Three major footraces in two months. After the Cebu Marathon last January 14, it’s the 7-Eleven Run early today (very early at 1 a.m.). What makes this event unique is it’s run simultaneously this morning in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao: Filinvest Alabang in Manila, Cebu Business Park here, and SM City Davao in Mindanao.
After these two back-to-back 42K full marathon events, the long distance runners are not finished yet. Two Sundays from today, it’s the highly-anticipated SM2SM Run. Celebrating its 8th anniversary this 2/18/18, the prize money is unrivaled: P50,000 goes to each 21K champion and the total cash prizes this year (from last year’s P586,000) has jumped to P703,000.
Raffle prizes? This is SM and they have a bonanza: 8 Cathay Pacific round trip tickets to Hong Kong, 8 Samsung Galaxy Note 8s, 8 Samsung LED TVs, Fujifilm cameras, 6 GCs in Sheridan Beach Resort in Palawan, 3 GCs in Radisson Blu, 8 GCs in Parklane Hotel, Swatch watches, Bayfront Hotel breakfast coupons and Trans Asia round trip tickets.
The race venue is at SM City Cebu and will feature 21K, 12K, 8K and 4K distances. Registration fees are P550 for 4K, P650 for 8K, P750 for 12K, and P950 for 21K. Each runner receives a breakfast meal and loot bag with premium items. Deadline for registration is Feb. 15. This event is for the benefit of Cebu Newsworkers Foundation, Inc. and Children of Cebu Foundation, Inc.
Congratulations in advance to the top officials of SM, led by the indefatigable Marissa Fernan, SM’s top marketing head for the Visayas, Jen-Jen Amigo, and SM’s Senior Public Relations Manager for VisMin, RJ Leduna.
Archbishop Jose Palma (2nd from right) with Guy Ceniza, Alan Larot and Boy Villanueva
Of the dozens of values that are important in life, and these include Respect, Excellence, Compassion, Responsibility, Gratitude and having a Caring heart, the single most important value might be this: Honesty.
In the several companies that we operate, and in the over 1,200 team members that we employ, nothing is more important than integrity. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best waiter or the smartest teacher or you possess exemplary leadership skills, if you’re not honest, you’re out.
This advocacy is at the heart of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals. The BCBP was founded in 1980 with the mission “to bring Christ to the marketplace and to win the marketplace for Christ.” And what is BCBP’s signature campaign?
Be Honest. Even if others are not. Even if others will not. Even if others cannot. And from Proverbs 10:9: “He who walks honestly, walks securely.”
Next Sunday, August 27, it’s the BCBP Be Honest Run. The main goal is to help promote the culture of fairness, fidelity and faithfulness. To be honest at home. To be honest with your people. To be honest in business dealings. To be honest with yourself.
Over a thousand participants are expected next weekend and registration is still open. The distances offered are not intimidating: you can walk or run the 2K or 4K or 8K distances. There are no winners. And here’s a first, possibly for any race in the country: We will award a prize to the fastest finisher… based on honesty! Sure, a clock (courtesy of Joel Juarez of Coco Running) will be hanging on the finish line but there will be no timing chips or U-turn bracelets to check if you’ve passed all the corners. The Be Honest Run will be won by the first placer who is honest!
The August 27 event will be held at the Ayala Center Cebu. The start and finish is at The Terraces and the runners (and, yes, leisurely-walkers) will navigate the streets inside the Cebu Business Park. The run will start at 5:45 a.m. and everyone is advised to arrive at 5 a.m. for the prayer, opening remarks and the warm-up exercises.
The “Be Honest Run” is open to all BCBP members, family members, friends and colleagues. It’s open to all. The registration fee is P300 and this entitles you to a Meyrick Jacalan-designed shirt and a race bib. Raffle prizes will be given and there will be free Thirsty drinks for all.
The registration booth will open tomorrow until the end of next week at the Active Zone of Ayala Center (near Bo’s Coffee). Just bring your P300 and, subject to availability, you may immediately get your shirt. Then we’ll see you at the starting line next Sunday.
