Sunday, March 08, 2009
The Vic Sai Araw ng Dabaw Run - a run to remember, honor, and thank a friend
On March 15, the usual Araw ng Dabaw Run will take to the roads of Davao City with a new name - the Vic Sai Araw ng Dabaw Run.
Vic Sai is a veteran sportswriter and Davao City Sports Council, Inc. president. He had cardiac arrest while asleep and passed away on March 16 last year. A week before his death, I saw Vic at the finish of the 71st Araw ng Dabaw Run where I ran the 40 and above age category. I approached and thanked him for a nice race. I finished 37th overall and 10th in my category.
I didn't get to know Vic through running though, but through a national chess tournament organized by then Governor now Vice Governor Manny Piñol in Kidapawan City. Vic was not only covering the event but was helping in the tournament management as a representative of the Philippine Sports Commission.
I learned about his death through text messages from runner friends. It was a pity I wasn't able to go with them to pay Vic my last respects in Davao City on the eve of his burial.
If anything, the gesture of local runners from my side of Mindanao to remember Vic and see his remains before he is finally laid to rest shows the man's influence in local running. The name of Vic Sai has been associated with a lot of races in Davao City, foremost of which is the Milo Marathon Regional Elimination Race. Vic has been associated with Milo since I don't know when, and brought the race even outside the confines of Davao City.
Kidapawan City played host to the regional eliminations of the country's most prestigious and longest running footrace a couple of times or so, thanks to Vic Sai. It gave local runners in this city nestled in the foothills of Mt. Apo the opportunity to race with Mindanao's best on their own home turf. Until now, I hear non-runners talking about that day sometime ago when they ran the "Milo Marathon." They owe the experience to Vic Sai.
Vic's son, Kenneth, sent me and my group an invitation to the race through SMS a month ago. I gave a positive response and has told other Kidapawan City runners including 33rd National Milo Marathon qualifier Gilbert Maluyo about the invitation. We may be few in number, but we sure hope to have our names listed among the event's participants.
For me, it will be a run to remember, to honor, and to thank a friend.