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PH govt lifts requirement on airlines setting up of isolation area

CALOOCAN CITY, Nov. 21 (PIA) -- The Philippine government has lifted the requirement for airlines to convert a section of the aircraft cabin into an isolation area for passengers or crew who displa.....»»

Category: newsSource: philippinetimes philippinetimesNov 21st, 2020

Requirement to set up isolation areas for domestic flights lifted

(File photo) MANILA – The government has removed the requirement for air carriers providing domestic flights to reserve a portion of the aircraft cabin as an isolation area for passengers or crew who display symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Malacañang announced on Friday. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsNov 21st, 2020

Davao City to improve Covid-19 holding, isolation areas

DAVAO CITY – Amid the surge of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) here, the city government aims to further improve the holding and isolation facilities within the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC). In a radio interview Friday, Mayor Sara Z. Duterte said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is setting up 10 container vans […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  balitaRelated NewsNov 21st, 2020

Quarantine sa mga eroplano `di na kailangan

Hindi na kinakailangan magtakda ng isang cabin na magsisilbing isolation o quarantine area mga kompanya ng eroplano para sa mga pasaherong hinihinalang may COVID-19. The post Quarantine sa mga eroplano `di na kailangan first appeared on Abante......»»

Category: newsSource:  abanteRelated NewsNov 21st, 2020

Coke PH expands Balik Pinas program for repatriated OFWs

Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI)—the bottling arm of Coca-Cola in the country—has expanded its Balik Pinas program to national scale to reach more repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and help them start their own business at home. Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “Coca-Cola’s commitment to Filipinos has only grown stronger, in weathering this crisis together,” said Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “We will help and support where we can. Through Balik Pinas, our goal is to help repatriated OFWs who have lost their livelihood abroad to start anew, via owning and operating their own business and be successful here, at home, with their families.” With the help of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), CCBPI aims to reach more OFWs who are interested to start their own business through Balik Pinas. Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs show that as of September 2020, over 190,000 overseas Filipino workers have been repatriated. Balik Pinas gives opportunities to OFWs to be part of the Coca-Cola family as a distributor, wholesaler, or a community reseller. Balik Pinas is a journey that the company and new entrepreneurs take together at every step—from setting up the business, to sustaining it, to ensuring growth. Coca-Cola assists former OFWs in choosing a suitable business model for their area, helps in managing their cash flow and inventory, and sees to it that they are given proper guidance and training until they are fully ready and equipped to operate on their own—all in all, a sustainable and profitable business founded on practical support from a global beverage brand. According to Carlos Rivera, CCBPI Territory Sales Team in Naga City, the Balik Pinas Program started as a small-scale initiative in Naga City to help former OFWs. Just a couple of months after returning home, Carlos Manzano and his family was able to set up their business as Coca-Cola distributor through the Balik Pinas Program, which Carlos said has reshaped his life and outlook forever. IN PHOTO: Carlos and their family’s multi-cab routing unit with the Coca-Cola Naga Sales team. When the program’s pilot rollout started, the Manzanos—brothers Carlos and Jazz, and their father Lito—were among the pioneer members. Carlos and Jazz had both been working for several years in Qatar until the COVID-19 pandemic shook the trajectory of their career and, consequently, the well-being of their families. Together with their father, Lito, who also used to be an overseas worker, they set up a beverage distribution business in their hometown Naga City. Their optimism, as with any new business venture, was tempered with anxiety over how it would all turn out—especially with the considerable challenge of launching during such tenuous times until Rivera offered them membership to the Balik Pinas Program of Coca-Cola. Now, the Manzanos are running a profitable business as Coca-Cola distributors. “Even when I had to leave Qatar suddenly because of the lay-offs, I always envisioned that I would head back to work there when things settle. But with Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas, I have a livelihood that doesn’t take me away from my family as being an OFW had,” said Carlos.  Lito can still remember his first order of 60 cases of Coke products. Now, the Manzano  family business has grown to an average of 4,000 cases a month, just five months after they started—a feat magnified for it being in the middle of a pandemic and strict quarantine measures. The Manzanos have also since invested in routing units to augment their business’s capabilities—a multicab and a tricycle. Since starting his business in 2019, Billy Belleza (left), is now one of the prominent Coca-Cola distributors in his area and has added another mini truck to serve more routes and deliveries. Billy is one of the pioneers of Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas program. Another Balik Pinas program pioneer member is Billy Belleza who decided to return to the country after working for 20 years in Brunei. “I am really thankful that Coca-Cola reached out to me to be a part of this. They have never failed to present opportunities for me and my business to grow since I decided to take part in the Balik Pinas Program. My sales actually soared this year,” said Belleza, who is also based in Naga City. According to Rivera, Balik Pinas Program was really designed for returning OFWs like Billy, Carlos, and Jazz and their families to set up and run a viable business at home. “With their success and in light of current events, this program was expanded to operate on a national scale, so the company can lend assistance to repatriated OFWs and their families as they weather through new challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Rivera said. Coca-Cola has consistently sought to create programs to support MSMEs, more so now with the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted countless lives and livelihoods. With programs like Balik Pinas, Coca-Cola remains firm in their commitment to help local communities, contributing to the restart of the national economy—by way of reaching out to Filipinos.  To know more about the program, you may reach Coca-Cola’s contact center at (02)-8813-COKE (2653). For SMART/PLDT users: toll-free number: 1800-1888-COKE (2653); and for GLOBE users: toll-free number: 1800-8888-COKE (2653). You may also contact 0919-160-COKE (2653) via SMS......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

