Bacolod’s pride- Rolando Espina conquered the historical and longest ultra-marathon in the Philippines’ first Zark’s Ultimate Run 500. Espina bested 6 ultra-runners and crossed the finish line with exemplary and grueling official time of 102 hours and 15 minutes at Quezon City Memorial Circle on Saturday night.
Earlier this year, the 44-year-old elite ultra-runner break the course record of Manila to Baguio’s 250 Kilometer Ultra Marathon Race in just 35 hours, 43 minutes and 11 seconds strong finish.
Espina led the pack of Zark’s 500 from starting line staged in Pusuquin, Ilocos Norte on February 22. The six runners started to race by 3 in the afternoon and vied immediate cut off times in every check points.
Half way, Espina clocked strong and maintain his pace to kilometer 400. Along his pursuers was Jivee Tolentino who paced him from the start but disconnected at kilometer 350 making him sure leader board all the way to finish line.
He received the elusive and hardest finisher’s buckle to earn in the country. The buckle is marked with 500 representing the distance and named Zark’s 500, with landmark of Ilocos Province and Quezon City. He also received freebies from various sponsors.
Espina is a veteran triathlete and works as a Nurse in Ireland for a long time and is also the first Filipino to finish Spartathlon in 2016.
Spartathon is a 246.8 Kilometer run held in Sparta, Greece and is said to be the toughest ultra-marathon in the world due to its extreme heat condition and strict cut off time from 75 check points.
Zark’s 500 Ultimate Run 500 is presented by Zark’s Burger and in partnership with BBG Run Events and Coach Roel Ano as Race Director.