Pressure queen-A A +A
Sunday, March 10, 2013
IF IT'S not your will that will keep you going, then a bit of pressure from the fellow participants could push you to the finish.
This is the beautiful twist for Odiza Abellana, the newly crowned All-Women ultra running queen yesterday at the Cebu White Sands.
Abellana finished the 50-kilometer run—which started at the Plaza Independencia and ended at the Cebu White Sands—in 5:14:41, an improvement on the winning time last year.
But a podium finish was never part of her plan. That is until she learned during the race briefing that fellow runner Kikai Legaspi had made a bet on Abellana winning the race.
“Maglingaw-lingaw ra unta ko, na-ahat kog pressure kay makonsensya man ko sa matabo,” said Abellana.
From placing sixth last year, Abellana rose to the top spot in what was also her first time to be no. 1 in all her races.
Abellana has been a runner for almost two years and just like most other runners, she started for health reasons.
Working in sales for a company in IT Park, she found a healthier alternative in running to survive the ins and outs of the corporate jungle.
“I run for passion and it’s not about being on stage. It’s more of survival for me with the stressful work I have,” said Abellana.
From overdosing on four cups of coffee to survive the graveyard shift, she turned to running and made use of her one-hour lunch time to run.
With this achievement, she hopes that her fellow workers from IT Park, who are mostly customer service representatives, will be encouraged to adopt an active lifestyle.
“It will be a challenge but as long as you put your heart to it, it won’t be hard,” she said.
Indeed, she welcomes another challenge as she tests herself in the sport of triathlon.
And as bonus from her title, she got what she asked for during the race briefing when she requested for a male dancer in one of the hydration stations.
She got it at Kilometer 34 when she was welcomed by a sight of a man who stripped off his top and ran towards her.
“Pagkahuman ana kay kusog gyud kog dagan,” she said.
Preciousa Sanchez came in at second place in 5:26:21, while Janice Beth Vamenta was third in 5:30.
The fourth to 10 placers are Mary Luz Hermosa, June Marq Ocaña, Rhodora Oporto, Sandra Soliano, Ma. Glen Pontanar, Melchomelda Kitane and Maripol Tecson in tenth.
Abellana received the scepter and the crown from former champion Merlita Arias- Dunkin who came not in her running attire but in her pink flowing gown.
“Very succesfull and well-organized in terms of marshal support kay mas daghan pa nuon ang officials kaysa sa nidula which is good to ensure the ladies safety,” Dunkin said.
Dunkin wishes to be back next year to get a shot of the title but for now she is preparing to defend her crown in the 100K Northface in Baguio next month.
“As a runner and a race organizer, sa walay pagdapig dapig, nothing beats our volunteers and marshals in our All Women Ultra Marathon which is the best in the Philippines and only happens in Cebu. It’s our way of celebrating Women’s month by taking vey extra care to our 148 lady runners,” said ultra runner Joel Garganera.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 11, 2013.