Friday, June 29, 2012

Dinaganay Sa Malaybalay 2012: Bukidnon's First Marathon was a Success!

Dinaganay sa Malaybalay 2012, the first ever full marathon in Bukidnon, was successfully held last Sunday, June 24, in Malaybalay City. The run was sponsored by the City Government of Malaybalay as part of the Araw ng Malaybalay Celebration and was jointly organized by the Office of the City Sports Coordinator and the Malaybalay Runners club.

Much as I wanted to, I volunteered not to run in my home province’s historic first marathon, so I could be of more help to the organizers. I was part of the documentation team and took up the task of taking photos in Barangay Managok which is part of the 42K route. As I motored my way to the area, I already met some of the lead runners in Aglayan and Linabo yet I failed to take decent shots since it was still dark and they ran really fast! It was the middle to rear pack runners whom I caught up with, just in time as the daybreak gave me sufficient light to take my shots.

It was a cold and frosty morning in Managok and despite the fog wrapping all of Mount Capistrano from time to time, it was still a lovely scene. I am sure the runners (especially those who are not from Malaybalay) enjoyed running through the fog, with rice and corn field on the sides. 

I am glad that I was one of the volunteer photographers. I was able to witness first-hand the  pure grit and determination of the runners to finish the distance. The marathon, indeed, presented a real life drama of triumph over adversity, of conquering not only the distance but also one’s self and of pushing your limits and discovering what you are really capable of.

Here are some of the most inspiring stories and personalities of the race:

1. 58-year old Prof. Jesse Rosario of Mountain View College who, despite being the oldest among forty seven 42K runners, completed the distance at 5:16:40, a time that was even faster than my first marathon (hahaha!).

 "You don't stop running because you grow old. You grow old because you stopped running." 

2. Sir Jing Macapundag of Malaybalay PNP ditched his right shoe somewhere in Barangay San Jose (about 5 kilometers from the finish) because of blisters. Determined to survive, he borrowed the slipper of one of the bikers following him. So with a shoe on his right foot and a slipper on the left, he made it all the way to the finish (I salute you sir!).

Just a man and his will to survive...

3. The three brave women who conquered the tough “uphell” route. They are Dr. Gina Factura, Claire Paner and Lani Deleste. My hat’s off to you “iron ladies”!

4. The runners who paced with each other somewhere along the route. I am sure the friendship that was forged on the road will stretch beyond the finish line.

 5. My fellow Malaybalay Runners who joined the race and whooped it up upon crossing the finish. It was pure joy seeing their happiness for either completing their first marathon or breaking their previous PRs. Congrats mga amigos!

6. And of course, the last two finishers Fevrick Moises “The Mohawk Runner” Amboang and my officemate Roy Lanayan who were cheered on by the crowd as they approached the finish line. I sincerely admire their toughness, persistence and determination not to give up. That’s what the “spirit of marathon” is all about.

Dinanganay sa Malaybalay 2012 became the biggest running event in Bukidnon as it drew more than 500 registered runners in 3K, 5K, 10K and 42K categories. Participants came from as far as Manila, Tangub, Iligan, Davao and Cagayan de Oro. It was also the first race in Bukidnon to utilize the timing chip technology courtesy of Circle Productions from Cagayan de Oro. Circle President Jeffrey Ang and Vice President Francis Velazquez even ran in the 10K and 42K respectively. I am quite sure they enjoyed the challenging route.

Despite some lapses (unavoidable or otherwise), I’d like to believe that it was a well-organized race. There are ample supply of water, sponges and bananas in the hydration stations and according to some runners, the volunteer marshals are very friendly and helpful. I know that there are still plenty of things to be improved and this will be taken up on the next assessment meeting of the group.

As an officer of Malaybalay Runners, I am really glad that the event went on well. Unknown to many, the group only had less than two months to organize the big event. Considering that most of us are first timers in organizing a race, I initially doubted if we could pull it off. But eventually, WE DID! For this, I salute our ever-active Malaybalay Runners President Matet Quirino and Jun “Lite” Liwanag from the City Sports Coordinator Office. They are the two individuals who, as I could personally attest, worked really, really hard to make the event a reality. Of course, I will not fail to mention all Malaybalay Runners officers and members, all the volunteers as well as the sponsors for lending their time, resources and efforts before, during and after the race. It was indeed the “bayanihan” spirit which made Bukidnon’s first marathon a success!

Browsing through the comments on the event’s Facebook page after the run, a comment posted by one runner coming from outside Malaybalay City definitely made my day: “for first time organizers, you did an outstanding job!”.   

Congratulations sa tanan!


  1. thank you Earl! very nice indeed of you to cover the event :-)

    1. You're welcome Tet! Anytime, basta para sa MR! : )