With Merlita Dunkin’s involvement in AWUM 2013 only included transferring her crown and wearing a pink gown, like with everyone, I also thought the All Women Ultra-Marathon 2013 champion spot was going to be a race among top female runners from INDIE versus IGAT versus NRRC.
Rhoda Caballero (INDIE / ARC). With Rhoda Caballero Oporto’s blistering finish time over the other ladies last Cebu City Marathon 2013, I believe everyone had a gut feeling that she would be the AWUM 2013 crown and scepter heiress. So it’s either people were betting on her or on the other females who can be equally fast as her to beat her. With how small the community of female ultra runners in Cebu, it’s easy to pinpoint who are the possible bets against Rhoda.
It was definitely a big pressure on Rhoda.
Jade Abellana (IGAT). Jade has always been my bet in my predictions in other races because we’re “close” like she’s a neighbor of a neighbor of a facebook neighbor. But every time I post predictions betting on her, she always landed as a “supporting actress.” Thus, the reason I did not post any pre-race prediction for AWUM 2013 because it might be a curse.
Preciousa Sanchez (NRRC). No need to explain why she’s a bet. We all know Cebu ultramarathon female championship titles either belong to Virginia Parajinog, Rhoda Oporto, or to her.
These 3 were my top bets for the AWUM 2013. I was also thinking of Sandra Soliano of NRRC, and another IGAT Luz Villahermosa. But with Sandra’s being out of the race scene due to her injury for some time, she could not be that prepared to race.
Butttt…. SURPRISE SURPRISE! While waiting for the lead pack at our aid station at KM 17.5 and preparing to shout “Go, INDIE or IGAT or NRRC”, it was a big surprise to see the 1st woman arriving was not familiar. The girl was too conservative to be a Jade, too small of a Rhoda, and a bit young for a Preciousa.
I was stumped for a moment that when I finally got into my senses, this was the only picture I manage to get of her, or maybe she was just really too fast for my reflexes!
As if the stiff competition among the 3 Cebuana bets, Rhoda, Preciousa and Jade, was not enough of a pressure for them, a CDO-ana (4:30 RMR), Janice Beth Jamorol Vamenta, came to send them to their edge.
Janice held the leading position almost until the last 10KM stretch when Jade finally overtook her, and then Preciousa on the later part of the home stretch. While Rhoda had slipped down the rank due to stomach issues since early in the run.
The CDO-ana Janice leading from the start had probably sent the rest of the girls performing on their best from the start to the finish. It made Jade had some puking session at the finish line (nothing serious), Preciousa very very hungry, and Rhoda having stomach issues. As a saying goes, “If you’re not in pain, then you’re not doing right!”
So it does not matter much what rank did they all end up. Seeing how these girls drove each other to perform at its highest level or to its “discomfort” (discomfort to make one stronger) is just amazing.
At the end of the day, winning is not all about winning. But I guess it’s also about how you were able to push each other to perform at its peak-est. A new time record was set by Jade Abellana just shows how all of them push each other to get to its best of ability. In a way, Janice was a good threat this AWUM 2013.
I guess AWUM is about that — threatening women! In a society which sees women as weak, but expects them also to be strong, girls have the tendency to hide or never bother much to touch their strong masculine side. AWUM is about pushing the girls to go down on their knees, carry on, and realize how strong they are and how it actually feels good to be one.
And, that finishing with red lips is also a strong way to finish!
CONGRATULATIONS, women, especially to the 1st-time ultramarathoners! It’s a deflowering we should all experience again and again! =)
Presenting the rest of Top 10
It’s nice to see women from neighboring provinces in the top 10 this time because they’ll be pushing more women to join AWUM, and other races.
Odiza “Jade” Abellana – AWUM Queen (5:14:41)
Preciosa Sanchez – 1st Runner-Up (5:26:21)
Janice Beth Vamenta – 2nd Runner-Up (5:30)
Mary Luz Hermosa – 3rd Runner-up (5:36:02)
Will she do a Jade-Abellana act next year?
June Marq Ocana – 4th Runner-up (5:39:41)
June tops races from time to time, but is her AWUM top 5 performance this year is some kind of a statement that she’s going to be full-force this year?
Rhodora Oporto – 5th Runner-up (5:49:52)
Sandra Soliano – 6th Runner-up (5:53:58)
Sandra can rule easily any 21KM race, but it seems the longer distance is not making it easy for her yet. But she’s definitely not the type of person to retreat from that challenge.
Ma. Glenn Pontanar – 7th Runner-up (6:10:57)
Consisten top-ten placer of AWUM, go, Mom!
Melchomelda Kitane – 8th Runner-up (6:14:32)
Leyte invasion? With Andy Tonacao (from Leyte), championing the CUC Leg 2, it seems the Leyte runners are making a statement!
Maripol Tecson – 9th Runner-up (6:15:36)
Of course, the other side of the Visayas is also showing their presence with this runner from Dumaguete!
See you next year, girls. Prepare to be stirred and threatened!
I know each runner has their own photographer but here are few links where to find All-Women Ultra-marathon photos/pics? We have a few shots from KM17.5 at aktib.ph photos here>>.
* Reynan Pics – AWUM’s official photographer
* Manineeyot — pics from G6 station
* Mhalou Villamala — pics from IGAT’s station here and finish line here >>
* John Domingo — I’m sure will soon upload his so just check on him.
Definitely, there are more. And, don’t forget to get a copy of Sun-Star today for the official result of AWUM 2013.