The race calendar for the month of March provides the most varied choices for runners in terms of route, course distance and degree of difficulty. Except for , when all the world will stand still to watch the Manny Pacquiao vs. Joshua Clottey fight, runners will be kept busy with one road race of March.
Quota International 12 K Classic
This run organized by the Quota International Cebu South and directed by Raffy Uytiepo will start and end at The Terraces in Ayala. To cover the 12K distance, runners will traverse San Jose Dela Montana, Salinas Drive, Gorordo Avenue, Escario Street, Capitol, Fuente, B. Rodriguez Street (Espina Village) then down to Osmena Boulevard where runners will turn around at corner R.R. Landon Street on the way back to Cebu Business Park via Gen. Maxilom Avenue and Gorordo Avenue.
This route has been done countless times before. In fact, the route is so familiar that runners can run this route “with their eyes closed” and still know where the exact point the road will rise in Escario St. and Mango Avenue. Race director Raffy Uytiepo increased the distances in order to challenge runners used to the usual 5K and 10K runs.
Run to the Clouds
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But if you’re really up for a new challenge and willing to run more than the usual and defy your limits, then Run to the Clouds, which will be held may just be the kind of you’re looking for.
This race organized by Sugbu Triathlon promises to be "doable enough for beginners and challenging enough for seasoned runners". This 8KM will start at the foot of Nivel Hills just outside The Outpost and end at the Zipline in Barangay Malubog. It’s never been done before, so it may be a bit daunting at first, but I promise you, it really gets better as you go up towards the .
The first-time the Marathon Foodie road-tested the Run to the Clouds race route I made the mistake of running the first 2K at my usual 10K road racing pace of 6 minutes per kilometer. By the time I reached KM 5, I was only brisk walking and could not run up the hills. On my second attempt, I figured that the key to finishing the Run to the Clouds route is to start slowly. Think negative split. Brisk-walk the first two kilometers in Nivel Hills and two of the steepest inclines at Château de Busay and La Tegola.
But boy oh boy there’s nothing like running in Busay. The spectacular birds-eye view of Metro Cebu on your right and the rolling hills covered with rows and rows of cut-flowers towards your left side are the real rewards for braving this race route. Plus, it is never hot and humid up there even if you’re running way past seven in the morning. The cool mountain air will make you say -- “El Nino who?”.
After the race, all registered runners will be treated to a bowl of Arroz Caldo. A shuttle bus will make multiple trips and take the runners back to J.Y. Square.
For more details and to view the race route interactive map visit www.sugbutriathlon.com.
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With 4KM, 6KM and 12KM as race distances I’ve fondly nicknamed Citi Run as the B-Complex vitamins run. The race route is very similar to the Quota International 12K challenge, except that this race will start and end at the Waterfront Hotel in Lahug.
I’ve really high expectations from the organizers of this run simply because it’s organized by Waterfront Hotel and Citigym, which is the only 24/7 gym in Cebu. To boost the fun factor of this race (as if running isn’t fun enough) post-race activities include raffle, games, and photo sessions at the Citi Run photo wall.
Citi Run is directed by Joel Baring.
Registration for all these races is on-going at Runnr in Ayala Center Cebu. You can pick one out of the three or even run all three of them, just make sure to make course-specific training.
By this time, you must have heard about the disqualification of local Kenyan star Simon Losiaboi from winning the top prize during last Sunday’s Rotary Run. I fully support the organizers adherence to the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) Competition Rules in settling disputes like this, even if the race was not exactly IAAF sanctioned and even if it was primarily a fun run. Adherence to rules ensures orderliness even in running a fun run. And these rules are not merely for elite runners like Simon. Defying these rules have consequences even for ordinary running mortals like us. What are they? That’s for another column, another day. In the meantime, set your running goals, train well and run injury free.
Seize the road!