Grit vs Grit: The Pharmaton MVP Unleashed Sandboarding Challenge

9:00 AM, day 26 of the 30-day challenge, Laoag Sand Dunes, La Paz, Laoag, Ilocos Norte. Still in high spirits, the 5 MVP Unleashed challengers have to confront a totally new call — to skim down the dunes on sandboards. Judging was based on start, poise, balance, speed and landing, not a piece of cake for the first time sandboarders. Let’s see.

Anthony Cuerpo, 41

BlauEarth: Your greatest fear before joining the race?
Anthony: It’s not about a race; it’s all about friendship… for the love of sports. Winning is the second thing.
BE: You’ve been around the country, how do you like Ilocos Norte?
AC: Awesome!

TJ Isla, 30

BE: Your greatest fear before joining the race?
TJ: Losing, hahah, no.
BE: What was the challenge that almost made you quit?
TJ: Swim in Bohol, or Guimaras. A 3k swim and 8k run after. ‘Yon yung breakpoint sa entire race.
BE: Nakaya mo?
TJ: Yes, I finished third.

Monica Torres, 26

BE: Does being a woman challenger make it more difficult for you?
Monica: ‘Di ako babae [chuckles]. I’m happy to be representing the women, happy that there is a level playing field for men and women.

Popo Remigio, 36

BE: Happy to meet you. Your husband [Thumbie] slept in our house a few times in 2004 during preparations for Racing the Wind in Bangui.
Popo: Ay, sabihin ko.
BE: What keeps you going sa race?
Popo: That sense of adventure, and discovery.

Chock Martinez, 42

BE: How do you keep up?
Chock: I just go with the flow. Right now, I have a big blister under a big toe. I just keep my thoughts positive, so my thoughts become my behavior, and my behavior becomes habits.

Mark Czar Manangan, the sandboarding expert of the LEAD Movement, shows the competitors the basics of the sport and gives some safety advice.

After several trial runs, here are some of their best shots:

Ericke, Eugene, and Mark Czar graded the newbie sandboarders, while the organizers and crew were all glued to the action.

Afterchallenge conference with LEADers Benny Arce, LEAD Movement Executive Director, and Mark Czar “MC” Manangan, Sandboard Challenge Race Director.

BE: Was it difficult to teach them?
MC: The challengers were hesitant at first, but after giving a demo and tips, and letting them try it out, they found it to be manageable, but exciting.
BE: Yeah, I heard Chock say, “Ang sarap!”
BE: How do you rate them compared to the innovators of the sport, like MC?
Benny: They are quite good, but I saw some of them eating sandwich.
BE: Yeah, Chock said masarap, hahah, the “sand”wich!

Like Ilocos Sand Boarding on Facebook. Contact Reny Tan 0919-873-5516 ; 0932-358-7521 or Benny Arce 0917-523-0331.

Photographed by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved

Maquiling Quest: Mt. Makiling Centennial Adventure Race

Join and explore the mystical Mount Makiling.

(Interested parties may also request for the race guidelines and registration forms through this blog. Just leave your email addy at the comment box and I will forward ’em to you.)