John Pages

Match Point

THANK you to Joy Polloso, Jessica Yap, Cyril Gonzales and the rest of the team from Ayala Center Cebu. Without their help, the “01-10-10” event would not have been, as termed by many, “world-class.” For it was at the Ayala Center where the headquarters of the Cebu City Marathon was located. The month-long registration period was held at the Active Zone—and so was the Race Expo where participants claimed their race packs from Jan. 6 to 9. And, to top it all, last Friday night, an event transpired that had everyone in attendance saying “Wow!”

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It was the Pre-Race Party and Carbo-Loading Dinner. Set amidst towering trees and the giant stage of the sunken garden named The Terraces in Ayala Center, it was the first time in Cebu that runners had experienced such a get-together: the race rules were read, tips were shared and “Spirit Of The Marathon” was shown.

Thank you to Zaldy Abapo-Velano of Summit Drinking Water. He did not sleep at all the night of the marathon—making sure that water and 100Plus sports drinks were dropped-off at all 16 pit stops. His dedication helped in the event’s success.

To Levi Lopez, the administrator of the Asiatown I.T. Park, whose venue was perfect... Salamat!

To the team of Meyrick and Perl Jacalan in ASAP (Advertising Services and Promotions) Cebu… Patty, Marlin, Dennis, Nanette, Ethel, Mark, and Tata—who helped in the marketing, designing of all the materials and especially in the registration—you deserve a huge bonus from your bosses!

To Jay-Jay Taborada, the eldest son of Jesse (president of CERC), who was the head of the registration, plus his companions (all volunteers) Albee Charis Quijano, Nathalie Panal and Mary Rose Ponce—thanks!

To Judge Gabby Ingles and to Rodrigo Ababat, distinguished members of the CERC who helped last Sunday… thank you.

To Jiggy Cerna of Y101, who commandeered the program from 3:15 a.m. until 11 a.m., we hope you still won’t run the 21K next year lest we lose you as our emcee.

And to the hundreds more—from the Citom traffic enforcers to the Lumad Basakanon dancers to Col. Biñas of the Talisay Police to the cheerers, water-station personnel,

marshals… Daghang Salamat!

REVIEWS. Two of the most influential running bloggers/analysts just released their post-race reports. Here’s what they said:

Jaymie Pizarro, The Bull Runner. She gave the race the highest rating, “5 Stars” or “Excellent.” Here’s Jaymie: “Cebu City Marathon: the best local race I have ever joined. The organizers of Cebu Marathon got everything right from the carbo-loading party to the awarding program. I was told that they ran Singapore, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam Marathons and attempted to replicate the best from these marathons in Cebu. Looks like they were very successful. The one thing that stood out in this race, which contributed most to its success but didn’t cost a cent, were the people. The warmth and hospitality of the organizers and Cebuano runners were felt all throughout.

Spectators lined the roads and cheered enthusiastically. It didn’t feel like another big corporate-sponsored racing event, but a run to celebrate Cebu, its people, and its culture.”

Next, retired Gen. Jovie Narcise, The Bald Runner. He titled his article, “‘Perfect’ Race in Cebu City!” He wrote: “The Cebu City Marathon was an outstanding road race that surpassed my expectations. From registration, distribution of race packets, carbo-loading party, race proper, up to the awarding ceremonies and the immediate posting of the official results, everything was ‘perfect.’ It only proves once again the importance of the local government’s full support and involvement that makes a Marathon Race of such magnitude as a very successful event.

In essence, it is the UNITY IN PURPOSE and COOPERATION of everybody that spell the difference to create an excellent result is the moral lesson in this event…”

Visit thebullrunner.com and baldrunner.com to read the full reviews.

To all, congratulations and thank you!

(www.cebumarathon.com)