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Another year has come to a fruitful end as they always do. This signals the time for us to give out awards for a number of categories, some are worthwhile while others irrelevant. Hopefully my and my team’s vantage point of all things Pinoy running will be enough to come up with befitting awardees. Let us remind you though that all of these are subjective in nature. There were no specific criteria by which we based our winners but simply to satisfy our whims and caprices. So don’t feel bad if you feel you deserved the award more than the person we gave it to. There will always be the next year to catch our attention. If that is worth your effort in the first place.

So let’s start the fun!
 
 
 

ULTRA-MARATHON DIVAS OF THE YEAR

This award goes to Fabulous Running Divas who conquer ultra-marathon distances with poise and bearing, if only for pictorial purposes. They epitomize grace under intense pain and physical agony.

 
 

ROSELLE ABAJO
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ARNOLD PAGARAN

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BEAUTY AND SPEED AWARD

Most of the time when we refer to a runner as “mamaw” (strong and fast), a corresponding “mamaw-like” image also comes to mind. But the winner of this award defies this stereo-type. At the starting chute she looks coy and unassuming, almost novice-like and uninitiated to this grueling sport. But when the gun signals the start, the beast immediately unleashes and her competitive spirit takes charge.

 
 

SEANNAH SWIFT

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Photo Credit: Seannah Swift Facebook Page

 
 
 

RUNNING GODDESS AWARD

An apparition of beauty and elegance, a charisma undiminished by sweat, untarnished by exertion and the sweltering heat of a tropical sun, a runner of divine origin. Well, she is human alright.

 
 

TWILA STARR

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HUNK OF THE YEAR

Adonis is personified in this running stunner with well-chiseled muscles and towering body of a Titan. Or maybe he is Achilles as he blazes by the terrestrial roads and terrains of an Earthly race.

 
 

RHODEL MONTEMAYOR

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Photo Credit: Rhodel Montemayor Facebook

 
 
 

RUNNING PERSONALITY AWARD

Running is a serious sport. A lot of us started as fun runners who eventually evolved into seasoned ultra-marathoners. However for some, running in races of all distances will forever be a “fun run”. He or she reminds us not to forget the fun in running despite the hard effort and the sacrifices this sport entails.

 
 

VICENTE “BLUE” ZAPANTA, JR.

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BEAUTY WITH A PURPOSE AWARD

Not the exclusive property of Miss World, Beauty with a Purpose Award is given to a runner blessed not only with charm and good looks but with a heart of gold as well. If I am to choose which award tops all else, this is the one together with the Most Inspiring Award. This is specially accorded to the runner who expressed profound benevolence and care towards the less fortunate brothers and sisters through charity and volunteer works. That for me is the essence of true beauty.

 
 

DOC DOT ROMERO

Doc Dot is fond of mountain climbs and doing donation and charity works while she’s at it.

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Photo Credit: Doc Dot Romero Facebook

 
 
 

MOST CONTROVERSIAL PERSONALITIES AWARD

A lot of runners got a certain degree of popularity in the local running scene either by being one of the fastest, strongest, loudest or most attractive. However, there are still a couple who attracted attention for all the wrong reasons. I may be put in hot waters for giving out this award but I mean no offense. Sometimes the popular adage, “keep calm and… ” is a good mantra to live by.

 
 

PRINCE BALTAZAR AND PAT MARANAN

Both ultra-marathon race organizers came at dagger’s end when both of their races were held at the same week end in adjacent provincial routes.

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Photo Credit: Alim Algebra (left) and Timo Taburico (right)

 
 
 

MOST CONTROVERSIAL “EXCENAS” OF THE YEAR

Any kind of controversy is always consumed with gusto by almost all of us who hunger for this kind of entertainment if only to amuse or delight ourselves out of boredom. The local running scene is bereft with these kind of gumption. Though never a fuel for positive change, this can neither be damaging if taken with a good dose of humor.

 
 

SHORT CUTTING MARATHONER

Local runners are becoming more and more vigilant of this kind of infraction putting value to honesty and perseverance rather than undeserved celebrations.

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BANANA GIRL

Below is our satirical rendition of this controversial picture of a girl carrying the entire bunch of bananas that went viral in Facebook. She was then covering the closing kilometers of her 10K Run United 2 race.

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BEST FUN RUN OF THE YEAR

Shorter distances where a lot of newbie runners join are categorized as “fun runs”. A number may contest this but these races take a very special role in fueling the running fire in budding runners like we all once were. Among these, some come out the most innovative and memorable.

 
 

R3RUN FOR SUSTAINABILITY

Cheap race along a new route with lots and lots of tissue give aways!

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BEST TRAIL RUN OF THE YEAR

Trail races are defined by the character and attribute of the route they run through. However, there are only a limited number of these within the vicinity of Metro Manila as to be accessible to most. Despite this, a good number of races manages to sculpt a notable race out of these tropical terrains.

