Zabala breaks away early to rule Thai race
RATCHABURI, THAILAND— The nearly four-hour trip from Bangkok to this scenic province was all worth it for the lean Philippine delegation as one of its runners topped the 10-kilometer distance of the Allianz Ayudhya World Run Thailand Series 2018 on Sunday.
Jerald Zabala broke away from his Thai pursuers as early as the 3K mark to finish in 35 minutes and 49 seconds.
The 30-year-old Cagayan de Oro native, who works as a butcher in a supermarket, was five minutes faster than runner-up Anurak Jangsomya (40:52). Another Thai, Atthapol Thamthaw, placed third in 47:05.
It was an all-Thai podium finish in the female side as well as in the 21.1K category. The 3K Family Run was held on Saturday. All races, which lured some 6,000 participants, started and ended at The Scenery Vintage Farm.
The route, made difficult by several uphill roads, was somehow eased by the cool breeze, countryside view and the cheery locals greeting the runners as they passed by.
“I was inspired by the school children who cheered us on,” said Zabala, a consistent Milo Marathon National Finals qualifier since 2010.
Zabala did not mind not receiving a cash prize—just a medal and a trophy—and was happier being a part of the benefit run for Thais with Disabilities Foundation.
“We are more than happy and proud that all of us made it to the finish line,” said Allianz-Philippine National Bank official Gae Martinez. “Having a winner is a huge feat for Allianz PNB Life.”
The global Allianz run also covered 90 days from July to October. A total of 1,065,204 kilometers were accumulated by 9,590 runners from Europe (6,069), Africa (284), North America (833), South America (934) and Asia Pacific (1,464).
Allianz will convert the total distance into donations for SOS Children’s Villages in 135 countries and territories worldwide.
“Allianz Philippines supports the advocacy of promoting fitness and encouraging everyone to move,” said Allianz-PNB branding communications and digital director Rei Abrazaldo.
Team Philippines which participated in the 10K distance also included Luzon representative Ryan Caaya (59:02), Visayas runner Rommel Hingpit (1:09:51) of Bacolod, Martinez, Abrazaldo and the Inquirer.
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