by: Joel Orrelana
DAVAO DEL SUR—A new race record was set in the Mount Apo Boulder Face Challenge 2015.
Dexter Nonato and Juanito Mahinay finished the tough and grueling four-discipline, 120-kilometer adventure race in record time, and together with their logistics crew Arvin Doroche, the Tri-Buddies team from Tagum City emerged as the new winners of the annual competition that started and finished in front of the Santa Cruz municipal hall.
Nonato, who was part of last year’s runner-up team, and Mahinay, completed the challenge in 12 hours, 56 minutes and 48 seconds, eclipsing the 13-hour time set by April John Maniyog and Mark Anthony Rance of Team Tribu-Hardware last year.
They ruled the open elite category and brought home the $3,500 purse. Jayrald Daraydo and Ireesbone Barrientos of Team Wals, who led all teams on their way to the summit of Mount Apo, the country’s highest mountain, settled for second place and the $2,300 runner-up prize. Team Kaizo ended up third and took home the $1,700 prize.
Nonato and Mahinay took the lead after 16 growling checkpoints (CPs) and seized control of the race in the water tubing and running disciplines. The 24-hour race had a total of 21 CPs.
In the all-male relay category, Team Edge Outdoors took home the title, while Team PNP-URCD was given the all-female crown as it was the lone entry in that category.
The Mount Apo Boulder Challenge is considered as the longest race in the country in terms of distance, covering a total of 120 km dissected in 47.8-km biking, 53.5-km trekking, 5-km water tubing and 13.7-km road running.
Now on its eighth year, the Mount Apo Boulder Challenge served as the highlight of the Pista sa Kinaiyahan (Feast of Nature), an event anchored on the advocacy “Protect and save Mount Apo.”
The annual competition was organized by the local government of Santa Cruz and supported by the Department of Tourism (DOT) Davao and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 11.
It was supported by Aboitiz, A Batter Future, San Miguel Brewery Inc., Mountain Hardwear, Franklin Baker and Seaoil.
A total of 24 teams competed in the race, including three foreign teams from Australia, United States and Kenya.
The event is also part of the ongoing “Visit Davao Fun Sale 2015” of the DOT that aims to make Davao City as the country’s shopping capital during summer.
“We want Davao City to be the shopping destination of the local and foreign toursists during summer,” said Maria Felisa Marques, tourism head of Davao. “Instead of going to Hong Kong or Singapore, we want to local and foreign tourists to come here and shop at a cheaper price.”