It was a great experience to be part of the GRIT – Girls Running in Trails race – the first all-women’s trail run in the Philippines. Organized by Raceyaya, GRIT aims to empower women to run and conquer trail running together. GRIT was structured to support Sandi Menchi Abahan, an elite trail runner and the prime ambassador of a GRIT woman, in her quest to conquer and represent the Philippines in one of the toughest ultra marathon mountain races in Europe, the TDS. Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie or TDS is a 119km with about 7,200 metres height gain in France. Sandi, born in Baguio City, is the first ever Filipina who was given the chance of grabbing a top spot in this prestigious mountain race on August 28, 2017.
The race was held at Basekamp, Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal last August 13, 2017. The race was for all women who enjoy running on trails and want to celebrate feminity. The fierce 15K category challenged women to run through rugged mountains and multiple types of terrains, cross rivers and even get dirty.
Aside from the fierce 15K category, the event also had a sweet 6K with a shorter distance and the sub-Sandi Challenge, where men were encouraged to run with Sandi. Aside from the three distances, GRIT also had the Kiddie Uphill Miler for kids aged 2-13 years old to run from ¼ to 2 miles and get special perks for finishing their first trail miler. Finishers of the race, on any category, received a finisher’s medal.
Parts of the proceeds of the GRIT supported elite Filipina trail runner Sandi on her journey towards Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie.
I am happy to have been part of this pioneering trail run event. By joining this race, I was able to offer my support to Sandi as she conquered TDS and represented our country. I believe Sandi has the will and the capacity to fly our flag on the world stage and raise the Filipino dream to the highest peak.
Photo credits: Joreb Valdez of Active Pinas