STA. CRUZ, DAVAO DEL SUR. The trio of Jonathan Pido, Angelito Sibayan and Edwin Bueno of Carmen, Davao del Norte has dominated the recently-concluded 1st International Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge on April 29-30; an extreme adventure race from the heart of Sta. Cruz to the summit of Mt. Apo through disciplines of mountain biking, trekking/running and water tubing. Pido and company completed the race route with a total time of 22 hours, 51 minutes and 42 seconds beating highly-favored teams Merrel 1 and 2.
Team Merrell 2 composed of last year’s champion Christopher Eyao, Dexter Nonato and Dennis Ararao was at far second place with a total time of 24 hours, 10 minutes and 48 seconds while Team AMOSS (Francis James Labanon, Paul Mendoza and Albert Calo) finished third place completing the race at 25 hours, 34 minutes and 30 seconds.
The top six race finishers are Team PMI of Quezon City (Jhomilodin Lucman, Rayzon Galdonez, Anelia Lucman), Team Climb Apo/Mulatto of Digos City (Franklin Nere Ponce, Marcial Catangui, Jeser Paro), Team Bugsay Dabaw (Arvie Kane Abejuela, Gideon Demafeliz, Niño Uyanguren), Team MKRTGA of Bukidnon (Jay Ian Leduna, Walter Galasanay, Diomedes Diagro), Team Bibwak of Bukidnon (Francis Emmanuel Toyrada, Jessie Bert Sulatan, Julie Ann Cabang) and Team Franklin Baker (Michael Palmes, Dioscoro Genonsalao, Joey Capapas).
Team Bibwak of Bukidnon was also the first recipient of a prestigious Sportsmanship Award.
The champion received a cash prize of 150,000 pesos plus trophies while the second and third place were given 100,000 pesos and 75,000 pesos, respectively. Finishers also received a consolation prize of 10,000 pesos each and medals.
Foreign teams who joined the competition were from Indonesia and Australia. There were nineteen teams actually joining the challenge that include the Pastour Emata-led Team Merrell 1, Team PNP Manila, Team Tinikaran of Davao City, Team Kagrupo of Digos City, Team Panahik of Bukidnon, Team Climb Apo Tour and Services of Digos City, Team DOLE Philippines from Polomolok and Team BG of Tagum City.
“Aside from raising awareness on environmental protection, the race also aims to promote the spirit of sportsmanship,” said Sta. Cruz Mayor Atty. Joel Ray L. Lopez.
The 1st International Mt. Apo Boulder Face Challenge is an initiative of the Local Government of Sta. Cruz as a highlight event of the annual Pista sa Kinaiyahan celebration. It is strongly supported by the Provincial Government of Davao del Sur, Department of Tourism, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Trade and Industry, Mountaineering Federation of Southern Mindanao, San Miguel Brewery and Aboitiz Power. (Report from JULIUS R. PANER)