Sunday, February 24, 2008


Otherwise known as the Philippine Marathon for the Pasig River, it is an annual event but I never would have known about it had I not ran into a fellow photographer at Fuji/YKL who mentioned it in passing. There was no mention of it, either, in any of the local broadsheets. Yet, this event is intended to boost awareness on the continued efforts to rehabilitate the Pasig River.

Anyway, this 42-kilometer marathon --
participated by foreign and local marathoners -- was held early this Sunday morning. It started at 4:00 am at the Marikina River Park (Ampitheater) and ended at the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park.

There were three separate footraces as well -- 10K, 5K and 3K -- that started on Roxas Boulevard; however, they all converged at the same destination point. Therefore, one can only imagine the somewhat chaotic result of such arrangement.

Besides those little kids who blocked the path of some serious runners, there were also incorrigible bystanders who would nonchalantly cross the lanes, including some members of the catering staff who did the same while struggling with containers of foodstuffs, supplies, and equipment. Luckily, except for a couple of near mishaps, there were no incidents of serious collisions.

Despite these shortcomings,
everything turned out just fine, especially for the families and the many groups of friends and co-workers who participated. A wonderful time was definitely had by all.

Also at the event, by the way, were former president Fidel V. Ramos, his wife Amelita "Ming" Ramos (chairman of Clean and Green Foundation), and Secretary Angelo Reyes.

The former president.

The champion!


posted by Señor Enrique at 10:08 AM


Blogger Amadeo said...

You, wicked you, Eric. HaHaHa. the arrangement of the pics was perfect. First the also-rans and the not-so-rans, then the last one is the gaunt, reed-thin, perfect physique for a marathoner "foreigner" who is the champion(Kenyan, of course).

I tarried at the first picture, looking for signs - whether a run realizes that he is running a marathon and not a sprint.

If in the forward step of a runner the front part of the foot hits the ground first, the runner thinks he is running a sprint. For long distance running, and for jogging for that matter, the best way is always to let the heel touch the ground first in your forward step. This way the impact of your entire weight will be borne by the heel and straight to the hips. Otherwise, if the front part hits the ground first the full impact will be borne largely by the small bones in your feet. Over time injuries ensue. First, jogging lesson I learned. HeHeHe.

So, who failed in the first picture?

February 24, 2008 2:04 PM  

Anonymous Luke said...

great pictures of this event and the athletes!

February 24, 2008 2:14 PM  

Blogger Sidney said...

Former president Fidel V. Ramos is really in top shape at age 80!
I wonder his secret... smoking cigars or Pinoy politics? ;-)

What was your time in the 42K run, Eric?

February 24, 2008 3:02 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Sleeping on and off these past couple of days while nursing my flu seemed to have made me feel weaker, Sidney, so I decided to drive over to Luneta and cover this event. Although the early morning air from Manila Bay did me some good, it didn't jolt me enough into joining the marathon myself ... hehehe.

But yes, I agree with you, the former president was surprisingly in great shape! Didn't even know he's 80 already; he surely doesn't look it. But between you and me, I think he only started his run from Manila Hotel -- a mere few meters from the finish line :)

February 24, 2008 3:42 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Thanks, Luke, but wish I had brought along my tripod so I could have done a better job with my panning shots. Next time. :)

February 24, 2008 3:44 PM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

It was discombobulating, Amadeo.

Firstly, by the time I got there, the winner was already done with his cool down phase; hence, he finished the run in only a little more than an hour. And then the number of those who ran in the three other, shorter runs overwhelmed those who ran the 42k marathon. This explains why I have more photos of those who look like leisure runners.

But what's really sad is that there wasn't much publicity done beforehand to promote this event; thus, there wasn't any interest and support from the general public. Unlike in NYC wherein there would be water stations at strategic points manned by neighborhood volunteers and cheering squads to boot.

No disrespect to the organizers and participants, but this entire event appeared more like a 'company family day' or an intramural event than a world class international marathon.

Very interesting information about running you shared with us. I wouldn't know about that since (as I may have already told you) all I could do is brisk walk. Somehow my ankles and legs aren't cut out for running/jogging.

Glad you enjoyed the photos ... hehehe. Again, no malice intended.

February 24, 2008 4:13 PM  

Anonymous Mandaragat said...

Just curious, I wonder where Kenyan's (or Ethiopians) getting their tenacity on this sport.

