Tag Archives: UNICEF

Heroes for Children Run, 4 Sep. 2016

UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis invites runners to join the second year of the Heroes for Children Run on  September 4, Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.

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(L-R) UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis, UNICEF Philippines Country Representative Lotta Sylwander and Coach Rio dela Cruz invite the public to join the Heroes for Children Run on September 4, 2016, Sunday at the SM Mall of Asia grounds. Proceeds from the run will go to UNICEF’s First 1,000 Days campaign for children’s health and nutrition.

“I was deeply inspired by the support we received during last year’s run. From children with disabilities to serious runners, the public came together for a great cause. This year, I’m inviting everyone once again to be a hero for children. All proceeds will benefit UNICEF’s First 1,000 Days campaign for children’s health and nutrition needs,” says Curtis.

“For 70 years, UNICEF has worked to improve the lives of the most disadvantaged, vulnerable, and excluded children around the world. Despite the many gains, the lives and futures of millions of children are still in jeopardy. In the Philippines, one out of three children under the age of five suffers from chronic malnutrition—the effects of which can be permanent, irreversible and even fatal after two years of age. UNICEF believes every child should have a fair chance at life,” UNICEF Philippines Country Representative Lotta Sylwander says.

The First 1,000 Days programme focuses on prenatal and early childhood interventions to prevent undernutrition including quality care for mothers, proper nutrition and complementary feeding, and life-saving treatment for severe acute malnutrition. The effect of good health and nutrition lasts well into adulthood and is key ingredient in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Last year’s run saw more than 3,200 runners raise P 3M for the benefit of the First 1,000 Days programme. This year, the event aims to attract more runners to raise funds for the campaign.

“We are grateful for Anne’s dedication and significant contributions in raising awareness and funds for children in need. Anne’s power lies in her sincerity and genuine passion in everything she does. Through her support, we will continue to make a huge difference for children in need,” Sylwander adds.

Fans who want to support Anne but cannot physically run or be present on race day may donate on her personal SimplyGiving Fundraising Page.  Ms. Curtis was appointed as UNICEF Celebrity Advocate in November 2014.

Heroes PosterIn-store registration is ongoing until August 28 only at the following Chris Sports outlets: SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM City North Edsa, SM City BF Homes, Glorietta, Market! Market!, Robinsons Place Manila, and from August 15 to 28 at UP TownCenter.  The benefit run is one of the many activities slated as UNICEF celebrates its 70th anniversary helping to build a better world for every child.

The Heroes for Children Run 2016 is organized by Anne Curtis and co-presented by RunRio through the support of SM Mall of Asia, Cherry Mobile, Gatorade, Viva Artists Agency Incorporated, Toy Kingdom, Swatch, Eureka Home Appliances, Maynilad, Philippine Star, Good Housekeeping, Female Network, SM Cinemas, Nyxsys Philippines, Chris Sports, F1 Hotel & Resorts, Transprint Corporation, Microtel by Wyndham, Hisense/Devant, and Pacific Cross Insurance.

To know more about the run and UNICEF’s programs, visit www.unicef.ph or call 758.1000, Mondays to Fridays from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children to the benefit of all children everywhere.

Visit UNICEF Philippines website, Facebook page and Twitter.

Pacing UNICEF Celebrity Advocate Anne Curtis on Her Half Marathon Debut

First came the invite from Queenie of Takbo.ph requesting me to sing the national anthem, but for some reason I begged off. I didn’t feel great or feeling I was all out of my element. Thanks, Queenie for the vote of confidence, I appreciate it.

Then next came another invite from my friend Marga, who works for UNICEF, asking if I were willing to pace celebrity Anne Curtis alongside with other pacers.  The marching orders—to pace Anne on a very discreet manner and run just behind her like plainclothes security personnel.  Anne doesn’t like to have any guards and wants to run just like anyone else.   My answer was a noncommittal, “I’ll try.”  Marga was persistent (in a nice way) in her request that I laughingly told her, “Those two, Anne and Noelle, are fast!”  Finally, I did answer, “Yeah, I think I can.”  Silently I said to myself, “If within the 2:30 finish time.”  Crossing my fingers.

We had about 15 minutes before gun start.   Anne, I observed, was all smiles, excited and at the same perhaps a little nervous. Understandable.  It was her first half marathon after all.   Having a huge number of followers in her Twitter account, I couldn’t help but feel proud of her since she’s using her influence for a great cause.  Unknown to many,  Anne organized this fun run and mobilized her network of friends and sponsors in cooperation with UNICEF.  She should get some credit for  trying to make a difference in the lives of young children.  By the way, it was a sold out running event.

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Photos by Noriel of Running Photographers

With five more minutes left before gun start, Anne, accompanied by her boyfriend Erwan, posed for the cameras at the starting line.  Her back was to us; we (fellow pacers Noelle aka Kikay Runner and Gio) were standing directly across from the flashbulbs and fans at the back slowly lined up, inching one by one at the frontline, hoping to get a photo op with the TV superstar.

At first I wondered, but soon discovered that “guarding”  Anne is not as easy a job as I might have thought considering the number of people who recognized her.  But she was so nice, very friendly with them and generous to her fans especially when they asked for a photo with her.

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Photo by Noriel of Running Photographers

I asked Noelle if there was any game plan and the reply was to just follow Anne’s lead.  The countdown officially began and off we went.   We started off at a (very) fast pace and I was able to run in the pack only until Macapagal Boulevard.  I had no recourse but to pull back and stop to catch my breath.  I could feel my heart was pounding louder than all the feet pounding the pavement. I was about to puke, but thank God, it didn’t happen.  Quickly, I shouted to Noelle to go ahead without me and try to catch up. Knowing Noelle’s capability as an athlete, I knew Anne was in good company.

