Blessings for a CCM ‘sun’ day last Sunday

Thank you, Lord! When the rains deluged Cebu last Saturday night, we were worried. Rain is good. It usually is. But not during a major outdoor event like a marathon. But, thanks to His divine plan, the stormy weather stopped at 3 A.M. and the skies cleared (even from the scorching sun—perfect for the runners!) the entire day. Thanks to….

CERC. It’s called volunteerism. Members of the Cebu Executive Runners Club (CERC)—led by our president Roy Trani—have to be lauded for the many months of preparation.

KENNETH CASQUEJO. Among the CERC members, none worked harder than Kenneth, the man behind the race-organizing company Run Check. Kenneth handled the bulk of the operations—from helping in the Registration to heading the Race Expo to delivering many of the supplies (water, bananas, Pocari Sweat). Good job, Ken!

UC. The biggest contingent was from the University of Cebu. When I met Atty. Gus Go two months ago, he promised that his students will join. They did. Numbering 2,000, they crowded the streets. Special thanks to UC’s top officials Bernard Ricablanca and Emerson Subong.

BOYING. Seven days ago, I received this SMS message: “Do you still need extra help? Although I am registered, won’t be able to run. Crashed my bike and sprained my wrist and ankle. Not being able to run will be frustrating but at least helping out and being part of it will ease the pain.” The sender? Top sportsman Boying Rodriguez, who helped last Sunday at the Plaza Independencia.

SRP. By motorcycle, I was able to tour the CCM route. The best spot was the South Road Properties. The climate was cool. Both lanes were closed to vehicular traffic. The sunlight emerged from the waters off Bohol. Thousands of brave runners mustered the courage to fight their fatigue and run.

TUNNEL. Among the 14 water stations that provided hydration, one of the best areas—manned by CERC’s Dodong Sulatre—was the tunnel. Two “higantes” entertained the runners. Free massage was offered. Cold water spray was splashed on the faces. Loud music boomed. Perfect.

12 NOON. Eight hours after we released the 42K runners at 4 A.M., the last runner, Francis Velasquez of Cagayan de Oro, arrived barefoot. He ran without shoes (to raise funds for the victims of Sendong) the entire route. We gave his wife the finisher’s medal as she donned it on him at the Finish; they kissed and hugged as we applauded.

JIGGY. Arriving just minutes before Francis was Jiggy Cerna who succumbed to leg cramps at Km. 22. Imagine limping the remainder of the way—that’s 20 more kms.—just to finish. That’s perseverance. Jiggy’s wife, Chay, who finished the 21K, patiently waited at the I.T. Park. What a gallant effort from the voice behind Y101.

MAYOR. Proclaiming during the Press Conference that a healthy body is a prerequisite for a strong mind, Mayor Mike Rama joined the 5K. He wore jersey number “1.” Councilor Edgar Labella, a long-distance runner, also ran.

CITOM. Nearly 100 traffic enforcers engulfed the city of Cebu last Sunday. With most of the roads closed to provide a safe passageway for the participants, CITOM played a most crucial role. CITOM Chairman Jack Jakosalem and executive director Raffy Yap: thanks!

YAYOY AND ED. To Cebu City Councilor Raul Alcoseba, who spearheads the Committee on Sports, his backing for the prize money was invaluable. So was the support of CCSC chairman Edward Hayco.

FIRE BRIGADE. Led by one of my closest buddies, Wilton Uykingtian, the Cebu Filipino Chinese Volunteer Fire Brigade helped cool the heating bodies of the runners. They were at Fuente Osmeña. They showered water at the SRP.

MEDICAL. In an event covering 42 kms. in scope, medical response is most essential. The CERC is blessed to have many doctor/members. Thanks to our fellow CERC member Dr. Rosan Trani, we were able to enlist 10 more groups who spread themselves all over the route. Dr. Wyben Briones was one volunteer. He was stationed at KM. 36 in Gen. Maxilom Ave. Thanks to the All Terrain Medical Relief Organization (AMRO).

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!

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