Expressway gears up to welcome more than 8K runners
The Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX), the country’s longest and tallest bridge and Cebu’s new icon and landmark, is taking center stage in Cebu’s major sporting events. Its length and elevation have become a test of endurance and mental toughness for athletes who dare to take on the challenge.
This weekend, the 8.9-kilometer expressway is hosting the comeback of Cebu Marathon, the country’s most festive 42K running event that will gather a total of 8,632 local and international runners.
After two years of holding virtual races due to the pandemic, the marathon is returning to an in-person race on January 8, 2023, a week before the annual Sinulog, the grandest, most distinguished, and colorful festival in the country.
“For the first time since CCLEX opened, runners will be able to climb the iconic bridge and run the full length of our expressway linking Cebu and Mactan Island. We can’t wait to welcome runners and allow them to experience CCLEX in all its glory come race day,” said Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC) President and General Manager Allan G. Alfon.
CCLEX will be part of the race route for Cebu Marathon’s 10K, 21K and 42K distances. CCLEX will also be featured prominently on finishers’ medals for 21K and 42k runners.
The Cebu Marathon is the second major sporting event to use CCLEX.
The event comes months after CCLEX’s successful hosting of the bike leg of the Megaworld Ironman 70.3 Philippines in August 2022, when hundreds of triathletes and cyclists pedaled their way on the bridge. Athletes described the race route with the inclusion of the CCLEX as among the world’s best.
“Surely, CCLEX is fast becoming a new sports icon, supporting the revival of Cebu’s tourism industry and the economy,” Alfon said.
Registration for the 2023 edition of the marathon has already exceeded its previous record for participants, with organizers attributing Sit to CCLEX as many are looking forward to the chance to run on the iconic structure.
“Runner’s high’ is a familiar line used by many runners. It’s that exhilarating feeling that you experience when you’re ecstatic while on the run,” said Cebu City Sports Commission Chairman John Pages. “Thanks to CCLEX, the more than 8,000 participants joining the Cebu Marathon this January 8, 2023, will experience (literally) this ‘runner’s high’ as they climb the country’s tallest and longest bridge.”
The Cebu Marathon is organized by the Cebu Executive Runners Club. It started in 2008 with a 21K or half-marathon distance. When it organized the “01-10-10” race in 2010, it was the first major 42K running event in Cebu in a long time. It was also the first to use timing chips.