First-time win­ner in Cebu Marathon’s 42K ran for dad

Ruffa Sorongon rules Cebu Marathon for the first time, ded­i­cates vic­tory to fa­ther

Sun.Star Cebu - - FRONT PAGE - RICHIEL S. CHAVEZ/ Re­porter @rschavez

With­out a doubt, Ruffa Sorongon has made an im­pact in Cebu’s run­ning scene in her six-year stint here. She con­tin­ues to do so by adding an­other feather on her cap in the 2019 Cebu Marathon, which wrapped up at the Cebu Busi­ness Park, on Sun­day, Jan. 13.

Sorongon, a Sultan, Ku­darat na­tive, ded­i­cated the re­cent feat to her 67-year-old fa­ther, Pa­tri­cio, whose hard work is a source of in­spi­ra­tion.

“This is for my fa­ther who was re­cently dis­charged from the hos­pi­tal. He’s very hard­work­ing just like the other farm­ers in our place. He was ad­mit­ted for four days due to a kid­ney prob­lem and uri­nary tract in­fec­tion,” Sorongon, who’s usu­ally known for her re­served per­son­al­ity, said in Ce­buano.

The 27-year-old Cebu-based run­ner clocked 3 hours, 29 min­utes and 30 sec­onds to win her first 42-kilo­me­ter ti­tle in the an­nual Cebu Marathon or­ga­nized by Cebu Ex­ec­u­tive Run­ners Club (CERC).

Sorongon won the 21K cat­e­gory in the pre­vi­ous years and it was her first time to win the full marathon fol­low­ing a sec­ond place fin­ish last year.

“My fa­ther is very hard­work­ing. I was wor­ried be­cause it was his first time to get ad­mit­ted in a hos­pi­tal,” said Sorongon. “I’m glad that he’s al­ready dis­charged.”

For Sorongon, the win and the re­cov­ery of her fa­ther were an­swered prayers by Sto. Niño.

Sorongon trailed Evamie Vil­larin in the first 16 kilo­me­ters be­fore steal­ing the lead on the 17K-mark. She never looked back after that.

Vil­larin fin­ished at sec­ond place with a time of 3:30:13. San­dra So­liano came third in 3:52:25, while Kay Razal Cun­dan­gan (3:58:24) and Rona La­can­lale (4:01:09) fin­ished at fourth and fifth places with times of 3:58:24 and 4:01:09, re­spec­tively.

The men’s 42K field also saw a new cham­pion as Kenyan Joseph Mu­ruri breasted the tape in 2:39:44 to clinch his first Cebu Marathon ti­tle after two tries.

Mu­ruri de­scribed the event as a way of cel­e­brat­ing the pres­ence of Sto. Niño.

“Sto. Niño is a bless­ing to us and that is why we are cel­e­brat­ing this kind of event,” said the 33-year-old Mu­ruri, who trav­els to dif­fer­ent parts of the Philip­pines to join fun runs.

Bryan Quiamco fin­ished at sec­ond place in 2:40:06 and was fol­lowed by Noel Til­lor in 2:40:07, Azlan Pa­gay in 2:44:45 and Takumi Ta­mura in 2:48:16.

Mu­ruri said that the course this year was hard but this kind of chal­lenge will de­fine an ath­lete’s char­ac­ter.

“It will de­ter­mine how strong you are. How you re­spond to the chal­lenge. We en­joy the race be­cause it molds the ath­lete to grow up and im­prove. I’m happy to win this be­cause for me this was a hard race,” said Mu­ruri.

The men’s and women’s 42K cham­pi­ons each re­ceived P20,000, while the sec­ond to fifth plac­ers got P15,000, P10,000, P7,000 and P6,000, re­spec­tively.

On the other hand, Gi­nati­lan-na­tive Joseph Ar­nel Emia con­tin­ued to boost his stock in Cebu’s lo­cal run­ning scene after win­ning the men’s 21K cat­e­gory for the first time.

Emia dom­i­nated the race with a time of 1:14:51, about four min­utes ahead of the field. Ychon Agustin came sec­ond in 1:18:09, Keenan Cabur­nay fin­ished third in 1:18:18, while Florendo Lapiz (1:19:39) and So­eren Pal­shoej (1:20:13) fin­ished at fourth and fifth places, re­spec­tively.

Emia is off a con­fi­dence-boost­ing 2018 that saw him fin­ish in the top 10 in the Milo Marathon Fi­nals. He also made an im­pact in some lo­cal races last year.

“It was in the past two years that I saw an im­prove­ment of my time. Be­fore, I could only com­pete in the early part of a run and I would run out of gas on the lat­ter part. I was able to im­prove with the help of a train­ing pro­gram,” Emia told SunS­tar Cebu in a sep­a­rate in­ter­view.

The 30-year-old Emia, a run­ner for the Rider Omega Triathlon Team, said he was sur­prised to win this race since most of Cebu’s top run­ners in the half marathon were in the field.

But Emia was in tip-top shape, rush­ing to an early lead a few me­ters from the start­ing area and never wa­ver­ing un­til the fin­ish.

Melody Perez topped the women’s 21K cat­e­gory in 1:35:36. Those who joined her in the top five are Marie Stephan Jayson (1:40:51), Cherry An­drin (1:43:20), Jellma Mon­santo (1:43:43) and Jona Dela Torre (1:52:41).

The cham­pi­ons bagged P10,000 each, while the sec­ond to fifth plac­ers re­ceived P7,500, P5,000, P3,000 and P2,000, re­spec­tively.

In the 5K race, ju­nior triath­letes Karen Manayon (22:49) of Tal­isay City and Moira Frances Ere­di­ano (23:23) of Lapu-Lapu City had a 1-2 fin­ish in the women’s divi­sion, while Joan Alin­sunod (23:48) of City of Naga fin­ished at third place.

Al­frinz Braza (18:14) topped the men’s side, beat­ing Earl Peonile (18:47) and Rain del Corro (18:52).

CERC’s Ken­neth Casquejo said that it was not a per­fect race but they made sure that the par­tic­i­pants en­joyed the race.

“On the or­ga­niz­ers’ side, we can dis­cuss things that needed im­prove­ments so we can ap­ply it to the next edi­tion and make it an even bet­ter event,” he said.

SUNS­TAR FOTO / ARNI ACLAO

FES­TIVE. Fire­works greet the run­ners as the 2019 Cebu Marathon kicks off at the Cebu Busi­ness Park.

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