There's only one thing on Andrico Mahilum's mind as his most anticipated Vertical Run event draws near: beating his personal record of seven minutes and 53 seconds.
For the third straight year, the reigning fastest Filipino Elite runner is set to take on the Citi Vertical Run Manila's Full Challenge, covering 59 floors or 1,353 steps at 250 meters. The annual competition, which is in partnership with Kerry Sports Manila, will go as high as the Penthouse of Shangri-La at the Fort, one of the tallest skyscrapers in the metro at 229.3 meters.
Mahilum's target is seven minutes and 30 seconds, but “beat(ing) my record last year, kahit few seconds difference, malaking bagay na.”
He has been focusing on weight training to improve his quads, hamstrings, and core muscles to prepare for a run he describes "five times harder" than a regular marathon: “Tumatakbo din talaga ako sa marathon, pero dito kasi hindi ka pwedeng mag-relax, isang bigayan lang. Nagte-training ako ng buwan para sa few minutes na pag-akyat dito.”
The 34-year-old runner also gave credit to a healthy diet and enough rest and recovery time, as well as a winning attitude, for acing this new sports discipline.
“Pahinga tapos proper nutrition, yun yung sikreto para manalo. Dapat kasi dito magaan yung katawan mo, explosive kasi yung energy na kailangan mo,” Mahilum revealed. “Kung ano yung pino-program mo sa utak mo, magre-reflect sa performance ng katawan mo.”
For his part, Kerry Sports Manila director Michael Montes shared one of the health benefits of vertical running. He explained, “Running upstairs is very easy on joints as compared to running on concrete, as there is a lot of pounding.”
A few sports personalities and celebrities are also expected to participate in the Citi Vertical Run Manila 2019 on September 22.