Cebu Marathon

On Jan. 12 — next Sunday — the streets of Cebu will be littered with runners. Hundreds from Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Bacolod, Davao and other cities are landing in Mactan to run CCM. Even better news: more than 60 from Tacloban, Palo and other Yolanda-stricken places will be here to start the year running! We’re all looking forward to cheering and providing the loudest welcome to our neighbors from Samar and Leyte.

I’ve been in constant touch with Lester Tabada, whose articles and photos in his blog ( have provided much inspiration to us. We were able to raise at least P70,000 to help the Leyte group with their various expenses. Thanks to The Brick (Noy/Amale Jopson), Chris/Nia Aldeguer, Jane-Jane Ong, Jacs/Perl Jacalan and Pork Shop (among others) for the cash donations.

Important reminders for all CCM participants? First, it’s time to taper down. For the 42K runners, no runs beyond 10K are advisable. Drink plenty. There’s a saying that holds true: it’s better to be undertrained than overtrained. Relax.

Visit the website. At, check your name among the list of runners.

The Race Expo will run from Wednesday to Friday at The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu. A huge set-up has been built by Safeguard, the event’s title sponsor, and Ayala Center. (Out-of-town participants can claim their race packs on Saturday.)

On Friday night at The Terraces, it’s the Pasta Party. There will be music and entertainment. There will be last-minute briefings by Rio de la Cruz. It’s that one chance before the main event to mingle with the other long-distance runners.

On race-day Sunday, the 42K brave-hearts will start at the Cebu I.T. Park at 3 a.m. The 21K (half-marathoners), who’ll also receive medals and finisher’s shirts, will commence at 4 a.m. In all, the target of 3,000 participants was achieved — all vying to cross that finish, with the others, especially our Kenyan and Ethiopian friends, attempting to win that P100,000 first prize.

As to the Cebuano public: the race organizers would like to request for patience on the road. The inconvenience will not be as bad; the Cebu Marathon (traversing the cities of Cebu and Talisay) starts while you’re still asleep and will be finished around 11 a.m.

The SRP Tunnel will be fully-closed from 12 midnight until 9 a.m. Unlike the SRP area where half of the roads will be open to vehicular traffic, it’s not possible to have vehicles using the tunnel because the fumes will be intoxicating for the runners.

Advance thanks to Joel Juarez, whose CocoRunning outfit is leading the CCM operations, and to Dr. Peter Mancao, who is heading the Medical Team in coordination with ERUF, AMRO and many other groups.

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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