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COVID-19 keeps marathon queen in one place

/ 04:40 AM March 21, 2020

Christine Hallasgo: Grounded

(Fifth of a series)

Getting a forced break in training, Christine Hallasgo was looking forward to returning to her family in Malaybalay, Bukidnon, on Wednesday.

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“I was really looking forward to spending more time with my family and observe quarantine back home,” Hallasgo told the Inquirer in Filipino.

With a flight coming out of Clark via Cebu, she was already at New Clark City (NCC) as early as Sunday the previous week.

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But the enhanced Luzon-wide lockdown was imposed on the eve of her flight. And COVID-19—that dreaded fast-spreading plague that has grounded world sports to a halt—caught up with the reigning Southeast Asian marathon queen.

“Now I have no choice, sir,” Hallasgo said over the phone. She was accommodated at the NCC to wait for her flight along with several members of the national team and differently abled athletes.

After the lockdown was expanded, the 27-year-old Hallasgo was among those picked up by the Philippine Sports Commission so they can stay at Philsports facilities in Pasig.

“I have no complaint because we have our individual rooms,” said Hallasgo, who wrested the marathon throne from Mary Joy Tabal during the Southeast Asian Games and the Milo national championships.

Her only concern is that she was far away from husband Wilmer and three-year-old daughter Tricia Mae. Now she doesn’t get to see them up until the lockdown is lifted on April 14.

“I talk to them on the phone, but after that I don’t know what to do anymore because we can’t go outside the room,” Hallasgo said.

She and Wilmer formed part of the Malaybalay Runners, which caught national attention after she captured the SEA Games gold medal last December.

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An avid runner since she was in high school, Hallasgo said her daily concern is how to spend her time in a confined space. “I’m used to moving around,” she said.

Now her only option is to stop on her tracks. Just like eve­rybody else.

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TAGS: Christine Hallasgo, COVID-19, Marathon, marathon queen, Sports
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