Edward Kho is the lead managing partner of organizer Phenomenon. He used to be a sprinter back when he was just a university student, and now he is a distance runner with 6 marathons finished including Rome and Toronto Marathons and still counting. He is now both a coach and a race organizer.
Hello, on December 19th 2010, you’ll be organizing the Corregidor International Half-Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?
The Corregidor International Half-Marathon will be held in Corregidor Island, situated about 48 kilometers west of Manila. All participants will be brought to the island via ferry from Manila harbor (ferry is inclusive in the registration fee).
This will be the first edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?
Since the end of World War II, the guns of Corregidor have been silent. This once active island has since then been playing the important role of warehousing the ruins of a remarkable past.
Few are aware that this once devastated lonely island is now teeming with greenery and has become home to lush vegetation. With the creeping of green, the island’s war wounds have been covered and healed. It is now a place where fresh air and vast green fields provide poetic contrast to the rugged effects of war.
Amidst this paradoxical ambience are good cemented roads, comfortable hotel and inns, friendly locals and a great untapped opportunity.
This great untapped opportunity is what the organizers of Corregidor International Half-Marathon wish to share with everyone. By sharing with you the beauty of Corregidor, we can help increase tourism on the island which will result in more jobs and more revenues to aid in the maintenance of the historical sites and supporting the livelihood of locals and employees who depend on the tourism activities on the island.
What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?
The 21km route of CIHM could be described as a very challenging course. It may not be for a beginner runner as it will encompass a demanding combination of paved uphills and downslopes and intermittent segments of dirt trails. But what would really set apart Corregidor International Half-Marathon from the usual running experience of avid runners is that it will exceptionally transport the race participants to key historical hotspots on the remarkable isle. Right at the start of the race, the runners will experience at once an adrenaline rush as they zoom past the full length of the Malinta Tunnel.
The exhilaration will continue to unfold as the runners exit the tunnel’s east access en route to the interior of the atoll. The thrilling highlight of the race surges as the runners negotiate the tricky span of a thickly foliaged trail draped in rays of sunlight, culminating in a run along the rocky cliff of the island with a breathtaking view of Manila Bay, to dramatically finish at the south dock breakwater facing the vast South China Sea.
How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?
Owing to the foreseen difficulty of the terrain and the logistical challenge of the venue, the slots for participation in the race will be limited to 800 only.
Based on the participant turnout of a previous year’s race in the island and foregoing participation levels of major races held in Metro Manila, it is anticipated that Corregidor International Half-Marathon will attract a wide-spectrum of participant-runners, ranging from the intermediate recreational to the hardcore runners, majority of which are urban professionals and the so-called “weekend-warriors”.
The level and caliber of participants may be further boosted with the expected entry of elite racers. A considerable number of foreign nationals, from several expatriate communities and adjacent Southeast Asian countries, is also anticipated to participate in this inaugural racing event on the island.
Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?
Yes, we do organize other races during the weekend. They are mainly fun run distances ranging from 5 to 15km.
At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?
December is one of the best months of the year in the Philippines to stage outdoor event especially races. During this time there is rarely rain yet the temperature is balmy and cool, ranging from 18 to 24˚C. Also humidity is relatively low. On the island itself during the race it will be breezy throughout the day and it is expected that the weather will be fair.
Have you planned festivities around the marathon?
Yes, most definitely. Even as the race will be staged in exciting fashion, the pre- and post-race event will surely be fun and thrilling. The night before the race, on the island, there will be a Carbo-loading Bonfire Party where participants are treated to a nutritious pasta dinner in addition to a number of motivational speakers on Saturday evening as they prepare for their Sunday race.
This dinner is a social event that brings participants together while they load up on essential carbohydrates prior to their event the following day. On the night of the race, Sunday, there will be the Victory Solidarity Party, still on the island. In this event all race participants will be invited to stay overnight. Likewise, all sponsors are expected to be in attendance. Successful finishers will get their Finisher’s Certificates during the special recognition segment of the event.
All top 10 finishers will be presented again with their respective awards. Cash prizes to the top 3 winners, from each division, will be awarded during this event. There will be a series of group photo opportunity featuring all race participants, individuals and groups involved in staging the Corregidor International Half-Marathon. The highlight of this finale event is a rock concert back-to-back with a rave party where are participants in attendance could “let their hair down” in celebration of their achievement.
The half marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to the Corregidor island before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?
Participants are encouraged to bring their cameras. This will be very handy especially after the race as the island is teeming with many historical and awe-inspiring sights. Aside from these, in the afternoon, the island has an excellent view of the dramatic and breath-taking Philippine sunset. Corregidor has an accreditted tour operator, Sun Cruises, Inc. (SCI).
SCI conducts excellent and exciting group tour of the island which will certainly make the foreign runners participation very memorable. They also operate the only hotel, Corregidor Inn, in the island that has a very welcoming restaurant.
In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Corregidor International Half-Marathon?
Corregidor International Half-Marathon will be an extraordinary opportunity for passionate runners to set new norm for personal achievement as finishing the race will be akin to recapitulating a fortress that is home to the resilient and valiant.