Jeju Island, South Korea – “Race safe, enjoy and make 7-Eleven and the Philippines proud,” said 7-Eleven Run series project head Michelle Saludes to Filipino runners on race day morning at the 23rd Jeju International Tourism Marathon Festival held at Gujwa Life Sports Park in South Korea’s Jeju Island.
Eleven Filipino runners made it to the race courtesy of 7-Eleven Philippines as part of their prize for landing within the top three spots of this year’s 7-Eleven Run Series held in February. The runners lived up to expectations and grabbed top spots in the 21-kilometer and 42-kilometer categories.
Fresh from her training camp in Italy, Olympic medalist and marathon queen Mary Joy Tabal showed her winning form to dominate in the 21K race clocking at 1:18:44 besting Japanese and Korean elite runners who placed second and third respectively. “I wasn’t able to break my personal record, but I am satisfied and happy with my overall performance. This race serves as an evaluation of my training and a good warm-up for me for the Asian Games next month,” said Tabal who left for Italy next day to continue with her training.
Ruffa Sorongon and Christabel Martes, who directly came from their successful 10K race in last week’s Philippine National Games, took the fourth and fifth podium spots of the 21K category to complete the Female Top 5.
Richard Salaño, Bulacan’s “Kenyan Slayer” settled for a number two finish in the 21K male category, clocking at 1:11:19. Cebu’s Prince Joey Lee and Cagayan de Oro’s Jerald Zabala settled for the fifth and sixth place respectively. It was Lee’s and Zabala’s first race outside the Phiippines.
Meanwhile, Filipino runners also reigned in the 42K category . Bryan Quiamco, who earned his slot by winning the third spot of the 42K race of the 7-Eleven Race Series in February, took runner-up honors by finishing at 2:37:03. Richeel Languido grabbed third place while Rafael Pescos placed fourth.
On the distaff side, the Filipinas ruled as veteran Davaoeña runner Judelyn Miranda covered the challenging course in 3:16:03 to bag the crown and beat teammate Maricar Camacho who finished at 3:26:55 to settle for second place.
“Para sa akin amazing ang laro na ito kasi kapos ako sa ensayo pero naglakas-loob akong lumaban sa laro na ito dahil dala ko ang bandera ng ating bansa. Salamat sa 7-Eleven Philippines na nagsuporta sa aming lahat na makapunta kami sa South Korea,” said Judelyn Miranda when asked about her win. “For me, this race is amazing because even if I lacked training, I bravely went on to race because I am carrying our flag. Thank you to 7-Eleven Philippines who supported all of us in going to South Korea.”
“We are very satisfied with Team 7-Eleven Philippines’ performance here at the 23rd Jeju International Tourism Marathon Festival. 7-Eleven Philippines will continue with its program to nurture and support our Filipino runners who aspire to get the chance to represent the country in an international race. With that, we encourage them to prepare well and we’ll see them on February 3, 2019 for the 2019 7-Eleven Run Series,” shared 7-Eleven general merchandise division head Jose C. Ang, Jr. when asked about the team’s performance.
Since 2013, 7-Eleven Philippines have given Filipino elite runners a chance to compete in the international arena by bringing them to a foreign running race, all expenses paid and needs taken cared of plus pocket money. Runners who successfully finish in any of the top three overall spots in their respective category will not only get to bring home the race prizes, but also receive a bonus cash prize from 7-Eleven Philippines.
The participation of Filipino runners at the 23rd Jeju International Tourism Marathon Festival was made possible through the efforts of Philippine Seven Corporation together with the valuable support of Asics as exclusive sportswear partner, Smart and ESPN as media partners, and sponsors Selecta Ice Cream, Nature Spring Water, Gatorade, Summit water, Del Monte, Fit and Right, Active, Blue Flavored water, San Miguel beer, Le Minerale, SIP water, Sosro fruit tea, Safeguard, Kopiko 78, Aquafina, Cheetos, Pocari Sweat, and Evian.