Tillor, Jopson rule 25K in University Run

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

AS the sun started to rise, a vast number of runners took to the streets in one of the longest running events in Cebu, the University Run, which had its ninth edition.

With around 3,500 participants in all divisions, it was Noel Tillor and Amale Jopson who stood out as they ruled the men’s and women’s open 25K division yesterday at the Cebu Doctors’ University campus in the North Reclamation Area.

The absence of Kenyan runners made it an all Cebuano showdown, and Tillor, who is from Bogo City and is dubed “the White Kenyan” in the running community, crossed the finish line with ease in 1 hour 34 minutes and 50 seconds. It was the first time for Tillor to join the University Run and it went well for him. With the Milo Marathon Elimination race in October, Tillor has started his training and would be joining more weekend races.


“I was satisfied with my performance and this long run helps my preparation for the Milo Marathon. There were no Kenyans in the race so we relaxed our pace a little bit,” said Tillor, who has a 25K personal best of 1:27. Paul James Zafico got second place in 1:36:19 and Robert Daang clocked 1:41:08 for third place.

In the women’s side, Jopson dominated the 25K in 2:22:25, to take her second running title in two weeks. She also topped the 21K division of the Talisay City Marathon last week.

Jopson, a Boston Marathon finisher, is preparing for another international race in South Korea--the Chosun Ilbo ChunCheon International Marathon in October.

“The University Run has been a good tradition run. It always get a good crowd support in every staging. There were a lot of water stations, the crowd was nice, the usual tradition of the URun. Overall it was a good race,” said Jopson, who finished four minutes ahead of the second placer who was not named. Dr.Gina Facturan claimed third place in 2:29:11.

In the 13K, Kenyan James Mibei emerged on top in 50:33. Local runners Michael Largo nabbed second place in 54:15, while Adonis Singson clocked 54:23 for third place.

In the women’s division, Rosalie Ardiente crossed the finish line in 1:15:29 to pocket
first place, while Andrea Yu got second in 1:18:23.

“This was my third time to join in the University Run, and I finally won it this year because the strong runners are not here,” said Ardiente in Cebuano. “I also had a great run because the water stations were well provided and the marshals were great as well.”

The event also had the special guests Karylle and Yael Yuzon running in the 3K students’ division and 13K men’s open, respectively..

Karylle clocked in at 15:22 which was good for fourth place, while Yael, who has been into running since 2007, clocked in at 1:15:21 to pace among the top 20 in his division.

“It is my first time in to join an organized run here in Cebu and it was fun running along with the crowd and students,” said Karylle.

For Yael, the guitarist and lead vocalist of Sponge Cola, running has been an essential part of his stage performances.

“Mas madaling kumanta after tumakbo. Singing kasi is more on breathing so mas open yung lungs after tumakbo, said Yael “After I run, it gives me so much energy on singing.”

Yael said the run was a welcome change as he usually runs in Edsa. The couple said that they will be back next year with Karylle participating in the 3K and Yael in the 25K.

More than 2,000 students of Cebu Doctors’ University took part in the footrace, and joined the 6K and 3K students categories. The running event was staged days before the schools Intramural, which will blast-off this week. The event saw the inauguration and opening of the new CDU arena, where the awarding took place with various activities presented by the students.

In the alumni categories, Michael Claudio (2:00:02) placed first in the 25K men’s, Dan Baylon (2:10:39) took second place, and Neil Nacario (2:14:27) got the third place.

Nicole Chua (3:15:17) topped the women’s 25K. The 13K winners were Ryan Gonzaga (1:00:38) and Dr. Alberto Solis (1:08:33) in the men’s division and Dr. Lalaine Sacris (1:24:25), Dr. Roselyn Yu (1:31:30) and Mertha Lizandro (1:34:54) in the women’s

Organizer Dr. Potenciano “Yong Larrazabal III of Run for Sight Foundation said the ninth staging was special one, as it was in time for the launching of the new CDU arena, and also the first time to include an alumni category.

Larrazabal said they aren’t planning to hold a full marathon next year but promised that the 10th year would showcase something special.

“The run was very successful. We had the full team at helm. And I’m very thankful to our special guests Karylle and Yael Yuzon for giving the time for this run. Overall, it was a successful race and every year we will be looking to bring in new concepts for our runners,” said Larrazabal, who recently had his 39th Marathon in Cambodia.

Top three runners in 13K and 25K divisions each received cash prizes, while all the finishers’ got a finishers’ medal.

Meanwhile, students of CDU said they look forward for this annual run as the kick off of the school intramurals.

Supreme Student Government (SSG) vice-president Donna Torres has participated in the run for two years now and said that the run promotes a healthy lifestyle for students and the program after the run always showcase entertainment for the students.

“It was very interesting to see us (students) waking up early for this activity. It was always fun for us,” said Torres, who is a nursing student.

While Elliade Asavez, a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy student, took the event as a quick break from studies.

Parts of the proceeds of the run will go to Run For Sight Foundation and will be used for the charitable activities and community outreach programs.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 25, 2014.


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