Back triumphant from Berlin

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
Back triumphant from Berlin
The Philippine team that participated in the Berlin Marathon
Photos courtesy of Ranvel Rufino

They ran and they came home triumphant, some members of the Philippine team that joined the Berlin Marathon showing off their medals, two of them Dingdong Dantes and Ranvel Rufino who completed the 42-kilometer run.

Said Dingdong, “It was amazing! Very difficult, but definitely worth it. I‘d definitely do another one again.”

Dingdong Dantes (center, back row) with, from left: Gilbert Remulla, Mark Gorriceta, Alex Uy and Martha King; and front row, also from left: Butch San Agustin, Ranvel Rufino, Kim Atienza, Tim Yap and Arthur King.

“It was a super experience,” said Kuya Kim Atienza. “My time was 3:57. It was an aspirational time even for 30-year-old runners. And I’m 52! Most marathoners have not broken four hours in their running careers,” adding, “marathon running for me is long prayer time with Jesus. I pray for family and friends, fellow runners and thanksgiving for the privilege of running and running fast.”

Ranvel and Dingdong showing off their medals.

Said Tim Yap, “It was wonderful. It was a spiritual experience for me, aside from being physical, mental and emotional.”

The Berlin Marathon (branded BMW Berlin Marathon for sponsorship reasons) is a major running and sporting event held annually in Berlin, Germany. The official marathon distance of 42.195 kilometers (26 miles 385 yards) is set up as a citywide road race where professional athletes and amateur runners jointly participate. Initiated in 1974, the event traditionally takes place on the last weekend in September, with the exceptions of year 2000, because of a conflict with the Olympic Marathon date, and in 2018 when it was held two weeks earlier due to Day of German Unity preparations.

From left: Kim, Ranvel, Gilbert and Mark

There have been several title sponsors in the race’s history. From 1974 until 1989, it was just the Berlin Marathon. In 1990, it was the Yanase Berlin Marathon. In 1991 and 1992, it was the Canon Berlin Marathon. It reverted to simply the Berlin Marathon from 1993 until 1997. It then became the Alberto Berlin Marathon in 1998 and 1999. A new title sponsor changed the name to Berlin Marathon from 2000 to 2010. Finally, it became the BMW Berlin Marathon since 2011.

From left: Alex, Liz Uy, Javi Martinez, Rosie Uy, Bianca Rufino, Ranvel and Tim.

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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