26,000 runners answer call for Hari’s causeBy Romina S. Austria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ONE splendid free race deserves another.
Overwhelmed by the support it generated last year, Hyundai Asia Resources, Inc. (Hari) held another free race yesterday, luring 26,000 runners in the 5K and 10K races that started and ended in front of the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
As in last year’s inaugural edition which gathered 24,000, there were no winners—only satisfied runners who believe in Hari’s corporate social responsibility platform founded on the ideals of sustainability through economic growth, community development and environment protection.
Among the beneficiaries of Hari, official distributor of Hyundai vehicles in the Philippines, are Gawad Kalinga and Haribon Foundation for their environmental efforts; UP Women Lawyers’ Circle, which has been Hari’s partner in safeguarding and enforcing the rights of women and children; underprivileged school children in Southern Leyte; National Children’s Hospital and residents of Pambujan, Northern Samar, which will soon have the St. Scholastica Hospital; and aspiring football players through the Younghusband Football Academy and Hyundai-YFA Football Sports Development Campaign.
“The number of runners that we gathered this year is amazing,” said Hyundai president and CEO Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo. “This only goes to show that thousands of Filipinos do care about building a brighter future for our country, the Hyundai way.”
First to answer the starting gun at 5 a.m. was the first wave of 10K runners. Two more 10K groups followed at five-minute intervals. The first of five batches of 5K participants was flagged off at 6 a.m.
Hari executives led by Agudo, Hyundai employees, dealer network representatives and members of One Hyundai Club and Hyundai car clubs were among the participants. Presidential sister Viel Aquino-Dee, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez and husband-actor Richard Gomez joined Agudo in firing the starting gun.
From Quirino Grandstand, the 10K runners turned at the Edsa-Roxas Boulevard intersection for the return run to the finish line. The 5K runners turned around at the Quirino-Roxas Boulevard intersection.
Allan Sumaya, a 16-year-old senior of Antipolo National High School, traveled all the way to Manila, to experience the thrill of joining a big event.
“We were at the grandstand as early as 3 a.m. and the atmosphere was really festive,” said Sumaya, who recorded a time of 49 minutes for the 10K event.
“My friends and I also join and support various environmental causes so we ran to support Hyundai’s green causes,” added Sumaya.