More on honesty, I’d like to leave you with these inspiring words: If it’s not right, don’t do it; if it’s not true, don’t say it. Simple. / Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is doing it. / If you want to be trusted, just be honest. / Everybody wants the truth but nobody wants to be honest. / When in doubt, tell the truth. / If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. / And from St. Teresa: Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.
Spelled in full, BCBP stands for the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals. The BCBP was founded 37 Julys ago when a group of gentlemen met for breakfast at the Makati Sports Club. The gathering became a weekly habit as the business personalities, who initially numbered 24 men, grew. This was in July 1980.
Thirty seven years ago this month, the BCBP is a large Catholic charismatic organization numbering over 20,000. From Makati, the brotherhood has sprouted with 106 chapters and 35 outreaches and has gone international: there are BCBP breakfasts and missions in Jakarta, Canada, Bangkok, Singapore and in various cities (Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and more) in the U.S.
Here in Cebu, led by pioneers such as Jojo Veloso, Willy Puno, Sadi Saguisag, Jourdan Polotan, Larry Veloso, Jojo Osmeña and Del Ordoñez, the first BCBP breakfast was held in 1988 at the Club Filipino. As each Saturday morning passed, more and more Cebuanos joined. They talked business over ham and eggs and listened to the testimony of a BCBP member whose life was tranformed by the Lord.
Today, BCBP Cebu has 14 chapters and a total population that exceeds a thousand men and women. My wife Jasmin and I belong to the North Chapter and we were invited by Jasmin’s parents, the late Atty. Jack Mendez and my mother-in-law Malu.
The BCBP Vision reads: “Bringing Christ into the marketplace and winning the marketplace for Christ.”
BCBP’s main advocacy can be summed up in two words: Be Honest. And you might have seen a poster, standee or sticker with the following text: BE HONEST. EVEN IF OTHERS ARE NOT. EVEN IF OTHERS WILL NOT. EVEN IF OTHERS CANNOT.
These powerful words are accompanied by a passage from Proverbs 10:9: “He who walks honestly, walks securely.”
Next month, on August 27 (Sunday), the BCBP will be hosting the first “Be Honest Run.” It will be purely a fun run and walk (meaning no winners and prize money). The start/finish will be at The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu and the 2K, 4K and 8K distances will be covered inside the safe confines of the Cebu Business Park.
Why a “Be Honest Run?”
First, to spread the importance of honesty. Among life’s many virtues, honesty ranks at the very top. Truthfulness. Integrity. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Being fair and sincere. We hope to spread the culture of truthfulness to everyone.
Second goal: to promote fitness. From Romans 12:1: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Third objective: To help raise funds for the international mission projects of the BCBP and to help donate funds to our sisters and brothers affected by the Marawi crisis.
The BCBP Be Honest Run is open to everyone, not just to BCBP family members. It is open to 99-year-olds who can walk for two kms. and to 9-year-olds who can run a 4K. The registration fee is only P300. This includes a race bib and a shirt with a logo designed by my fellow marathoner Meyrick Jacalan.
How to register? A registration booth will soon be available at the Ayala Center. Or you may approach a BCBP member so he/she can help get the race kit for you. Visit the Facebook page, “BCBP Be Honest Run – Cebu.”
Paraphrasing the words from Proverbs 10:9: “He who walks (or runs) honestly, walks/runs securely.”
Want to live a peace-filled and healthy life? Be honest. Run.
Given the thousands of running enthusiasts that pound our streets — including this Sunday’s awaited SM2SM Run — underneath each pair of legs is a pair of running shoes. We all have one, some two, others three or four pairs of running shoes.
This love month comes an excellent idea to share. As the saying goes, “There is no excercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” I paraphrase that by saying, “There is no better exercise than running.. and reaching down for a pair of running shoes to share.”
Kyle Kokseng is a runner. He has finished three 42Ks: In 2013, the Cebu Marathon; and last year, in Tokyo and Chicago. Kyle has conceptualized a big-hearted project.