PPA officially commissions RT-PCR test for seafarers in Manila

Several seafarers have undergone real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, a needed requirement for seafarers undergoing crew change, as the Philippine Ports Authority has formally launched its Molecular Testing Laboratory in PPA GAD Center, Port Area, Manila, Monday. PPA General Manager, lawyer Jay Daniel Santiago said the new molecular laboratory has a daily […] The post PPA officially commissions RT-PCR test for seafarers in Manila appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 5th, 2020

COVID-19 facility isolation may cause patients to lie about conditions — DOH

The Department of Health yesterday warned that making the facility-based isolation a requirement for confirmed asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19 may cause patients to lie about their conditions......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 1st, 2020

COVID-19 facility isolation may spike cases — DOH

The Department of Health yesterday warned that making the facility-based isolation a requirement for confirmed asymptomatic and mild cases of COVID-19 may lead to an increase in cases......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 30th, 2020

And now, plastic shields for public transportation

  STARTING August 15, passengers in public transportation, including airlines, in Metro Manila will be required to wear plastic face shields over face masks, as an additional barrier against the spread of COVID-19 virus in droplets from the breath of an infected person that may be in the surrounding air. This additional requirement was made […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tempoRelated NewsAug 8th, 2020

Old Davao airport terminal designated as COVID-19 holding area

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 03 August) – The old terminal of the Davao International Airport in Barangay Sasa here will be converted into a holding area where arriving air passengers can wait for the result of their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing, a requirement imposed by the local government to control the transmission of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2020

Catholic prelate tests positive for COVID

Another Catholic prelate has tested positive for COVID-19. Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David on Sunday announced that his predecessor Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez tested positive for the disease. Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David (File photo courtesy of CBCP via PNA / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) “I announced it at Mass today so people could join us in praying for his recovery,” he said in an interview. David said Iñiguez is currently in a hospital under isolation. Iniguez, the first bishop of Caloocan, resigned at the age of 72 in 2013 before the mandated retirement age of 75. Then Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Iñiguez. Last July 23, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila, informed priests that he tested positive for COVID-19. The prelate said although he doesn’t feel anything, he is now in a designated area for quarantine. “I follow the protocol that is set. I am now in a designated area for quarantine observing strict protocol as required,” said Pabillo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2020

Baguio gets P12-M pledge from DPWH

BAGUIO CITY — Baguio City has received a commitment of P12-million from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the setting up of additional isolation quarters for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Of the amount, Baguio City Admistrator Bonifacio de la Peña said P8-million will be used for additional rooms while the remaining P4-million […] The post Baguio gets P12-M pledge from DPWH appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2020

Airlines to resume Taiwan-Philippines flights after Manila lifts ban

Airlines to resume Taiwan-Philippines flights after Manila lifts ban Taiwan News.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 5th, 2020

