THE Cebu Marathon returns in grand fashion with a first in running history as it brings participants to the newest engineering marvel in town, the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX).

After a two-year stretch that saw the Cebu Marathon moved to a virtual format in 2021 due to Covid-19, the renowned race is back to its usual format now in the post-pandemic era.

CCLEX, the longest bridge in the country spanning 8.9 kilometers, will be the prime route for all the categories in the 2023 Cebu Marathon, which is set to blast off on Jan. 8, 2023.

The Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC) announced this development to the local media through a virtual meeting on Aug. 9.

“CCLEX will be the main route. We are thankful to CCLEX president Allan Alfon for this collaboration,” said CERC’s John Pages, who’s also the Cebu City Sports Commission chairman.

Pages was joined by CERC president Jesse Taborada, Meyrick Jacalan and Joel Juarez.

“CCLEX is the new thing in Cebu, and Cebuanos want to try anything new,” said Jacalan.

Pages added that CERC always tries to come up with something special and different for the runners.

“It’s going to be festive and exciting on top of CCLEX,” said Pages, who biked at the bridge during the Ironman 70.3 Philippines last Aug. 7.

CCLEX was part of the bike course of the Ironman 70.3 Philippines. This time they will play host to Cebu’s major running event with about 8,000 expected participants.

“As Cebu City mounts again the Cebu Marathon after a two-year pause, we are happy to be part of the comeback of the biggest and most festive 42K running event in the country,” Alfon said in a statement. “After the success of the recently concluded Ironman 70.3 Philippines with CCLEX hosting the exhilarating bike course, we are most excited to welcome the anticipated 8,000 runners of the Cebu Marathon.”

“Surely, CCLEX, now the longest and tallest bridge in the country, is also fast becoming a new sports icon, supporting the revival of Cebu’s tourism industry and the economy. A new landmark that offers picturesque views of the Metro Cebu skyline, we can’t wait to see you all at CCLEX come

Jan. 8, 2023,” he added.

The distances for the 2023 Cebu Marathon are the full marathon (42 kilometers) half-marathon (21 kilometers), 10 kilometers and five kilometers.

The race will start and end at the SM Seaside Cebu grounds.

Online registration will start on Aug. 17.

The complete details of registration will be announced later by the organizers.

Cebu Marathon is one of the sought-after running events in Cebu since it started in 2008.