 
 

SOLEUS VALLEY TRAIL CHALLENGE

A very challenging, soooo hot route but readily accessible for all.

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BEST ULTRA-MARATHON AWARD

Anything post 50K is considered an ultra-marathon. Nowadays, given the ever growing number of fun runners graduating into ultra-marathoner status, these races slowly take the front hold of the local running scene. A ever growing registrants make them the new “fun run”. With this new status, ultra race organizers cannot afford to sit on their asses and expect the runners to conform to “take it or leave it” policy like they don’t care.

 
 

HERO TO HERO 50K ULTRA MARATHON

Run Mania has been revolutionary in providing “fun run” standard to ultra races in terms of hydration, marshal support, road safety, quality finisher’s medal and trophy, taking pains in ensuring an honest race above all.

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MOST PROMISING FRD AWARD

We all started like toddlers learning how to walk, taking our first few steps and later on conquering distances we never thought we could manage to finish. As months and years progress, we too improve correspondingly. There are those though whose development not only as a runner but in weight loss and fitness aspect as well is simply astounding. The intensity and the dedication they accord their training are simply above par even from the start.

 
 

JAN MARK CARATAO

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TEAMS OF THE YEAR

Quite a dime a dozen these days when a simple click of the “create group” button over at Facebook is all it takes to start one. And voila, you got yourself a running group in an instant! However, it takes a great deal of leadership and vision, not to forget the members’ wholehearted participation and dedication, in order to build and maintain a strong and integral one. Among the present crop, these teams came out as the most dynamic and dedicated for this year.

 
 

TEAM SOLEUS

From ultra marathon running to international races, this team powered by Soleus and its running brand manager, Judith Staples, conquered them fabulously.

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Photo Credit: Team Soleus Facebook Page

 
 

P.I.G.S PEOPLE IN GREAT SHAPE/SIZE/SOCIAL STATUS ETC.

The name of the team itself is already attention getting as it is, but the dedication and enthusiasm of the team to bond and improve together as runners are admirable.

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MOST INSPIRING RUNNER

Inspiration can come in many forms but for us runners, it usually manifest in the conquest of a major physical stumbling block. Running is already hard as it is for any able bodied person; so how much more for someone with physical hindrance like, in this case, sense of hearing. Despite this limitation, our inspirational runner was not deterred to pursue running and even proved more competitive than most!

 
 

UNYO MORAN

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Photo Credit: Unyo Moran Facebook Profile

 
 
 

COACH OF THE YEAR

We have a lot of running coaches around but this award goes to someone who not only is efficient in his or her role as coach but as a “mentor” to his or her wards as well. By this we meant more than the actions of teaching, demonstrating and creating a good program for faster improvement and all-around performance; but inspiring and building a relationship that transends running. This award goes to someone with the HEART for running.

 
 

COACH MHERLZ LUMAGBAS

The resident coach of Wednesday Group of Runners, Coach Mherlz offers not only her coaching services for a song but her friendship and genuine care for her wards as well.  These are priceless.

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RUNNING STORE/ESTABLISHMENT AWARD

The nominees in this category usually include running and sports specialty stores. This year’s winner does not belong in this type of business at all. It still catered to the needs of runners though, but from a different field – the food and nutrition. Offering a sundry of delectable and nutritious food choices best for carbo-loading or protein replenishment before or after running, this restaurant was conceptualized by a father-and-son tandem of restaurateurs who are also runners. They also offer their place for race promotion events, parties and race kits distribution as well.

 
 

100 MILES CAFE

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Photo Credit: savyboutnothing.com

 
 
 

DIVALICIOUS GADGET OF THE YEAR

I have to put my foot on this one. I heart-fully believe that there is no gadget I can think of to date that is not only very efficient in its purpose but has a fabulous design concept as well – the FLIPBELT! Colorful and stylish, how much more diva can a lowly race belt get? You can read my published review here.

 
 

FLIPBELT

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BLOGGER OF THE YEAR

This award goes to me! Joke! I know I have all the powers to wrestle this award to my advantage but I was just not able to prepare the bribe money on time. So I have no recourse but to sulk it all in and hope for the best next year.

The most deserving of this award goes to a fellow running diva. She has been reigning in the running pageantry much earlier than the creation of the FRD so let’s give her that diva title/recognition out of seniority. Can you taste the bitterness? Sulk it in again Cheapangga! Okey, you deserve it Running Diva, really! And this is due to your renewed vigor in all fronts running and blogging including creating your very own fabulous website!
 
 

ROSELLE DADAL AKA RUNNING DIVA

Know more about Running Diva at her website.

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Photo Credit: Roselle Dadal’s Facebook Profile Picture