“Heart for Soles is a passion project by an average guy who likes running a little too much,” Kyle said in the poster. “After cleaning out his closet, he found several pairs of shoes that were still useable and hard a lot of mileage left in them. So instead of throwing them out, he decided to donate them to athlete scholars from public schools in Cebu City who have the ability but no capacity for equipment and gear.
“Later on, he realized that there were a lot of people in Cebu with the same love for running and the same closet filled with shoes. So he decided to create a program that would allow all running enthusiasts to give back to the city’s athlete scholars. Here’s a reSHOElution for you. Your shoes have come a long way, it can go a little longer.”
How to join? Kyle explains: (1) Donate your old running shoes (running shoes only). Must be clean and in good condition. No tears, no holes. You wouldn’t want someone else wearing your smelly damaged shoes, right? (2) Tie the shoelaces of the pair so we won’t be searching for a missing shoes. (3) Attach an info card/sheet with the ff. details: size, men’s or women’s, inspirational message to the recipient. (4) You may or not put your name on the info card. (5) Drop off your old and preloved running shoes at the donation boxa at the main mall ground floor of Banilad Town Centre (BTC).
Since Kyle started last Feb. 1, he’s collected 14 pairs. “I want to see the running community grow by helping those who have the ability but no capacity,” he said. “Who knows, one of the recipients might be a future Olympian!”
For more details, check Instagram or FB: @heartforsolesph. And in advance for donating to our less fortunate runner-friends, Kyle says: SHOE-lamat!
Both are giant-sized malls. One is humongous while the other, slated to open by year’s-end, is extraordinarily humongous. I’m referring to the SM City Cebu and that spaceship of a building with a levitating cube and artistic wave-like walls that’s called the SM Seaside City.
Two mornings ago at 5 a.m., the starting gun was fired at the reclamation area fronting the Bayfront Hotel of Chester Cokaliong. Fireworks brightened the black sky. It was the fifth edition of the SM2SM Run and I ran the 21K.
What’s my objective review? VG: Very good.
Hydration stations were littered every kilometer — a total of 10 stops loaded with unlimited water; one or two stations with Gatorade and a few with dark chocolates and bananas. We pressed sponges to cool our heating bodies.
Music stations blasted their melodic noise to soothe our ears during the usually quiet Sunday morning. I especially liked the group, dressed in white, who stood at the SM Seaside City corner to pound the drums.
The road was fully closed to traffic. For two hours and seven minutes, Dr. Tony San Juan and I — plus thousands of others — enjoyed the wide expanse of the route and the SRP. The “S” in the “SM” stood for “safety” as it was a completely car-free race.
After the run, the loot bags distributed were loaded: Jollibee breakfast, Yakult drink plus other goodies. The good-looking medal made by Suarez & Sons showed three Olympic-like rings. The awarding, held inside the mall’s North Wing, was filled as hundreds awaited the raffle prizes (motorcycle, TVs, laptops).
With the prize money, it stood as the biggest not only in Cebu but, I’m guessing, of any race outside Manila. Kenyans and elite runners (including Eduardo Buenavista) joined with the P60,000 first prize as goal.
Malu Mendez, my well-loved and eternally generous mother-in-law, won’t run this Sunday but she’s advocating that we all do. She’s part of the Zonta Club and it’s the “Zonta Says No” race at The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu.
Organized by the all-women group, the goal is to say no to violence against women, girls and children. This Sunday’s run offers three categories: 3K, 5K and 10K.
Zonta president Nellie Chiu said in a recent press conference (story written by Richiel Chavez): “We want to promote our advocacy through the run. The orange color will represent the support for women and children who experience violence. The more runners we have, the more mileage we can get for this advocacy.”
The funds generated from the run will be used for the future construction of the Zonta Center, a venue that will offer victims multiple support services.
Say “Yes” by joining the run and help Zonta say “No” to violence against women.
