Vacationing Irish couple makes top 10

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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Irish couple Laureen Smyth and Paul Hunt learned of the Kawasan marathon online and decided to give it a try. (Ruel Rosello/Sun.Star Cebu)


THE fourth edition of the Kawasan Falls Marathon (KFM) attracted more foreign participants than expected yesterday in Badian, Cebu, and among these were couple Paul Hunt and Laureen Smyth of Ireland.

Hunt and Smyth, both running enthusiasts, joined the 21-kilometer race. They are in Cebu for a vacation and to experience the white sand beach, snorkeling spots and dive sites in Moalboal, Cebu.

But before coming here, they already knew about the KFM race, checked the reviews online and decided to try it this year.

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“We like running and we join runs back in our country. We have heard about this event a long time ago and we included this as an
activity for our vacation in the Philippines,” said the 32-year-old Smyth.

Both of them are indeed fast runners as they both clinched a seat in the men’s and women’s 21K top ten.

Hunt,33, finished the half-marathon in 1 hour 36 minutes and 31 seconds, good for sixth place in the men’s class, while Smyth was in the fourth spot in the women’s division with a time of 1:51:20 and was just one second behind the third placer, Sarale Cuizon.

The couple came here for vacation, and making the podium finish is just a bonus for them.

Hunt, who started joining runs five years ago, said that the sport is a way of bonding for them. “The couple that runs together stays together,” said Smyth.

Smyth said that it was a good experience and they had fun doing the run, especially since it was their first time to run here in the country.

“The race was well-organized, the route was a bit hilly but overall it was basically the same as the race in Ireland. One thing is different, though, it’s a bit warm here,” Hunt said.

The couple, who works in the finance industry, are touring Asia and are planning to stay here for one month to explore the country.

The successful fourth edition of KFM was organized by the Run For Sight Foundation headed by Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III.

It brought the runners to the scenic views while traversing the towns of Badian, Alegria and Malabuyoc for the marathoners, and
Badian and Alegria for the 21K and 12K runners.

Before the race, the organizers hosted an anticipated mass, which was held at the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish Church last Saturday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 16, 2015.

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