Whenever there is a marathon, middle or long distance running competion and even in the olympics, there are Kenyan or Ethiopian name in the top three finisher.

I think we Filipinos should learn from them on choosing a path that we know we can excel.

February 24, 2008 6:43 PM  

Blogger g_mirage said...

Is he really the winner? What did he got anyway, trophy?

Hmm...didn't know too that Ramos is 80! He surely doesn't look like it, like hubby's lola who would always go to Quiapo even at age 77!

@Mandaragat, Im not sure but track and field is prehaps Kenya's national sport?

I also read about athlete's physique, lung capacity and muscle fibers has something to with being able to endure a race...

February 24, 2008 7:30 PM  

OpenID bw said...

THese Kenan runners are awesome. They would love running this marathon because it is shorter, half the distance of the famous Boston marathon :)

I could imagine the chaos of the organizers when the different runs converged in one finish !

February 24, 2008 9:36 PM  

Blogger Amadeo said...

Eric, and there probably were several Kenyans in the race, right?

What prizes did they get for what doing what to them would look like walks in the park?

In the final analysis, what counts is that everybody looked like they had a good time.

Averaging 5 minutes to a mile, many probably finished a little over 2 hours for the entire marathon. So how did the Kenyan do in the tropics?

February 25, 2008 5:45 AM  

Blogger IndioBravo said...

I wonder what the media coverage for events like this are? This happenings should be prioritised by the govt. for it encourages a healthy lifestyle.Most specially in the Philippines were hospitalization is a luxury,this stuff encourages prevention of sickness to ordinary people.Did the govt. pay attention to this nice endeavors? Just think of the media coverage London,New York,Boston marathons get.It's a massive sporting gig!

February 25, 2008 6:00 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

From what I am now learning, IndioBravo, there was indeed a press conference last month, January 18, about this event but nothing else was mentioned after that or a day or two prior to the event.

Again, this doesn't appear to be an isolated case, for many major events in the Manila area alone hardly receive sufficient announcement from the media. I can only suspect that perhaps certain media folks do not want their counterparts to know as much about events they intend to cover so as to prevent competition. But again, I'm merely speculating and don't know the reasons why.

Another possibility is the local practice for some major events organizers to have media partners in which the appointed media organization is given all priority and access, while the rest are removed from the loop, so to speak.

February 25, 2008 6:42 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Yes, there were two other runners, Amadeo, but they didn't do as well as the winner.

Unlike in the NY Marathon, there were no public or press information booth in this event to provide necessary information -- total number of participants, run route, results, and etc.

This is all I could find online:

"Kabuuang P720,000 ang nakatayang cash prizes para sa mga mananalo sa dalawang dibisyon sa apat na distansyang karerahan tampok ang P100,000 at P75,000 para sa hari’t reyna ng full-marathon." - Abante Online

Based on these figures, the winning Kenyan probably spent more for his plane tickets and hotel accommodations, considering he only received about $2000 in cash as winning prize.

Yes, many folks seemed delighted for having participated in this event.

February 25, 2008 6:50 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

The scene at the finish line bordered on comedy, BW ... hehehe. And like I said, thank God there we no tragic human collisions that took place :)

From what I heard, runners from the Philippine Army used to dominate the local marathon and sprint competitions. Come to think of it, many members of our military shine in local athletic events.

February 25, 2008 6:56 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Hi G. Mirage!

What surprised me most about former president Ramos was his affable personality. Since I was at the front of the finish line, caught up with FVR later on in the VIP tent and gladly obliged when I asked to take his photo. He also accommodated requests from many adoring youths. He was very jovial; far from the typical image of grouchy, powerful and ageing statesmen.

The winner received a bout $2000.00 in cash.

February 25, 2008 7:02 AM  

Blogger Senor Enrique said...

Many of our compatriots, Mandaragat, excel in diverse fields such as medicine, sciences, and the arts, to name a few.

We also have many fine athletes, and I believe Filipinos can be fierce competitors. But I think they need more support from our public and private sectors, especially in funding training programs for various Asian games and of course, the Olympics.

February 25, 2008 7:15 AM  

Blogger Maddog said...

I am interested in running a marathon in the Philippines in 2011. Is this race or any others being held next year.


March 21, 2010 9:35 PM  

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Life in Manila as observed by a former New Yorker who with a laptop and camera has reinvented himself as a storyteller. Winner of the PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS: Best Photo Blog in 2007 and three Best Single Post awards in 2008.


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