I’ve joined hundreds of runs before but nothing like the one last Saturday. It started at 7:30 p.m. What run begins at that primetime, traffic-infested hour, on a Saturday, the busiest of nights? Aren’t all races on an early-morning-Sunday, when everyone’s lying in bed and the roads are asleep?
The Color Nite Run was different. It’s a “party” run. By that, I mean this: loud Avicii music, powered by the Party Truck of Nature’s Spring, flooding the open air as laser lights swirled; everybody wore black — but what illuminated the darkness were neon sticks. All runners were given glow sticks. Some wrapped the neon bands on their necks, arms, wrists. I saw pairs of colored shoelaces. A foam stick — which emitted neon glows — was handed each runner. We waved the stick, carried it like a baton on a 400-meter relay; we ran like Darth Vader with lightsabers.
The venue was the South Road Properties (SRP), with the start/finish area at the Il Corso in Filinvest. Imagine the sight of 1,800 participants — which included many friends, Lester Tabada, Steve Ferraren, Derek Dytian, DJ Fortz (aka “Michael Jackson”), Allan Delantar, Jeson Guardo — running in the gloom, all carrying yellow bands and orange sticks and glow-in-the-dark accessories?
Boom! As the gun was fired to signal the start, we all shuffled our feet and waved our colors to trek 10 kms. Half of the SRP road was closed. Perfect. With the calm waters of the SRP to your right and the vibrant lights of Cebu to the left, how unique could this run be? Looking at the lights of our city, what stood brightest was Crown Regency, all 40 storeys with multi-colored glowing lights that danced and bounced. The run was “cool” — and, at night, cooler than the 36 degrees Celsius of summer sun to bake your skin.
Organized by Jay Em of ProactiveSports and assisted by Joel Juarez of Coco Running, these guys are experts. Starting with the registration, after paying you’re given a plastic card. You go online and register. The run was well-managed. Hydration stations were plenty. Signages were clear. Tents stood at the finish with food/water. What I found unique was the fee: it was the same P750 for the 3K, 5K and 10K distances. All got a good-quality black shirt plus the neon adornments. Also, since this was a fun-run, no prize money was involved (which saved the organizers plenty); it also meant that they could deploy fewer marshals at the U-turn slots — if you booked for a 3K but felt strong and wanted to go 10K, why, nobody would stop you. Nice.
The only bad parts? Glow Eyeglasses were promised but not given. Worse, no medals were distributed at the finish. For some reason, the medals were locked-up somewhere and they could not be handed-out. This turned many smiling faces into frowns.
Personally, the race was extra special because the entire way, I ran alongside a person who bore me in her womb and helped raise me the past few decades: my mom, Maria Elena. Stride for stride, running short bursts then strolling to walk as the water stations approached, my mom Allen and I forged ahead as one. Best of all? It was my mom’s birthday, her 46th! (Okay, you can interchange the numbers but given her looks and slim physique, she can pass as my sister.) We ran. So did dozens of my mom’s relatives: her four brothers, Ric, Eton, Ondoy and Paul; and dozens of my cousins who flew in from Iloilo — including my “older brother” (cousin) Dindin Zaldarriaga who ran the 10K with my wife Jasmin. We also had over 50 of our teachers from Play House and Bright Academy.
Dindin, Allen, Jasmin and John
At Lantaw Native Restaurant, led by my brother Charlie, we set-up a tent with plenty of food. Prior to the gun start, I did something I’ve never done before: I tore a few cracks off the skin and munched on lechon… before a 10K.
At the finish, after a leisurely one hour and 19 minutes, my mom and I crossed the line with arms raised, holding hands. Minutes later, fireworks erupted as we sang Happy Birthday. What a colorful night.
Lester Tabada emailed me yesterday. “I’m a runner from Southern Leyte,” he wrote. “I ran for Tacloban City.”
Last Sunday, exactly one month after the strongest typhoon on earth decimated Visayas, a band of runners decided to do the unthinkable: They decided to run. For 10 kilometers. Around Tacloban’s streets. “We decided to rise up and run,” declared Lester, “to show the people of Tacloban that we are stronger than Yolanda!”