Column: Johnson back to winning now after brief knee concern

By DOUG FERGUSON AP Golf Writer It only looks as though Dustin Johnson barely has a pulse on the golf course. One moment made him a little nervous. It wasn't the tee shot that rolled toward the railroad tracks and barely crossed the out-of-bounds line, right after he had taken a two-shot lead in the final round of the Travelers Championship. It wasn't even the tee shot two holes later that was headed for the water until it landed softly enough to stay dry, even though his feet got wet hitting the next one. That's just golf. Good or bad, he moves on. No one has a shorter memory. What caused concern was his knee. Johnson missed three months at the end of last year recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee to repair cartilage damage. He lost another three months when golf shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And then as he worked overtime getting ready to resume, the knee started acting up. He called his partner, Paulina Gretzky, on the Tuesday before the Colonial and said he was coming home. The next day the knee felt better, so he stuck it out and missed the cut. “I was nervous,” Johnson said Tuesday. “I had an MRI when I got home, and everything with my surgery had healed great. It was just a strained tendon.” Whether it was time away from golf and then an abundance of practice, Johnson isn't sure. “Obviously,” he said, “everything is better now.” Johnson won the Travelers Championship for his 22nd victory worldwide, ending a drought of 490 days that matched the longest of his career. It was more exciting than it needed to be, which often is the case with his entertaining brand of golf. After going out of bounds on the 13th, he answered with a 15-foot birdie putt and then got a rare break for him — Johnson's ledger remains heavily skewed toward misfortune on the course — when his ball stayed out of the water. One victory doesn't always signal he's on his way. One shot did it for Butch Harmon, his swing coach who was watching from Las Vegas. With a one-shot lead playing the 18th, Johnson smoked his driver 351 yards, setting up a flip wedge and two putts for the win. “He was leaking oil a little on the back nine,” Harmon said. “His bounce-back is incredible. But the key to me was knowing he had to drive it well on 18. I told him when I talked to him later, that was the part I appreciated the most. Yeah, that was just like Oakmont.” The drive on the daunting closing hole at Oakmont in Pennsylvania, reputed to be the toughest course in America, is what Johnson considers one of the signature shots of his career. It sealed his victory at the 2016 U.S. Open, which remains his only major title. Johnson turned 36 last week. There is still plenty of time to fix the one area of his resume that — with his talent — is sorely lacking. What also got Harmon's attention was where Johnson won. The TPC Riverland Highlands in Connecticut is a par 70 at 6,841 yards, hardly known as a course for big hitters. Johnson played the two par 5s in just 2 under for the week and still shot 19-under 261, his sixth straight victory with a score of 19 under or better. His 22 victories have come on 18 courses. He has won at sea level (Doral) and mile-high altitude (Mexico City). He has won on courses that reward power (Crooked Stick) and shot-making (Riviera). Pebble Beach; the TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee; Kapalua and Chapultepec in Mexico City are the only courses where he has won twice. Johnson wasn't aware of this. “I think it shows my game is suitable for any course,” he said. “I like a variety of golf courses. And a lot of these courses that I didn't like then, I've grown to like now.” He paused before adding with a laugh, “And I wasn't hitting it as straight.” If there are “horses for courses,” this might make him mostly a thoroughbred. He's not alone in that department, of course. Rory McIlroy, the current No. 1 player in golf, has won 26 times on 22 courses around the world, with his only repeat victories at Quail Hollow, TPC Boston and both courses in Dubai (Emirates and Jumeirah Estates). Ditto for Tiger Woods, even if it doesn't seem that way. Woods has eight victories at Torrey Pines, Firestone and Bay Hill. He has five victories at Augusta National, Muirfield Village and Cog Hill. They are among 19 courses where he has won multiple times. That's mainly because Woods wins a lot. Phil Mickelson has 47 wins worldwide on 25 courses, with multiple wins on 14 courses. “Being able to adapt is a huge deal, play on different golf courses,” Bryson DeChambeau said. “That's what I'm trying to learn how to do. I think that will happen down the road if I just keep playing good golf, but being able to adapt in different situations and play in different conditions, win everywhere, is pretty impressive." When he's on his game, when he's healthy, Johnson is as impressive as anyone. A winner again, he plans to spend two weeks at home in Florida before returning for the Memorial. He hasn't won there yet......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020

