ROXMTR 2014 – Simply ‘Breathtaking’

“Let the trail take your breath away”

The coined tagline of the recently concluded ROX Mapawa Trail Run 2014 (ROXMTR2014), both figuratively and literally, absolutely hit the spot as hundreds of runners endured the tough trail Mapawa Nature Park has to offer, Sunday, October 26.

The ROXMTR2014 is hosted inside the protected 2,500-hectare Mapawa Nature Park. The park used to be a private property of the late Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez and his family. The park is also open to the public to enjoy different activities like rappelling, trekking, camping, horseback riding, wildlife observation, among many others.

Dax Ang, Technical Race Director, of Everest Outdoor Events said that this is the “toughest 42k trail the country has to offer”.

ROXMTR2014 paved the way for elite, professional, and amateur runners as well as running enthusiasts to experience nature at its finest.

The 42K male category saw Iligan City’s (Race Bib# 4072) Bryan Quiamco who clocked in at 4 hours, 24 minutes and 32 seconds for the top spot at the podium.

Bryan Quiamco,28, said in an interview that he prepped-up for a week prior to the trail run, “one week, pero sige nako praktis og long run, nagpraktis ko sa trail sa among bukid diri sa Iligan kai kabalo ko lisod ang trail sa MTR” (one week, but I always practice long runs, I practiced on our mountain trails here in Iligan because I know that the MTR trail is difficult).

Bryan Quiamco of Iligan City wins the 42K category

“Ako lang gihunahuna nga training lang, kay naa man gud pud ko gitarget na dula” (I just thought of it as training, because I also have a target race to participate in), Bryan says of mentally preparing for the race.

In 2012, Bryan also finished 1st in the Dahilayan Trail Ultra Marathon 80K Solo category. “ang Dahilayan, dili sya lisud daganon pero layo, ang MTR lisud gyud kay kapila gyud ko namomo og natakilo, og pang-pang pa gyud” (Dahilayan was not difficult to run but it was far, the MTR is very difficult because I stumbled, tripped several times and there are cliffs) Bryan says.

Bryan recalls his most memorable experience during the ROXMTR2014 is “akong dili malimtan, katong namomo ko og nag lukso og suba” (I will not forget, the time when I stumbled and I jumped in the river).

As Bryan sights were now set on the finish line just a few meters ahead he said, “ako nahunahunaan na naka-abot ko og nakahuman sa finish line, nalipay ko ug maayo sa akong pag-dagan sa MTR” (I thought I’ve reached it, and finished, I was very happy with my MTR run).

Another notable finisher is from the 22K category, Dutchman Cornelis Sandy Rijskamp, who turns 70 by next year. Cornelis is married to a Filipina – Zeny Lapitan Docor Rijskamp. “I’m a Dutch, born in 1945 in Groningen city, living in CDO since 2004 and married since 2008, have 2 sons with my Filipina wife (9 & 5 years old) and a big family in law here in Mindanao” Cornelis says of his family.

Cornelis Sandy Rijskamp, 69, a 22K finisher

Cornelis has had uncountable runs, here and in the Netherlands. “I’m not winning in running because my endurance is the strongest part of my sports life. I’m in fact more a swimmer starting to run and bike when stopping in swimming contests”.

Asked what his prep-work was, “It’s not that much special in preparing. The big difference in preparing in my older age is now to train as much as you’re able to recover from it. My endurance is still from swimming 2 to 3 times a week around the fish-pans at the beach of Villa Ernesto. I run 3 times a week in different settings being careful with more sensitive knee joints while going uphill. The art of running a Mapawa trail is an experience in making a slow (warming-up) start, keeping ‘a certain page’. But mainly, my biggest problem is always the high temperatures together with humidity; it is a very limiting factor and always slows me down, not to ‘kill myself”.

“The MTR was very much tough for me, the second hardest event I experienced here in the Philippines after climbing Mount Kitanglad for 21 km. in 2012” says Cornelis.

“When I approached the finish line I saw some people (with cameras) waiting for finishers and in a flash I decided to make ‘a show’! (laughs). That’s always number one important for me, running well is meaning to be able to make a finish strong and ‘in style’, when an athlete is able to make a good finish, then he made good use of his powers!” Cornelis concludes.

Truly one for the books, runners came to the finish line, some gasping for air – but they are all one in saying that indeed, ROXMTR2014 is just “breathtaking”.

The Mapawa Trail Run was co-presented by Salomon, technical team is Everest Outdoors, hydration partners Summit Mineral Water and Gatorade, official outfitter 8a. Other sponsors include, the Municipality of Cagayan De Oro, Black Diamond, Nalgene, Real X Gear, Sea to Summit, Jollibee, Uni Fruitti, Pineapple Crumble, 3Trav, Duka Bay Resort, Jollibee, VitWater, Rural Bank of Medina, and Ayala Centrio, Ayala Malls. BusinessWeek Mindanao, Mindanao Daily News, The Cagayan de Oro TIMES also supported the event as official print media partners.

A breathtaking panoramic view from the Mapawa Nature Park, Cagayan de Oro City

Recreational Outdoor eXchange or R.O.X. continues to create waves in the outdoor industry through its unique programs concerning people and the environment. It is also the largest outdoor sports and recreation superstore in Southeast Asia. Deriving satisfaction in providing the best tools for outdoor enthusiasts as well as subsequently providing outdoor experiences to further promote its various causes, what R.O.X. wants is to simply get everyone outside and experience the outdoors first hand.

Photos by Shaun Alejandrae Yap Uy