Tabac loses shoes but wins hearts

Action Asia - - EVENTS -

ATH­LETES FROM MIN­DANAO, THE SEC­OND largest is­land of the Philip­pines, have be­gun to make a name for them­selves in the ad­ven­ture scene re­cently. The lat­est man to show the world there’s more to Min­danao than boxer Manny Pac­quaio, is Elias Tabac. He stole his coun­try­men’s hearts in the gru­elling Mantra Sum­mits Chal­lenge trail race in Malang, East Java, ar­guably the tough­est – with over 5,500m of climb­ing in 75k m – among the five In­done­sian races in the 2018 Asia Trail Mas­ter Cham­pi­onship series (ATM). Tabac won t he Pi lip­inas Aky­athlon in Baguio and the Boul­der Face Chal­lenge in Davao this year, but this was his first time ever out­side his home coun­try. A check­point at 42km had Spain’s Pablo Di­ago Gon­za­les – an ex­pe­ri­enced lover of tech­ni­cal moun­tain trails – in front by over half an hour. But the young Filipino blasted past Gon­za­les with just over 1km to go, then dra­mat­i­cally sank to his knees just over the fin­ish line and emp­tied his stom­ach across a com­mer­cial ban­ner. Every­one could see the soles of his run­ning shoes had van­ished and his feet were a bloody mess. He then got of­fered so many new pairs of shoes he could open a shop! The Men’s podium was com­pleted by Italy’s Alessan­dro Sherpa who strug­gled with his stom­ach dur­ing the race and fin­ished one hour down on the top duo. The lo­cal crowd also had some­thing to cheer about as Ban­dung’s Ruth There­sia – one of Asia’s top fe­male trail run­ners – scored an­other vic­tory to re­gain the points lead in the ATM. Her up-and-com­ing com­pa­triot Sri Wahyuni was sec­ond and Malaysia’s Erin Aziz third. – Kris Ven Der Velde

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