The first Filipino global runner and the “Father of Ultramarathon” in the Philippines Cesar Guarin is back from his successful Middle East run, which lasted 30 days from April 15 to May 17, and covered a total distance of 932 kilometers.
After running in six countries in the Middle East, Guarin continues to bring pride to his countrymen through his global pursuit to join the ranks of elite global runners numbering less than 10 worldwide.
GMA International, the international arm of leading broadcast company GMA Network, has been a staunch supporter of the veteran distance runner since his Australian leg last year and has once again renewed their partnership with Guarin and The Global Run (GR) team for this ME leg.
“We are proud of Mr. Cesar Guarin for successfully completing his Middle East run, which was deemed as his most challenging global run stage of all,” said GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia.
“We admire his passion and determination, and consider it an honor to play a significant role in his quest to become the first Filipino and Asian to finish a solo run across the globe” he added.
Guarin kicked off his ME run in Bahrain, where he conquered desert roads and oil pipelines for two days along with local female ultrarunner, Dunya Elias. Prior to his 110-km run, Guarin covered 22 kms within Bahrain’s capital and its largest city, Manama.
From Bahrain, Guarin endured major highways on desert roads and extreme temperature in Qatar to complete 209 kms in 5 days despite such challenging condition. Guarin and his GR Team Joon Malicse (project head and consultant) and Lester Fernandez (former handler and GRT volunteer) also attended the Emir Basketball Cup, where they met Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, the Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General and member of the royal family, and even joined a fun run in Doha.
Guarin marked the third leg of his ME run in Kuwait, where he was met by over 1,000 spectators – his biggest crowd in ME. The global runner ran 110 kms, which he finished in just 5 days.
Guarin then continued his run in Saudi Arabia on May 1 as a fitting tribute to OFWs in the country. From an initial target run of 500 kms for 7 days, it was trimmed down to a 1-day, 43-km run due to unforeseen delays in the approval of their visa. Still and all, Guarin is the first Filipino runner to be given a permit from the Saudi government to do a solo run in the Eastern province of Saudi.
According to Guarin, his run in Oman was the most difficult of all legs. But even the mountainous region of Oman did not stop Guarin from finishing the race what with his decades’ worth of experience running across the globe. He completed this stage in 6 days covering 175 kms.
The Filipino ultamarathoner capped off his ME run in UAE, where he covered a total running distance of 285 kms. For his longest leg, Guarin ran along major highways from Abu Dhabi going to Dubai for 9 days.
In between runs, Guarin and his team made their rounds in each of the country’s Philippine Embassy, where they were met by local officials and fellow Pinoys wanting to lend their support.
Guarin noted on the generous support provided by the Philippine embassies, Ministry of Sports of each country and from our kababayan working in the Middle East.
With this new achievement in place, Guarin is even more determined to finish what he started and become an inspiration to more Filipinos across the globe.
“I’ve seen Cesar ran in 14 countries already in 3 years but it still amazes me to see him every time he run each day on the road,” shared Malicse. “His determination and stamina to run under the scorching heat of the sun in the Middle East from sunrise to sundown is unbelievable. And at the end of the day he can still manage to smile genuinely and still take time to wash his clothes and do other stuff. I hope a lot people get the chance to see him run the way we do. He truly is inspiring.”
Guarin is set to take on his next stage – his 2,500-km solo run in North America, covering Alaska, Vancouver, and other key cities in the West Coast – from October to December this year bringing him closer to the fulfilment of his ultimate dream.
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