Name CESAR GUARIN
Occupation Ultra-marathoner and owner of Botak Philippines
How he makes a difference Running through the pain to get the job done
WHEN then 21-year-old Cesar Guarin saw Filipino marathoner Victor Idava competing in the 1976 Montreal Olympics, something changed in him. “I thought to myself, ‘I want to bring home the first Olympic gold medal,’” he recounts.
A man on a mission, Guarin thus trained diligently, waking up every day at 4 a.m. to run 10 to 15 kilometers for the next two years. But before he could qualify for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, he suffered knee bursitis, which derailed his plans. Still, he stayed on track and adjusted his training to his situation. “To build up more strength, I’d do a Baguio run — 250 kilometers yun, 50 kilometers in five days,” he shares. “Dun ako nag-start ma-in-love sa ultra-running. It was 1982.”
Unfortunately, Guarin missed the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics as well. The following year, he took on a Trans-USA challenge (4,690 kilometers in 87 days) from New York to Santa Monica, California. “I ran it out of frustration at para makapag-soul searching,” he explains. Filled with renewed sense of purpose, he then decided to join a Trans-Europe race in 1992 despite lack of sponsorship. “Ang tumulong sa akin to finish that race was yung OFWs doon. Dole-out, dole-out sila, which I appreciated, sobra.”
The experience left such a profound effect on Guarin that he chose to pay it forward, launching the fundraising “Global Run: Alay sa Pilipino at sa Buong Mundo” in 2011. According to the 57-year-old father of four, “this is about making Filipinos around the world aware na they’re heroes. Malaking sacrifice yung being away from your family and yung hindi nila makita yung pag-asa rito, [so they] go secure a future abroad.”
Guarin most recently finished the grueling Middle Eastern leg of his Global Run last June, averaging 42 kilometers a day and running five to six days a week. In October, he will kick off the North American leg in Alaska, before passing through Vancouver and Washington en route to San Francisco and LA. While the 25,262K he still has to conquer may seem daunting, he insists nothing can derail him from achieving his version of the Olympic dream.
“Naka-program ako na habang mas mahirap gawin ang isang bagay, mas okay dahil malaki ang mabibigay na fulfillment sa iyo.”