KENYAN Simon Losiaboi and Mary Grace delos Santos faced new challenges but still came out on top in the 2nd Annual Great Lapu-Lapu Run at the Liberty Shrine yesterday.

Losiaboi finished the 21K in 1:12:47, while Delos Santos, who is from Zamboanga City, crossed the tape in 1:24:32 to top their divisions for the second straight week.

The two also won the Pinay in Action 10K run last week.

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“I’m happy I won because honestly I wasn’t expecting since Maquilan is also running for this event,” said Delos Santos.

Delos Santos, whose only loss in Cebu this year was in the full marathon last January, was referring to Marecil Maquilan, who came in second at 1:29:31.

Madelyn Carter came in third with a time of 1:30:37.

In the men’s division, Eric Panique took second with 1:13.24, while Mendel Lopez got relegated to third.

The 21K winners got medals, a P20,000 cash prize, sponsor freebies and an all- expenses-paid trip to the prestigious Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon.

However, the men’s winner of the trip will be Panique and not Losiaboi since the award was intended for the top male and female Filipino finishers.

In the 10K division, Mary Joy Tabal beat Elena Ading for first, while Janice Lim got third.

In the men’s 10K, Ben Alejandrino came in first over Philip Nuñez and Roland Montebon settled for the third place.

Miriam Miranda ruled the 5K women’s category with Sheena Dacayan and Marlita Dunken taking second and third.

Despite some glitches, yesterday’s run was a huge success.

“This is bigger and better (compared to last year). There are a lot of participants and the place is absolutely better,” the event’s chairperson Hembler Mendoza said.

The event was delayed for 15 minutes because the timer lost power just two minutes before the run was to start. Fortunately, organizers were able to address the problem.

Glitch

“We apologize to the runners because we do understand the difficulty when you run under the sun; the good thing was we were able to fix it,” said Noy Jopson, one of the race directors.

Other complaints made by other runners were against some of the female participants who gave their timing chips to their male friends, resulting to a slight confusion in the final ranking of the runners.

However, organizers were able to determine the final rankings based on the monitoring videos and time checkers.

Yesterday’s race also indicated that there is no slowing down of the running boom in Cebu.

“The Cebu running community is a tight and very positive group. They lift the standard of races in the country,” Jopson said.

With the help of Cebuano bloggers and the local running groups, organizers were able to promote the event extensively to the locals.

Aside from the almost 5,000 runners, the event also had some 200 policemen who help secured the route. (Cheska Maria D. Geli/UP Intern)