Negrense athlete Rolando “Junjun” Espina, Jr. is the first Filipino invited to join the Spartathlon race, scheduled on September 30-October 1in Greece.
Espina, son of journalist, Rolly Espina, was born with severe asthma and took up sports as a child to overcome his congenital ailment -- from swimming, to soccer, amateur basketball and, more recently, running. The Filipino marathoner has won major events including the much coveted UK Eskraghman Ironman Distance Triathlon in Eskraghman, Dungannon, Northern Ireland in 2014 and 2015.
Spartathlon is considered at the “God of all races”, not only because of the arduous qualifying events one needs to go through to be guaranteed an entry, but it only allows a maximum of 390 runners around the world.
To drum up support for his participation in Spartathlon, Espina is returning home to lead a benefit run, “The Road to Sparta”, on July 31.
The fun run will start 6 a.m. from the Provincial Capitol Lagoon and organized by the Negros Occidental High School Batch 1985 and the Rotary Club of Bacolod-Central. He will be joined by another support team member, Jivee Tolentino.
Registration for the fun-run is ongoing and forms can be secured from Planet Sports in Robinson’s Mall, Shine Beauty Access Trading in front of Kuppa café and at DLRS Travel inside Lopue’s San Sebastian.
Espina will be accompanied by his Philippine Team crew - Platon Zarzoso, Amado Damot and Fermin Bantilan, all Filipino nurses and marathoners working in Ireland to Greece.*
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