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NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Philippines – Filipino-Irish nurse and ultramarathoner Rolando Espina Jr. completed on Saturday morning, January 27, a historic 680-kilometer run around Negros, the Philippines’ fourth largest island. It was a run-for-a-cause event aimed at helping children battling cancer in Negros Occidental.
The group, which included a crew of five alternate runners who also took turns driving and managing logistics, left the Negros Occidental capital Bacolod City on January 20, at 3 pm.
They completed the five legs six days later after braving hot days, then rain and strong headwinds on the fifth leg of their run.
They exited Negros Occidental’s last town, Hinobaan, on the second day of the run, and spent the next five traversing Negros Oriental before returning to the Occidental side.
Christian Alayon, one of the organizers of the event, called the 680-km run across Negros Island for six consecutive days “a remarkable achievement.”
The run consisted of five legs along Negros Island’s coastal highway. The journey began in front of the Negros Occidental capitol, heading to Sipalay City at 3 pm on Saturday, January 20, covering about 165 kilometers.
The second leg went about 175 kilometers from Sipalay to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental.
The third leg covered a route of 113 kilometers from Dumaguete to La Libertad, and the fourth leg extended from La Libertad to Sagay City, Negros Occidental, covering around 133 kilometers.
The final leg, more than 85 kilometers from Sagay to Bacolod City, concluded with a triumphant arrival in front of the provincial capitol on Saturday, January 27, around 7 am.
Philippine National Police units from the two Negros provinces and local units escorted them on all legs. Local government officials met with the team, including Victorias City Mayor Javi Benitez who waited until the team arrived at midnight on January 27.
The event was organized by Team Bagat, of which Alayon was a part. The team consisted of seven core members who brainstormed and planned for the initiative. It included Police Captain Honey Labaro, Jan Christopher Chua, JC Fregil Chua, Brekz Cabrillos, Franklin Echevaria, Christian James Togonon Alayon, and Neil Stephen Valenzuela. – Rappler.com