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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, January 26, 2019
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134-mile Negros Island
ultra-marathon kicks off

 

Ten ultramarathoners, surrounded by their support team and well-wishers, started the 134-mile Negros Island race from the Capitol Lagoon yesterday afternoon.

Race Director Jon Alegre of Endurance Challenge Philippines said the runners are expected to reach Dumaguete starting 10 p.m. tonight all the way to Sunday morning, weather permitting.

First pit stop at over 50 kilometers will be in Hinigaran Public Plaza with the next in Kabankalan City at over 100 kilometers, to Bais for the third stop until the finish line at Dumaguete City’s famous boulevard.

Fifty-four-year- old Christopher Maravilla from Binalbagan, is the oldest in the pack and while he knows he is not in the league of the other runners, he said “I will try to attempt this and to show people that running is an ageless activity.”

Maravilla has completed the 102-kilometer Bataan Death March run and knows that the Bacolod-Dumaguete race is more than twice the length but “I would like to test my limits” and lend support to the event that is happening for the first time in his hometown.

In the running to easily complete the race is another Negrense, Rolando “Junjun” Espina, Jr. who has been joining ultra-marathons around the globe and the first Filipino to finish the 242-kilometer Spartathlon race, said to be one of the most challenging ultra-marathons in the world. Also expected to finish are Ilonggos – Vico Librilla, Jr., Ramie Amigleo and Jose Tindog.

Librilla, the station commander of the Coast Guard in Negros Occidental hails from Iloilo and has been a winner of the 250-kilometer race from Manila to Baguio a couple of years ago.

Joining him as support team are members of his squad. Amigleo, who is a native of Iloilo but now resides in Bukidnon, has under his belt a medal for completing the 400-kilometer run from Marawi to Davao City last year along with Azineth Balbuting, also of Bukidnon and one of the two women who joined the Negros run. Tindog, on the other hand, is from Boracay and apart from being an ultra-marathoner, he is also a member of the dragon boat team in the country.

Jocelyn Ycong from Cebu also hopes to finish the race and her first attempt to run over 200-kilometers. She finished last year’s 160-km run in Dumaguete as well. “You earn a sense of pride in just finishing a race, whatever the distance is.”

Police officer, Edwin Joseph Silagan is Bohol’s entry and completing the runners are Manila-based Benedict Meneses and Sam-Sam Maniaul.*

 

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