Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Run for Healthy Living set in Davao City January 30

Runners in Davao City and nearby areas are looking forward to another running event on January 30.

Organized by the Holiday Gym and Spa, the Holiday Run for Healthy Living features a 3K, a 5K and a 10K run. The Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF) College of Medicine Batch 2012 serves as event partner and run beneficiary.

According to a Sun.Star Davao story on the event, Holiday Gym and Spa spokesperson Cocoy Malbog said the run aims to raise funds for the medical, surgical and dental missions of the DMSF medical students.

"They will hold these missions on March 26 and 27 targeting some 7,000 recipients," Malbog was quoted as saying.

Considered a special feature of the Holiday Run for Healthy Living is the participation of Davao's esteemed 60-year old barefoot runner Manuel Vismanos who will be running, barefoot as usual,  with three of his barefoot running proteges, all from Toril, Davao City, in the 10K run. Those who want to try barefoot running are welcome to join them and experience running with Davao City's amazing Manuel Vismanos.

The run kicks off at 5 a.m. at the Holiday Gym and Spa complex. The 3K turning point is Coco Boo along J.P. Laurel Avenue while the 5K turnaround mark is at Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines plant also at J.P. Laurel Avenue. 10K runners will go all the way to Goodyear in Lanang before running back to the HGS complex.

Registration for the Run for Healthy Living is ongoing at Holiday Gym and Spa, DMSF and Run Club Davao. Fee is P250 inclusive of singlet, light breakfast, race bib and certificate; P100 without singlet; and P75 for students.

For more information, you can visit the Holiday Run for Healthy Living Facebook page or their event page.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Davao's Nerza and Cebu's Carter rule Run To Serve

Anthony Nerza of Brokenshire College again dominated the competition at the Run To Serve 10k last Sunday in Davao City, establishing himself further as this city's current top male running sensation. This is Nerza's 6th 10k win here since October last year.

Madelyn Carter meanwhile ruled the distaff side. The speedy lady from Cebu has been quite a regular fixture in Davao City races and has won a couple of other races here last year.

Following is the full story filed by Marianne Saberon-Abalayan of Sun.Star Davao.

New sensation pulls off another win in 10K run
Denied of a top finish in Cebu because he was suffering from cough, Brokenshire College trackster Anthony Nerza was feeling better this time in ruling the men's 10K crown of the just-concluded Run To Serve 2011 held in an out-and-back at Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Grounds on Sunday.
Nerza, who placed fourth in the 42-kilometer Cebu City Marathon the other weekend, received a cash prize of P5,000 for winning his first race of the year.
Michael Constantino, also of Brokenshire, finished second, and Brian Lupio emerged third placer.
The victory was Nerza's sixth 10K title since October last year following his sterling finishes in the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) "Takbo Kontra Droga" on Nov. 21, First RunClub-New Balance Challenge on November 14, Casino Femme Run "The Empowered Series" held on November 7, Maro Polo Fright Run on October 31 and Takbo Para Preso on October 30.
Nerza also placed fifth in the National Milo Marathon Finals last December in Manila, an impressive finish for a first-time finalist of the country's premier running event.
Madelyn Carter of Cebu City, meanwhile, ruled the women's 10K in the race organized to benefit the Psoriasis Club patients of the SPMC Department of Dermatology that organized the run.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Run to Serve kicks off 2011 racing in Davao

Road racing for 2011 kicks off in Davao City this Sunday, January 16, with the  Run to Serve 2011.

Managed by Vantage Sports under Kenneth Sai, Run to Serve will feature a 3K, 5K and 10K run for the benefit of the Psoriasis Club of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (formerly Davao Medical Center) Department of Dermatology.

Lito Delos Reyes of SCOOP-Davao wrote the following story on the event.

Run to Serve on Jan. 16
THE running fever continues this year with a series of marathons set in Davao City starting on January 16 at 5 a.m.
The inaugural event is dubbed “Run to Serve 2011”, a 3K, 5K and 10K fun run for the benefit of Psoriasis Club of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (formerly Davao Medical Center) Department of Dermatology.
The registration fees are P250 with free singlet and P200 without singlet.
“The proceeds will go to our patients,” said SPMC dermatology resident physician Dr. Anna Liza Chiu last Tuesday at the SCOOP Sports Round Table Talk at the Tagboan Lounge sponsored by the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Beefit Gym, High Ponds Resort and the Stadium Buffet Restaurant and Sports Lounge.
The footrace, which will start and end at the SPMC Health Garden in Bajada, will be managed by the Vantage Sports headed by Kenneth Sai.
The top three finishers in the 10K will earn P5,000, P3,000 and P2,000, while the top winners in the 5k and 3K will pocket P3,000 and P1,500, respectively.
“There will be lots of exciting raffle prizes for participants,” added Chiu.
Registration is now going on at the SPMC Dermatology Department, 2nd floor JICA Bldg. or Skin Doctors, 3rd floor, Gaisano Mall or C5 Dormitel, Roxas Avenue.

Below is the race route posted on the Run to Serve Facebook page.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Remembering the man behind the legend

Not a few Filipino runners, and perhaps even non-runners, know Lydia de Vega-Mercado.

Often pictured with her pony tailed hair, the long-legged, tanned and charming lass from Meycauyan, Bulacan reigned in the 80's not only as the country's top runner. She established herself as Asia's sprint queen by winning back-to-back 100-meter dash gold during the 1982 (New Delhi) and the 1986 (Seoul) Asian Games, the first woman to ever do so.

Diay, as she was fondly called, also dominated the century dash at the Southeast Asian Games, winning gold in 1987, 1991 and 1993. She also twice won both the 100 and 200 meter golds in the Asian Athletics Championships -1983 and 1987- and carried the country's colors in the 1984 (Los Angeles) and 1988 (Seoul) Olympics. 

