PILI, Camarines Sur—Brothers Elmer and Cresenciano Sabal lead the local charge in the premiere 42k event of the 2011 Summit Water CamSur Marathon that starts and ends at the sprawling Camarines Watersports Complex Sunday.
Cresenciano Sabal, a three-time champion of the national Milo Marathon, is expected to get stiff opposition from a lean contingent of runners from Kenya and Ethiopa in the latest high-profile event that will be held in one of the country’s top sports tourism spots.
Richard Kimeli Kemboi ruled the race last year, leading a sweep of Kenya of the top five places in the men’s race, where Sabal ended up 10th.
Race organizer Rio dela Cruz said there will be 21,000 runners participating across five divisions, surpassing last year’s total of 17,000.
Also on tap are 3k, 5k, 10k and 21k races for both men and women in the event dubbed the “Race to a Green Philippines,” which is line with the advocacy to plant 12 million trees by 2012.
The marathon will also serve as a qualifier for the prestigious Boston Marathon—considered the Mecca of running—after getting recognition from both the International Association of Athletics Federation and Association of International Marathons and Distance Races.
The qualifying standard for the Boston Marathon is three hours and 10 minutes.
Camarines Sur Gov. L-Ray Villafuerte welcomed the latest recognition given to the marathon, which is on its second year.
“Our very own CamSur Marathon will be a qualifying race to one of the world’s famous running events. Now Filipinos need not go abroad to qualify,” Villafuerte said.
The men’s and women’s champion will receive P125,000 each with the second and third placers getting P90,000 and P50,000, respectively.