Run for the Pasig River is Largest Footrace in PHL this Year with 80,000 Runners
A total of 86,547 runners showed up and participated in the Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig (KBPIP)’s “11.20.2011 Run for the Pasig River” Sunday, November 20, making it the largest single racing event in the country this year.
According to ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. (AFI)’s chief strategic officer Monchet Olives, the turnout in the advocacy run was five times bigger than the 16,000 participants at another run this year organized by a .
He said over 120,000 people registered and paid the fees including slots that were sponsored. The figure was higher than last year’s “10.10.10 Run for the Pasig River” that broke the record for the largest number of participants in a racing event, with 116,000 runners.
He also stressed that the organizers “focused on the experience” this year as they arranged a festive setting for this year’s runners with bands from different universities, the military, and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
“We closed down both sides of the Roxas Boulevard. That’s never been done before,” he said.
AFI Gina Lopez, meanwhile, said that the contingents from schools, agencies, the police and military, non-organizations, business sector, and private institutions that composed the massive crowd only proved that they want a cleaner Pasig River for the future generation.
“It shows who we are as a people. The numbers don’t matter, there’s no doubt about it. Students came here. The army and the police were here. The private sector was here in full force,” said Lopez.
The charity 21K race organized by the network’s and Print Media Group was participated by KBPIP sponsors and partners, together with the country’s top businessmen and executives such as ABS-CBN Corporation chairman and CEO Eugenio Lopez III and Ayala Corporation president Fernando Zobel de Ayala and heartthrob Piolo Pascual.
The participants raced around Metro Manila and ran past the Estero de Paco where last year’s rehabilitation of Pasig River was made.
At the post-race program, Gina Lopez led the and representatives fromgovernment and private sectors in the river warrior dance as a sign of commitment to clean the river.
Meanwhile, Olives revealed that this year’s run had a good turnout with 14,000 paid registrants.
He also disclosed that they are already planning to take on the historic EDSA in 2012.
“We’re going to play heavy on kids next year. If you get them to join, you also draw their parents,” he .
The KBPIP’s strategy is to clean up the esteros that drain into the Pasig River. In 2010, the KBPIP organized the world-record breaking 10.10.10 run to raise consciousness for the rehabilitation of the river and its tributaries, particularly the rehabilitation of Estero de Paco, a 2.9-kilometer tributary of the Pasig River in Manila.
Lopez said in order to successfully clean the entire river, they must first clean the water that goes into it, and change the way people look at the river through events such as the annual “Run for the Pasig River.”