FILIPINO ultrarunner Manolito ‘Tolitz’ Divina looks to hit two birds with one stone, or two titles in one race as he eyes to inch closer to be named Asia Trail Master Champion 2016 when he defends his crown in the upcoming Clark-Miyamit Falls Ultra on November 27.
The 36-year old grocery worker from Pateros currently ranks second in the Asia Trail Master Series and is one of the favorites among 200 competitors that include 21 international long-distance runners.
Divina is also the back-to-back champion of the CM50 and beat current Asia Trail Master leader Jan Nilsen of Norway in last year’s race by 22 minutes.
Other ATM contenders are also joining the fray in Clark as third rank Isaac Yuen Hao (Hong Kong) is coming fresh from his HK168 victory. Xu Xiutao of China who won Korea 50 is also looking to improve his ranking in the race, along with last year’s ATM champion Arief Wizmoyono (Indonesia).
Also in the start list is Kristian Jorgensen (Denmark) who recently won the MF42 qualifying race beating both Divina and Nilsen. Top local trail runners Mark Brian Grey, Aldean Lim and Jerome Bautista are among the competitors as well.
In the distaff side, back-to-back champion Majo Liao is aiming for a hat trick. A strong contender to spoil Liao’s plan is Baguio runner Sandi Menchi who recently won the Mt Kinabalu International Climbathon. Daphne Codilla, Mary Gold dela Cruz and Rizalyn Damaso are some of the top 10 female runners who are expected to contend for the top spot this year. Cherry Chung from Hong Kong who won third at Vietnam 70K is also in the start list.
One of the toughest 50-mile races in Asia, the 2016 edition of CM50 will have representatives from six continents with Australia, China, France, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Norway, Denmark, France, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the USA all represented in the race.
The CM50 race offers a rare chance to visit the iconic Miyamit Falls by traversing the route composed of fire trails, dirt roads and single track trails. Runners will have to traverse through lahar, the expansive Pasig Potrero and Sacobia Rivers, Aeta villages, dirt roads and a hilly route with a picturesque view of Pampanga, Mount Arayat and mountain ranges. The 50-mile runners will go through a long ascent of single track trails towards the ‘peak,’ which is three kilometers from the caldera of Mt. Pinatubo.
Along with a 3,120m elevation gain for the 50 miles and 2166m for the 60k, runners will face chilly night temperature followed by scorching heat in the daytime. Aside from bragging rights, finishers will each receive a finishers’ medal, a shirt and a trucker cap.
The race, which starts and ends at the Clark Parade Grounds, has an 18-hour cutoff time.
The race is powered by RACEYaya, the official event, registration and timing management partner and is endorsed by the Department of Tourism. SPIN.ph is a media partner of the event.