Not as famous, except maybe among hardcore Filipino running enthusiasts and sportswriters, but undoubtedly very much part of the legend that is Lydia de Vega is her coach who trained her to be fast and helped her succeed as an athlete - her father Francisco de Vega, better known as "Tatang.”

A former policeman before he took to coaching, Tatang guided Lydia through training and to her victories in a tight-handed way that didn't sit well with some sectors but proved effective and made Lydia perform better. 

A well-remembered incident is Tatang's conflict with then Gintong Alay head Michael Keon who wanted Lydia to run the 400 instead of the 100-meter event at the  5th Asian Athletic Championships in Kuwait in 1983, to which the old de Vega did not agree. Keon refused to grant Tatang accreditation as coach prompting Lydia, one of the favorites in the sprints, to withdraw from the competition. Then First Lady Imelda Marcos had to intervene, allowing Tatang to go to Kuwait as Lydia's coach. Lydia did compete, ending up victorious in both the 100m and 200m and doing a repeat of her conquest of her rival, India's superstar athlete, P.T. Usha in the 200 meters.

Francisco “Tatang” de Vega passed away last December 26 due to lingering illness.
He was 84. He was laid to rest at the Pandayan Memorial Park in Meycauayan January 2, accompanied by "hundreds that joined the three-kilometer long funeral procession."

In remembering Tatang, allow me to share this story from Eddie Alinea posted at

De Vega looks back at Tatang's teachings
By Eddie Alinea
Former Asian Sprint Lydia de Vega-Mercado refused to see her father Francisco “Tatang” de Vega’s remains in the entire week of her former coach’s wake at the family residence in Barangay Calvario in Meycauayan City. 
Even inside the chapel where a mass was held Sunday prior to Tatang’s interment, she kept her distance from the casket although she remained sobbing loudly throughout. 
“I might not be able to hold on to myself,” Diay told this writer by way of explaining her decision not to even get near to the casket. “Baka ako himatayin.” 
Of all Tatang’s six siblings with wife Aleng Mary Diay happened to be the closest to him keeping her daughter company daily from the time the two of them decided that the pretty, long-limbed girl of l2 would go into track and field until the time she retired more than a decade and-a-half later. 
“Ang tagal naming nagsama halos araw-araw mula noong magsimula akong tumakbo. Kahit noong mag-aral ako sa Amerika at mag-training sa Mt. Sac (Mt. San Antonio College of Los Angeles) magkasama pa rin kami at coach ko pa rin siya doon,” she said. 
Before Tatang was finally laid to rest to give members of his family the last chance to glance at him, Diay approach the coffin and what she feared happened – she broke down even as she shouted at the top of her voice” Tatay, hindi kita talaga malapitan at matingnan dahil baka di ko makayanan ang sarili ko.” 
“Pero ngayon titingnan na kita kasi hindi na kita makikita kahit kailan. Ito na ang ang kahulihulihang pagkakataon na makikita ka,” she blurted out, adding, “Salamat sa lahat ng nagawa mo sa akin. Kung hindi sa ‘yo, hindi ko mararating ang kinalalagyan ko ngayon!” 
“Salamat din at hanggang sa kahulihulihang sandali ng iyong buhay ay hindi mo ako nakalimutan. Itinaon mo pang birthday ko nang iwan mo kami,” she exclaimed in reference to the day Tatang passed away last Dec. 26 which happened to be Diay’s 46th birth anniversary. 
Incidentally, too, Tatang perished while Diay was still in Singapore where she currently works since 2005 after helping the country win the overall championship in the Southeast Asian Games as a consultant in the Philippine Sports Commission. 
Her statements drew tears from almost everybody inside the Pandayan Memorial Park of the hundreds that joined the three-kilometer long funeral procession from the Calvario Barangay Chapel where the mass was celebrated earlier. 
So long was the funeral procession that the hearse carrying Tatang’s casket was already entering the memorial park located at Barangay Pandayan but the tail end was still at the McArthur Highway. 
Inside the chapel, Diay thanked all those that condoled with her and her family, including President Nonoy, who sent a signed personal message of sympathy. 
At her turn to speak at the necrological service, Diay recalled the sacrifices Tatang and she had undergone in quest for fame and glory for the country, the hardship and agony she had on the way to crowning herself Asia’s Spring Queen of the 80s and 90s.  
How she endured and followed to the letter Tatang’s “no pains no gains” and “no guts, no glory” philosophy kind of training that had her depriving of hers` 
She said that if there’s going to be an award given to the “Best Track and Field Coach” the Philippines ever produced, she believes that should go to Tatang. 
“Despite Tatang’s lack of formal education in coaching, he led me to bringing home no less than 40 gold medals racing against the best the world of track and field can offer, including a pair in the Asian Games na me becoming the first woman athlete to win back-to-back the 100 meters gold. 
“Count my winnings in the local competitions and the number of gold medal I was able to bring home would be no less than 50,” she said. “Sinong local coach ang nakagawa ng ganun?” 
“I know that the orthodox way of Tatang in guiding my running career for me and the country earned will not be forgotten in a long while,” she said. 
“As a product of the old school teachings, kung ano ang ipinamulat ng kanyang mga magulang sa kanya ay iyon din ang ipinamulat niya sa amin, lalo na sa akin sa pagiging atleta ko, she commented. “Walang science na makukuha lamang sa eskuwela, walang modern technology. Tatang played everything by ear. 
“Ang pagtitiwala sa sarili para magawa ang lahat ng nais gawin ang kanyang ginamit. Ito rin po ang prinsipyong itinananim nya sa isip ng aking mga kapatid na ngayon ay gabay namin sa aming pamumuhay,” Diay continued.