Rudy Distrito’s miracle shot in Ginebra’s epic 1991 finals victory

It was a shot heard all over, and it came at the best, most emphatic time anyone could think of. While game winners can be as dramatic and euphoric as they can be, one particular shot in the dying seconds of Game 7 of the 1991 PBA First Conference was even more astounding. It was epic. And it came from one appropriate fella: the Destroyer, who really obliterated the Herculean advantage of the opponent with just one swish off a mind-boggling move into the paint. More than just a winning shot, it practically was an epic ending of his team’s frenzied and scintillating come-from-behind series clincher no one could ever thought was even possible. Troublemaker Before that game, the hotheaded Rudy Distrito was seen as a troublemaker. Who can’t forget his antics and skirmishes on court, brandishing a despicable on-court persona with his notorious trash talk and rugged, and sometimes harmful, play? But even if he had this not so pleasant reputation, Distrito plays ball like a man with a mission, searing Goliath-like defense in the paint with death defying drives in which he finds a way to drill in that twinner. On that hot and humid night on May 19, 1991, the “villain” Distrito had one superb role reversal. As Ginebra was on a two-game winning streak after falling 1-3, playing coach Robert Jaworski’s wards had this chance to make history: being the first team to come from that overwhelming series deficit to win a title. But their adversary that night, Shell Rimula-X, surely won’t allow to let it slip off their hands. It was a nip and tuck affair. A high-scoring, intensely fought, close game that can’t be decided until that fateful last five seconds. Winning play With the score tied at 102-all, Jaworski called on his versatile, fearless trooper to one endgame play for the ages. With his teammates spread-out to arrange the isolation play, Distrito, who was at the top of the key, surprised his defender, Ronnie Magsanoc, with speedy cut towards the shaded line. Beating Magsanoc in the dash towards the basket, Distrito received a sharp, precise inbounds pass from Jaworski. Distrito then surged with a devil-may-care drive against the towering outstretched arms of the double teaming Benjie Paras and Jojo Martin. The trickster that he is, Distrito broke his stride towards the basket, leaving his tall defenders bewildered, and instead leaped for a fade-away jumper. And the ball went in, igniting a tremor in the ULTRA caused by the ecstatic and frivolous folk of Barangay Ginebra rejoicing in unison at that epic moment. Distrito himself screamed in joy over his accomplishment as an equally ecstatic Jaworski hugged him in elation. But the game wasn’t over. After Distrito made that shot, nearly everyone forgot there was one second remaining in the clock. Shell coach Arlene Rodriguez called for time and devised their own final attempt at glory. But unlike Ginebra’s previous play, Shell’s ensuing last-second strategy was somewhat predictable and expected. Romeo dela Rosa heaved the ball to Magsanoc, who streaked towards the three-point area at the left flank. And as he tried to do a difficult turnaround shot from beyond the arc, Ginebra import Jervis Cole’s long arms swatted the ball away, preserving the Ginebra’s 2-point lead as time expired, 104-102, and allowing the never-say-die team to clinch its second championship at the time. Distrito then continued his celebration, stretching his arms up and jumping on the court in utter glee while teammates and supporters hugged and tapped him for an incredible job well done. With that victory, the merciless guy who was up to no good became the hero behind one of the best endings ever in cage championship play......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2020

World Roundup: China lifts ban on US carriers

China on Thursday said foreign airlines blocked from operating in the country over virus fears would be allowed to resume limited flights, lifting a de facto ban on US carriers, a day after Washington ordered the suspension of all Chinese travel into and out of the US......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsJun 4th, 2020

