Come rain or shine

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Saturday, January 11, 2014


THE runners were all geared up and the organizers stayed at the top of their game as the seventh edition of the Cebu Marathon kicked off this morning at the Cebu IT Park.

They may have prepared an entire year but all 3,000 runners and organizers have one thing they will have no control over—the rain.

Cebu is experiencing a low-pressure area and the possibility of it raining in today’s run is high. The least the organizers can hope for is a tolerable shower.

“Hopefully dili kaayo kusog ang ulan because this is something that is beyond our control,” said John Pages of the Cebu Executive Runners Club.

The 42K runners were released at 3 a.m. and the 21K runners started at 4 a.m.

The wet roads could pose as a challenge to the elite runners, not just to those gunning for a podium finish but also to those who are hoping to improve their personal records.

The organizers have increased this year’s cash prizes, with the men’s and women’s 42K winners getting P100,000. The top local runners in the men’s and women’s division will receive P20,000 each.

In the 21K division, the top finishers will receive P30,000 each, while the top local finishers will win P8,000 each.

Things will be more challenging for the locals as 17 Kenyans have joined the race.

All-women Ultra Marathon (AWUM) defending champion Jade Abellana joined her third CCM 42K run but wasn’t expecting too much in this major race.

“I won’t be expecting too much, all I want to happen is to break my personal best of 4:03,” said Abellana.

The country’s fastest Filipina marathoner, Mary Joy Tabal, who recently won the women’s title in the 37th Milo Marathon National Finals, was expected to lead the local runners in the 21K.

This year’s race has attracted a lot of out of town runners with 23 nationalities, boosted by the accreditation from international marathon bodies Association of International Marathons (AIMS) and the International Association of Athletics Federations accreditation.

One of the objectives of the event is to help boost the city’s sports tourism and become a signature race, where people not only from the country will be looking forward to joining every year.

“The AIMS accreditation has helped in attracting more foreign participants with the help of Runrio Inc. coach Rio Dela Cruz,” Pages said.

The cut-off for 42K will be seven hours while the 21K will be four hours.

The race will have a festive mood as the 14 hydration station will have Sinulog dancers.

“Every station is required to put up entertainment. There is one station that will even have a live band playing while the race is ongoing. There will also be food along the race. Expect this race to be filled with fun,” said Pages.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2014.

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