Soldiers, policemen and firemen sprinted, limped or teetered in their stilettos as they joined hundreds of runners who participated in this year’s Sapatos race in Marikina City.
Tet Atanacio-Curry, the City Tourism Officer of Marikina, said at least 600 runners participated in the Tour de Takong or Stiletto Race on Saturday.
The race started in 2011 when the first Sapatos Festival was relaunched.
“This is part of the celebration of the Sapatos Festival. Basically, we want a fun event that will showcase the durability of Marikina shoes, especially the stilettos, that’s why we decided to implement this race,” Curry said.
This year, the city’s uniformed personnel were invited to promote gender equality, she added.
“That’s one aspect of bringing the plight of women closer to them,” Curry explained.
Runners are required to wear at least 3-inch high-heeled shoes.
The 1.8 kilometer-run aims to promote the shoe industry, particularly footwear made in Marikina that are known for their durability and comfort.
“Some of the manufacturers donated high-heeled shoes, while others sold their shoes at low prices so that many people can participate in this year’s event,” Curry said.
For the female category, the winner was Ailene Tolentino of the Philippine Army. The male category was won by Danilo Dapitan.
The winners received P15,000, P10,000, and P8,000 for the first, second, and third placers. Some of the participants also received special awards.
This year’s Sapatos Festival runs from October 26 to December 30. A Shoe bazaar being held at the city’s Freedom Park offers shoppers bags and shoes at discounted prices.
A grand parade will be held on December 5 at the Marikina Sports Center to cap the 10-week celebration of the Sapatos Festival.