Cebu City Marathon And The Running Fever

There is a virus that’s plaguing our city. It’s not the A-H1N1 strain or the Dengue fever scare. It’s more widespread and thousands are afflicted. All types of bodies have been stricken: 73-year-olds, college girls, Sun.Star online editor Max Limpag, CEOs, doctors, Donna Cruz-Larrazabal, lawyers…

The good news is, this virus is healthy and invigorating. Running, it’s called, and, for the past three years, dozens upon hundreds upon thousands have bought New Balance shoes, worn Nike Dri-Fit wear, purchased Garmin GPS watches, laced Adidas Supernova soles, traveled to Singapore or Chicago or Hong Kong to pound their two God-given legs from Start to Finish Line.

Isn’t this amazing? A sight to behold? Imagine 2,398 hearts, all side-by-side, all pounding 174 ticks per 60 beats, all raring to brave the Cebu roads, all puffing and sweat-dripping and arms-raising after a 10K race.

Raffy Uytiepo calls it “overdose.” Many term it “craze.” I call it The Running Virus. Because, think about it, isn’t running contagious? When you see your best friend’s waistline trimmed from 38 to 32, don’t you want the same? Isn’t that infectious? Contaminating? Take the past few weeks. I’ve never seen as many sporting events in my sporting life: Last Aug. 30, Cebu witnessed the twin races of the Diamond Lions Club and GMA-7. Last Sunday was the Canduman 10K Run. Tomorrow, it’s the annual Don Sergio Osmeña Sr. 10K. This Sunday, we have the IBP 5K Run plus the Cebu Normal University 10K. On the 26th, it’s the exclusive-for-media Press Freedom Run. Finally, on Sept. 27, it’s the World Heart Day Run. That’s nine running events in less a month!

In Manila, it’s worse. Consider next month: On Oct. 11, it’s the Milo Marathon finals. The week after, over a dozen Cebuanos (including myself, several Cebu Executive Runners Club members, the group of Atan Guardo which includes Atan, Jerry, Joel Garganera and plenty more) will join the Quezon City Intl. Marathon. The weekend after, on Oct. 24 and 25, it’s the Subic Intl. Marathon with our most famous TV personality, Haide Acuña, joining that night race (from 4:30 p.m. until midnight). And, on Nov. 8, it’s the Phil. (Pasig) Intl. Marathon. That’s four marathons (full 42 kms.) in five weeks. That’s no running flu… that’s a running pandemic. Isn’t this overwhelming? And extraordinary? In this age of obesity, when McDonald’s burger-and-french fry combos and greasy Sisig and Pork Belly meals proliferate, isn’t this exercise phenomenon most welcome?

Which brings me to 01-10-10. What do those binary numbers stand for? Spelled out, it means January 10, 2010. That’s the date when our beloved island will host a full marathon—that’s 42.195 kms. without the aid of a Chariot jeepney or a Hyundai Starex or a Giant bicycle. From Km. 0 to Km. 42, it’s just you and your two feet.

The Cebu City Marathon will offer a total of three distances: the 42K full marathon, the 21K half marathon and, possible for anyone who can walk and jog, a 5K Fun Run. Four months remain before the firing gun is shot to signal the start of this momentous event. This means that all of us have enough time to get ready. If you’re a regular 5K and 10K participant, it’s time to aim farther… the 21K. If you’re a 10K and 21K finisher, then you know that all runners aim to finish the ultimate dream: the 42K marathon.

To help all prepare, the Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC) is organizing a Running Clinic. Titled “Preparing For Your First Marathon,” this two-hour seminar/lecture will be held next Saturday afternoon, Sept. 19. This is open to all and is for free!

Names like Millette Chiongbian, Bert Banzon, Dr. Albert Santos, Noy Jopson, Dr. Renald Ramiro, Steve Ferraren, Raffy Uytiepo, Dr. Abe Manlawe are just a few of Cebu’s top “running doctors” who will help diagnose your concerns. More details will be posted in this sports box soon but, for now, I have one advice prior to 01-10-10: Be contaminated. This R.U.N. Virus is infectious.

Visit the official Cebu City Marathon website.

John Pages

By John Pages

I've been a sports columnist since 1994. First, in The Freeman newspaper under "Tennis Is My Game." Then, starting in 2003, with Sun.Star Cebu under the name "Match Point." Happy reading!


  1. May I ask,where can I find details for the Sept 27 cebu World Heart Day Run: registratio,fees, race route, etc. . . . .

  2. Just visited the site, just wondering why is the 5k run charged at 250 pesos?, many previous runs in cebu just charged 150 for 5k and 10k, what makes this cebu city marathon different? the singlet?, 100 plus drink?, a shiny certificate?, a cheap medal? or the most common it goes to some charity? w/c, I don’t even see mentioned in the site?

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