Albay province will stage a 50-mile run during the celebration of Daragang Magayon Festival on April 6. The marathon will test the endurance and speed of runners who will compete in the Mayon 360º, a run around the circumference of Mt. Mayon.
The race is one of the sports highlight in the month-long celebration organized by the Legazpi chapter of the Junior Chamber Jaycees International and the Albay League of Barangays. The run is sanctioned by the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners.
The event, sponsored by the Albay provincial government, will be the first of its kind in the province in terms of distance and race route.
“It will be a historic run as none so far has registered a record in completely running the 50-mile (80 kilometers) distance around the entire circumference of the famous Mt. Mayon that stands 2,463 meters over three cities and six municipalities of Albay,” provincial board member Joseph Philip Lee said.
Starting from the Peñaranda Park in front of the city hall and the provincial capitol here, the marathon will go through an all-paved road passing along 77 barangays near the foot of the volcano.
The starting gun will be fired at 4 a.m. on April 6. It is expected to end on the same day at the same park to complete the 360-degree route with the last pack of finishers back in 15 hours after the gunstart.
To highlight the tourist destinations of Albay along the race route, water and aid stations will be set up in attractions: In Daraga town (Cagsawa ruins); one in Camalig (famous for the Albayano dish of pinangat); Guinobatan (hometown of Bicol hero Gen. Simeon Ola, the last Albayano general to surrender to the American troops during the Filipino-American war); three in Ligao City (famous for Kawa-Kawa Hill, where pilgrims scale its 236-meter elevation during Holy Week to meditate in its Stations of the Cross featuring life-sized statues).
Meanwhile, notice the thick smoke rising (photo above) from the side of Mount Mayon as captured by our photo-artist. Was it a telltale sign of kaingin operation or just clearing the slope with rubbish? /PNA