By Rey Anthony Chiu | 10:49 AM March 27, 2023
Finally, the Alicia Ultra marathon picks up in 2023, this April 16. Unfortunately, all slots have been filled since 2020, when the organizers suspended the race due to the pandemic.
To keep the training momentum going, organizers set up a virtual trail run in 2020, but, nothing really beats the good old fun of straining one’s muscles, surviving the pain, basking in the joy of getting finally a time for the self, in a run through the epic trails of The Alicia Panoramic Park (TAPP) in its Alicia Ultra 2023.
An ultra-marathon that was supposed to be a follow-through event after the very successful Alicia Trail Run series, the Alicia Ultra was initially set last February 2020, but the pandemic, the series of unfortunate disasters and the political uncertainty the race organizers encountered in coordinating with local officials sidelined the trail events, for three years.
Already closing their online registration in 2020 considering the carrying capacity of the trails and careful about the environmental impact of putting in nearly 500 trail runners in a stretch of cogon carpeted trails along the ridges of the lofty hills, organizers think that the delay could have discouraged most trail runners whom they expect to withdraw and get refunds during the 2020 race suspension announcements.
Of the 427 trail runners who registered in 2020 in the 50 kilometers, 25 kilometers and 12 kilometer runs, only 63 backed out, organizers of arguably the most strenuous trail running race in Bohol bared.
“We are still considering the trails carrying capacity, that when we reopened the race after we were able to obtain the necessary coordination with local officials, that opening the registration would largely impact on our desire to keep the race with minimal impact to the environment,” Alicia Ultra 2023 race director Richard Anania said.
Over the non-negotiable stance in preserving TAPP, organizers had to make a decision that could make them unpopular to the trail running community.
“There will be no more new registrations. However, we will allow registered participants to transfer (one-time) their slot should they chose not to participate anymore and should they find a willing replacement,” the organizers ruled.
And to make sure there the most number of runners in 2020 are still followed, registered participant are asked to inform the organizers of the intent to transfer slots and or provide the name of the replacement runner.
The form available at: http://bit.ly/3ZifS30, according to the Alicia Municipal Tourism Office, co-organizer, will essentially allow the organizers to keep track of the changes, if ever there are.
“Download the form, fill it up, and please send back to us,” Alicia Ultra 2023 team directed.
To date, Alicia Ultra 2023 has 142 registered runners for the ultra-distance of 50 kilometers: 124 of them are male runners of any age, 29 are females, including the defending queen of the TAPP trails: Jessie Ejoc
In the half marathon distance of 25 kilometers, organizers report 180 trail runners: 115 male runners and 65 female runners.
In the 12 kilometer distance, organizers said 104 runners registered: 38 of them are male runners and 66 are female runners.
Of the new replacements, 17 of them would compete in the ultra-distance, 33 in the half marathon and 13 in the 12 kilometer distance.
All of them would be pitting themselves against each other in a test of personal endurance, fitness and technique as the race course carries one from the most challenging of climbs to the steepest of descents that runners have been documented to have slid with their butts through the descending trails, if only to keep them from tumbling forward.
The climbs are also challenging, and a walking stick could prove to be of much help, as the wickedly punished knee would have to give up along the long and arduous trek, a veteran of the TAPP shared.
Cut off time for the full marathon runners is 13 hours and the race starts off at 2:30 AM. The half-marathon is expected to be done after 7 hours at least so the gun start is at 3:30 AM. For the 12 kilometer run, cut off is 4 hours after the 5:00 AM gun start. (PIA-7/Bohol)