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Cebu Cityâs first outdoor sporting event approved by EOC a huge success
Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera awards the winners in the women’s category of the 1st Talamban Cross-country Endurance Mountain Bike Race. He is joined by Talamban Elementary School principal Jonalyn Zabate.
Contributed photo

Cebu City’s first outdoor sporting event approved by EOC a huge success

(The Freeman) - May 17, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  The sirens of the safety race marshals blasted through the Saturday morning May air as more than 180 mountain bikers saw action in the 1st Talamban Cross-country Endurance Race where they pedaled a rolling start from Talamban on an arduous route that took them through some of the most scenic mountain barangays of Cebu City.

The roads and trails of Bacayan, Pit-os, Binaliw, Mabini, Paril, Cambinocot, Catives, Guba, Cambilog, Sirao, Cambioos, Pulangbato, Cambaog, Budlaan and back to Talamban offer awe-inspiring views of the mountains and nature, and breath-taking terrains for mountain bikers.

Forty (40) kilometers and 1 hour, 41 minutes and 11 seconds (1:41:11) into the race, the first rider Jessiedel Arnado crossed the finish line followed by Kirk Jed Gelloagan who clocked in 1:42:12.  The two, who dominated the entire race, were in the 20-35 age group. The three other winners of the category were Jeffrey Silvano (1:45:01), Nino Paluaya (1:46:40) and Wilky Estope (1:46:33).

The 19-below winners were John Francis Pitogo (1:44:17), Cleos Navarro (1:45:04), Jaemeile Hofilena  (1:46:06), Mikoy Paras (1:46:11) and Lance Cheong (1:46:20) while the  top five finishers in the 36-49 division were Jhepoy Juson (1:48:24), Albert Basirgo (1:51:03), Loren Codera (1:59:13), Bryan Minoza (2:02:40) and Roland Taperla (2:04:44). 

In the distaff side, the fastest riders were Shayne Yao ( 2:04:55), Leslie Gitaruelas (2:15:40), Aliana Velasco (2:17:31), Danielle Ricafuente (2:17:31) and Diana Balungcas (2:32:26).

Willy Gitaruelas took the first-place honors in the 50-above cass with a time of 2:09:02 followed by Paul Edgar Gambong (2:13:50), Carael Eguinto (2:14:04), Robert Reyes (2:14:04) and Mariele Baticuang (2:21:43).

Organized by the Talamban Mountain Bike Club (TMBC) headed by its president Russ Arvi Bontuyan in time for the fiesta celebration of Talamban in honor of its patron San Isidro Labrador, the endurance race was the first outdoor sports activity approved by the Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC). 

Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, himself an endurance runner who finished in several running races in and outside of the country, was instrumental in approving the cross-country mountain bike race. Garganera heads both the Cebu City Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID-19 and the EOC. 

“I want this sporting event to become the template of future sport or athletic events approved by the EOC.  I am glad that the organizers of this event took the extra step of obtaining the approval of the EOC to ensure that the race is orderly and compliant with existing protocols.  This is a showcase of what cooperation among different agencies can do, from civic organizations in the barangays, the barangay leaders, up to our city officials,” said Garganera. — EBV from PR

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