Mount Apo 24-hour race is one of the toughest in Asia

Subscribe Now April 04, 2013 at 03:10pm

Don Joaquin Rajal, the Spanish governor of Davao, was the first to ascend Mount Apo. The country’s highest peak being scaled for the first time by a party on October 10, 1880 was a truly historic event.

At 9,692-feet in elevation, Mt Apo is still a challenge to mountaineers and athletes alike. It will also be the venue for the Third International Mount Apo Boulder Face Challenge slated on April 27 and 28.

“The 113.30-kilometer race is considered as one of the toughest races in the country if not in Asia,” says Arturo Boncato, Jr., the regional tourism officer who organizes the competition through the Department of Tourism 11 and the local government of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

The 24-hour extreme adventure challenge will gather participants from all over the world and bring them to the peak of Mount Apo using four disciplines: mountain biking, trekking, water tubing, and road run.

Each participating team is composed of three people: two racers and one for maps and logistics. Contenders are competing for a grand prize of US$3,500 (second place bags US$2,300 and third US$1,700).

In a span of 24 hours, each team must pass through several hurdles, including rugged terrain, and the raging river of Sta. Cruz, before making the climb to Mount Apo. If that's not enough, the participants will also have to battle the cold temperatures at the peak.

Engr. Albert C. Gabriel is this year’s race director. He stated that the race will start with the mountain bike competition from the municipal plaza of Santa Cruz up to sitio Baruring, which is the transition point. The elevation gain from this starting line is already 1,141 meters above sea level.

Last year, a total of 29 local teams and 11 foreign squads from Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong and Vietnam took part in the race. Brothers Cresenciano and Gerald Zabang, enlisted men in the Philippine Army topped the event.

According to Boncato, they are limiting this year’s teams to just 30.

The event was initiated by the municipality of Sta. Cruz as the highlight of Pista sa Kinaiyahan in 2008.

Mount Apo is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the country with the summit, on the average, takes two days to reach.

While several trails do lead to the summit, arguably, the easiest route to the National Park is through Kidapawan City, with an average hike taking three to four days round-trip. --KDM, GMA News


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