Julius Paner, Tourism and Information Officer of Sta. Cruz claimed Sta. Cruz made headlines again due to the Mt. Apo Vertical Challenge which had three categories for the runners namely the one-hundred-kilometer run- all the way to Mt. Apo, the 50-kilometer race and the 75-kilometer race, all waited by local spectators.
He said the competition tended to pinpoint the fastest runner in Asia.
“Fortunately, the event was dominated by a Filipino, named Arnie Bacaneras, a Mt. Apo mountain-guide who hails from Barangay Kapatagan, Digos City, second place was a Malaysian Runner, while the third place was achieved by an Italian runner” Paner said.
He said foreigner-runners dominated the female category of the race.
Paner said the activity had shown that the local and international tourism are finally back in Mt. Apo being one of the country’s national icons.
He said Mt. Apo is one of the most beautiful peaks in Asia.
“No wonder it is the leading choice especially for fast runners,” Paner said.
He said the general manager of Asia Free-masters chose to hold the championship run which was 75-kilometers to Mt. Apo, because of its iconic look, rugged and challenging trails.
Paner disclosed that eco-tourism is already done in Sta. Cruz, enjoying 250,000 tourist arrivals a year in 2022.
He hopes to attain more in 2023, starting in February 18 to 19, dubbed as the Mt. Loay eco-challenge, a five-kilometer race to the peak of Mt. Loay. (PIA XI-Joey Sem G. Dalumpines)