Ten intrepid ultramarathoners answer challenge in Zark's Burger Ultimate Run 500
Zark’s Burger owner Commie Varona (2nd from left )is shown with Rolando Espina (right) and Jivee Tolentino during the press launch of the Zark’s Burger Ultimate Run on Feb. 20. The 500-kilometer run starts in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte and ends at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

TEN runners have accepted the challenge of the Zark’s Burger Ultimate Run 500 which will fire off on Tuesday (February 20).

The run will span 500 kilometers and will be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, starting in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte and ending on February 25 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

A few short-distance fun runs (2.5k, 5k and 10k) will be held on February 25 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle to create a festive athmosphere for the finishers.

Zark’s owner Commie Varona said the event is the company's way of extending support to other sports endeavors outside basketball, where they are competing in the PBA D-League.

“We want to show that we are not just for basketball. We are also here to help other sports gain prominence and show na hindi lamang dito sa atin sa Pilipinas kundi sa buong mundo na kaya ng Pilipino na makagawa ng hindi pangkaraniwan sa sports,” Varona said during a press conference at the Zark’s Taft Avenue branch.

Among the 10 that will test their limits in the event supported by Hapee, Gumtect, Fitness First, LGR, Amihan, Bike Statement, and Times Studio are Junjun Espina and Givee Tolentino, two overseas Filipino workers who have already competed in ultramarathon events.

”It is not just us that will try to complete this very first attempt to run 500 kilometers in Southeast Asia but to show that Filipinos are great athletes,” said the 44-year-old Espina, who works as a nurse in Dublin, Ireland and has completed several ultramarathon events in the past.

Race organizer Jeff Santiago has also ensured the safety of the runners, who will have their own support staff monitoring their progress.

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