Their race bibs were made of tarpaulin. The runners, instead of writing numbers, inscribed messages of gratitude and hope on the plain white tarpaulin. Some wrote “Wag mawawalan ng Pag-asa,” “Thank You World,” “Thank You Paul Walker,” and “DTI what happened to the Price Freeze.” Lester, who penned the inspiring story in his blog, Lester Pencilhands (lapiskamay.wordpress.com), wrote on his bib: “Anderson 360 for President (Thank U CNN).”
Last Sunday, he said, was a comeback run. “Most of the Tacloban runners who showed up were having their first run since Yolanda,” he said. “But it suddenly transformed into a fun run the moment we agreed to steel that ‘Tindog Tacloban’ tarpaulin near the City Hall.
“We made it as our banner for that hope rally. I believe it was a spontaneous turn of events that led to us running not only for ourselves and our goals but also for the city and its people. We wanted to show them Hope through running. We wanted the Taclobanons to see us running back again to tell them ‘We are stronger than Yolanda.’ That is the goal of our instant fun run. No registration fees, no singlets, no water stations, no marshals. Only Hope.”
They converged at the front of the DYVL. Starting at Romualdez St., they ran to Imelda St., then to Real St. and all the way to Coca-Cola. That was the first 5K. “These are the major streets of downtown Tacloban City, where the most number of people can see us,” Lester said. With the second half of the race, from Coke, they traversed to the hardest hit barangays of San Jose. The finish line: Tacloban airport.
Along the way, the nearly 20 runners chanted “Tindog Tacloban” in unison. “The people couldn’t help but notice and be amazed,” said Lester. “People were clapping at us, waving at us, taking pictures… It was such an amazing experience, like something taken out of those sports movies.”
It was, as described by Lester in one word, magical. “It was a great feeling to finally be able to run after a month of hardships and heartbreaks,” he added. “Tacloban runners could hardly run before that day because they were shocked and freaked-out of dead bodies lying in the streets. Most of them lost their houses and members of the family.
“I think some showed up wearing borrowed shoes and running gears. And it broke my heart later on when I learned that a close running buddy was not able to run because he lost his running shoes and all his belongings in the flood.
“Nightmares, regrets, desperation, and helplessness; these are the harsh realities these runners have to go through (and overcame) coming into the event. I hope running in the streets in that fateful day brought back a sense of normalcy to them. These are good people trying their best to be strong for each other. That fateful Sunday was the 1st month anniversary since Yolanda devastated our city. It was the day we decided to move on and run once again. Tindog Tacloban!”
PLEA. Lester added: “I only started to run seriously this year. I did 4 half-marathons that started in the 1st Tacloban City Marathon. I was in Cebu too this year for a couple of 16Ks. But there’s one race we Tacloban runners are dreaming of: Cebu City Marathon (CCM) 2014. It was and still is our goal of conquering its 42k. It wil be my 1st Mary! We will be there.
“Sir, I hope there’s something you can do to help the Tacloban runners. Some of them lost everythng. Even old shoes and unused gears, it would be the world to us.”
To you and I ordinary mortals, running a 21K is considered an accomplishment. Finishing a marathon — the 42K — is a major, life-changing achievement. How about the 50K? Or the 100-km. ultra-marathon? These are considered “crazy” distances reserved only for the diehard lovers of pain. Well, guess what? There’s more.
Last June 14, a 250-km. race — the countrys’ longest footrace — was held in Cebu. The South-to-North 250K started in Santander and, after passing through 20 cities and municipalities, ended in Bogo City.
Joel Cuyos finished first with a time of 42 hours and 39 minutes. The others who completed the distance within the cutoff time were Zenchen Lagapa (43:19), Wilnar Iglesia (43:19), Rodney Cabahug (46:40), Tony Galon (46:58), Randy Rubio (47:02) and Barry Red (47:37). Three women joined the race and it was Rodah Oporto-Cabellero who finished (12 minutes after the cutoff time).
