The running mayor
SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - July 9, 2019 - 12:00am

In a previous column, I wrote on officials who ran in the last election who are also sportsmen. I mentioned ex-La Salle basketball player Francis Zamora who won in San Juan, ex-PBA Dondon Hontiveros, winning in Cebu, and taekwondo jin Monsour Del Rosario, losing in Makati. 

Former Ombudsman, councilor, vice mayor and now mayor, Edgar Labella finally hit the finish line in City Hall.  I’ve known Mayor Edgar for almost 20 years now when he was just starting to become a running fixture in the Cebu City Sports Center and on the streets. 

His running partner was his “tokayo” former Ombudsman Edgar Canton, who was one of the oldest runners then.  On September 8, 1998, the passenger ship Princess of the Orient sank in the vicinity of Fortune Island near Batangas after battered by big waves. 

Mayor Edgar and another friend Judge German Lee was on board.  It was probably Mayor Edgar’s physical fitness condition that helped him survive 36 hours at sea.  One hundred fifty passengers perish including Judge Lee. Mayor Edgar was the last survivor.  In 2001, I invited Mayor Edgar to join our running club which I founded in 1997, the Cebu Executive Runners, organizers of the Cebu City Marathon until todate.  Count of Appeals Judge Gabby Ingles was also a past president of the club. 

Almost 70 years old now, Mayor Edgar had slowed down but continues to brisk walk at Cebu City Sports Center oval together with fellow lawyer Frank Malilong, CPA Drigo Ababat and Mon Dakay. They are the members of the Jog, Walk, and Talk Club. Talking of fitness, Mayor Edgar’s vice mayor Mike Rama is another example of a well- exercised person.  It’s no secret vice Mike is a terror in the 3-point area while playing basketball. When he was mayor he would always join 5k races. 

On one occasion, I ran with Mayor Mike in my Elvis jumpsuit (I’ve been running all over the country in my Elvis attire, thus getting the monicker, “The Running Elvis”.   I remember a few years back at the height of the running boom in Cebu City which was having three running events in one day which were congesting the streets, Mayor Edgar asked my assistance to solve this problem.  We came out with an ordinance that only one race should be held in the City, we also increased permit fees to discourage fly-by-night organizers. When that ordinance was implemented, races were regulated.

Did you know? Marathon boxing

England’s Tom Sayer and John Heenan of San Francisco fought toa bloody 42- round draw on April 17, 1860 in Farnborough County, west of London in the bout billed then as the “Fight of the Century”.  Sayer was barely able to defend himself while Heenan was blind in one eye and his other eye was rapidly closing. Fighters absorb punishment in the ring.  That’s the reality of boxing. “Fighting ain’t fun, it’s like war.”  If I could do something else, I would.  I don’t like earning my living getting hurt”, said former heavyweight king Sonny Liston.  On February 25, 1964, Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) defeated Liston to become world champion.

Route 66

“Get Your Knicks on Route 66”.  In March 1928, 199 men entered a 3,400 mile cross-country footrace from Los Angeles to New York City to promote Route 66.  Dubbed the Bunion Derby, the race entered Saint Louis on April 27, the champion, Andy Payne finished the race in 573 hours over 84 days.  “No payne, no gain”.

Heat is on

In late August, the third Olympic Marathon was one of the most controversial as it was conducted in 90F degree heat over a difficult course.  Thirty one runners started while only 14 finished.  Tomas Hicks of Cambridge YMCA won the race in 3 hours 28 minutes, though he was aided by strychnine and brandy as inducements to keep on running.  “Maayo lang wala mahubog si hic, este Hicks”.

Brooke Hogan

Is a 31- year old reality TV star on “Hogan Knows Best” and debuted as a country singer in Nashville.  She recorded her first album in 2015 that included the single “Girlfriend”.  Her  influence in music are Carly Simon and Earth, Wind and Fire.  By the way, Brooke’s father is pro wrestler, Hulk Hogan.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with