EIGHT Filipino runners bucked the odds of the pandemic and conquered the virtual running stage at the recently concluded TCS New York City (NYC) Marathon.
Made possible by New Balance Philippines, the event’s official apparel partner, eight homegrown running enthusiasts saw action in the virtual category where they represented the country and competed against a global community of runners in the world’s most prestigious running event.
Michelle Matias, Carla Piscoso, Beef Co, Anton Sietereales, Vincent De Guzman, Christian Servillas, Bel Castro and Lucille Bunagan were the contenders who were selected to represent the country in the Run for The Medal Category, the 42-km virtual category of the event.
After its cancelation last year due the pandemic, this year’s TCS New York City Marathon made a strong comeback to commemorate its 50th anniversary through a series of on-location and online events that welcomed runners across the globe.
From Oct. 23 to Nov. 7, each participant of the virtual Run for the Medal Category was given a chance to complete the full marathon anywhere, within the two-week timeline.
In the men’s division, Spartan Pro athlete Mr. Co secured the top spot among the group with the finishing time of 4:16:00, followed by first-time marathoner Mr. De Guzman who finished the race at 4:29:00. Next, celebrity coach Mr. Sietereales clocked in 6:32:00 while entrepreneur Mr. Servillas finished with the time of 6:33:00.
In the distaff side, first-time marathoner Ms. Matias was the first to cross the virtual finish line with the time of 5:20:00. Fitness guru and influencer Ms. Piscoso also made exceptional strides and completed with the time of 5:30:00, while running enthusiast Ms. Bunagan clocked in at 5:39:00, and food and spirits educator Ms. Castro checked in at 6:14:02.
Aside from the pre-selected representatives, two athletes from the New Balance Run Club Clark, Abe Tayag and Christian Patiu of the TriClark-Scania Triathlon Team, ran independently and completed the marathon with impressive times, clocking in at 3:25:00 and 3:35:00, respectively.
“These unprecedented times only proved how relentless Filipinos are when it comes to pursuing their passions,” said New Balance PH Marketing Manager Mishka Rafael.
“Completing a full-fledged marathon is no easy feat — especially in this pandemic context. Crossing the virtual finish line is a tremendous feat in itself. The sport of running proved to us its inclusivity — how it can collectively unify people of different life stages and different backgrounds in achieving their aspirations amid the trying times,” he added.
New Balance Philippines has been steadfast in empowering the Filipino sporting community through various programs and initiatives. The brand has been bringing representatives to the New York City Marathon since 2018.