Friday, March 11, 2011

Sunday's Big Event: Araw ng Dabaw Phoenix Run

The Araw ng Dabaw Phoenix Run is Sunday's Big Event for Davao City's running community.

More than 3,500 runners are expected to take to the streets on March 13 to tackle the out-and-back course which starts and ends at Roxas Avenue. The race will feature a 3K Kiddie Run, 5K Fun Run, 10K run and the centerpiece 21K Half Marathon.

The event promises to be bigger than all other Araw ng Dabaw runs held before especially with the backing of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines. Race Director Kenneth Sai of Vantage Sports Promotions said over P400,000 worth of prizes are at stake in the event making it perhaps the biggest footrace in terms of prizes in Southern Mindanao.

New innovations like the use of timing shoe tags for the 10K and 21K categories will also be introduced.

The Kenyans are coming!

Causing the biggest buzz perhaps is the reported participation of  two Manila-based Kenyans in the 21k race.

In an interview with Sun.Star Davao recently, Sai said he is not sure if these Kenyan runners were the same ones who dominated most marathon events in Manila and in other parts of the country. Sai believes though that the presence of the Kenyans will level the playing field in both male and female categories of the 21K event where Anthony Nerza and Mona Liza Ambasa are Davao City's top bets.

Nerza and Ambasa are expected to give the Kenyans a good race having had the experience of running against the East African runners vaunted for both their speed and strength. Ambasa ruled the women's race in the Cebu City Marathon in January this year, finishing more than a minute ahead of Kenyan Susan Jemutai Chepkwony who landed in third after second placer Mary Joy Tabal of Cebu City.

Nerza was the best-placed Filipino finisher in the men's race coming in a fourth after top finisher Benjamin Kipkazi and two other Kenyan runners but ahead of another Kenyan, Eliud Kiprugut Kering.

Pia is coming too!

A huge crowd is expected to gather around Sen. Pia Cayetano who will be joining the event dubbed as “Takbo para sa KinaBOOKasan” with her Pinay in Action team.

In a recently released press statement, Sen. Cayetano said "Takbo Para sa KinaBOOKasan" is close to her heart since education and health as well as upholding the rights of women and children and environment protection top her agenda.

"It is my pleasure to be a part of this run. I share in the advocacy to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage everyone to do their share in spreading knowledge to underprivileged children by donating books," Cayetano said.

Araw ng Dabaw Phoenix Run is organized to support the advocacy of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Foundation to provide books to students of the company’s adopted schools and to other pre-school, elementary, and high school students in chosen public schools in Davao.

Also supporting the event are Adidas which will give away P1,000 worth of gift certificates to the top age-group finishers in both 10K and 21K categories, Pioneer Insurance, Isuzu Philippines, Cebu Pacific, and Summit Natural Drinking Water.

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