By Mars G. Alison
Mountainbike enthusiasts have something to look forward to as the Go Active Marketing & Events Inc. (GAME Inc.) is mulling a long-distance cross-country mountainbike race with the winners to be sent to an all-expense paid trip to Switzerland to see action in the Grand Raid next year.
The Grand Raid is known as the mountainbike marathon in Europe. It was first held in 1990. The event takes mountainbikers up and down the areas surrounding the Swiss Alps.
It has a long and short distance course with the long course covering 125 kilometers and going up as high as 5,000 meters and 37 kilometers for the short course. Four different routes will be provided for mountainbikers to choose from.
GAME Inc. consultant Leo Oracion is the first and only Filipino to have joined and finished this one day race.
Oracion is no stranger to endurance races having seen action in a number of international races such as the AXN Eco-Challenge New Zealand; and national races such as the Carrerra Habagat. He was also part of the First Philippine Mount Everest Expedition and the Balangay Voyage wherein he and several others traversed the waters of Southeast Asia on board a balangay or wooden boat.
Oracion, who is now based in Switzerland, said he was not looking to win the event considered as the longest mountainke race in the world but just to finish it.
Oracion described the race as very tough but he is confident that a local racer will do well at it as he likened the uphill and downhill parts of the course to those at the Transcentral Highway except that the mountains are way taller.
According to Mil, the cross-country mountainbike race will be held from the north to the south of Cebu and will either be held later this year or early next year.
This will give the winners plenty of time to train for the Grand Raid which is usually held in August.
GAME Inc. will take care of all expenses including the visa needed to go to Switzerland for perhaps a month to give them time to acclimatize to the weather during the time of the race.
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