Issue of September 10, 2017
Mt. Province

69th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Carranza, Abahan power RP team triumph in UTMB
by Ofelia C. Empian

BAGUIO ULTRA RACE PRIDE -- Sandi Abahan raises the Philippine flag when she finished the 119-kilometer plus 7, 250 meters elevation Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie race of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc 2017 in the Alps, recently. -- Contributed photo

Both first timers in the mecca of all trail running events in the world, homegrown athletes, PO3 Miguelito Carranza and Sandi Menchi Abahan, proved they truly are world-class athletes after charging the Philippine runners in the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) 2017.

Carranza finished the UTMB trail placing second in the top five of the overall finishers from the Philippines with the time of 37 hours and one minute trailing league leader Hermogines Olvis who finished the race in 35 hours, 33 minutes and 54 seconds while Conrado Bermudez is on third place with 40:18:29.

In fifth place is Donald Hermoso with a time of 44: 18:53.

Carranza, the first member of the Philippine National Police to compete in the race, placed 481 in the overall result while Olvis was on 380th spot then Bermudez on 781 place and Hermoso on the 1,383 spot.

Meanwhile, the only female finisher joining the Philippines’ top five is Maria Josephine Liao with a time of 42:15:14 was in fourth place while number 1,050 in the overall race result.

The UTMB finishers conquered all 167.5 kilometers of the trail route.

Abahan is the race leader for the Philippines’ result of the Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS) race of UTMB with a time of 23:27:16 and finishing at an impressive rank of 21 in the overall distaff side (and 234 overall UTMB) while Aldean Philip Lim finished with 26:32:27 time and 470 rank overall UTMB. The duo went through 118.4 km. of trails.

Abahan’s achievement was hailed by the running community as the best rank a Filipino (male or female) has achieved in the UTMB so far.

Carranza and Abahan were thankful to the people who supported them in their international race.

“Sa kabila ng lahat nangibabaw pa rin ang alab ng aking puso at pananalig sa Diyos kaya lahat ng papuri at pasasalamat ay aking binabalik sa kanya. Walang hanggang pasasalamat din sa mga taong tumulong sa journey na ito, sumabay sa mga ensayo, sa UTMB Pinoy 2017 para sa friendship, sa mga sumuporta at nagdasal para sa akin, ang Diyos na ang bahalang magbalik biyaya sa kagandahang loob ninyo,” Carranza said in his FB post.

The two will join fellow Cordilleran elite runner Roland Wangwang as finishers in the international race, which he also conquered back in 2015.

Other finishers from the Philippines include Rhoderick Guieb leading the Courmayeur- Champex - Chamonix race (101 km.) with 21:42:10 and placing 814 overall; Mark Itol with 23:22:47 time and number 1,065 and Edmund Cura with a time of 26:16:44 and at 1,692 spot overall.

Carmina Luisa Jereza is the lone Filipina that joined the Orsières-Champex-Chamonix (56 km.) trail route with a time of 11:22:33 and placed 1,000th overall.

Francois D’haene of France topped the UTMB race with 19:01:32 time followed by Killian Jornet of Spain with a time of 19:16:38.

UTMB was held from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3 in the Alps, passing through France, Italy and Switzerland.  It is considered one of the toughest foot races in the world and attended by more than 10,000 runners from all over the world featuring the full course of the UTMB and four other side events.

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