How Hackett and Harris went beyond 100 points

(This story was originally published on June 30, 2016) One-hundred-point explosions are a rarity in professional basketball. Even in the NBA, no one has ever eclipsed Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 points in his game with the Philadelphia Warriors in trouncing the New York Knicks, 169-147, on March 2, 1962. So when you learn that two men, Americans playing as imports in the Philippine Basketball Association, had scored more than Wilt, you’d certainly be awed and astonished that such incredible feats in the history of the sport had actually occurred in our shores. Legends These legends, Michael Hackett, the man-mountain who leisurely takes care of business in the paint while reinforcing Ginebra San Miguel, and Tony Harris, the “Hurricane” who brings down opponents with his devastating scoring sprees through quick, shifty on court moves while playing for Swift Mighty Meaty Hotdogs, definitely left an indelible mark in PBA annals with those historic barrages that surely left everyone, foe or fan, stupefied and dazzled. Hackett, the hulking yet amiable giant, achieved the first-ever milestone on November 21, 1985 as Ginebra faced Great Taste in a battle for third place in the PBA Reinforced Conference.  His burly 6’5” frame would always have its way in the shaded lane, barreling his way through thick defensive walls and converting—all in bewildering succession. He pumped in 48 points at halftime, before scoring another 33 in the third quarter, and swishing 22 in the final period—for an eye-popping record-setting total of 103 points in one game. Breaching the Chamberlain record, Hackett had been praised as pro ball’s greatest scorer ever, even if he had not made the cut in the Los Angeles Lakers’ lineup during the Showtime era after being the 22nd pick in the 3rd round of the 1982 NBA Draft. During that conference, Hackett averaged 50 points, 20 rebounds and 6 assists in 24 games that made him a hands-down choice for Best Import. With this lofty achievement, who would even think, much less imagine that this record would be broken seven years later. Best scorer Perhaps the all-time best performing scorer in the PBA’s history walked into a packed town gym in Iloilo City on October 10, 1992 in the elimination round of the PBA Third Conference to show Robert Jaworski and his Ginebra squad what he’s got. And, it was simply merciless. Scoring relentlessly from the field through lane incursions, midrange jumpers, slam dunks off the fastbreak and baskets from beyond the arc, the Hurricane already reached the highest score anyone could produce at halftime, 59 points. Harris continued his romp in the last two quarters, just leaving the never-say-die squad in the dust with another 46 points, leading Swift to a 151-147 victory and achieving a record-breaking single-game individual score of 105, surpassing Hackett’s record by two points. This scoring record remains to this day. Indeed, a double heartbreak for the country’s most popular team and a historic achievement by the flamboyant and perplexing import. Tough fouls But what was really exceptional was that he accomplished this feat despite Ginebra players fouling him a record 52 times, which he claimed in an NBA Philippines interview two years ago as “tough fouls” with “knees purposely extended to hit my groin, or the spitting on my face.” He was unfazed and this motivated the Monroe, Louisiana native even more by converting most of his points in his amazing 105-point game from the free throw area, where he made 45 out of 53 attempts. But what’s even more mind-blowing about Harris is that this was no single-game fluke or a stroke of luck. He scored 98 points only seven days after his 105-point game to lead Swift to a 157-147 victory over Presto Ice Cream.  Harris also scored 82 points in Swift’s conquest of Purefoods in Davao City a day before that record-breaking feat.  Before all of these scoring exploits, he actually “introduced” himself to the league with an 87-point performance in his debut in routing the San Miguel Beermen, 134-106. He also had 69, 57, and 54-point games throughout the season, ending up with a record 60.4 scoring average. Best achievement The best achievement of them all was that he steered the Mighty Meaties to the RFM franchise’s first-ever PBA championship by sweeping the 7-Up Uncolas in the Finals, 4-0. It was the current Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao’s first title. After his high-flying PBA stint, Harris tried his luck in the NBA via short 10-day deals with the Boston Celtics, but fell short with a mere 5-point clip in 14 games—a far cry from the fearsome offensive form he displayed in the PBA. He has since distanced himself from professional play, and now heads a sports apparel, supplies and equipment company in Los Angeles. Hackett, on the other hand, also did not engage in competitive basketball after his spectacular PBA run from 1985 to 1988, although he had once served as an assistant coach for a school in his native Jacksonville, Florida, and is now a sales consultant for a wine and beverage firm. But even if Harris or Hackett’s storied scoring feats and iconic stints did not replicate on their real home courts and since hung their jerseys for other careers, their astounding on-court achievements in the PBA remain an inspiration for greatness in this basketball-crazy nation......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 30th, 2020

