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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

April 9, 2013

2013 MAYON 360 ULTRA WINNERS: Rise of the Oragons

"Oragon" is Bicol slang for somebody who is feisty, determined, principled, fighter, unafraid of consequences, and one who stands up for his principles. 

This word clearly applies to two Bicolano runners who delivered top class performance at the 2013 Mayon 360-degre ultra marathon: Overall  Champion Mario Maglinao and 5th placer Mariano Basagre Jr. 

Ernie and BP with Super Mario

Maglinao is   a diminutive proud son of Legazpi City. On regular days, he is a friendly staff at the A Runner Circle (ARC) Manila where he guides buyers thru their choices of the running shoes and gear. On weekends, he turns into “Super Mario”, blasting away opponents in half marathons (best time 1:08:05) and marathons (best time 2:28:13), mostly in his home turf with his fierce style of running. Prior to his 2013 Mayon 360 triumph, his best win has been to be crowned the Last Man Running in the 2012 Rogin E’s event.

But he longed to win the first ultra marathon in all of the Bicol region. His first attempt, in the inaugural edition of the Mayon 360 last April 2 2011 had him finishing 3rd ( 7:09) behind Kenyan Willy Rotich (6:07)  and veteran Alley Quisay (6:41). His second attempt ended up in an agony in defeat as he DNFd at the Mayon 360 last April 21, 2012. This after predicting at the start of the race a Pinoy victory. Again, a Kenyan by the name of Albert Omboga (6:33)  took first place.     

The 3rd time proved to be a charm for Maglinao as he got redemption with a first place finish at the 2013 Mayon 360 last April 6 with a time of 6:10.  

Mario Maglinao at the finish line (Photo courtesy of JCI Legazpi)

Who knows, if not for the hellish temperature of the Mayon route in this el nino year, Super Mario might have succeeded in breaking the course record set by Rotich. That task Maglinao might be lining up for next year but for now, he will cherish this victory which was made more special as he accomplished this incredible feat of beating Kenyans and visitors alike in the eyes of his adoring provincemates.  

Ernie, BP, Liza, Mariano and Ric

Although it was his first race beyond 42 kilometers, Nabua runner Mariano Basagre, Jr. was unfazed and notched a top 5 finish with a time of 7:00. Basagre, despite his young age of 20 years old, has been ruling the short distance races (5kms, 10 kms) in Camarines Sur. His first venture in marathon, the 2012 Penafrancia Marathon, had him finishing 4th with a time of 3:13 behind 3 Kenyans. He has no regular sponsor for his running and has to rely on his earnings from the short races to support his passion for running. Even getting a decent pair of running shoes is a struggle for him but this has not deterred him. His training  include uphill jaunts in the foothills of Mt. Iriga as well as heat training runs from Nabua to the seaside town of Balatan. Basagre was one of 8 runners who joined me in the 42-km Tiwi-Sangay bootleg run last November 2012 (http://www.bicolanopenguin.blogspot.com/2012/11/1st-bicolano-penguin-anniversary-run.html#more). And a week before the 2013 Mayon 360, he, together with Iriga-based runner Brandon Bueno, had a 22-km long slow distance run to the lowland barrio of Sto. Nino in Iriga.

Mariano Basagre Jr at the finish line (Photo courtesy of JCI Legazpi)

There you have a it. A brief profile on two local  runners who made Bicolanos proud with their top performance in the 2013 Mayon 360. The duo defended the home court and mind you the opponents were not patsies.  No sir. Not by a mile. The gallery of elite ultra runners entered in the 3rd edition of the Mayon ultra included 2012 West Coast 200-Km ultra champ Marcelo Bautista (12th with a time of 8:14), 2013 Bataan Death March 160-km ultra champ Alfred delos Reyes (23rd with a time of 9:33), 2011 Run to the Clouds 50-km ultra champ Joel Bengtay ( 9th with a time of 7:41) and a top Kenyan Elijah Kipruto (3rd with a time of 6:44) who races in Manila and Singapore.

Congratulations to Mario and Mariano. Duwang oragon na Bicolano.

P.S. The second-placer, Martin Balaybo, is also a Bicolano, hailing from Sto. Domingo, Albay.  But BP has not had contact with this runner.  Perhaps in future blog entries, we get to profile him, too.



  1. I wish you could have included the 2nd place - Martin Balaybo, a local runner from Sto. Domingo, Albay who also beat the Kenyan. When Super-Mario is in Manila, Martin is unbeatable in the whole Bicol region.

  2. Maray na aldaw sa imo Anonymous. Thank you for the feedback. Yes I should have included Martin Balaybo in the article. My limitation though is that I have not had a conversation with him to get to know him more. But we will rectify that and pretty soon we should have a profile on this brave runner from Sto. Domingo. Maraming salamat po.

  3. Nice blog to read! ITS really impressive in my home town which im missing Every single day. One of my dream to run a ultra in mayon 360.. Good job everyone im very proud of all running Bicolanos and all running pilipinos. !!!