Move Your Mind With ASICS: Two Filipino runners finish strong at the Tokyo Marathon 2024

Euden Valdez - Philstar.com
Move Your Mind With ASICS: Two Filipino runners finish strong at the Tokyo Marathon 2024
Fitness enthusiast, social media influencer and mom Marline Capones and national athlete and SEA Games medalist Arlan Arbois Jr. were brought by ASICS Philippines to Tokyo—providing them full support throughout their whole journey.

TOKYO, Japan — Since becoming part of the World Major Marathon series in 2013, the Tokyo Marathon has received over 300,000 applicants every year—with only about 10% chosen and drawn as official participants.

This makes it one of the most coveted international and major marathons in the world.

Last March 3, over 38,000 participants ran the Tokyo Marathon, and of this number, two Filipinos were given the opportunity by ASICS, an official partner of the race.

National athlete and SEA Games medalist Arlan Arbois Jr., and fitness enthusiast, social media influencer and mom Marline Capones were brought by ASICS Philippines to Tokyo—providing them full support throughout their whole journey.

Impressive finishes amid adversities

National athlete and SEA Games medalist Arlan Arbois Jr.

Arbois expressed joy and gratitude for the chance to compete in an international marathon, one that is among the best and most challenging in the world.

He did not disappoint and finished no. 216 overall among male runners, with an official time of 02:32:55. He was also the first Filipino male runner to cross the finish line.

Capones, on the other hand, hit her best PR (personal record) yet with a time of 04:13:57. She joins the roster of Filipina runners to finish strong at the Tokyo Marathon.

“I was the lucky one who got picked from a selection of personalities and I’m grateful to be selected to represent ASICS Philippines,” Capones for her part shared to Philstar.com in an interview.

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Fitness enthusiast, social media influencer and mom Marline Capones

Nonetheless, both faced their own sets of challenges albeit the impressive performances.

First off was Tokyo’s cold climate as it was still the tail end of winter. Two days prior to the race, both runners were struggling with below 10°C temperatures during shake-out runs that ASICS organized.

On race day itself, as if to test them further, temperature at starting line was just 1°C. For runners who have only ran on tropical climate, this was something they had to adapt to.

Wala naman ganitong weather sa Pilipinas,” Capones said. “So I had to get all the race tips I can. Thanks to Jeff Lo and all the others who ran the marathon before. I really had to think about what to wear, before, during and after the race.” 

It was also the first time that both ran with thousands and thousands of runners alongside them. They were assigned at different waves before starting.

Last March 3, over 37,000 participants ran the Tokyo Marathon 2024

Sa starting line pa lang, nahirapan na akong tumakbo dahil sa sobrang dami ng tao. First time ko ‘yon na hindi ako sa harapan naka-pwesto (Right from the starting line, it was difficult for me to ran because there were too many people. It was my first time that I wasn’t positioned on the front),” Arbois explained to Philstar.com.

Arbois faced another unforeseen circumstance when his stomach acted up, forcing him to take a toilet break and ultimately, affecting his time. Capones, on the other hand, experienced cramps on the 30-km mark.

These didn’t stop them as they forged on to the finish line.

Strong physically and mentally

Arbois and Capones carried on with strength not just physically but also mentally. They were backed by preparation, training, discipline and support in running the Tokyo Marathon.

Capones, who is a mom, had to balance her time training and taking care of her daughter Avi.

Capones during the yoga session that ASICS held

“As a mom, my time is gold now. So I try to run in the morning as early as 5 a.m., so that I’m already done before Avi wakes up. Then, I relax and recover at home. Sometimes, if it’s her nap time around lunch or late afternoon, I will do my strength training,” Capones recounted.

Thankfully, she could count on her mom and partner to help her in juggling family and training time.

She also credited getting a formal coach. Her training program crafted by running coach Ken Mendola included running four times a week, with one long weekend run at 24km to 32km.

Arbois, on the other hand, is coached by two-time Olympian and Philippine marathon record-holder Eduardo Buenavista.

Buenavista discovered Arbois, a South Cotabato native, giving him the chance to compete in the 2023 Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia, where he took home the silver medal in Men’s Marathon.

Arbois together with fellow runners during ASIC’s shake out run

Hence, Arbois didn’t want to disappoint his coach and fellow athletes, which motivated him to finish with the best possible time he could.

Iniisip ko, inaabangan ako ng mga kapwa atletang Pilipino at ng mga sumusuporta sa akin. Ayaw ko silang ma-disappoint, kasama na rin ang ASICS Philippines (I was thinking about my fellow Filipino athletes and all my supporters. I don’t want to disappoint them, including ASICS Philippines),” Arbois shared.

For Capones, it was also about “embracing and enjoying the moment.”

“My mindset was simple, each step is my celebration. And my motivation was my family and friends who trusted me that I can make it and finish strong at the finish line,” she added.

Helping runners achieve their goals

For 75 years, ASICS has been guided by its philosophy “Anima Sana In Corpore Sano,” a Latin expression that means “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body.” It aims to help both athletes and active consumers achieve their goals in sports or in their lifestyles.

It is no wonder that ASICS has been an official partner of the Tokyo Marathon since the first-ever edition in 2007.

For Tokyo Marathon 2024, ASICS organized shake-out runs that were open not just for runners representing the brand but for all marathon participants regardless of the label they are wearing. Other pre-marathon activities included a yoga session to help runners with jet lag, as well as a carbo-loading dinner for proper nutrition.

Arbois and Capones were generously provided with all their shoes, sportswear and other gear, from training in the Philippines to running in Tokyo Marathon.

Post marathon, the ASICS Run Tokyo Marunouchi store welcomed finishers with the warmest applause. Its amenity also allowed runners to drop and claim their bags, and shower and change after the marathon.

The Marunouchi store also showcases the brand’s latest products, like the much-anticipated METASPEED™ Sky Paris and Edge Paris race shoes. Its launch is timed perfectly at the start of the marathon season this year, giving a reliable option for athletes and elite runners during race day.

The METASPEED™, along with other lines such as the Gel-Nimbus, Gel-Kayano and the GT-2000, are all borne from the ASICS Institute of Sports Science (ISS) in Kobe, Japan. This is where the company practices a “human-centric” approach in research, design and product development.

“We continuously bring innovative technologies, developing materials, structural designs and services analyzing human movement,” Kenichi Harano, senior general manager at ASICS Institute of Sport Science, said in company’s “Vision 2045” report

Philstar.com along with news personality and runner Andrei Felix joined the ASICS Philippines to capture what it's like to participate in the Tokyo Marathon and understand the brand's involvement by engaging in various activities organized by ASICS.

Following the Tokyo Marathon, the ASICS Philippines team and their guests proceeded to Kobe and met with celebrity and fitness enthusiast Rica Peralejo to visit ASICS Institute of Sports Science.

There, they delved into the step-by-step process of shoe production and research, gaining insights into how ASICS creates its footwear. They explored the meticulous research undertaken to ensure the best shoes are crafted, meeting the diverse needs of runners.

Andrei Felix and Rica Paralejo during a tour at ASICS Institute of Sports Science in Kobe, Japan
Photo Release

Editor’s Note: This #BrandSpace story is created with ASICS. It is produced by the Advertising Content Team that is independent from our Editorial Newsroom. 

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