Cebu Marathon: Grace shows ‘ em how
In her first major run in Cebu City, a half- marathon in 2009, the athlete Mary Grace de los Santos had the generosity of a foreigner to be grateful for, as she received help with the registration fee and went on to pocket the top prize. Two years later and no longer an unknown figure, de los Santos, with the Milo Marathon national title under her belt, proved that the African runners are not unbeatable as she ruled the 21K of the 3rd Cebu Marathon, the only local runner to outpace elite runners from abroad. Delos Santos sliced some six minutes off her finish in 2011 to rule the 21K in 1: 24: 38, beating Irine Kipchumba ( 1: 26: 07) and Stephanie Pumatong ( 1: 35: 02). In the men’s 21K, it was a Kenyan sweep with Samson Tuwei, Willy Rotich and Eliud Kipkering getting the top three spots.
Foreign runners, too, ruled the 42K, but not without controversy, as the man who crossed the finish line first was disqualified. Kenyan John Kprop reached the finish line in 2: 22 and was resting in the winners’ lounge, when he was stunned six minutes later. It was announced that Richard Mutisya was the first to finish in the men’s 42K in 2: 28: 41. “I was shocked that he was here before me. He was behind me for almost 21 kilometers,” Mutisya said. It turned out that a marshal erred and Kprop missed a turn, which was why he had to be disqualified. There was no drama in the women’s division, where Joan Jeruto, only 22, won the women’s title in her first marathon in 3: 13: 28, beating Davao City’s Cynthia Jaro by 47 seconds.
NO HALF- MEASURES IN THE HALF- MARATHON. Runners start off the 21K run in the Cebu Marathon 2012 at Cebu IT. The race, the middle distance in the annual event held a week shy of the Sinulog parade, takes runners on a tour of the city, including historic Basilica del Sto. Niño, Fuente Osmeña circle and the grueling South Road Properties. Mary Grace de los Santos ( left) ruled the 2012 Cebu Marathon’s 21K distance, finishing first in 1: 24: 38.