Pinoy runners lace up for NYC Marathon

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Nov. 6, 2014

NEW YORK CITY – Strong winds and low temperatures did not stop the more than 50,000 athletes who ran the recent 26.2 mile five-borough New York City Marathon.

NYC Marathon says at least 138 runners registered themselves under the Philippine flag.

Among them, 33-year-old Felipe Sajulga III, the fastest Filipino finished at 440th place overall, clocked at 2:55. The last Pinoy clocked more than seven hours.

New York marathoner Randy Gonzales , who finished at 4:10 said, “I love the fact that Filipinos are getting into running, getting into the healthier lifestyle, getting into better shape. I don’t know how popular running is but I think it’s gaining grounds.”

Even a Filipino beauty queen and a super model stepped up to the challenge despite the extreme weather conditions.

Bodyshots Philippines 1997 winner Lucia Santiago said, “I think it’s a really great marathon. Every year I always look forward to running New York because of the great crowd. The spirit is just there and all my friends are there.”

Binibining Pilipinas International 1998 Thea Robles said she joined the Marathon for fun. She said, “So I could eat and drink whatever and whenever I want, no I’m just doing this for fun, so I don’t care about my time.”

For the first time, four-time Paralympic gold medalist Raymond Martin joined the NYC Marathon to push the organizers to open a separate category for the slower quadriplegic runners like him.

Martin who finished at 1:59 said, “We do have our own class. The ability differential is so big that I came in, I don’t know, 30th today. I’ll never crack anything closer but if there’s a quad class I could have came in 1,2 or 3, it would have been a totally different story.”

Security is tight. All bags are checked. Everyone is scanned with a metal detector especially near the finish line area in Central Park.

Raul Magadia who came all the way from Oxford, Ala said, “Ang dami talagang security people so hindi ko naramdamamn na may threat.”

While the Boston Marathon bombing is still fresh in the minds of many, these runners believe that no terror threat can stop them from doing what they do best — run.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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