Rested for a few minutes and was back running again towards CCP grounds, overtaking a good number of runners until I reached Roxas Boulevard area.  It was at Roxas Boulevard where I saw coach Rio dela Cruz running head to head with Kenyan Chirchir. Coach Rio won second place.  I believe he was able to redeem himself in this event after his-not-so-good performance (his own assessment) from his last half marathon race due to cramps. Running the 21K was his tune-up race prior to running the New York Marathon next month.

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A few meters from the first turnaround point at KM00 (Luneta Park), I realized I wasn’t  too far from the pack when I saw them on their way back.  I  was happy about it.  Noelle did her job and the other pacer pretty well.  I saw the pack again after the second turnaround point near a mall in Baclaran.  Again, I was glad to know that I was not too far from them considering I had to stop along the way to tie my shoes a couple of times and greet friends who were too happy either as marshals or racers. 

I’m a moderate-pace runner.  Meaning, I run slowly until I could establish my own pace and settle with it.  I never was a positive split racer.  A positive split is when you run the second half of your race slower than the first half.

For most  of my races, I tend to even or negative split.  This is the reason why my pace and Anne’s were not in sync.  And the wisest thing to do is to pull back.  There’s nothing wrong with it.   Based from experience, it’s better to know when to start the final kick (last two or three kilometers) and reach the finish line with “dignity” intact.

Though I wasn’t in the pack, but I was there from start to finish, just a few meters away from them just tailing behind.  To have finished in 2:35.31 (in hours, unofficial) was a bonus in itself given that I made some stops along the way.  My best 21K time was only 2:10 (2009).  This is my 37th half marathon and my seventh this year (if I remember right).

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Was I disappointed as a pacer?   No, I wasn’t.  For a good number of reasons.  First, I never doubted Anne’s capability to finish the race.  She prepared and trained for it.   Second, whether Noelle and I were there or not as pacers, Anne actually didn’t need us. She’s surrounded with supportive friends and family who are also into sports.  Third, she’s a disciplined running enthusiast, very clear with her goal and focused.  Did you know that she sometimes trains incognito around Ayala Triangle?   If she was able to organize this running event, I didn’t see any reason why she couldn’t achieve her goals.

That said, congratulations Anne Curtis on your strong finish! More finisher’s medals to follow and more distances to conquer!  

Super duper thanks to Queenie for facilitating my race kit, race director Doc Lyndon of Leadpack for the cheers along the route and at the finish line, Ivan Patrick of FRD for your enthusiasm to help as volunteer marshal, Team Boring’s Rod, Vic and Jet for the cheers, and Marga and Noelle for the support.  It was good to see running friends: Coco aka Unyo, Val “the troll”, Jef, Maya, Jay among others.  Congratulations to UNICEF, Takbo.ph, volunteers, the Organizing Team, finishers and winners including the “heroes” of this running event.

‘Heroes for Children Run’ Launched

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) along with its partners recently launched the 1,000 Days campaign with health and nutrition as its central focus.

There are at least 3.4 million Filipino children who suffer from malnutrition, and undernutrition accounts for over half of the 95 daily under-five child deaths according to UNICEF country representative Lotta Sylwander.

In support of the campaign, UNICEF celebrity advocate for children Anne Curtis organized the Heroes for Children Run, a fundraising initiative for the benefit of children’s most in need especially in their first 1,000 days of life.

At the contract signing and launch of the #HeroesforChildrenRun, a benefit run for UNICEF Philippines mounted by celebrity advocate Anne Curtis; with UNICEF Philippines representative Lotta Sylwander
At the contract signing and launch of the #HeroesforChildrenRun, a benefit run for UNICEF Philippines mounted by celebrity advocate Anne Curtis; with UNICEF Philippines representative Lotta Sylwander.

“UNICEF greatly appreciates Anne’s initiative to raise funds to support the critical needs of young children’s health and well-being. She is personally leading this event and has mobilised her own networks and resources to make it happen,” said Sylwander. The benefit run is happening on October 25 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds with 500-meter dash for children age 12 and under, 5K, 10K, and 21K race categories.

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This will be Anne Curtis’ first attempt to run a half marathon and she’s looking forward to it. “I am very much invested in health and fitness. I thought a benefit run that demonstrates health and wellness is a great way to raise resources to support children to have the best start in life.  Proceeds from the run will help fund UNICEF’s 1,000 Days campaign,” said Curtis.

Heroes for Children Run online registration is now open until 11 Oct. 2015.  In-store registration will start on 23 Sep. and end on 21 Oct. 2015 at the following Chris Sports branches: SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, SM City North Edsa, SM City BF Paranaque, Glorietta, and Market! Market!

For more details of the run, please see FAQ – Heroes for Children Runor visit Takbo.ph website.

Organized by running partners Leadpack and Takbo.ph, the Heroes for Children Run is presented through the support of SM Mall of Asia, PSBank, Double Dragon Properties Corporation, Enervon, SM Accessories, Belo Essentials, Cherry Mobile, Jack ‘n Jill, Toy Kingdom, SM Cares, Philippine Star, Nyxsys Philippines Inc., Chris Sports, and Discovery Suites.

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

To know more about the run and UNICEF’s programs,  please visit UNICEF Philippines, Facebook page and Twitter or call 758.1000 (Mondays to Fridays, 9 AM to 6 PM).