ALL ROADS led to the Ateneo de Iloilo-SMCS High School Campus in sprawling San Rafael last Sunday, July 19 as hundreds of joggers flexed their running muscles for the annual running tradition—The Ateneo Big Blue Run.
Now on its third year, the AdI-SMCS Alumni Association-sponsored Big Blue Run hit two birds with one stone. Aside from encouraging mens sana in corpore sano or a healthy mind in a healthy body, the event also raised funds for the Ateneo Scholarship Fund that provides deserving students with scholarships and tuition assistance. Currently, the program supports over 48 Atenean scholars. The AAA works with the school in the shared goal of increasing this number.
The biggest yet, this year’s Run drew a crowd of over 1500, including students, teachers, staff, parents, alumni, and even non-Ateneans. For the first time in its history, it jumpstarted the week-long celebration of the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits.
All decked in the much-coveted, limited edition Ateneo Big Blue Run 2015 shirts, runners eagerly gathered at five on a sunny Sunday morning. Hosted by alumni Iloilo City Councilor Love Baronda and AdI-SMCS Faculty JP Chua, the program kicked off with a short message from Fr. Joseph Haw, SJ, AdI-SMCS President, and a welcome remarks from AAA President Jake Borres (AdI-SMCS Batch 1991).
A short Zumba-inspired warm up led by Alumni Jay Amaguin (AdI-SMCS Batch 1990) followed. Race Director Moises Salomon, Jr., of the Iloilo City Sports Council, then explained the race rules. This was the first time a run followed the route along Atria Park District, starting and finishing at the Ateneo de Iloilo campus itself.
Like the previous years, two sets of winners were recognized for Ateneo and Open categories. During the Awarding Ceremony, the following were awarded with medals, loot bags, and gift certificates from the sponsors: Open 3K Male Category, First Place- Axel Catalbas, Second Place- Romnick Dago, and Third Place-Alden Doronilla; Open 3K Female Category, First Place-Jonah Palencia, Second Place-Jessel Ann Morales, and Third Place-Jemelyn Golez; Open 5K Male Category, First Place-Erwin Faron, Second Place- Mark Galapin, Third Place-Mark Gagnao; Open 5K Female Category, First Place-Thea Anne Bagaforo, Second Place-Liezel Siray, Third Place-Joy Vargas.
For the Ateneo community category, the following were the winners: Ateneo 3K Male Category, First Place-Anthony Mann, Second Place-Francis Gargarita, and Third Place-Renz Joshua Arbis; Ateneo 3K Female Category, First Place-Pauline Ann Valderama, Second Place-Sheera Maranon, and Third Place-Heliza Dalipe; Ateneo 5K Male Category, First Place-Afreo Dorde, Second Place-Christian Jaco, and Third Place-Evan Draeo; Ateneo 5K Female Category, First Place-Nizza Ann Regalado, Second Place-Rahja Dumdum, and Third Place-Sofia Sison; Ateneo Faculty 3K Category, First Place (Male)-Roberto Casas, and First Place (Female)-Benjalyn de Isidro; Ateneo Faculty 5K Category, First Place (Male)-Mark Solina, and First Place (Female)-Mary Li Arandela.
After crossing the finish line, runners enjoyed free arroz caldo from the Philippine National Red Cross and various freebies and refreshments from presenters that included Ayala Land, Atria Park District, 2Go, Petron, Coca-Cola, and Pascual Laboratories; Major Sponsors Amigo Segurado, La Filipina, Infinite Fitness Gym, Hair Evolution Studio, Hanna Shampoo, and Asian Spoon; and Minor Sponsors Afrique’s, Run Club, Team Sports, and Futbol Nation.
The event was supported by media partners Bombo Radyo, Star FM, Vago Nozze Studios, Beautiful Iloilo, and ABS CBN. Qualimed also provided first-aid teams while Mandurriao PNP ensured the smooth and safe flow of the event.
“Recognizing the overwhelming response from the Ateneo community in this year’s Big Blue Run, the AAA looks forward to an even bigger event next year,” said AAA President Borres. (Pamela Joy Go/Magis)