On February 10, Coca-Cola Philippines, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) gathered about 700,000 runners for the second Million Volunteer Run (MVR2).

The theme for this year’s run “Run to Save Lives” aims to raise funds for volunteer training and new life-saving equipment for disaster relief efforts.

As a major sponsor, Coca-Cola donated PHP1 million (USD 24,600) for the event. The Company also allocated race slots to 800 eager runners from Metro Manila high schools. In Metro Manila, there were two categories, the 3km and 5km run, with both categories finishing at the Quirino Grandstand.

Taking place across 78 Filipino cities simultaneously, the event attempted to land in the Guinness World Records as the largest mass running event in the world.

“We are witness to PRC’s commitment towards extending their humanitarian services, especially in a country prone to calamities,” says Adel Tamano, Coca-Cola Philippines Director for Public Affairs and Communications (PAC). “The Million Volunteer Run does not only coincide with our thrust to further efforts in helping communities, it also promotes healthy and active living, which is in the DNA of our corporate programmes.”

The first Million Volunteer Run took place in 2010 with an initial attendance of 450,000 runners nationwide. This year saw a larger turnout, both in individuals and corporate partners.

Coca-Cola Philippines has been a longstanding partner of the PRC in its various programmes for disaster relief, blood donation and basic life support training.

In the past, Coca-Cola has supported programmes on active healthy living through the Philippine Basketball Association Youngstars and the Coca-Cola Todo dance contests.

Coca-Cola is also accelerating its programmes for women’s economic empowerment through the 5By20 Programme, and access to water through the Agos Ram Pump initiative.

Jennifer Lai is Editor at Eight Partnership who helps write stories for The Coca-Cola Company in Asia.