High marathon fever as Active Zone activates

Tomorrow night and Saturday evening will be unlike any other. For the first time in Cebu, a Carbo-loading/Pre-Race Party will inspire all participants joining the Cebu City Marathon. Who are invited? Everyone. All the 3,600 or so participants who have enlisted for this Sunday’s race. The venue? The Terraces of the Ayala Center Cebu. The garden setting will be transformed into a runners’ haven. Marathon films will be broadcasted. Top runners will give pep talks. Tips will be shared. All these plus a pasta meal with a free drink (from your choice of six Ayala Center tenants) for a minimal fee of P150. If you’ve registered for the 01-10-10 race, it’s a must you go!

Saturday night? It’s the formal launching of the first-ever Sports Hub in our city. If you’ve visited the Ayala Center over the holidays, you’ve probably trekked inside the area previously known as the Food and Entertainment Center. Today, it’s been renamed. From a location for partying, eating and drinking, it’s now a one-stop, one-place, one-destination headquarters for all things sports and adventure. There’s Nike. Mizuno. Adidas. R.O.X. There’s Puma. There’s plenty more. This Saturday, the Active Zone will be an activity center that will buzz.

RACE PACKETS. Updates… the distribution of the race kits is in full force. Yesterday, many of the 2,000 who registered for the 5K picked up their singlets. Today, the 21K and 42K runners can start claiming theirs.

NUMBERS. How many have registered for the Cebu Marathon? For the 42K marathon: 500. For the half-marathon: 750. For the 5K, that’s 2,300. The total is nearly 3,600. This Sunday morning at the Asiatown I.T. Park, considering these numbers, what a sight it will be to see thousands sweating.

5K STARTING TIME. Here’s an important announcement for all joining the 5K Run. While the organizers previously announced a 6 a.m. starting time, this schedule has been moved earlier by 30 minutes. The reason is this: because of the large turnout of over 2,000 runners in the 5K category—plus the latest update that Kenyan elite runners are joining the 21K and 42K—we’ll have to move the schedule to avoid a major traffic situation. Thus, for all 5K runners, please take note of these times: Assembly time: 5 a.m. Starting time: 5:30 a.m. For the 42K and 21K runners, the schedules are virtually unchanged: The 42K: Assembly time is 3:30 a.m. Starting time is 4 a.m. The 21K: Assembly time is 4:30 a.m. Starting time is 5:10 a.m.

PARKING. Another area of concern is the parking. Because while the Asiatown I.T. Park is huge, it will have difficulty accommodating all vehicles. Our solution: We’ve arranged for participants to park in the vacant lots inside the I.T. Park. But here’s an important reminder: Come early! And be ready to walk (consider it a warm-up!) far from the starting line (which is right across The Walk).

TRAFFIC. For the rest of the Cebuano public who are not joining the marathon, we make one request: Your patience. From 4 a.m. until 9:30 a.m., half of the route of the entire marathon will be closed (passing through prominent roads like Osmeña Blvd., Escario St., Gen. Maxilom Ave., Gorordo, Juan Luna). This means, for the vehicle-driving public that morning… traffic. We ask for your patience.

PIT SENYOR. What’s different with this marathon is this word: Volunteerism. Consider that over 500 volunteers—led by the members of the Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC)—will serve as marshals along the route. Alongside 300 policemen, they’ll man the intersections, serve water, offer first-aid and serve the runners. This marathon would not be possible if not for the selfless volunteers.

A total of 16 water stations will be spread out along the route. What’s unique about this race is because almost every station will provide entertainment. And so, dancers will dance, drummers will beat, giant speakers will blast noisy music to enliven the marathoners. In all, a festive marathon. Perfect because isn’t this the season for Asia’s biggest-ever festival called the Sinulog?

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. i have great expectation for this marathon john, & i have faith in the CERC, hope the weather will cooperate. God Bless us all. Pit Senyor.

  2. Absolutely great job by the organizers!!! Kudos to you John for keeping our newspaper sport Pages interesting and informative. I suggest you change your blog and newspaper column title to SPORTS PAGES!!!

  3. Hi John, congratulations on organizing the 01-10-10 Marathon. and the rest of the organizers, Congratulations for the job well done. I have nothing but praises on the recent marathon. it was a GREAT SUCCESS!!!! congrats to you all and more power! more marathon for Cebu i the future!!! 🙂

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