Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by Andrew Pirie

Laoag City Sand Dunes Challenge

Are you ready for an exciting and challenging adventure this coming Pamulinawen Festival?

Join the first-ever Laoag City Sand Dunes Challenge this coming February 26 at 4:30 AM. Dare to run either in the 5K or 10K category along the scenic, undulating, and hilly terrains of the Laoag City Sand Dunes.
Buckle up as you will have the chance to experience the adrenaline rush of 4×4 riding and sandboarding.
(Free for all registered participants only.)
For registration, you may access the form in the link provided below or have a walk-in registration at the City Mayor’s Office. Only the first 300 registrants will be accommodated.

Event Report by Michael Marcos Keon

The first Laoag Sand Dunes Challenge was a success. Despite the kinks and errors that took place because of the unfamiliarity and difficult terrain. The overwhelming reaction of runners was enthusiastic, positive, and joyful. The challenging terrain and the uniqueness of the environment. Coupled with the cool weather and strong winds made it an exciting, refreshing, and exceptional running experience.
The Men’s 10K Race was won by Kipchirchir Lel, who came from Malaysia together with his companion Jackson Chirchir (who placed 3rd). They are both Kenyan nationals who went to the Philippines to compete in the 7-Eleven Run 2023 in Cebu. Which they dominated and eventually decided to travel to Laoag and participate in the Sand Dunes challenge. Being foreign nationals, we did not officially list them in the overall championship result but yours truly gave them special awards.
The official winner in the Men’s 10K Race was Mr. Richard Salaño (Philippine National Team and Champion in the 7-Eleven Run). Followed by Dhem AJ Monton (Jose Rizal University) and Junel Gobotia (Former Philippine National Team).
In the Women’s 10K Race, the winners are Christine Hallasgo (SEA Games Marathon Champion) followed by Maria Jonna Lina Abutas (Far Eastern University) and April Rose Diaz (Davao).
The winners in the Men’s 5K Race were Sonny Wagdos (Philippine National Team), followed by Angelo Cagat (Local) and James Darrel Orduña (University of the East).
In the Women’s 5K Race, the winners are Joida Gagnao (Philippine National Team). Followed by Susan Ramadan (Far Eastern University) and Czeena Rapisora (Local).
We also awarded prizes in the Kid’s Category and the winners are Judah Mantele (Pangasinan) followed by Rogelyn Correa (Pangasinan) and Jeyanne Pascual (Local).

Special Thanks

I also wish to thank the following people – Mr. Mariano Sesdoyro, the assistant of Enzo Williams (Pinoy Athletics) for accompanying 24 athletes from Pangasinan. My former Camp Director of Project Gintong Alay at the Baguio Training Camp, Mr. AC Cuda also donated an additional P10,000.00 for the cash prizes. To the members of the 4th Marine Makusog Brigade headed by their new Deputy Brigade Commander, Col. Jose Marie Santos PN(M). The Spartans runners, Thunder Runners, and other running groups.
Lastly, I would like to thank Mr. Lito Cinco. A sports writer for the Manila Standard and People’s Tonight for covering the event.
This event has great potential because of its uniqueness. Despite receiving almost a thousand registrants. We limited the participation of runners to only 300 because this event acted as a trial run for future events. And we hope that in the future, we will expand the number of participants. I was very impressed with the quality of the event. And we are privileged to have some of the best runners in the country participating.

Corporate Sponsors

I also wish to publicly thank Mr. Manny Pangilinan, Chairman of PLDT, Inc. and Smart Communications, Inc. Whom I met in Manila for his immediate and unconditional support as the sole sponsor of this event. Thank you also to Mr. Dh Duran, Relationship Manager of PLDT Enterprise; to Ms. Fresalve Dumayag, Postpaid Area Head; Ms. Rhona Medina, Prepaid Area Head; Mr. Charles Mamaclay, Customer Development Manager and Ms. Ma. Alliyah Suguitan, Retail Store Manager.
Let me take this opportunity to thank and commend the Director and Event Organizer, PCMS Noel Abad. And all the other employees of the city government who helped organized this event. Particularly the Office of the City Mayor, GSO, CHO, CDRRMO, DPS, City Assessor, City Engineering, IT, Tourism, Communications and Media Office, Human Resources, Admin Division, CAD, CSWD, the Philippine National Police, and the Zumba Group. After the event, the participants enjoyed sandboarding and 4×4 rides. Dios unay ti agngina!



By Andrew Pirie

Andrew was elected Vice President of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians in 2020 after being a member for 7 years. He has worked as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant from 2013-2015, Consultant, and Sprint Coach at Zamboanga Sports Academy from 2015-2017. And Currently is Consultant Coach with VMUF 2021- Current editor and chief of, and has recently done consultancy work for Ayala Corp evaluating the Track and Field Program. Coaches Sprints, Middle and Jump events he is  Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification in Sprints and Hurdles. Currently working towards a Masters Degree in Education. He can be contacted on [email protected] You can find more information on Coaching here

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