MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - The “10.10.10 A Run for the Pasig River” made history Sunday amid a powerful show of unity by Filipinos from all walks of life.
Crowd-control estimates pegged the number of race participants at between 120,000 to 140,000 runners, event organizer Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP) said.
The National Capital Region Police Officer, meanwhile, estimated the number at around 175,000, including unregistered runners.
Initial figures from SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV), the country’s biggest accounting firm, placed the total number of official race starters at 116,812.
The SGV figure, once authenticated, will break Philippine marks and the Guinness World Record of 110,000 runners at the "Bay to Breakers" race in San Francisco, California in 1988.
SGV and KBPIP are expected to announce the verified figures Monday.
The fun run, which aimed to create awareness and raise funds for the massive Pasig River clean-up campaign, could also be the world’s biggest advocacy race.
“I’m really happy that the run was peaceful and many showed up! It’s 5 times the attendance last year when 23,000 runners took part in the first Run for the Pasig River. Because of the huge turnout, some participants may have failed to walk through the manual counting chutes that were set up for the auditors to physically count the number of runners. We hope to address this next year by exploring other measures like the use of race chips,” ABS-CBN managing director Gina Lopez said.
Contingents from schools, religious groups, government agencies, the police and military, non-government organizations, business sector, and private institutions made up the enormous crowd that gathered at the run’s three starting points at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA), the CCP Complex, and Ayala Avenue in Makati.
Organizers said the event was no mean feat.
|ABS-CBN chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III, boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, and Dyan Castillejo joined the Pasig River run.
Show of force
Former Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos, accompanied by his wife Ming, fired the starting gun to mark the foot race’s simultaneous opening.
Vice-President Jejomar Binay, Mayors Alfredo Lim of Manila and Antonino Calixto of Pasay, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino, boxing superstar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, El Shaddai leader Bro. Mike Velarde, and Presidential sister Ballsy Aquino-Cruz also showed support for the cause.
Binay reminded the runners that showing concern for the Pasig River does not end at the race’s finish line.
“Maipagmamalaki natin ito bilang Pilipino. Pero hindi pa tayo natatapos dito dahil kailangan pa ding magtulong-tulong sa aktwal na paglilinis ng Ilog Pasig,” he said.
Pacquiao described the river as a gift from God that people should protect. Aquino-Cruz, on the other hand, compared Pasig River to an heirloom that has to be passed on to other generations.
“Let us clean up the mess that was made before us. Pasig River is a symbol of hope and what the future holds for the country. If we manage to clean it, then we have done our jobs as citizens,” Aquino-Cruz said.
Although the run was non-competitive in nature, KBPIP honored the top finishers of the race with cash prizes and medals made by relocatees in BayaniJuan sa Southville 7 in Calauan, Laguna. Baller bracelets were also given to all runners after the race.
Richard Sulaño and Keizel Pedriña ruled the male and female categories in the 3k race while Mervin Guarte and Mhe Ann Barcena took home the biggest prizes in the 5k race. Alquin Bolivar and Dalin Karmil dominated the 10k category.
Despite the heat, the crowd still stayed for a post-race program featuring bands Kiss Jane, Frio, 6 cyclemind, ABS-CBN stars like Luis Manzano, Karylle, Melai Cantiveros, Jason Francisco, Jovit Baldivino, Bugoy Drilon, and Studio 23 hosts Arran Sese, Alex Calleja, and Juddha Paolo.
DZMM anchor Winnie Cordero hosted the 3k pre-race program with Paolo while ABS-CBN senior sports correspondent Dyan Castillejo joined Piolo Pascual and Zaijan Jaranilla in welcoming runners at the 10K starting point.
ABS-CBN Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Eugenio Lopez III also showed his commitment to the Pasig River cause by joining the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in the ceremonial 21K run, which kicked off in Marikina City.
ABS-CBN Foundation managing director Gina Lopez also recognized during the program the runners and the partners of KBPIP, including race organizers Eric Imperio, Rio Dela Cruz, and Thumbie Remigio for the Philippines’ newest achievement.
KBPIP sought to raise between P10 million to P12 million from the event to finance clean-up at Estero de San Miguel, a tributary of the Pasig River.
In 2009, KBPIP began dredging operations and relocation of informal settlers at Estero De Paco, which also flows into the Pasig River.
Lopez said in order to successfully clean the river, people must first clean water that flows into it, and change the way people look at the river through events such as the 10.10.10 run.
3K – Male
1st place Richard Sulaño
2nd Jordan Paul Billones
3rd Dave Gumacal
3K – Female
1st Kiezel Pedriña
2nd Cristine Delfin
3rd Ranya Bumpus
5k – Male
1st Mervin Guarte
2nd Ferdinand Corpuz
3rd Justin Tabunda
5K – Female
1st Mhe Ann Barcena
2nd Serenata Saluan
3rd Luisa Roterta
10K – Male
1st Alquin Bolivar
2nd Abrahan Bracarse
3rd Ramie Lacson
10K – Female
1st Dalin Karmil
Mary Joy Delos Santos