All set for 500-kilometer Zark’s Ultimate Run from Ilocos Norte to QC
Runners Rolando Espina and Jivee Tolentino with Zark’s Burger owner Commie Varona.

EVERYTHING is set for the Zark’s Burgers Ultimate Run, a 500-kilometer race from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte to the Quezon City Memorial Circle.

At least 10 runners are out to conquer the tough race firing off on Tuesday and the course expected to be completed in five days.

Ireland-based Pinoy ultramarathoners Rolando “Junjun” Espina and close buddy Jivee Tolentino are among the competitors.

“We launch this race to test the endurance … kung hanggang saan ang kaya itakbo ng isang Pilipino,” said Zark’s Burgers owner Commie Varona at the event’s launch on Saturday at the burger chain’s original branch in Taft Avenue, Manila.

“We’re already into basketball pero ang gusto namin ‘yung participation and engagement pati sa ibang sports.”

Participants are given the maximum time of 120 hours to complete the race backed by Hapee Toothpaste, Gumtect, Fitness First, LGR, Bike Statement, Amihan and Time Studio.

“Actually this is going to be my longest race. Hindi ko alam ano mangyayari. Hopefully matapos namin,” said Espina, 44, who set a new record in the 4th Manila-Baguio City race, finishing the 250-km journey in 35 hours and 43 minutes.

“Prestige is enough more than the (prize) money kasi wala pang nakakagawa nito. Kailangan lang na maniwala ka na matatapos mo ‘to,” added the Filipino nurse who has also participated in the Spartathlon in Greece for the past two years.

“Unpredictable ‘to para sa akin kasi first time ko sasali sa ganitong kahabang race,” Tolentino, 41, a catering assistant in a hospital.

A fun run is also set on Feb. 25 at the Quezon City venue, with 2.5km, 5km and 10km races. Race fees are P750 inclusive of a running singlet, race bib and Zark’s Ultimate Burger meal.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @spinph