Run, Tacloban, run

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Thursday, December 12, 2013


THE Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC), Runrio Inc. and the Cebu City Government will be working on how they can fulfill the dream of more than 30 runners from Tacloban City in the 2014 Cebu City Marathon on Jan. 12 at the Cebu IT Park.

According to CERC’s John Pages more than 30 runners from Tacloban City have registered for the CCM but because of what happened last Nov. 8, when the entire city was washed out by super typhoon Yolanda and displacing and killing thousands, most of these runners might not be able to make it on race day.

“I was told that there are more than 30 runners from Tacloban who registered for the 2014 CCM and most have one thing in mind—fulfilling the dream to finish a 42K run for the first time. But that dream was shattered after Yolanda left serious damages in the city. Half of them might not be able to make it,” said Pages.

Pages added this is why they are trying to figure out on how they can help these runners fulfill this dream because as a runner himself, he knows that it’s every runner’s dream to finish a full marathon.

“Running is a metaphor of life. I believe it would be a way of inspiring people that despite what had happened, they can rise above it all and continue to live and dream.

I believe this can also become an effort for the running community,” said Pages.

Pages added that 2014 Boston marathon qualifier Amale Jopson already expressed her interest in finding ways to help these runners after reading a blog post by Lester Tabada, a runner from Tacloban, who helped organize a 10K run in Tacloban City last Dec. 8, a month after the Yolanda tragedy.

Jopson said, “I read the article and the blogpost by Lester and I learned that many of them lost their running gear. I thought that for sure we can help them in that aspect. Even I have a lot of hardly- used gear that I can donate. I’m sure the running community in Cebu will be more than happy to help them realize their dream of running the 42K for the first time. They have had so much taken away from them, the
least they could have is for their dream to come true.”

Tabada, the author of the blogpost, is among the more than 30 runners from Tacloban City, who signed up for the CCM.

Unlike the other runners, Tabada will still join the CCM, a race he has been training for for the past three years.

“It’s a dare for myself and my tribute for Tacloban,” said Tabada adding he who would be happy if all of them from Tacloban who registered for the CCM will be able to join the race.

Meanwhile, Cebu City Councilor Richie Osmeña assured organizers that several barangays will be tapped to help in the success of the 2014 CCM.

Osmeña will be tapping the services of several barangays to help in the 14 hydration stations along the race route.

They will also encourage the different barangays to deploy well-wishers along the route to boost the esteem of every runners.

“It would make the race livelier with extra entertainment, extra manpower especially along the hydration areas,” said Runrio's events manager Ally Lim.

They are also planning to award the best cheer, best band as well as the top three best in costume.

The run is already on its seventh year and has been continuously supported by the City Government, which shoulders the cash prizes. The prizes in 2014 total P649,000, which is more than double to that of last year.

The CCM has earned accreditation from the Association of International Marathons (AIMS), an international body for marathons.

This year, the 2014 CCM medical team will be led by Peter Mancao, who has been joining the race but in 2014 edition will devote his expertise in the success of the event which is considered a way to promote sports tourism in the city.

There are already 2,260 runners who registered for the run. The registration is extended until Dec. 16. The registration centers are at the Ayala Active Zone. One can also register online at www.cebumarathon.com.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 12, 2013.

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