AROUND 1,200 took part in the Sun Life CyclePH, with veteran cyclists and bike newbies getting to ride with three-time Tour de France green jersey winner Robbie McEwen and celebrities on Saturday at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.
McEwen rode alongside former junior national cycling team member Rex Luis Krog and actors and triathetes Jake Cuenca and Gerald Anderson and many-time Ironman 70.3 Philippines finisher Matteo Guidicelliand celebrities in the 40-kilometer race.
"Looking at them at times riding along at 40-km an hour and they look completely comfortable, it's obvious to me that the level of Filipino riders over the last four years has really improved. I can see them more at ease with the bike and riding faster, looking stronger," said the Australian, in his fifth visit in the Philippines.
The event featured six other categories – the tricycle ride (100-m distance for two- to three-year-olds), kids’ ride (500-m for 4-5), family ride (30-minute ride for 6-15 with adult companion), solo ride (30-minute ride for 6-15), short distance ride (20-km for 10 and above),
Former Ateneo volley star and cycling newbie Gretchen Ho liked the non-competitive format of the event dubbed as a "ride" and not a race, with no podium finishers and every participant receiving a medal.
"I was happy when I learned that it was non-competitive because it's my first time to do a 40-km course. When I first tried biking, I fell and I got a scar so I developed a little fear. I don't bike aggressively. But through this event, I realized that I could join races because I finished strong," said Ho.
She rode the two-loop course from BGC to Kalayaan Flyover toward Buendia and Roxas Boulevard then back with brother Justin, a pediatrician.
SunPiology founder Pascual was happy with the turnout as his favorite sport was added for the first time to his annual fun run event with an aim of futher promoting awareness on keeping a healthy lifestyle, diabetes prevention and helping less-privileged kids sustain their education.
"It's important for us in the entertainment field to be able to put it out there for people to realize that living a sedentary life is boring. For us to be able to enjoy life, get out, go enjoy the outdoors and live your life but exercise and live a balanced life," said Pascual.
The Sun Life Resolution Run, featuring five categories – the 500-m dash for kids, 500-m walk for adults, 3K, 5K and 10K – will be held on Jan. 20 at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City.