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12,000 join Nat Geo run

Manila, Philippines — Exactly 12,000 runners yesterday joined the National Geographic Channel’s (Nat Geo) 5th “Earth Day Run” at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.

In five categories – 3-K, 5-K, 10-K, 21-K, and the newest, 42-K – the “Earth Day Run” was a venue for participants to help Nat Geo in its advocacy to help raise funds for the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Philippines, its major partner-organization.

For ‘Earth Day Run’ advocacy this year, Nat Geo partnered again with the WWF-Philippines, the world’s largest independent conservation organization.

‘Bancas for the Philippines’ is a crowd-funding project of WWF where the fund raised from yesterday’s fun run will be donated to, as it aims to raise money to help the fisherfolk in Palawan “who lost their boats and fishing gear” to super-typhoon Yolanda.

“We’ll build fiber glass boats which are sustainable, and we’ll give [these] to fishermen in Palawan,” Fox International Channels Philippines General Manager Jude Turcuato told the Manila Bulletin.

Turcuato said the 42-K category was added in the run because of the growing demand of the participants. “That’s the category that got closed the quickest. After the first two days, there were no available slots anymore (for the 42-K),” he said.

Unlike the 42-K, the categories with the shorter distances took three weeks to sell out. The organizers planned on a six-week registration period, but had to cut down to three weeks because their expected number of registrants doubled from 1,500-2,000 per week, to 4,000 per week.

“We could’ve gone beyond 12,000 [runners] easily, but we had to stop it because [authorities from] BGC (Bonifacio Global City) didn’t want more than 12,000, because it gets so [crowded] in this area already,” he said. “Two hours ago, this was just too full already.”

In terms of the number of runners on the day of the run itself, 12,000 participants were as much as they should have, according to Turcuato.

“You’ll really see what it’s (Nat Geo ‘Earth Day Run’) for,” 42-K first placer Aver Sister, who joined for a personal cause, said in an interview with the Manila Bulletin. “Joining the fun run can motivate myself, and people who are around me.” (Monch Mikko E. Misagal and Gabrielle Iryn S. Yatco)