Around 87,000 registered to participate in the advocacy event that will raise funds for the clean-up of esteros in Quezon City. This number was higher than the turnout in “11.20.2011 Run for the Pasig River” that was the largest single racing event last year with 86,547 runners.
“There were still a lot of people despite the rain. They ran in the rain, they biked in the rain. It shows conviction. If people want it bad enough, we’re going to clean the Pasig River,” said Gina Lopez, managing director of ABS-CBN Foundation that operates KBPIP.
Over 86,000 participants registered in the 5km race, which started at 6 a.m. at the Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) going to the Tandang Sora Flyover and Luzon Avenue, then back to QMC.
Another batch of 1,000 participants, who were composed of runners, cyclists, and skateboarders left the QMC earlier at 4 a.m. and took the 15km route to Commonwealth Elementary School, then back to the QMC for the finish line.
Among the runners were Senator Pia Cayetano, ABS-CBN chairman and CEO Eugenio ‘Gabby’ Lopez III, Gina Lopez, ABS-CBN Cable Channels and Print Media Group Ernie Lopez, Kapamilya stars Kuya Kim Atienza, Matteo Guidicelli, Kim Chiu, Maja Salvador, and Xian Lim.
ABS-CBN Safety and Events Risk Management head Martin Aguda said the advocacy event was generally peaceful despite the rains, the huge crowd, and the expectedly heavy traffic congestion around the Elliptical Road. He said the traffic stream along Commonwealth Ave. was also smoothly flowing unlike other previous races held on the major road.
The last batch of runners who left the starting line left at 8:15 a.m., Aguda said.
The crowd stayed until the post-race program that featured ABS-CBN personalities Sam Milby, Venus Raj, Robi Domingo, Jovit Baldivino, Marcelito Pomoy, and the Quezon City Orchestra.
Gina Lopez also recognized during the program their partners in rehabilitating the waterways of Manila and the River Warriors, whom she called modern day heroes, for patrolling the esteros around the clock against polluters.
Event organizer Kabit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP) aims to raise P14 million in the run to start the clean-up in the esteros of Quezon City as a part of the seven-year rehabilitation of the Pasig River. KBPIP’s campaign, which has spurred local government units in cleaning their own esteros, will be launched in San Juan City in 2013.
It has organized three successful runs, namely the 2009 Philippine International Marathon: A Run for the Pasig River with an estimated 23,000 participants, the historic 10.10.10 Run for the Pasig River that broke the Guinness World Record for the “most participants in a racing event” with 116,087 runners, and last year’s 11.20.2011 Run for the Pasig River was the largest foot race joined by 86,547 runners.
Photo Credits: ABS-CBN Foundation, Clark Vinoya, Cynthia Ortega, Joy Germogenes, Doy Ongleo, Jep Tagle, Erik Lacson