OLYMPIAN Mary Joy Tabal shrugged off a bout of cramps to remain undefeated in the women’s 21-kilometer race of the SM2SM Run Year yesterday.
The 28-year-old Tabal breasted the tape in 1 hour, 22 minutes and 38 seconds and won her sixth straight title in the annual race, which started and ended at SM City Cebu.
“I struggled at the start because of cramps. I came a bit late and wasn’t able to complete my warm-up, that’s why I had cramps. I was worried because I was not at my usual pace at the first few kilometers,” said Tabal.
The Southeast Asian (Sea) Games gold medalist, though, recovered from cramps after the first 9K and went on to finish the race with her best SM2SM Run time.
“In all my six wins in SM2SM Run, I think this was my best time. Last year I timed 1:25:00,” said Tabal, who won the women’s 39-below title and the P50,000 cash prize.
Visiting runners Aileen Tolentino and Christabel Martes were Tabal’s runners-up with times of 1:29:32 and 1:32:11, respectively.
Private First Class Richard Salaño of Philippine Army, on the other hand, took a part of the spotlight as he clinched a three-peat in the men’s 21K after clocking 1:12:00.
The former University of the East (UE) stalwart Salaño beat Cebu’s Rafael Pescos by one second in a sprint finish for the men’s 39-below title. Keenan James Caburnay came in third at 1:12:25.
“I really prepared for this race. Completing a grandslam in the SM2SM Run is a good achievement for me,” said the 26-year-old Bulacan native.
Salaño said that he will be back in Cebu to compete in the Philippine National Games (PNG) in May.
Prince Joey Lee of the Spectrum Runners Club also made it three in a row in the men’s 12K category. Lee clocked 39:24 to beat Romnick Dago and Bobby Tadlas, who timed 41:26 and 41:51, for the 39-below title.
Christine Hallasgo won the women’s 12K (39-below) with a time of 48:19. Ruffa Sorongon finished second in 49:09 and Lizane Abella came third in 50:08.
Desederio “Sano” Engbino (1:24:19) and Sandra Soliano (1:46:11), meanwhile, topped the men’s and women’s 21K (40-49) division.
Moises Bacon (1:29;07) and Hendry Perez (1:31:39) got the next two spots in the men’s class, while Jecel Pantalita (1:51:20) and Wilma Theresa Lugay (1:51:33) finished second and third, respectively, in the women’s division.
In the 21K (50-Above), Alex Loloy (1:32:52) won the men’s race and Rosalinda Cosino (2:02:19) topped the women’s class.
The other champions in the 12K were Edilberto Batiancila (48:10) and Elsie Dumdum (1:01:22) in the men’s and women’s 40-49; and Elberto Banzon (51:48) and Ma. Ana Buac (1:14:17) in the 50-Above.
Cherry Andrin (33:03) was the fastest in the women’s 8K followed by Jeneciel Saballa (33:32) and triathlete France Moira Erediano (33:49). Arlan Arbois Jr (27:08) won the men’s division over Erlincito Peonila (27:23) and Jordan Bacong (28:02).
Mary Joy Loberanis (16:03) beat Charrise Encarnacion (16:35) and Lourence Yvory Garcia (16:52) in the women’s 4K, while Arnel Florentino (13:24) won the men’s division over Ramil Nailon (13:35) and Edmund Capacao (13:37). (RSC)