LAOAG SAND DUNES. Laoag City Mayor Michael Keon (in red) leads the inspection of the terrain of the La Paz sand dunes in this undated photo. The city government will host the 1st Laoag Sand Dunes Challenge on Feb. 25, 2023. (Photo courtesy of the City Government of Laoag)

LAOAG CITY – The city government on Friday invited the country's top runners and enthusiasts to take part in its first-ever running event on Feb. 25 featuring the famous sand dunes of Ilocos Norte.

Laoag Mayor Michael Keon said the city government would be hosting the Laoag City Sand Dunes Challenge, featuring 5K and 10K category running events along the La Paz sand dunes overlooking the West Philippine Sea.

"As everyone knows, yours truly is a former athlete-runner so I decided that it would be a very interesting event if instead of holding a fun run on a regular course, it would be conducted on the scenic, undulating, and hilly terrains of the Laoag sand dunes, which will be the main attraction for this activity. There will also be a part where the participants will run along the seashores,” said Keon.

He earlier met with the training director of the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association, Renato Unso, who would bring the national track squad to this city during the running event as part of the city's month-long celebration of the Pamulinawen Festival.

Organizers said interested participants may register online or personally at the City Mayor’s Office without any fee to be collected. The first 300 registrants will also get a chance to experience 4x4 riding and sandboarding after the run.

"I enjoin all athletes not only in this city but also the province and the entire country to join the 1st Laoag City Sand Dunes Challenge,” Keon said as he led the ocular inspection of the route ahead of the event.

Aside from the 4x4 ride and sandboarding experience, registered participants will also be given a free singlet. (PNA)