Century Tuna Superbods Run 2010

The Age of Running
Wednesday, 03 March 2010
The Century Superbods turns a race into a must-do social event
BY ROME JORGE Lifestyle Editor

No longer is running just a sport. Now, it’s a showbiz spectacle, a commercial bonanza and a social affair. It is to see and be seen with elite athletes, celebrities and chief executive officers; to literally keep up with the proverbial Joneses; to come out openly as a Dri-Fit, Clima-Cool and Lycra-clad body-conscious speed freak decked out in heart rate monitors, GPS pedometers and iPod electronica; to celebrate among strangers and friends in sweaty, orgiastic physicality, and to beat the road, beat the time and beat one’s own age.

Gym instructor Noelle Frances de Guzman
Gym instructor Noelle Frances de Guzman

On February 21 at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, the Century Superbods Run heralded the coming of age of the Runner’s Era—the time when the most fundamental and inherent of sports became the trendiest, the latest and the most popular. Attracting runners in the thousands, it seemed everyone who was anyone was there.

The beautiful sport
The event began before daybreak with adrenalin pumping beats from a Brazilian batucada percussion band, pyrotechnical summersaults from capoeira martial artists and colorful moves from costumed dancers. All this was done on a stage worthy of a grand stadium concert.

There was running icon, coach Rio de la Cruz, and celebrity Century Tuna endorser Derek Ramsay onstage like rock stars flanked by 2009 Superbods contest winners Superbods 2009 winners Theresa Fenger Van, Victor Leaño and television host Reema Chanco.

Parts of the racecourse were as grand and as high-tech as the stage. The starting and finishing point was an enormous arch with video screens visualizing the race routes for the different race distances—3-, 5-, 10- and 2-kilometer distances—in computer animation. More importantly, it had large LED readouts by Timex that automatically announced one’s name, ranking and finishing time as one crossed the finish line. This was made possible by Championchip—disposable microchips supplied to each contestant that one laces on to one’s shoe. As with RunRio’s previous events sensor mats at the finish line and at various stages in the racecourse ensured an accurate and detailed recording one’s running stats.

Though the vast majority of runners enjoyed the marathon without incident, there were some glitches in the otherwise well-organized event. In his blog, running guru and race organizer Rio de la Cruz was commendable in his forthrightness. He was the first to concede, “We acknowledge that it was not as perfect as we had aimed for, due to issues such as unexpected bugs in the online registration process, an early gun start for 21- and 10-kilometer runners, with some 10 kilometers runners catching the tail end of the 5k runners and several runners who got lost along the route.” To complicate things further, there were some points in the racecourse where Taguig Global City failed activate its streetlights. Nonetheless, for most runners, the race was an enthralling experience—and not just for the natural high that running gave them.

There were quite a few showbiz stars such as Iza Calzado running and at every water station were gorgeous Brazilian and Filipino models handing out Gatorade sports drinks. Just as lovely were many of the average runners. Quite a number were decked out in black body-hugging compression body suits. Others brought along their unflappable feminine fashion sense, sporting pink tankinis, pink super short shorts, pink miniskirts and even pink hydration harnesses—all branded sports gear, of course. Regardless of fashion genre, the vast majority of runners were deadly serious, paying little heed to all the beautiful people among them.

As most 21-kilometer distance runners were just on their way to the halfway mark, they saw Kenyans and top Filipino runners going in the opposite direction and heading back to the finish line. Like heads of state, these top athletes were heralded by the sirens of a motorcycle motorcade to make sure no one got in the way. Ultimately, Eduardo Buenavista and Maricel Maquilan finished first in men’s and women’s category, respectively, in the 21-kilometer distance race.

Every finisher was a star with his own paparazzi. Dozens of photographers snapped pictures of every runner and posted it online at Photovendo.ph—but one of the many perks that come with a well-organized RunRio event. RunPix.info also supplied one’s standing and statistics online.

The finish line wasn’t even the end of all the hoopla. The after-race event area was nothing less than a fairground full of booths offering all sorts of goodies.

What the future holds
Aspiring models, after having participated in the run, were qualified to go to the Superbods Go-See to vie as Century Tuna’s next image models. The after-race go-see event was perfectly timed, with aspiring image model’s lean bodies still glistening and dewy with perspiration.

For the rest, there was food, drinks, magazines and other freebies made possible by the event’s many sponsors. On the spot, one could also buy watches, sporting apparel and even canned goods—Century Tuna, of course. Also noteworthy was the free shirt and racing singlet that came with registration; they were well designed. The many booths, the lively music and the triumphant mood of all those who finished the race made for nothing less than a festive atmosphere.

Even better was the fact that Century Tuna Superbods Run 2010 raised funds for the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Health Organization and the World Wide Fund for Nature. With each step, runners made the world a better place.

The Century Tuna Superbods Run 2010 is but the first in the RunRio Trilogy. The second leg is the Nature Valley Run on May 30 and the third is the 2010 Timex Run on November 21, both at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. Prepare for more; the Age of Running has truly arrived.