Abahan hyped up for Mt. Kinabalu

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Sunday, June 29, 2014


LONG distance runner Sandy Menchi Abahan is hoping her lengthy preparations for the 28th Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon in Sabah, Malaysia on October 18-19 will pay off well.

The 23-year-old former University of the Cordilleras Jaguars, who recently finished her education degree, is aiming to become one of the top finishers of the international event.

“Hopefully lahat ng preparations that I have will pay off when I get there. It is my first time to represent the Philippines in sky running and I guess it will do challenge me there as it did here when the 3rd Pilipinas Akyathlon was held,” Abahan said.

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According to the reigning Pilipinas Akyathlon women's champion, she continues to train by joining local marathons hoping the experience gained will be the key in her chances in Mt. Kinabalu.

“So far ganito lang muna, local foot race will train me well but as I said marathons are far different from sky running. The experience I had finishing first in Akyathlon was sweet but the trail of going up a high mountain then racing down and up again mas challenging,” Abahan said.

She said high altitude training will be much needed as the competition draws near.

Abahan said she is setting her sight on training in the mountain ranges of the region.

“Maybe two months or so before Mt. Kinabalu itotodo ko ang sky running preparations. Isa sa mga prospect areas ko siguro sa Mt. Pulag or kahit saan sa Mt. Province,” Abahan added.

Abahan, also the reigning women's North Face 100 women's 50-kilometer champion, set a new time record of 7:00:06 to be the fastest female runner in her class.

She added she will try to stay healthy and avoid further injuries. The young female athlete earlier incurred a jogger’s heel injury in January and said it may cause her to fall behind in the race.

Abahan will be accompanied by Bicol-based runner Jemarvin Cabilan, the first Filipino male to finish the Akyathlon 2014.

The two will be the Philippines' representatives who will try to top the 2,760-meter high Mt. Kinabalu. They will be sponsored by the Philippine Skyrunning Association.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 30, 2014.

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