I interviewed Tony Galon, the 43-year-old president of the Cebu Ultrarunners Club (CUC), and here’s his account:
“At Km70, I had a blister on my left foot and later on the right foot around km100. It’s also the first time that I experienced hallucination. I can see people at a distance — yet they were only plants, trees or road signs. One time I wondered why there’s a bus lying on the road. Was there an accident? It was the shaded part of the road covered with tree shadows.
“Sleeping while running/walking. I took a nap between Aloguinsan-Toledo. I can’t control my eyes; they closed by themselves. I stayed in the middle of the road following the lines and after a few seconds, opened my eyes and aligned myself in the middle of the road. In Aloguinsan, this sleeping habit stopped because of the many stray dogs…
“Along Tuburan-Tabuelan, I was alone because my support crew, John Domingo, helped another teammate. My headlamp had no battery and it was very dark. I can barely run and felt disoriented. I can’t understand everything. My mind can’t hold on as it seems it was a never ending 8km in Tabuelan. I needed fuel (food) as I didn’t have proper intake in the past 2 days.
“I ate a chocolate bar given by Agnes Perez with her husband Garry, joining the Tabuelan 111. But it wasn’t enough; I still can’t focus. Luckily, there was a barbecue station and I asked for barbecue and puso (“hanging rice”) but it was only 1 puso. Soon after I reached Tabuelan, I felt disoriented and cold. I noticed that when I ran I had no sweat and felt hotness in my body.
“I decided to stop and sit down and later decided to take a habal2x going to Bogo City. I have no light for the Tabuelan-San Remigio route and the km. marker says 33km to go to San Remigio plus the 8K going to Bogo City. With my situation, there’s no way I can take the marathon length. I stopped a habal2x and asked the fare going to Bogo. It was P300 and my money was only P100.
“While talking and negotiating with the driver, Ronald and Mazil Rubic (my in-laws) saw me together with Keith and Annabelle Dinoy (CUC members who joined Tabuelan 111). It was perfect timing. They gave me food, medicine, massage, hot soap, fresh dry cloth and a flash light. I stayed for an hour in this area just to recover. From then I was in a good condition and started running again plus my wife (Alfie) and John Domingo arrived. I ran the whole stretch except the part when there was heavy rain and I took a nap inside the car waiting for the rain to stop.
“The rain did not stop. Alfie advised me to use an umbrella to save time so I can reach the finish line within the cutoff time. I ran to Bogo City with an umbrella. On the last 8K, I thought the old city hall was the finish but it was the Martinez Gym. I ran like an UNGO was chasing me until the finish.”
Amazing! Tony completed the 250K in 46 hours, 58 minutes. He was one of only seven runners (out of the 20 who started) to have finished within the 48-hour cutoff time. As baseball’s Tommy Lasorda once said, “The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.” What a story of perseverance by Tony.
Other inputs from Tony:
Tony is presently working at Systech Telecom Ltd, a hongkong based company dealing with hotel wifi internet, bt we have also a music division that is exclusive handled the Asia Pacific for Vienna School of music board. Wife is Alfie Galon, a PE teacher and volleyball coach from St Theresa’s College.
Said Tony: “We have 2 boys, Aaron Gabriel, 13 yrs old and Luke Daniel, 9 years old… I started running last Dec 9, 2009 after i was convinced by my wife to run… Founded the CUC – Cebu Ultrarunners Club. The facebook group name is Beyond 42k.. Cebu Ultrarunners Club, last March 2011 and became the president thru election July 2011 till present… I have also created/founded this “I am a blood donor runner”. A group of any runners (all over Phils) that are willing to share their blood without any pay. We already donated blood to many people runners or not.”
