CEBU’S elite runners are set to vie for the title in the 11th Cebu Marathon in the Cebu Business Park this Sunday.
One of the categories to watch out for is the 42K men’s race.
Elite runners from Cebu in this division include reigning champion Rafael Pescos, four-time Cebu Marathon champion Noel Tillor, Michael Largo, and Azlan Pagay.
Pescos, 24, said that the Cebu Marathon will be his third marathon for this month following the Lacastellana Marathon last Jan. 4 in Negros Occidental and the Baybay City Marathon last Sunday.
Pescos, an ace runner from Spectrum Runners Club, finished second in both the Lacastellana Marathon and Baybay City Marathon.
“Bun-og ko daan kay this will be my third marathon. I’m not expecting a lot in this race. Whatever my finish will be, I’m going to accept it. What’s important is to finish safely and enjoy the race,” said Pescos.
Four-time Cebu Marathon champion Noel Tillor, on the other hand, will be gunning for a better finish after falling out of the top three last year. He’s going for the title.
“I’m confident with my preparation and I hope I can get first place,” said Tillor, who topped the men’s 21K race in Baybay Marathon.
After the Milo Marathon National Finals last Dec. 3 in Cebu, Tillor continued to train for the Cebu Marathon.
“My training has been continous, but we don’t know what will happen in the race. Even if you have really prepared for it, you can’t still control what will happen. I will just execute my game plan to get a good performance,” said Tillor.
Tillor said that more than the ranking, he’s doing this run to show his devotion to Señor Sto. Niño.
“This is my halad pasalamat (thanksgiving offering) to Señor Sto. Niño for all the blessings He has given to me,” said Tillor.
Gerry Mayo, president of Spectrum Runners Club, said that aside from Pescos, they will field Lizane Abella in the women’s 42K and Prince Joey Lee, Agustin Ychon and Lovely Andrin in the 21K.
The Spectrum contenders in the short-distance categories are Cherry Andrin, Melody Perez, Ruel Algufera, Arnel Florentino, Erl Pionela and Mary Joy Loberanis.
Mayo said that he’s hoping that the athletes will perform their best and more importantly, enjoy the race.
“The target is top three but being the champion would be better,” he said.
Mayo, who will be running the 21K, said that he’s expecting a better Cebu Marathon after the Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC) took over the organizing duty.
“I really expect this to be better than last year. I think the CERC is doing all they could to make up for the not-so-good turn out last year,” said Mayo. “My expectation is there will be better hydration and more food.”
The 11th Cebu Marathon will have a record field in the 42K and 21K categories with 1,895 and 2,200 marathoners and half-marathoners.
There will be 36 nationalities that will be represented in the sporting event, which is part of the activities for the Sinulog Festival. (RSC)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on January 11, 2018.
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