AFTER more than a year of hiatus, mountain bikers are finally back in the limelight after the first outdoor sporting event approved by Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) blasted off Saturday morning, May 15, 2021, in Barangay Talamban.
Jessiedel Aranado ruled the sporting event dubbed as the 1st Talamban XC-MTB Endurance Race after clocking in 1 hour, 41 minutes and 11 seconds en route to becoming the first MTB champion in an EOC-approved event since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
Kirk Jed Gelloagan came in second with a time of 1:42:12.
John Francis Pitogo topped the 19-Under division in 1:44:17, while Cleos Navarro and Jaemeile Hofilena took second and third place with times of 1:45:04 and 1:46:06, respectively.
Jhepoy Juson clocked in 1:48:24 to win the 36 to 49 class, Albert Basirgo (1:51:03) nabbed second place and Loren Codera (1:59:13) snagged third.
Shayne Yao (2:04:55) was hailed the champion in the women’s division, Leslie Gitaruelas (2:15:40) came in at second place, while Aliana Velasco (2:17:31) rounded up the top three.
Willy Gitaruelas (2:09:02) ruled the 50-Above division. He was followed by Paul Edgar Gambong (2:13:50) and Carael Eguinto (2:14:04).
The event was part of the Talamban barangay fiesta celebration in honor of its patron San Isidro Labrador.
Participants passed through Bacayan, Pit-os, Binaliw, Mabini, Paril, Cambinocot, Catives, Guba, Cambilog, Sirao, Cambioos, Pulangbato, Cambaog, Budlaan, which offered view of the mountains and nature, before heading back to Talamban.
City Councilor Joel Garganera noticed the orderly implementation of the plan that the organizers submitted to the EOC and the discipline of the crowd who watched the race and who were at the awarding ceremonies.
“I want this sporting event to become the template of future sport or athletic events approved by the EOC. I am glad that the organizers of this event took the extra step of obtaining the approval of the EOC to ensure that the race is orderly and compliant with existing protocols,” he said during his message during the awarding ceremonies.
The event was organized by the Talamban Mountain Bike Club (TMBC) with its president Russ Arvi Bontuyan and TMBC working committee members and race director Dr. Willie Estepa. (PR with RSC)