam mo na iyong hirap lalo after the first few kilometres tapos umpisa na ng mga paakyat na route,” Abahan said.


Abahan, a first time competitor for the event, said she was surprised to land atop other female competitors.

“Wala ako masyadong idea na ako ang first place sa female, ang iniisip ko nalang habang tumatakbo eh tapusin yung race kasi sobrang hirap lalo na sa last 3 kilometers or so,” said Abahan.

“Challenging talaga ang experience, different kaysa sa mga normal na marathon na nasa patag lang na lugar,” Abahan added.

Compatriots Maria Josephine Liao came in second place with 5:16:06, while Merryle Kiat Regaspi landed third with 5:46:55.

Dai Matsumoto from Japan topped the male overall with his new record to beat 3:39:06, while countryman Yoshihito Condo came in second with 3:28:14. Last year’s champion Clement Dumont from France placed third with 4:00:14.

Martes Balaso (4:27:39) topped the male 18-29 age bracket while Allison Tellias (4:27:39) and John Nino Monte (4:46:30) took the second and third spots, whereas Tinongdan’s Gretchen Felipe (5:57:02), with Mia Constantino (6:43:09), and Pi Bacol (7:45:08) topped the female in the same age bracket.

Last year’s second place male Dino Mantilez finished fifth overall with 4:12:27, a 2:40 difference to the first Filipino to finish this year, fourth overall Robert “Bullet” Arellano with 4:12:27.

Department of Tourism director Purification Molintas said the sports event was a great help in promoting the tourism for the province.
“We are hitting almost three birds with one stone in this event. We are promoting the area, we encourage tourists to visit and most important we are generating a response that will make people comeback whenever they want to,” said Molintas.

“Actually after this we are already to discuss the fourth staging for next year, and we hope to increase the promotion especially in tourism for Tinongdan and the whole of Benguet,” Molintas added.

The Filipino top male and female finishers for the Pilipinas Akyathlon will represent the country in the 28th Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon this coming October.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on February 12, 2014.


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