*** PRESS RELEASE ***
A group of Philippines’ elite runners, collectively known as Team 7-Eleven Philippines, overcome tough weather conditions and a strong foreign competition to emerge as top finishers of their respective race categories in the recently-held Laguna Phuket Marathon in Phuket, Thailand.
The team, composed of fifteen elite runners from different parts of the Philippines, were brought by Philippine Seven Corporation to compete in Laguna Phuket Marathon in Thailand’s picturesque Phuket Island as part of their prize for landing in the podium of the 42km, 32km and 21km race categories of the 7-Eleven Run Series held simultaneously in Manila, Cebu and Davao last February.
Philippine Army’s Richard Salaño, who took time off his preparations for the upcoming SEA Games, emerged as the 21km race’s Male Division Champion, clocking in at 1:13:25. Cebu’s Prince Joey Lee came in second with a finish time of 1:14:00.6, while Davao’s Joerge Andrade finished at 1:18:29.5 to land at the fourth spot, behind Daisuke Yamauchi of Japan who claimed third place.
At the half-marathon Women’s Division, Bukidnon’s Christine Hallasgo bagged first place in what is to be her first-ever international race outing.
Hallasgo, who covered the race in 1:25:28.6, said “Una sa lahat nagpapasalamat ako sa Panginoon kasi binigyan Niya ako ng lakas kahit masama ang panahon kanina. Nagpapasalamat din po ako sa 7-Eleven dahil nabigyan ang katulad ko ng chance na makapag-participate sa ibang bansa. Ito ang first time ko at hindi ko ine-expect na makukuha ko itong panalo na ito. Pangarap ko lang dati na maiwagayway ang bandera ng Pilipinas at hindi ko naintindihan ang nararamdaman ko ngayong isa na ako sa mga Pinay na nakapagdala ng bandera ng Pilipinas sa finish line at maiuuwi ang panalo”.
“First of all I am thankful to the Lord because He gave me the strength despite the unfavorable weather condition during the race. I am also thankful to 7-Eleven because I was given the chance to participate in an international race. It was my first time and I was not expecting to win. It has been my dream to be able to wave the Philippine flag and I can’t describe the feeling now that I am one of the Pinays who was able to wave our Philippine flag at the finish line and be able to bring home the win.”
Completing the team’s conquest in the half-marathon women’s division is track and field legend, Christabel Martes who clocked in at 1:29:51.4 to finish in third place, Manila’s Luisa Raterta (1:34:53.6 ) and Jocelyn Elijeran (1:36:55), finished fourth and seventh, respectively. The Phuket race was also Raterta’s and Elijeran’s first international race experience.
The team also claimed victories in the full marathon race. Bryan Quiamco from Davao finished with top two honors in the Men’s Division with a time of 2:40:15.1. Cebu’s Azlan Pagay snatched the third place spot from Japanese Hiroki Nakajima (2:41:20.2) with a come-from-behind sprint finish of 2:41:20. Richeel Languido, also from Bukidnon, settled for the fifth spot with a time of 2:50:22.2.
On the distaff side, April Rose Diaz from Manila, finished the 42km race in 3:24:57.6 which was good for the third spot in the podium. Caviteña Maricar Camacho finished at seventh with a time of 3:39:47.1.
The Laguna Phuket Marathon is Phuket, Thailand’s largest mass participation sports event. This year, the race’s 14th edition, it welcomed a record of over 12,000 runners from 73 countries.
“We are very satisfied with Team 7-Eleven Philippines’ performance here at the Laguna Phuket Marathon. Considering the weather is not so cooperative, the team was able to deliver as expected and as they promised. 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.”, shared 7-Eleven General Merchandise Division Head Mr. Jose C. Ang Jr., when asked about the team’s performance.
Ever since 2013, 7-Eleven Philippines have given a set of Filipino elite runners a chance to compete in the international stage by bringing them to a foreign running race, all expenses paid for plus pocket money and all needs taken cared of. Apart from this, runners who successfully finish on 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 Laguna Phuket Marathon in Thailand was made possible through the effort of Philippine Seven Corporation together with the valuable support of Under Armour as exclusive sportswear partner, PLDT-Smart, ESPN 5 and Cignal as media partners and sponsors Selecta Cornetto, Nature’s Spring Water, Summit Water, Gatorade, Del Monte, Pocari Sweat, Refresh Mineral Water, Kopiko 78, San Miguel Beer, Selecta, Fit and Right, Aquafina, Pepsi, Jack N Jill Nova, Evian, Le Minerale, SIP water, Safeguard, C2 Iced Tea, Mogu Mogu and Magnolia.
Here below is the list of Filipino winners:
2nd – Bryan Quiamco 02:40:15.1
3rd – Azlan Pagay 02:41:20
5th – Richeel F. Languido 02:50:22.2
3rd – April Rose Diaz 03:24:57.6
7th – Maricar Camacho 03:39:47.1
1st – Richard Salaño 01:13:25
2nd – Prince Joey Lee 01:14:00.6
4th – Joerge Andrade 01:18:29.5
1st – Christine Hallasgo 01:25:28.6
3rd – Christabel Martes 01:29:51.4
4th – Luisa Raterta 01:34:42.9
7th – Jocelyn Elijeran 01:36:55.0