Manila confident of having biggest turnout in five-city NatGeo Earth Day Run
Fox Philippines general manager Jude Turcuato (middle) with race organizers of the 2016 NatGeo Run during the media launch at the Passion Restaurant at Maxim's Hotel.  Rhoel Fernandez

MANILA will be among five Asian cities holding the largest NatGeo Earth Day Run this April.

The seventh edition of National Geographic Channel’s annual event has gone international for the first time with races to be simultaneously held in five cities, namely Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tai Chung, and Manila.

Combining the thousands of runners from the other cities, Earth Day Run 2016 will be the largest collection of “Eco Warriors” in the history of the race.

Fox Networks Group-Philippines general manager Jude Turcuato said they expect 20,000 participants for the April 17 run in Manila alone.

“This will be the biggest run in Asia if you combine all five cities and hopefully Manila will have the most number of runners,” said Turcuato  during a media event at the Maxim’s Hotel at Resorts World Manila last Thursday night.

Each city’s race will be using support from the registration fee of all participants to help raise money for World Wide Fund for Nature and its projects.

“Through the years the participation and the millions of pesos that have been given have been very fruitful in making the run exactly what it is,” he added.

Runners in the 42K, 21K, 10K and 5K categories will tackle a challenging course prepared by race organizer that spans Bonifacio Global City and the hilly McKinley West.

For this year, runners can actually choose from four different environmental causes to support: marine conservation in Apo Reef (Oceans), reforestation of the Ipo Watershed (Water Project), supporting infrastructure of the Earth Hour Village in Masbate (Climate Solutions) or preserving 40 Irrawaddy Dolphins in Malampaya Sound, Palawan (Species).   

Past NGC runs have helped plant 36,000 fruit-bearing trees in a watershed in the Abuan watershed in Isabela, in the Sierra Madres region. In 2014, Earth Day Run’s proceeds went to training fishermen affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) on how to make and use fiberglass boats, which can better withstand the hard weather common in the Philippines and allow them to continue with their livelihood.

Last year, NGC was able to provide portable solar-powered lighting kits to the Tawbuid Mangyan tribesfolk in Mindoro.

Registration for Earth Day Run 2016 is open via online registration through the regional site, which leads to the Nat Geo EDR sites for each country. On-site registration for the Manila leg will be open until March 31 at the Ground Floor of SM Aura Premier in BGC.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @rhoelfernandez