Cebuanos finish Chicago Marathon

Cebuanos finish Chicago Marathon

By Jonas Panerio
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 15:09:00 10/21/2008

Cebu-based doctors Yong Larrazabal and Peter Mancao, along with fellow runner James Abilla, the owner of St. James Water, stood tall in the face of the enormous odds as they gallantly finished the 31st staging of the grueling 42-K Bank of America Chicago Marathon in Cook County, Illinois in the United States on October 12.

The trio represented Team Cebu and did it well as they made it through the extreme heat and the strenuous race conditions before becoming one of the 31,000 who finished the prestigious race.

The event is one of the five destinations for the World Marathon Majors, and attracted 45,000 people from all over the world.

Larrazabal, a renowned ophthalmologist, who runs the Larrazabal Eye Center along with the Run For Sight Foundation, vindicated his months of preparation by finishing the race in a little over four hours.

The feat literally was not a walk in the park as he ran through excruciating pain after suffering from cramps in his thighs at the 20-km mark.

Mancao, on the other hand, had a more personal view of his participation in the marathon.

“As a cardiac surgeon, I try to show my patients that with perseverance and dedication, you can achieve what seems to be impossible tasks. Perhaps my example would help encourage a healthy lifestyle through physical activity, whether it be eating right, exercise and challenging yourself beyond your own expectations,” said Mancao.

For Abilla, the race saw lots of shining examples of courage and utter determination, as well as testaments to the power of the human spirit.

“I saw a runner literally crawling towards the finish line in the 95-degree weather!” said Abilla.

The victory was a big one for the trio as they continue on their quest to fulfill a dream of running in the world’s five biggest marathons.

Mancao and Larrazabal finished the New York Marathon last year and are now eyeing the world’s oldest annual marathon, the Boston Marathon, next year.

They are also preparing for the London and Berlin marathon

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