Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Oldest Runner at the 32nd MILO MARATHON

After watching CSI:New York at 10-11 PM last Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 I patiently waited for the Correspondents to be aired knowing that Karen Davila would feature the 32nd MILO MARATHON where I ran 5k. Had I known that Karen would also be running 5k, I would have run side by side with her. That way, I could have earned the fastest ticket to fame (hah hah ...).

My mother dearest who just arrived from a prestigious awarding ceremony surprisingly waited with me (I had this weird feeling that maybe she wanted to see for herself if I did run the Milo Race). Fearing that her chinky eyes would pop out in search of her only daughter in the midst of a multitude of runners, I pointed to her that I was the one in Nike blue cap and maroon jacket. Although she didn't actually see me, she believed me anyway (oh, the love of a mother for her child).

I didn't jot down any notes while watching the one-hour episode so I'm relying on my good, old memory on this special episode of the Correspondents.

As I remembered, Karen featured the following:

1. The runner who came all the way from Puerto Princesa to join the Milo Marathon

He was 236 lbs. before (but have a lovely wife as flashed in the picture) and used to have a 46" waistline (proven by the pants he actually wore when he was still obese). One single stroke which almost claimed his life changed it all. He started to watch his diet and incorporated brisk walking in his daily exercise. His walking eventually led to running. Once, while he was running around the oval in Palawan, a running coach spotted him and offered to train him. I guess their efforts paid off because this man is now lean and slim at 135 lbs. with 29" waistline (just like mine!).

2. The youngest runner in the 10k Race

He was only 8 years old but joined the 10k Race with his running coach--his father. When asked why he trains and runs, he answered that he wanted to win. His father gave the same answer. According to him, it would be a great honor if his son wins the race.

3. The oldest Marathoner

This is where my tears began to drop. Lolo Alfredo Fototana goes to the wet market every morning at 3:30 AM to sell meat. After his work is through, he goes home, change his outfit from meat vendor to a professional runner. He runs around the oval for 2-3 hours then go back home to take his nap. Karen tried to catch up with him in one of his practice runs but she just couldn't reach him. How could she? At a prime age of 72, Lolo Alfredo finished the whole 42k at the 32nd Milo Marathon at 4:01. Although his Official time was 4:06:09, this is quite an achievement for a 72-year old runner--don't you think so?

So Johnny Sy, malaki pa ang pag-asa natin. 50 pa lang tayo!

Sabi nga ni kaibigang Lonerunner, Run On Friends!

4. Coach Rio

I couldn't believe that it was Coach Rio being interviewed by Karen. He looked different. If I may say so, he was telegenic. Okay, cute. He gave some tips on proper form when running like the position of the arms and the feet when landing on the ground. Very helpful to viewers who would like to start training and also for runners who were not sure if they're doing the right thing(like me).

5. Pinoy Ultra Runners

I think 5 of them said something but one comment caught my attention: "Takbo tayo ng takbo, wala namang napapala." (We run and run but we don't achieve anything).

According to them, they are not a competitive organization. They are here to promote running 100k or more. They run to help cancer patients through the KYTHE Foundation, the beneficiary of their runs. So far, they have already contributed almost P500,000 to this foundation.

In my 2nd post last year, I invited my friends/relatives to run 5k with me on my 50th birthday for the benefit of DSAPI (Down Syndrome Assn. of the Phils. Inc.). Most of them couldn't make it but some of them offered financial assistance to the association. Last week, I formally submitted my proposal to DSAPI to organize a Fun Run/Race on Feb. 22, 2009 in observance of the Down Syndrome Consciousness Month. Will let you know of the details if the Board will approve my proposal.


  1. Hi there, I am sure there are still many inspiring stories that was running at the milo race. I am looking forward to the Down Syndrome race, keep us up to date. KEEP FIT

  2. Yes, Philip. Each of us has his own inspiring story to tell.

    I really hope the Board will approve my proposed Run for DSAPI. Will keep you informed.

    Thanks. God bless!

  3. Hi Nora -- yep, definitely inspiring!! There are many side stories among all the runners in the community -- each has a different mission, a different story. Unfortunately, not many of them have been captured -- whether on print or video. It's a good thing that some of us have blogs that tell our side of the story -- and you're right, some of our stories will, hopefully, inspire others to get off their couch and take control over their health and destiny. I, for one, am not discouraged by all the injuries and set-backs, just disappointed that they happen when you know you are already moving forward. I guess, that's part of the struggle -- one step at a time -- sana lang, huwag masakit! :-)

  4. Welcome back, Johnny! Nice new picture hah... (could you make it a little bigger so your face is vividly visible?)

    Hah hah ... how I also wish that the aches and pains will go away but we just have to live with them I guess.

  5. I would have wanted to watch that! That's what happens when I give up TV, but I guess it's ok as we are continuously inspiring each other thru our running blogs.

  6. Actually, Prom, CSI is the only program I watch on TV (except for Tennis matches) but our cook informed me that Karen Davila would be featuring the 32nd Milo Marathon so I waited for it.
    You said it right. We runner bloggers continuously inspire each other (more so by offering bike support...)

  7. sometimes we strugle when we run and we ask ourselves " why do we do this" but when you see others who have so little but achieve so much its encourages us to finish that mile. Great story and Nora 50 is not old !!

    R.Patrick Concepcion

  8. Uy sayang, I didn't catch the show on TV. Those would have been good stories.

    Hey Nora, count me in on the race you're organizing. Whether as a runner or support group, kung saan makakatulong, just let me know.

  9. Hah hah ... yes Patrick. 50 is definitely not old. Life begins at 50 di ba?

    I tell you, I was really moved when I saw Lolo Alfredo going to the wet market when everybody else are still sleeping. He would chop, slice, and sell his meat until nothing is left. Instead of resting after that work, he would still run around the oval! Talk about dedication, this 72-year-old runner sure has lots of it.

  10. Thank you in advanced Gene! I know I can count on you. Will inform you as soon as I receive the go signal from the Board.

  11. Nora, what a great post! Awesome stuff.

    As my friend Patrick says, 50 is not old!

  12. Thanks, Wayne. I know you've got lots and lots of blogs to visit but you still found time to drop by. I appreciate that. So much. Of course, all of us would agree--50 is NOT old! Just wish our bodies would also agree hah hah...

  13. Hey, we'd like to invite you to join http://www.hutshot.com! It’s the new on-line social network for sports and fitness enthusiasts here in Manila. You can tag yourself in our photo galleries (which we promise to keep fresh and updated ASAP!) as well as inform other members about upcoming races and sports events. Best of all, you can help promote a healthy lifestyle to more and more individuals by spreading the word about our community. Thanks!

  14. Thanks for the invitation, king! I wonder if we are related in any way?