Pages: Cebu Marathon: Last chance to register

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Sunday, December 15, 2013


TOMORROW marks both the first day of the Misa de Gallo masses and the last day of the registration of the Cebu City Marathon. For those who have yet to enlist in either 42K or 21K in one of our country’s most festive marathons — do so today. Visit the booth at the Ayala Center or grab your iPad and register online at www.cebumarathon.com.

With only 28 days left before the Jan. 12 gun start, preparations are running fast.

Last Thursday, I met the Cebu City Council head of the Committee on sports, Hon.
Richie Osmeña.

“Let’s involve all the barangays along the route,” said Osmeña, who’ll be running 21 kms. “Let’s request everyone to go out that morning and help or cheer.”

Excellent suggestion. Although the Cebu Marathon is now on its seventh year (twice as the Sinulog Half-Marathon and five times offering the full 42K), we had never before fully tapped the barangay constituents. We’ll do that now.

Why? Because this event is not an ordinary jog or stroll — it’s a Sinulog-timed mardi gras race offering a Sinulog-themed atmosphere along the route: dancers entertaining, bombastic music pumping those pumping hearts, cheerers handing out Gatorade drinks and guitar-shaped medals at the finish.

Yes, I repeat: While previous CCM races had the mango and puso designs as medals, for 2014 it’s the guitar. And it’s available not only to the 42K finishers but also to those crossing the 21K line.

What else is new for 2014? AIMS/IAAF (international) certification — only the second race in the Phils. (other than the Milo Marathon in Manila) that offers this.

Gatorade drinks in each of the 14 stations.

Black-sleeveless running shirts for all; black-colored (with sleeve) shirts for all finishers (42K runners have the “Marathoner” at the back; 21K participants have the “Half-Marathoner.”)

P100,000 cash prize to the first placers (men and women) in the 42K. Total cash prize amounts to P649,000. Among the many prizes (and there’ll be plenty of raffle items from sponsors like Saucony and Timex) will be for Best in Costume.

Race Expo: Thanks to the title sponsor Safeguard, the Jan. 8 to 10 Race Expo will be at The Terraces at Ayala Center. I’ve seen the layout and design and it will be a Race Expo that Cebu has never witnessed before. Rio de la Cruz and his RunRio team will bring the entire show from Manila to Cebu; we’ll be treated to a world-class pre-race set of activities.

ATENEO RUN. Yesterday, with my daughter Jana and her classmates, we joined the Ignatian Hero Run at the Sacred Heart School - Ateneo de Cebu campus.

Despite the deluge that poured upon us just minutes prior to the 10K’s 5:15 a.m. start, it was a very well-managed run — kudos to Alan Choachuy, Rico Navarro and dozens of other parents, alumni and school officials. Joel Baring, presiding over the 3K, 5K and 10K distances, was his superb self: marshals and water were plenty.

While our 5K and 10K events took us to Talamban and Banilad, the 3K registrants circled the campus. It was safe. Spectators and cheerers were many. And that race featuring the parents and teachers — that was timed as the last and most awaited event.

BOXING. My sports editor Mike Limpag made an excellent observation yesterday. In a sport as physical as boxing, shouldn’t experts be running the event? Maybe for less hazardous games, the DepEd teachers will do. But not for a contact sport involving children.

As of this writing, reports say that Jonas Joshua Garcia, 16, of Bulacan, is “brain-dead.” In the first round of his bout during the Central Luzon regional meet in Zambales, it appears his nose started to bleed. He was allowed to continue.

In the second round, after the possible multiple head punches that he absorbed, he felt dizzy. He was rushed to the hospital. Let’s pray that Joshua recovers.

I know boxing has become our nation’s top-drawer. Still, I ask: How young should these boys start hitting each other? Is this safe? Can it be made safer?

(john@pages.ph)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 15, 2013.

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