Following the huge success of Larga Pilipinas’ inaugural race, held in Marikina City on 22 September 2018, the newest cycling sensation organizers had without delay set and scheduled the second salvo the next month.
Larga Pilipinas 2nd Salvo was initially set on 7 October 2018. However, due to the unexpected withdrawal of a significant organizer’s support, Larga Pilipinas had resorted to rescheduling the event on 28 October 2018.
Despite the withdrawal of the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) from the race which would have ultimately ushered them in their campaign to make Ilog Pasig regain its beauty, cleanliness, and charm, Larga Pilipinas organizers still decided and pushed through with the “second salvo” to cheer up multitudes of bike aficionados. Most of them came from the neighboring provinces in Central Luzon and Southern Luzon.
As luck would have it, Go For Gold, Scratch It, Koten Enteprises Inc, together with other sponsors had stepped in to rekindle the passionately waiting and enthusiastic cycling fans.
Larga Pilipinas finally and officially set the second savlo on 28 October 2018, in a bid to unfold history on EDSA and C-5 and, at the same time, campaign for the beautification and rehabilitation of the popular estuary in Manila, the Pasig River.
The Larga Pilipinas Second Salvo only proved that EDSA (C-4) and President Carlos P. Garcia Avenue (C-5) can still be viable for defensive cyclists despite the highways’ notoriety.
The race’s objective has likewise persuaded and encouraged other local government units to allot a portion of their highway system. At the same time, encouraging people to bike can mitigate the perennial traffic decongestion in the metropolis. Therefore, it can also lessen the air pollution motorized vehicles emit daily.
As early as 3:30 am of 28 October 2018, or about 3 hours before the scheduled time of the race, riders from all walks of life and nearby provinces started to flock on J.P. Rizal extension to join the highly awaited and newest—if not phenomenal—cycling event in the Philippine road cycling today.
Despite the race delay due to some unforeseen technical glitches, the order of release remained unchanged and strictly carried out.
At 7 am, partakers, who were equally eager and excited as the first salvo, stormed and crowded both lanes of J.P. Rizal Extension stretching about one kilometer.
The Professional/Elite riders were the first in the order of release followed in succession by the following categories:
- Fixed Gear
- Amateur 45 Up/Women’s
- Managers/Corporate Executives
- Mountain Bike (Men and Women), and
- Fun Ride
The astronomical turnout surprised organizers and riders in different categories. They also had a hard time finding their respective classes due to the influx and turnout of registrants and walk-in registrants for Fun Ride in the venue.
As expected, the 24.8 km-road race and fun ride appeared to be equally impressive and successful as the first salvo. The only difference is that the second salvo is the most attended, approximately 10,000 riders, and the long-awaited event of the two editions organized by Larga Pilipinas.
Larga Pilipinas participants made history moments after they were flagged off along Guadalupe interchange.
Surprisingly, traffic situation on EDSA was light at that time. But, vigilant motocoms did not take this lightly as some errant bus drivers could possibly sideswipe unsuspecting participants.
The author was one of the livestream reporters alongside Mon Magalona, a motocom, covering and witnessing the spectacle, specifically Managers and Corporate Executives categories.
Marshalls, Highway Patrol Group Policemen, and MMDA constables, including Aerox Quezon City Club, were mobilized and tasked to usher riders in every corner of the route until the finish line area. Yet, some riders went astray along the course.
As the participants completed and capped off the race successfully, organizers enjoined riders to proceed near the stage for the awarding ceremony.
Meanwhile, Snow Badua, the head organizer and media head, animatedly entertained the swarm of attendees and gave away free limited edition Larga Pilipinas dry-fit shirts. The cycling influencer was later joined by co-Livestream Reporter DJ Bobby Odulio and veteran sportscaster Ricky Yap-Santos on stage.
As the program continued, Snow Badua quipped and asked the revelers whether they would want another race in the future, and the tumultuous crowd shouted and answered in the affirmative.
Shortly, the awarding ceremony commenced.
Winners of the 24.8 km blitz race were called one after the other and given cash prizes, gift packs courtesy of Juicy Lemon, Emperador, Black Mamba, and Mothers Best, Larga Pilipinas jersey and shirts among others.
Comebacking former tour champion Albert Primero was the first to be called on stage and declared the Masters’ category champion while Dominic Coronado was proclaimed the first placer for U21.
Likewise, Manuel Reynante, son of the two-time Marlboro tour champion Maui Reynante, dominated the Managers. At the same time, John Carl Reynante, who excelled in the brakeless, single gear, standard track racing design bicycle, or Fixed Gear, received the gold medal.
In addition, Athena Maraña bested other riders in the Women’s category while Jarwyn Banatao showed stellar performance and became back-to-back Triathlete/Duathlete category champion. In the same way, Jericho Rivera emerged as the back-to-back champion of the MTB category.
Meanwhile, call center mogul Fred Chua of Magellan’s Solution dominated the Corporate executive category. Chua also received a gold medal, Larga Pilipinas jersey, and gift packs, while Boy Kanin rider Elmo Dueñas dominated Amateur 45 up Category defeating former Larga Pilipinas Opening Salvo champion Romeo Camingao.
Aidan James Mendoza, from San Manuel, Pangasinan, dominated the race in the Professional/Elite category finishing the entire course with a clocking of 23 minutes and 18 seconds, outsprinting veteran and multi-champion rider Mark Galedo and Jerry Aquino.
Larga Pilipinas is brought to you by Go for Gold, Koten Enterprises, Inc. and powered by Nickel Asia Corp., Excellent Noodles, Standard Insurance, Emperador, Juicy Lemon, 7-Eleven, Black Mamba, Mothers Best, Versa.Ph, Boy Kanin, Green Planet, Zen Skin Institute, Uratex, Maynilad, LBC, QuadX, 3Q Sports Event and Management, Manila Water, BikeXtreme and supported by the MMDA, Lungsod ng Makati, Lungsod ng Quezon, Lungsod ng Marikina Aerox Quezon City Club, Triathlon Association of the Philippines and PhilCycling.