Beauty Queens and Boston runners join NYC Marathon

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Nov. 5, 2013

NEW YORK CITY – After it was canceled a year ago because of Superstorm Sandy, the 26.2 mile New York City Marathon returned Sunday.

More than 47,000 runners including Filipino beauty queens, celebrities and survivors of the Boston Marathon tragedy hit the streets of New York City’s 5 Boroughs.

It was Rolan Ocampo’s 7th time to join the New York Marathon. He said that there’s no stopping runners like him from joining huge marathons, even after the Boston Marathon bombing last April.

Ocampo said he dedicated his run for the victims and the heroes of the Boston Marathon tragedy. He stated, “We just want to show that past tragedies cannot stop us from running. We are not scared. And besides, authorities are making sure the area is secured.”

“New Yorkers are strong and we’re here to stay. It’s a great feeling,” first Time NYC Marathon runner Regina Lama said.

Security was tight in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing. 1,500 surveillance cameras, bag screenings, surveillance choppers, heavy police presence with bomb sniffing dogs were stationed along the race route to keep the runners safe.

New York supermodel Lucia Santiago was one of the spectators at the Boston Marathon. While waiting for her boyfriend to cross the finish line, she found herself in the middle of the two bomb explosions.

“I dedicate this run to those who survived the Boston Marathon, I was there. I feel so lucky that I survived,” Santiago said, “Marathon is a celebration of life.”

Some marathoners came in fun costumes — such as a Jesus Christ carrying a carton cross, clowns, basketball players, beauty queens complete with their tiaras and Ms. Philippines sash.

It was 1988 Binibining Pilipinas International Thea Robles’ very first marathon and her Pinay beauty queen friends came out to support their own.

As she kissed her NYC Marathon Medal, Robles said, “It was so tiring but it feels so good!”

Gem Padilla, Binibining Pilipinas-Universe 1991, came all the way from Hong Kong to see Robles cross the NYC Marathon’s finish line.

“We’re here to cheer and have fun and enjoy the day,” Padilla said.

“We’re just happy that she finished and she did really good,” Bb. Pilipinas second runner-up, 1990 Nol Cueto said.

DZMM Teleradyo show anchor Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan and husband Anthony also conquered the NYC Marathon Sunday.

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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