Issue of January 7, 2018

Panagbenga Flower Festival
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Child race set in Itogon
by Ofelia C. Empian

With the aim of helping parents introduce the value and love for trail running to their children, the Pilipinas Akyathlon has launched a kid-friendly route for young ones in the upcoming event this February.

Iris Torculas of the Philippine Skyrunning Association said the event, happening in Itogon, Benguet from Feb. 3 and 4, has a newly added racecourse which is the “kiddie akyathlon.”

The kiddie akyathlon is designed for kids set in a safe and controlled environment but still comes with a challenge of a 70-meter elevation gain.

“We want the kids to be exposed to healthy lifestyles such as getting into sports and as a family they will be able to experience sky running together,” Torculas said.

She said some of the runners, coming from various areas of the country and even outside the country, attend the event with their families. She noted that some of the kids watch on the sidelines or left at home while their parents join the trail running event.

The kiddie event will be a “family affair” while promoting the beauty of nature primarily for children to appreciate and value.

Aside from the kiddie akyathlon, categories of the event set in Barangay Tinongdan, Itogon are the 46-kilometer skymarathon, 25-km. mountain run, 10-km .trail run, and the vertical kilometer. 

All categories start at the Indigenous Peoples’ Cultural Heritage Site in Binga, Tinongdan. The scenic courses feature rice fields in remote villages, unspoiled pine forests, and hanging bridges crossing the mighty Agno River. The skymarathon reaches the summit of Mt. Ugo and is recommended for experienced trail runners.

Runners must be prepared for steep ascents and descents and various natural challenges presented by the trails.

Organizers said runners are expected to be self-sustaining with their own hydration gear and nutrition; however medical aid and water refilling stations will be available in multiple points along the route.

Registration is available at Baguio residents may visit the Lagalag Baguio store at Upper Session Road.

Registration is until Jan. 15.

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