Lunghi Run set to help Tabal’s grassroots program


THE Cebu running community will get the chance to experience a unique fun run for a cause in the 1st Lunghi Run, which is set on March 25 at the Vibo Place along Escario St., Cebu City.

The fun run organized by Lunghi Runners-Singapore, TAD Runners, Hello Kitty Runner-Cebu Hotel will be for the benefit of the grassroots running program of Olympian Mary Joy Tabal and her coach John Philip Dueñas.

Lunghi, a North Indian term for malong (Maranao garb), otherwise known as sarong skirt, will be given to the participants in addition to a singlet. The event will feature the men’s and women’s 12-kilometer and 6K categories. “I invite all to join this. It will be a different run. The goal of the run is to have fun and help kids because this is for a cause,” said Ali Akbar of Lunghi Runners-Singapore.

Akbar and Annie Penaroya of Hello Kitty Runners-Cebu conceptualized the run in Cebu and thought of seeking a beneficiary for the event. Akbar first organized the Lunghi Run in Singapore about five years ago.

“We thought of JPD grassroots program as the beneficiary because the program is helping young kids,” said Penaroya.

Dr. Willie Estepa of TAD Runners said they’re expecting about 400 or more participants and have already prepared 700 finishers’ medals since last year.

“When Ma’am Annie (Penaroya) called me, we did not hesitate to say yes, because we know it would really help our program,” said the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA) gold medalist Tabal.

Tabal added that the proceeds will be used for a good cause. “Our goal really is to let the kids compete outside of Cebu but we don’t have the resources,” said Tabal.

Tabal and Dueñas are teaching grassroots runners from Guba, Cebu City, Liloan, Cebu, Sisters of Mary School Boystown in Tungkop, Minglanilla and Sisters of Mary Schools Girls Town in Talisay City.

There will be no cash prizes as the organizers want it to be purely a fun run. A finishers’ medal made from Singapore, though, will be given to all the finishers.

Penaroya said that they have partnered with Bread after Bread and will give birthday cakes to all the participants whose birth month is March. (RSC)