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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..

May 17, 2017

2017 MAYON 360: Where Bicolanos Reign Again

Finally, after more than two years of waiting and trying, Bicolano runners have regained supremacy of the Mayon 360 ultra marathon.  An 80-km hot romancing of the road around the most perfect volcano in the world, the Mayon 360 is the most famous of long distance running events in the whole of Bicol region. And for the 2017 edition, we have Eugene "Bong" Postrado of Masbate and Mario Maglinao of Albay to congratulate and thank profusely for placing 1st and 2nd.  A Kenyan runner, no less, and a former Mayon 360 champion at that,  came in 3rd.

Congratulations to 2017 Mayon 360 Champion - Eugene "Bong" Postrado of Team SUBO.

Actually,  looking  at the list of champion runners of the Mayon 360 from its inaugural run in 2011 to the present year 2017, it has been a tug-of-war for supremacy between the local Bicolanos and the visiting Kenyans . The latest score right now is 4 years for Kenya and 3 years for Bicol. Not bad for the Bicol oragons considering that they are battling Kenyans who are practically the demigods when it comes to long distance running in the world.  I wonder when runners from Ethiopia and Eritrea will show up in Mayon 360. 

List of Mayon 360 80km Ultra Marathon Champions (2011-2017)

2011     Willy Rotich (Kenya)          6:07:24
2012     Albert Omboga (Kenya)     6:33:15
2013     Mario Maglinao (Bicol)      6:10:59
2014     Mario Maglinao (Bicol)      6:01:09
2015     Eliud Kering (Kenya)          5:36:44
2016     Joseph Mururi (Kenya)       6:05:58
2017     Eugene Postrado (Bicol)     6:32:14

The Bicolano Penguin have written already about Super Mario, so for this article we will focus on the  the 2017 Mayon 360 champion. 

Although currently a resident of  Mobo, Masbate,  the  38-year old Bong Postrado was born in Barangay Dolo of the Municipality of San Jose in the Partido District of the Province of Camarines Sur.  His parents are Elsa Payong and Pablo Postrado. Bong is actually first cousins with the Payong siblings who dominate local races in Cam Sur.   Endurance is in his DNA.  He started running when he was in college already at the Partido State University in Goa. While taking up a 3-yr technical course, he was a student-athlete and he got to participate in the Palarong Bicol and Palarong Pambansa. His running events back in college were the 1,000 meters and 5,000 meters. He put his college education to good use and has been working for 8 years already with First Multi-tech Industrial and Development Corp. as part of the tech maintenance team servicing Globe. Bong started running ultra marathons in 2013.  His running club is Team SUBO.

The Bicolano Penguin (BP) had a chance to interview the 2017 Mayon 360 Champion, thanks to the help of Bong's fellow Team SUBO member,  Doods Gigantoca.  Here are some of the Q&A (the answers are in the local Bicol language which I tried to translate to English) :

BP: How did you train for the 2017 Mayon 360?  Knowing that there were Kenyan and foreign runners joining the race, did you expect to win?

Bong:  Dai po ako  maray na training ngunyan na taon kaya nga tumaas ang oras ko. Aram ko naman po na may makawat na Kenyan ta sa limang taon kuna pakawat kawat diyan, perme yaon  cinda. Kaya nga lalo ako tigganahan na makalaban cinda para maka bawi man ako . 2015 asin 2016 panduwa lang ako sa Kenyan kaya gusto ko talaga maka bawi sainda. Saka ang naka laban ko kahapon dati kuna yan dinaog sa Alaminos 100km ultra marathon. (I was not able to train well this year and probably that is the reason why my finish time is longer.   I knew already that there were Kenyans running  considering that in my 5 years of running here, they are always present. That is the reason why I was all pumped up to do battle with them on the road. I just wanted to even the score because in 2015 and 2016 I was second to the Kenyan(s).  The Kenyan I ran against this year, I got to defeat him already at the Alaminos 100Km ultra marathon.)  

BP:  Before the 2017 Mayon 360, what was your best finish in the Mayon 360 80km ultra? 

Bong:   6 hrs & 7 mins. ( 2015 & 2016 Mayon 360).

BP:  At what point did you overtake/left behind the Kenyan runner?  At what point did you overtake/left behind Mario?

Bong:  25kms palang iniwan  ko na ang Kenyan.  At Km 45  overtake Mario. 
Postrado overtaking Omboga. 

Super Mario in hot pursuit... 

...of Postrado in the later stages of the race. 
Postrado first to cross the finish line. 
Maglinao  is second. 

Omboga is third. 
Awarding ceremonies.
There we have it.  A simple Q&A with the 2017 Mayon 360 Champion, a Bicolano.  Who would be the champion next year?  Very Interesting to look forward to. Will it be a Bicolano again?  A Kenyan? Another Filipino? Another foreigner?

The answers to these questions are still blowing in the wind.  We will have to wait for the summer of 2018.  Before that happens, allow us to thank and congratulate the organizers responsible for the Mayon 360.  These are the JCI Legaspi and the Provincial Government of Albay. Good job in sustaining the Mayon 360 as a model for sports tourism. Congratulations to all the runners,  from near and far, who participated.  Big thanks to all the race volunteers.

Oragon  po kamo gabos.

Photo Credits:  RunconadaMayon 360Eugene Postrado
Special thanks to Kaloi Garcia and Yves Yu for more info about the Mayon 360.




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