THE cancellation of the Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon in Malaysia will give Sandi Menchi Abahan more time to recover from her injuries.

The Sabah Tourism Office announced the cancellation of the event due to the damage on the mountain trail caused by an earthquake earlier this month.

Abahan confirmed through Facebook that participants to the event were informed that the October 17 event has been cancelled.

"According to the email sent by the Philippine Skyrunning Association through President Carlo Leandro Dino, cancelled po muna ang Mt. Kinabalu this year," Abahan told Sun.Star Baguio.

Abahan said the organizer wanted to ensure the safety of the hundreds of participants from 31 countries.

Abahan said she welcomed the cancellation because she was fully fit for the event.

"Sabi nga this is somewhat a blessing, if I was to run this October I doubt I can be at my peak condition to defend my title I brought home last year," she said.

The 24-year-old Baguio athlete has been recovering from the injuries on her back, knees, and plantar fasciopathy (jogger's heel) she suffered last April.

"Probably I will be able to get back on track when the Mt. Kinabalu race resumes, I would like to take one step at a time for the moment. I don't want my running career to end just yet," said the former University of the Cordillera Jaguar.

Last year, she won Kinabalu's women's elite division in 6 hours, 15 minutes, and 12 seconds, and was considered the fastest female Asian runner in her age group.

Abahan was supposed to be paired with 2015 Pilipinas Akyathlon men's champion Jemarvin Cabilan from Bicol and sponsored by PhilSky with a round-trip ticket and race entry going to Malaysia.

Eighteen Kinabulu climbers were killed when a 5.9 magnitude quake shook the mountain on June 5.