Govt may lock down villages — Galvez

The government may lock down villages instead of placing an entire region under community quarantine, a Cabinet official said. Presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., the chief implementer of the government’s coronavirus response, said barangay-level lockdown might be declared depending on the number of Covid-19 cases in a particular area. “Ang ibig sabihin, paliitin na […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMay 20th, 2020

PH airlines seek P8.6-B govt assistance 

Major local carriers may need P8.6 billion monthly assistance from the government to survive the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP) said on Monday. ACAP Executive Director and Vice-Chairman Roberto Lim said the group already sought Congress’ help on its request amounting P8.6 billion per […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMay 11th, 2020

P100-M Facility Starts Accepting ‘Mild’ Covid-19 Patients

The PHP100-million patient care center (PCC) at the North Reclamation Area (NRA) here Friday began accepting patients with mild to moderate symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). It is the second isolation center to be opened here to cater to those with mild symptoms. The first, the Bayanihan Cebu Field Center – Sacred Heart […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsApr 26th, 2020

From Hopkinton to Boston, marathon absence is seen and felt

By JIMMY GOLEN AP Sports Writer HOPKINTON, Mass. (AP) — “It All Starts Here.” The motto is bannered on the Hopkinton website, laid into the floor of the Marathon Elementary School, painted on a sign that sends Boston Marathon participants off on their way to Copley Square. Since 1924, this 300-year-old town serendipitously located 26.2 miles west of Boston has been the starting line for the world’s most prestigious road race and, like Marathon and Athens themselves, the two are enduringly linked. “It gets stronger and stronger every year, this relationship,” said Tim Kilduff, a longtime Hopkinton resident and former Boston Marathon race director. “We see it as: The spirit of the marathon resides in Hopkinton, and we lend it out one day a year.” From the starting line in this leafy Colonial town to the finish on Boylston Street, residents and runners are preparing for a spring without the Boston Marathon — the first in 124 years. Organizers and authorities have postponed the race originally scheduled for Monday until Sept. 14 because of the coronavirus pandemic, stripping the streets of brightly colored singlets and opening a gap in the sporting schedule for runners from all over the world. “Tradition’s an overused word. But this really is a rite of spring,” Kilduff said. “So this year it will lead into a beautiful fall season in New England.” ___ On a regular marathon weekend, Hopkinton triples in size from its 16,000 residents to absorb a field of more than 30,000 runners, wheelchair racers and hand cyclists. The Town Common teems with people, along with food carts and other vendors serving both tourists and race participants previewing the course. But while others may think of Hopkinton only on the third Monday in April, the marathon and its essence permeates the town all year. Residents drive over the starting line painted on Main Street on their way to work or to concerts at the gazebo. An International Marathon Center is planned for the town, a sister city of Marathon, Greece, where the long-running tradition was birthed. There are three marathon-related statues in Hopkinton, including “The Starter,” which stands at the starting line, pistol raised, ready to send the field off for another race to Boston’s Back Bay. These days, his face is covered with a cloth mask. “This is not the NBA or baseball or the NFL. This is ours,” said Kilduff, who was the race director in 1983-84, ran the marathon in 1985 and for the last 33 years has been a spotter on the truck that leads the men’s field to the finish line. “Anybody who has run the race, volunteered for the race, supported the race, feels that they own a part of the race. They own just a little bit. So it’s ours,” he said. “The Boston Marathon is almost bigger than itself in the emotion it elicits, and the respect that people have for it.” ___ Training for a marathon can be a solitary endeavor, but the event itself is a social distancing calamity. Participants crowd into corrals to wait for the start, then run in packs to minimize air resistance. Volunteers hand out water on the course and medals at the finish. Fans and family are waiting with high fives or hugs. At Wellesley College, where the cheering is so loud it is known as the Scream Tunnel, students traditionally wave signs encouraging the runners to stop for a kiss. It’s hard to imagine this custom — already a relic of another era — surviving post-pandemic. “A lot of the signs are jokes about kissing. That’s part of the tradition, too,” said Erin Kelly, a senior who returned home to San Diego when the campus closed. “The marathon is just a big part of Wellesley’s culture. I was looking forward to seeing it as a student one last time.” ___ Oncologist Amy Comander decided to run the Boston Marathon in 2013, when colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital treated many of those injured when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded at the finish line. “I just told myself: You’re running next year. And I did,” she said. And every year since. After starting work at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, right around the Mile 16 marker, Comander has used it as a base for her training runs. During the race itself, the sight of coworkers, friends and even patients out front cheering her on gives her a boost of energy right when she needs it: just before making the turn toward Heartbreak Hill. “I see it as a true privilege that I can go to work and I’m on the marathon course," Comander said. “You’re talking to someone who truly loves everything about the Boston Marathon." Comander is registered to run for her seventh year in a row, this time to raise money for cancer survivors and their families; she is still determined to do so in September. But on Monday, she will be caring for cancer patients, a task more stressful because of the danger the coronavirus poses to their weakened immune systems. “I will be a little sad,” said Comander, who plans to take a break from the clinic to get in an 8-mile run — but not on the course, per the request of authorities concerned about crowds. “I feel like I need to do that for myself.” ___ The daffodils are in bloom now from Hopkinton Green to Copley Square and all along the 26.2-mile route in between. Thousands of the bright yellow flowers were planted after the 2013 bombing as a symbol of rebirth and resilience, and they have the benefit of blossoming in mid-April — right around Patriots' Day — to cheer the runners along. Thousands more potted daffodils have decorated the course each year since the explosions at the finish line that killed three people and wounded more than 180 others. With the state holiday and the race postponed until the fall, the blooms will have long since withered. Instead, many of the flowers grown to decorate the course were placed outside of hospitals to thank health care staffers for working through the pandemic. Outside Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, just down the road from the 1 Mile To Go marker in Kenmore Square, the flowers were arranged in a heart. A sign encouraged workers to take a plant home. ___ Just a few steps from the finish line, the Marathon Sports shoe store on Boylston Street gets especially busy over the weekend leading up to the race, when tens of thousands of runners descend on the Back Bay. Things typically cool off on Monday, giving the staff a chance to pop out and cheer the finishers. "We don’t have any official party," said Dan Darcy, the chain’s marketing director. “It’s really just a celebration of the runners that day." Marathon participants are easily recognizable after the race: There is the medal around their neck, of course, and a mylar warming blanket draped around their shoulders if the weather is cold. Often their bib number is still pinned to their chest. “If we have any runners coming through our doors on Marathon Monday, I can tell you they’ll be recognized and they’ll hear the support from our staff,” Darcy said in a telephone interview from Fairbanks, Alaska, where he is working remotely. Marathon Sports has been a reluctant landmark since the first of the two bombs exploded outside its window at 2:49 p.m. on April 15, 2013. Darcy was watching the race from a different spot that day and tried unsuccessfully for hours to get in touch with his coworkers. A few were injured; others turned the store into a field hospital, treating the wounded until trained first responders could arrive. A memorial stands on the sidewalk outside to the three killed in the explosions and the two police officers who died in the ensuing manhunt, which shut down the city and surrounding area for much of the week. The store reopened about two weeks later. Now it’s closed again. “We are going to be encouraging runners to go out and get a run in on their own, keeping the social distancing, but not to run the race route itself,” Darcy said. “We’re not able to do any sort of celebration.” ___ Last month, as Americans began to isolate indoors and one sporting event after another was canceled, the Boston Athletic Association sacrificed its spring start in the hopes of keeping its 124-year tradition alive. Since the first edition in 1897, the race had always coincided with the state holiday of Patriots' Day that commemorates the first shots in the Revolutionary War. As the snow melts in New England, the course becomes increasingly populated with joggers emerging from a winter indoors to get in their training runs. To Kilduff, this year's fall race will be an opportunity to come out of a different kind of isolation. “You know what happened in the year after the bombing: There’s going to be this huge buildup of pent-up energy. And it’s going to be exhibited on the course,” he said. "It’s going to create a brand new chapter in the history of the Boston Marathon. "I’m excited as hell about this.” ___ Jimmy Golen has covered the Boston Marathon for The Associated Press since 1995......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 20th, 2020