Athletics Magazine

Team 7-11 Phils Finish Strong In Phuket

By Barefootdaves
Team 7-11 Phils Finish Strong In Phuket 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”.
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.
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.

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