MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Almost 100,000 people took part in the "09.30.2012 Run, Ride and Roll for the Pasig River" on early Sunday morning despite heavy rains in Quezon City.
This number far exceeded the 80,000 participants expected by the organizers. Aside from the thousands of runners, bikers and skateboarders also participated in the event.
The first batch of 15-kilometer runners left Quezon City Circle at 4 a.m., with their route taking them to the Commonwealth Elementary School and back to the Quezon City Hall.
Around 200 bikers led the first batch, followed by representatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Air Force and the Philippine Army.
Albert Porcalla was the first biker to finish, reaching the finish line at 5:08 a.m. He was followed by Carlos Matabuena and Marvin Punzalan. Meanwhile, Lyndsay Cabistani was the first runner to reach the finish line around 6 a.m.
A separate 5-km run began at 6 a.m., with runners starting at the Quezon City Circle going to the Tandang Sora flyover and Luzon Avenue, and wounding up at the QC Circle again.
Students and government employees took part in the run, as well as Kapamilya stars Xian Lim, Kim Chiu and Maja Salvador, and ABS-CBN chairman and chief executive Gabby Lopez.
"09.30.2012 Run, Ride and Roll for the Pasig River" supports the "Kapit-Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig" initiative, which seeks to clean the waterways of Metro Manila.
This is the fourth edition of the "Run for the Pasig River" which started in 2009. In 2010, the event set a Guinness World Record when 116,087 runners participated.
The event also caused heavy traffic around the Quezon City Memorial Circle area, though no accidents were reported. Major roads in the area were closed from 2 a.m. until 10 a.m.
Among the roads closed were the southbound lane of Quezon Avenue from the Quezon City Circle up to Agham Road, and the northbound lane of the North Avenue.
The Metro Rail Transit also offered free rides to participants from 4 a.m. until 9 a.m. -- Report from radio DZMM
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