Marathons of Tony: Cebu City Marathon(s), Condura Marathon, Kawasan Marathons & Aboitiz Race to Reduce Marathon. Ultramarathons: Bohol 50-50, Mayon360, CUC100K leg 1 and leg 2, Bohol 50 Miler Ultramarathon, Ultrahamster(s), Summit 60K, 1st Coast to Coast 65K Ultramarathon and 1st 50K Cebu Ultramarathon. Others events are Xterra(s), Trail Marathons in Mt Patag, Silay City and MSIG Sai Kung 50K Trail in Hongkong and various 21K and fun runs
Marissa Nolasco Fernan, SM’s top official here in Cebu for many years now, showed my dad and I the SM Seaside City design when we met a few afternoons ago at the Radisson Blu.
It’s Cebu’s version of the Mall of Asia (MOA). Only better. And more modern. With a glass-encased towering tube rising at the middle of an open garden. Ready for occupancy two years from now, it will be Cebu’s all-in-one, must-visit place soon.
Marissa also showed my dad and I a structure which, if realized, will change the sports and entertainment scene in Visayas and Mindanao: our own version of The Arena. I’m sure you’ve heard of MOA’s Arena, the 16,000-seater indoor coliseum where Lady Gaga danced, where the ALA Boys boxed, where Jennifer Lopez sang and where the UAAP games are being played.
Imagine an SM Seaside City Arena? In Cebu! Well, according to Marissa — now on her 25th year with the Sy family — this should be realized. If it does, we can host NBA exhibition games, a Djokovic-Murray 3-setter, a UFC Asia fight…
Remember the Megadome that then-Governor Pabling Garcia wanted to build? Where the CICC is right now? The Arena will be the same — only so much more modern and world-class (the MOA Arena reportedly cost P3.6 billion!).
SM2SM. For now, as the SM Seaside City construction is underway, we can visit the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod. We can hear mass there today.
Even better, seven mornings from today, we can join the run that’s the biggest this season: the SM2SM Run.
Fifty thousand pesos to the 21K winner! Yes. No misprint there. This, by far, is the largest paycheck anyone can receive outside Manila. (As comparison, our Cebu Marathon 21K event only offered P20,000.)
The 21K champion gets 50K. The runner-up, P30,000; the 3rd placer, P20,000. Just on those podium finishers alone, that’s P100,000. In cash. Plus, there are plenty of other prizes: Radisson Blu overnight stays for two, buffet dinners, raffle items and more.
Now on its third year, runners joining the Feb. 24 race will start at the SM City Cebu. Parking, always a concern, is plentiful. There are four distances: 21K, 12K, 6K, and 3K. All distances, if you compute it, are divisible by 3K — which makes this event not only unique but also “runnable” for everyone.
A couple of weeks back, I got the chance to meet with Jen-Jen Amigo, the Assistant Vice-President for Marketing (Visayas). We were in their conference room together with Joan Zanoria (SM City Cebu’s Marketing Manager) and RJ Leduna, the SM Supermall’s Public Relations Manager for Vismin. Joining us was the race director, Joel Baring.
I listened to their plans. Full hydration by Nature’s Spring. There will be entertainment along the way — including at the South Road Properties (SRP). And there is proper coordination with the government agencies: Citom, the SRP, the DPWH.
What’s also new this year are the use of Timing Chips. Within hours after the race (for those doing 12K and 21K), participants can visit the SM Facebook page and see the electronically-timed finishing times. Few races in Cebu use the timing system but, in major events worldwide, this is a must-have race component.
Beneficiary? Of course. Based on earlier press releases, the event donated P200,000 last year. For the 2013 edition, an amount will again be contributed to two organizations: the Cebu City Task Force for Street Children and the Cebu Newspapers Workers Foundation (Cenewof).
I know that, almost every Sunday, Cebu has a road-running race organized. The 21K distance — once a rarity in our streets — has become a monthly occurrence. But next Sunday’s event is different. It’s big. You can make the sign of the cross (or say the Sorrowful Mystery, if you’re suffering in the 21K) while passing the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod. You will run unopposed at the SRP. You’ll see the future SM Seaside City. And, who knows, 10 days after Valentine’s Day, thanks to a prize or raffle win, you might bring your wife on a dinner date or overnight stay at the Radisson Blu.