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Thursday, August 29, 2013
I RECEIVED an intriguing e-mail yesterday from Al (firstname.lastname@example.org):
“I am intending to run the Cebu Marathon as part of a world record attempt to run 52 marathons in 52 different countries in one year,” wrote Al, who is currently studying the various 42K races around the world and is plotting his schedule.
If Al does land in Mactan and joins our Sinulog-based event (scheduled on Jan. 12, 2014), it will be a Guinness World Record attempt unlike any other.
I’ve read of the “50 marathons in 50 days” feat and of this female runner who completed 100 marathons at the young age of 26 — but this is the first time I’ve heard of “52 marathons in 52 countries in one year.” This attempt — a marathon in a different country each week — is incredible.
Imagine the logistics/traveling. The expenses. The hotel bookings. The jet lag. Hoping for Al to include the Cebu Marathon in his world-record list!
US OPEN. In tennis, what differentiates a Grand Slam event from all the others is the duration: it’s two weeks long. It’s three out of five sets for the men. It’s a 128-person draw, which means that you have to win seven rounds before holding that championship trophy. It’s the prize money; in New York, it’s $2.6 million. (Even the first round loser takes home $32,000.)
The US Open, just like the Australian Open, offers ticket-holders two options: the day sessions and the night sessions. Both require separate tickets. Very wise of the organizers to split the star-studded matches — so they can double their revenues.
In New York City, the day session starts at 11 a.m. (with our 12-hour difference, that’s 11 p.m. for us). There are usually three matches per court during day time. At night, the evening session begins at 7 p.m. (For us here, if you’re free to watch, that’s a perfect 7 in the morning schedule.)
Now talking about the missing sweetener at “The Big Apple”...
SUGARPOVA. Ha-ha. Imagine if the name change was allowed? The world’s most famous woman athlete — Maria S. — wanted to have her family name spelled from “Sharapova” to “Sugarpova.” I visited her website and it’s loaded with lots of colors and candies.
There’s one Sugarpova candy pack named “Flirty.” Another is named “Smitten Sour.” One is “Sporty Pink.” Each one retails for $5.99 per pack and there are plenty of varieties: Gummies, Gumballs, Sour Chews.
The logo of Sugarpova is the red lips of Maria and the tagline is “Lips like Sugar.”
As if Sharapova is not contented enough with being the world’s richest female athlete (estimated net worth of $90 million), she’s into business. It’s estimated that last year she sold 1.8 million packs of her candies. I know one person who’ll be tasting those “lips”: Grigor Dimitrov, who lost in the first round yesterday at the US Open.
RUNNING TO MMA. Our fellow sportswriter Dale G. Rosal wrote an interesting piece yesterday.
“From Running to MMA Fighting,” the story features Leszl Gitaruelas — Cebu’s unbeatable runner five years ago. Now residing in Malaysia, Leszl has shifted to a more dangerous sport.
“The 39-year-old Cebuana is gearing up for her debut fight in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) this Saturday when she faces English fighter Ellen Harper in the undercard of the ‘Ultimate Beatdown’ MMA event in Johur Bahru, Malaysia,” wrote Dale Rosal.
“Gitaruelas is now training hard for her fight in Malaysia,” Dale added. “She spent a month here in Cebu training under the renowned YawYan ArDigma of Master Benigno ‘Ekin’ Caniga Jr. She started training last March and was halted for a month after she suffered an injury. She resumed training in Johur Bahru by practicing Muay Thai for a few weeks.”
On the road, Leszl had always been a fighter. I mean, she always sprinted her fastest and dedicated her all during training and competition. Now, she gets to be in another battle; this time, in an enclosed octagon-like ring.
You know what’s most difficult for Leszl?
She can’t “run away” like before!
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 29, 2013.