Philippines Leads Asian countries in conquering the Austrian Alpine Alps at the World Mountain Trail

At the 2023 World Mountain and Trail Running Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, the. Philippines, ranked 19th for long trail and 27th for short trail which puts the team as Asia’s Best Short Trail Team and Third Best Long Trail Team performance.

The twelve-member Philippine team composed of six males and six females achieved the second-best finishing time among Asian teams competing in the Championships held on 7-10 June 2023 in Innsbruck, Austria.

A total of 69 countries participated in the Championships, including Asian teams from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong SAR, Nepal, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, and Taiwan. The Philippine team was accompanied by three officials from the Philippine Trail Running Association, namely: Ms. Christine Ferrera, Mr. Thumbie Remigio, and Dr. Marc Molina. Their head coach is Ms. Christabel Martes, a two-time gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).

The Championships featured two major events: the 85 km long-distance trail course with 6,200 meters of elevation gain and the 44 km short-distance trail course with 3,194 meters of elevation gain above sea level. In the long-distance event, the Philippines team ranked as the 3rd best Asian performer, following Japan and Hong Kong SAR. In the short-distance event, the Philippines was the top-performing Asian team. The athletes representing the Philippines in the Championships were Arnie Macaneras, Larry Apolinario, and John Ray Onifa for the Long Trail, and Randolf Gonzales, Godwin Mirar, and Jayson Zonio for the Short Trail.

In the female category, Christabel Martes and Elizabeth Dangadang were among the three countries in Asia and the only representatives from Southeast Asia who completed both the short and long trail events.

The remaining female members of the Philippine team were successful in making it to the race cut-offs before the race was suspended due to a storm warning for the short trail and the CP cut-off for the long trail; namely Gretchen Felipe, Angelie Cabalo, Cecille Wael, and Augustoralin Sabanal.

This was the team’s first time running in the snow-capped Austrian Alps and its first show of full force at the World Championships.

With Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General Fank Olea in Vienna, Austria

Filipino Supporters in Innsbruckm Austria

Thanks to Mabuhay Filipino Store in Austria for all the help in ensuring the food preferences of the athletes are availabl before and during the race.

Indeed, the future is bright for our athletes.

“This exposure in a very high level competition will not only make the Filipino athletes stronger but will also guide Philtra as it continues to improve and support further the natural talents Filipino trail runners have. We also take pride in finally having that representation and performance in the world stage; not just for the Philippines but for Asian countries as well in this sports that is dominated by other regions. We had a very short preparation time given the infancy of the team which were only chosen last February 2023.

The goal was to maximize the time, resources and ensure high quality training for everyone for 2 and a half months. I would say we really invested and we are grateful for the support and donation from the community, family and friends through merchandise purchase and donations. Local Brands and organizations from neighboring countries and in the Philippines came to our aid like T8 from HongKong and the event organizing team HK100 Ultra, Team Adrenaline, Race Ya and the Pilipinas Obstacle Sports Federation were some of our supporters. Discovery Travel assisted with special rates and terms. Gear, shoes and vitamins and minerals were provided by Merell, T8 and Pointe .” Says Tin Ferrera, the secretary general of Philtra. Likewise, the trustees and volunteers of Philtra had to move mountains to make this happen.

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