The sound of upbeat and lively music may not be uncommon in the Bonifacio Global City vicinity, but the bright festival of crimson that decorated the McKinley West Triangle that accompanied it turned everyone’s heads.
The Run With Me 2017 Charity Run⏤held September 10, 2017 at McKinley West, Taguig City⏤is Resorts World Manila‘s annual charity run. In partnership with RunRio, Inc., the run centers around health and wellness as well as camaraderie and goodwill.
Last year’s Run With Me 2016 was exclusive to employees, corporate partners, and celebrity leaders who raised over ₱13 million for the benefit of various foundations and organizations. This year, they opened the opportunity to support these causes to the public.
Still divided into teams⏤the Red Team with Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles, the Pink Team with Meg Imperial, the Purple Team with Ali Khatibi and Cristine Reyes, the Green Team with Gian Magdangal, and the Brown Team by Rovilson Fernandez⏤the run was then categorized into 3 divisions. Participants could choose from lengths ranging from either 5km, 10km, or 21km.
The gun start staggered according to their distances, and confetti filled the air as the runners started their journey. Despite the event starting at 4 in the morning and the run an hour later, the adrenaline rushing through everybody rose as the sun did, and the energy filled the air as one spurred the other closer to the finish line.
The route started from MC Boulevard and made its way through Chateau Road, Le Grand Avenue, Lawton Avenue, Bayani Road, and back, with varying twists and turns according to the how far the participant had chosen to run. Water stations were spread out along the course, serving Gatorade (one of their official partners) as well. Some stations also provided sponges soaked in ice water to cool off the runners from the heat, and reenergize them kilometer after kilometer.
Soon enough, runners started trickling past the finish line. Their sweat glistened in the high sun, but their smiles said it was all worth it. Medals were looped around the finishers of 10k and 21k as they ended their run, and welcomed back into the event space to continue on with the celebration.
In the VIP and media area, the celebrities who participated in the run gave interviews and had various photo opportunities⏤sporting finisher medals and wide smiles. Other celebrities who had come to support the event include Kim Chiu, Arjo and Ria Atayde, and Diego Loyzaga.
“Everyone’s here to celebrate for a good cause.”
“The community inside [Resorts World Manila] is like family to us, so we’re here to support everyone.”
“For me kasi, I really love charity work talaga. Kung may possibility of helping others, why not naman diba?” -Meg Imperial
Everyone gathered after cooling down and resting up, the stage alive with the booming voice of the host calling all to come forward for the awarding ceremony. The ceremony started with the introduction of the teams and the organization they supported. Before announcing the teams that placed in the competition, they first awarded the individual winners per category.
The fastest in the 5k category consisted of Alex Ballester (for the male division) with a shocking time of only 17 minutes and 49 seconds; and 14-year-old Ashley Mae Oro for the female division. In the 10k ranking, Daniel Witschard bagged 1st for males, and Lariza Arpon, her time being 44 minutes and 2 seconds, for females. And finally, in the 21k league, Mercy Go was awarded the fastest female, with a time of 1 hour, 53 minutes and 14 seconds. The fastest male runner, not only in the 21-kilometre category but overall as well, went to Dominic Kipjemboi Lagat⏤with a record time of 1:14:10.
Dominic Kipjemboi Lagat
As photographs were taken and medals were awarded, the ceremony proceeded to the team awarding. The ranking was decided based on the first 9 runners to cross the finish line from each team, 3 from each category. They would all then be compiled, and the team who has the fastest added-up time will be the winner.
The 4th runner up was revealed to be the Red Team, led by celebrity couple Troy Montero and Aubrey Miles. Together, they raised ₱150,000 for the COR Foundation.
In 4th place came the Green Team, led by Gian Magdangal⏤pooling together yet another ₱150,000 for the Tzu Chi Foundation.
The Brown Team bagged 3rd place, Rovilson Fernandez and his team garnering ₱600,000 to support the EPCALM Adult Leukemia Foundation.
In 2nd place was Ali Khatibi and Cristine Reyes for the Purple Team, with ₱900,000 for the HERO Foundation.
The grand winners, to which 1st place was awarded to, were Meg Imperial and her Pink Team⏤who ran to raise a whopping ₱1,200,000 in honor of the YESPINOY Foundation.
Seeing everyone gather altogether to support not only one cause, but many, was extremely heartwarming to experience. It showed that even though it meant waking up a little earlier and exerting a little more effort in the morning, the Filipino heart is truly alive in the spirit of helping the community.
Run With Me 2017 not only helped the runners enjoy the sport of running and cultivating it for their personal health and wellness, but also showed that when it comes to helping out their fellow Filipino, we are all willing to go the extra mile.
Team leaders huddle up to motivate their team for the friendly competition
Warming up before the running begins
Pre-marathon warm-up to get everyone moving
Runners flash a smile before embarking on their run
Cristine Reyes Khatibi
WIMtern Verna Sevilla crossing the 5k finish line
WIMtern Stacey Lee after finishing her 10k run
To see more of Run With Me 2017, explore the official hashtags: #RunWithMe2017 #RWManila
Run With Me by Resorts World Manila
Words by: Stacey T. Lee
Photography by: Arah Reguyal