GRiT 2018 – Girls Running in Trails – Is Now Open for Registration
GRiT – Girls Running in Trails – embodies a strong woman who pursues an intense passion for sports through constant hard work and dedication. She is a relentless fierce warrior who rises above all boundaries and difficulties. A GRiT woman is a tough spirit who overcomes the toughest travails as she elevates and influences others with her unadulterated love for sports. More than an ardent commitment to pursue excellence in the athletic field, a GRiT woman inspires, uplifts and empowers others to always be better than their best.
GRiT 2018 Trail Run is brought to you by RaceYaya, an event which aims to promote our advocacy, “Women empowering others: together we run, together we conquer!”
The second edition of GRiT – Girls Running in Trails: an All-Women Trail Run will be held at 6 AM on August 5, 2018 inside the Eagle Ridge Golf & Country Club, Binangonan, Rizal. A bigger and better GRiT offers three race categories: 30K, 15k, 6k and two side events: the Kiddie Run and Sub-Sandi Challenge. The event also welcomes its male friends as volunteers and pacers or as Sub-Sandi Challengers.
GRiT 2018 is organized by RaceYaya for the purpose of raising funds to help, Sandi Menchi Abahan as she embarks in another big race this year. So, how does it work? The proceeds of GRiT will support the 2018 training and racing expenses of Sandi Menchi Abahan -GRiT Ambassador – which includes the Salomon Ring of Steall Skyrace in Scotland and other activities which aim to promote and support women in the sport.
Last year’s edition gathered five hundred (500) strong women with their family and friends and male volunteers in the trails of Pintong Bukawe, San Mateo, Rizal. Watch last year’s race here .
The net proceeds from the event helped in the financial support for Sandi Menchi Abahan’s entry to TDS-UTMB in Chamonix, France where she finished 21st among the female elite runners, and became the first Filipino/Southeast Asian runner to be present in the race leaderboard of TDS-UTMB, not to mention, a race that is mostly dominated by Europeans and Americans; it is considered as the most prestigious trail running event in the world.
To all of us who tracked her progress during the race from start to finish, remembering everything and the stories Sandi shared with us, it seemed surreal that she was able to run alongside, Lizzy Hawker, an elite athlete who held the world record for 24 hours on the road and is a former world champion at 100 kilometer. Even she herself could not believe it. It delights our hearts how she brings inspiration to all of us and to all the women who press on to achieve their dreams with perseverance and dedication, no matter the odds. Sandi told us a specific moment during the race, “After getting that push from Lizzy, I tried to recover and pushed whatever was left of me physically and mentally. It was painful at the last 8 kilometers as we were going down, I pushed hard to possibly gain more leads in the female category but the competition was really tough. I knew I gave my best and I”m thankful to have seen how far a Filipino can go in this race, and I hope this could be the first of many. I look forward to being better than my performance in TDS or any other international race I have done in the past, if given another chance. It was a remarkable experience being there and to know that finally, a flag of the Philippines is displayed in a trail running leaderboard.”
This 2018, we are hoping for your generous hearts to support Sandi once again as she continues to raise the Philippine flag in several international trail races. To those of you who don’t know who Sandi is, here’s a brief overview of her athletic career in running:
Hers is a dream to become a champion – to strive for excellence with steadfast resilience and to be bigger than herself by empowering and inspiring women to be audacious with their dreams. Sandi Menchi is a natural-born athlete. Growing up she has been proficient in badminton, softball, and taekwondo, just to name a few. In high school, she joined her first 5-kilometer run to gain extra points and grades. Her top 8 overall finish landed her a spot in the school varsity and a coveted scholarship. Since then, Sandi has proven her worth as an exemplary student while working hard as an athlete. Having faced several tournaments and races, Sandi’s mantra in excelling has been simple, “Each step has taught me that I can always go further by moving forward, by pushing myself to keep going beyond my limits.”
As a school track and field varsity athlete, she always topped the Cordillera Administrative Region meet but failed to get the podium at the national level. After graduating from college in 2013, she was hungry for the win. “I always have in mind that maybe I can do better. I just kept on running and running, and running has become a part of who I am,” said Sandi.
She consistently trained and just kept running, joining road races from short distances, half marathons all the way to the whole 42km distance. In May 2013, she joined her first trail 50K ultramarathon at The North Face race in Baguio. Fortunately, she bagged the second fastest female spot. That was the first step of her continuous podium finishes in trail running. “I was happy to have finished and discovered the sport of trail ultrarunning in that race. This is a sport where I can further challenge myself amidst a community of fellow nature-loving athletes and supportive fellows. Everyone was saying that I did well and that inspired me to do better than the best I have done. I have set my mind in doing it again.”
She pushed herself to train harder, faster, and stronger. In a few months, she won the 26km run of MF42 and was the second overall finisher among strong male and female runners.
In 2014, as promised to herself, she did the TNF 50km. This time, she won the top female fastest finisher and was in the top five overall. She raced with 26km race of the MF 42 again and finished first overall! “I have dreamt to be a Champion in these races and that dream made me explore further how I can be better through hardwork and perseverance. It was not about winning, it was about striving to win against my best today.”
Sandi’s first two years in trail running has shown a remarkable performance. She was fortunate to have a chance to join an international race for free in October 2014. The International Skyathlon Race in Kota Kinabalu saw Sandi finishing as first female in the Asian Skyrunning Circuit and fourth overall. “The support of the Filipino community, the cheers and the encouraging words I got humbled me. It made me realize that I am doing this for something bigger than me, something bigger than my aspiration for excellence. I was a few steps closer to the podium then. Perhaps, I can still do better. It is a question I did not only ask myself but also promised to find out the next edition, which was 2016. And I did…..” As Sandi finishes the 2016 International Skyathlon, she knew she was crossing the finish line not as Sandi Menchi but as a Filipino athlete who dreamed to be better than her best for those who believed and aspired with her. It marked the start of Sandi’s success in international races. These are just among the many races she conquered with a podium finish, both local and international and even in triathlon.
And so, the journey continues. This 2018, let’s get our voices heard, let’s all toe the line in support of Sandi. To register and to know more details about the race, just go to:
To everyone who supports Sandi, here’s her personal message for you:
“Running has brought me here, I have to keep going and keep pushing because each step could not only move me and my performance upwards. Each push can move the people who believe in me to believe that a female Filipino can do it, that she can do it, that we can do it…Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”
WHAT TO EXPECT AT #GRIT2018
|DISTANCE||30K||15K||6K||Kiddie Run||Sub-Sandi Challenge|
|INCLUSIONS||Event Shirt and Finisher’s Token||Special Kiddie Token||Event Shirt|
Ahon Racing Singlet
A scenic, beginner friendly and slightly challenging race course inside Eastridge Athletic Park.