LAOAG CITY – A runner from Pangasinan bested more than a thousand participants in ruling the 5-kilometer fun run held here on February18.
Pangasinense Raymond Torneo bagged the gold medal in the singles category, followed respectively by Ricky Gagarin and Efrain Inigo, both participants from Ilocos Sur.
Jason and Edison Melchor from this city dominated the couples category with Jay Viloria and Moises Alvares of Abra in second place and Joshua and Ronald Aguinaldo from Laoag in third place.
Labeled “Taray ni Ayat” and hosted by the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO), under the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) to raise funds for the beneficiaries of the Sirib scholarship programs, the event was participated in by around 1,500 runners from Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Pangasinan, and Manila.
Weenter Ventura, executive director of INYDO and communications manager of the Sirib Ilokano Kabataan Association (SIKA), said that compared to last year’s 1,300 participants coming only from Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, the number of runners this year ballooned to around 1,500 with runners from Pangasinan, Abra and Manila competing in the 5-kilometer fun run.
“The main reason for the success of Taray ni Ayat 2017 is the overwhelming support of the Ilocano youth to help us establish a better youth-oriented province. This is a manifestation that the Ilocano youth community in our province is united with a purpose,” Ventura said.
National Youth Commissioner-at-large and former SIKA president James Ceasar Ventura also challenged the Ilocano youth to grow and develop their full potentials for a vibrant and dynamic province.
The five-kilometer route began at the Ferdinand Marcos Memorial Stadium, headed to Bacarra Road thru Apolinario Castro Avenue, then J.P. Rizal Street towards the Provincial Capitol, coming full circle at the Marcos Memorial Stadium.
To add more color and excitement, obstacles were laid to challenge runners, like the color dash and “spiderweb”.
All winners received cash prizes, with the top finishers earning medals. Shirts and certificates were also distributed to all participants.
“Naniniwala ako na kayang-kaya pa rin ng kabataan ngayon na baguhin ang lipunan at himukin ang kanilang sariling kinabukasan. Let us march toward the dream of greatness. ’Yan ang ating panawagan—a huge challenge to make Ilocos Norte and our republic great again. To make the youth a moving force of society to transform what we have inherited to a deserving future,” Gov. Imee Marcos said. (From the report of Glenn T. Batuyong, PGIN-CMO)