MANILA, Philippines–The Asics Rock ’n’ Roll Running Series Manila, envisioned to become a traditional running event to draw health, tourism and cultural crowds, fires off its inaugural staging Sunday with some 5,000 participants answering the starting gun.
Already, organizers hope the project will become like the Boston Marathon or the New York City Marathon which showcase the beauty of the capital city as well become a major sporting spectacle.
Fun races for 5-kilometer and 10K will flag off starting at 5 a.m., while half-marathon and full 42K get the green light at 5 p.m. at Rizal Park which is just one of the many historical sites the race will pass by throughout the day.
“We have been working on this project the last three years,” said Sunrise Events and IronMan general manager Princess Galura. “The Philippines has no marathon of its own in the tradition of the Berlin, Boston and Chicago and the Filipinos’ love for music, singing and dancing only makes the rock and roll bank perfect for the City of Manila given its progress and cleanliness.”
Incoming Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna will welcome the runners who get to enjoy the city’s top heritage spots like the ChinaTown, Jones Bridge, Mehan Garden, Kartilya ng Katipunan along with the more famous sites.
Organizers promise a fiesta-like atmosphere in the meet backed up by Asics as title sponsor, Gatorade as hydration partner, as well as Alaska, Lightwater, Regent and Sante.
The run coincides with the city’s 450th founding celebration as well as the 161st birth anniversary of Dr. Jose Rizal.
“We all know the efforts of Manila to make it back as the country’s premier tourism capital and at the same time promote its heritage sites,” said Alex Layos of the Manila Youth Bureau. “With the outdoor activities also now open, this also promotes healthy living among the Manileños.”
The MYB has also tapped the assistance of the concerned barangays and the private sector to guarantee peace and order and the safe conduct of the event. Providing music and fun on race routes are DJ Bling One, the Moranos bad, the Gracenote band, Ruejen Lista, Elmo and Arkin Magalona, the Hardware Syndrome, the Kahilom drumbeaters and Itchyworms.
“We are excited and we can’t wait. A lot of efforts have been poured into this project the past two years and everybody has done a great job,” said Kabir Buxani, Chief Technical Officer of Sonak Corp., the official distributor of ASICS in the Philippines.
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