FEATURED ULTRARUNNER #13

Enduring.

The one word that could best fit our ultrarunner known to many as:

RON

RON SULAPAS
RON SULAPAS

My very first race:

Having no previous foot race experience, I joined the Men’s Health All Terrain Race in 2008.   It was a 12k trail run in the Timberland heights of San Mateo, Rizal now famous for its “shotgun” route.  I had no idea then how trail runs were conducted or ran so I thought it will just be a “fast-paced” ascent/descent from a mountain owing to my mountaineering background.  No training and all, I was huffing and puffing as I hiked my way to the finish line.  It was my baptism of fire.  “Sh*t! kaya ko pala to.”  I said to myself.   I was so excited to join the next race event that immediately after that, I penned my name in the Mizuno Infinity Run registration in the same venue.  And as they say, the rest is history. 

young and newbie
young and newbie


The reason why I run:

Way before I started joining running events, I was already into mountaineering and competitive dragon boat paddling, among other sports.  My weakness then, was my cardio.  I lack endurance.  Running was already a part of my training regimen but I spend very little time doing it, sometimes just enough to break a sweat.  So I thought that I need to incorporate more runs, and I started joining more and more road races as part of my cross training.  Soon after, I was collecting race singlets here and there.

 

Over time, running has served a different purpose for me.  Running provided me some “quiet” time and an escape from the noise of work and city life.  In the mountains or off-road trails, I get to commune with nature and in the process appreciate the simpler things in life.  As I started doing more ultras, the experience became even better.  Enduring to finish a loooong tough race has made me realize how the mind and body can achieve extra ordinary feats of human strength and stamina.

 

I also had a realization that running is a life skill that every able-bodied person should learn and practice.  Much like swimming, it is a skill that could save one’s life.   In a worst case scenario, I could run quickly to higher ground in a sudden tsunami surge, or outrun a mob wanting to do harm on me. 

 

My most memorable race:

I have 3 most memorable races (in no particular order).

 

My first DNF.  In 2009, after completing several road 10ks, 2 half-marys, and marathon, I thought I was ready to raise my game to next level so I joined the 100k event of TNF100 race in Sacobia, Pampanga.  I failed miserably that I only covered 35k before I quit.  I vividly remember running side by side with the eventual champion heading into an aid station.  He was on his second loop (km 85) and I was still on my first (km 35). Wow, such disparity! I learned a lot of hard lessons during that race.

 

KOTM hardcore hundred miles.  It was the toughest, most arduous trail run I have ever completed.  Traversing through two of the most prominent peaks in Luzon, plus the inclement weather made it extra special and extra hard. 

with the RD Jonel
with the RD Jonel
amongst the elite
amongst the elite


BDM 160.  Becoming a finisher of a pioneering race is a once in a life time experience.  I dug very deep into my inner-strength-self just to finish that race.  To date, It is still the race that I had the most training and preparation.

With the BUCKLE!
With the BUCKLE!

 

My best time in marathon:

A forgettable 4:59. It was during Condura Skyway 2011 while preparing for BDM160.  I’m still dreaming of qualifying for the national finals of Milo marathon.

 

Running Statistics – Marathon vs Ultra: 6 – 12

Marathon versus Ultra:

Both has its own goals.  For me, it’s a matter of preference.  Some get a kick out of fast-paced, all-out running.  For me, it’s enduring a longer distance than the previous once I did.  For me, ultras are more fun.  I love the camaraderie and friendships forged by runners partaking in such an extreme sport.  I have so far completed six (6) marathons and twelve (12) ultras, while DNFing three(3).

 

Marathon:

  • Botak Takbo Paatibayan 2009
  • Camsur Marathon 2010
  • Condura Skyway Marathon 2010
  • Condura Skyway Marathon 2011
  • Milo Marathon metro manila eliminations 2011
  • KOTM trail marathon 2012

 

Ultramarathon:

  • H1 Hardcore 100miles trail 2013
  • BDM102 2010
  • BDM160 2011
  • PAU Nationals 110k 2012
  • TNF100 100k (2010, 2011, 2013)
  • CM50 50miles (2011, 2012)
  • FatAss 2011 88k/24 hours
  • FatAss 2012 121k/36 hours
  • Botak Takbo Paatibayan 100k 2009
  • Rock and Road Run to the Clouds 55k
  • PAU T2N 50k 2010
  • Pinatubo 50k challenge 2011
  • DNF’ed:  TD100, TNF100 (2009, 2012)

 

Difference between marathon and 50k

The 8km difference for me is not that significant.  If it’s between 92k and 100k, then that’s a different story. 

 

Preparation:

I have an erratic work schedule that includes late night stays in the office and weekend work so I always try to maximize the little time I allocate for training.  When I was preparing for BDM160, I had to cut down my lunch time to just 15minutes in order to sneak in a 2k run off the thread mill.  I did that 5 days a week for nearly 2 months.  Sometimes, Instead of commuting on the way home, I walk a good 8km from my office just to put in mileage. 

 

When I’m preparing for an ultra trail race, I see to it that I get some quality trail time, running or even just hiking, no matter the distance just to get the feel of dirt and uneven ground.  If schedule permits, I also join recon runs in order to familiarize myself with the route, because with the little amount of time I put on training, I can’t afford to lose precious time being lost on the trail.

 

Starting line rituals.  I set the mood by listening to my personal playlist of “battle songs”.

first love
first love
quality trail time @ Mt Makiling
quality trail time @ Mt Makiling

 

Racing:

Come race day, I just try to stick to my plan and run my own race.   When I start to doubt myself if I can finish the race, I think of all the people who believes in me, and I imagine myself crossing the finish line.  

 

Last 5 most recent races:

Been choosy lately so my last 5 stretches back to 2012. 

2012:

  1. BR’s First Beer Mile Run
  2. PAU National Championships Guimaras 110k
  3. CM50  50 miles

2013:

  1. KOTM Hardcore Hundred (100) Miles Trail Ultra
  2. TNF100 100k

 

MY FAVORITE SHOES FOR RACING AND TRAINING?

I have been a practicing minimalist runner ever since I was introduced to VFFs in 2010.  VFF Spyridon, Vivo Barefoot ultra, Merrel trail glove, Altra Lone Peak, and Skechers GoTrail are my current weapons of choice.  What I use to train, I also use to race.

minimalist in Tapulao
minimalist in Tapulao

 

 Team Affiliation:

Accenture Running Club. A company-based club consisting of volunteer employees who want to promote, grow, and share the joys, experiences, and benefits of running.  It aims to create the perfect atmosphere that inspires wellness as well as foster the spirit of volunteerism and camaraderie that will benefit the community, the company and the nation.  As a member of the club’s core group, I actively participate in our group runs or learning sessions where I share my experiences with the other members.

Accenture Running Club
Accenture Running Club

 

MY MESSAGE TO THE RUNNING COMMUNITY?

Please continue to encourage and inspire people to run – your family members, friends, neighbours, your co-workers.  Be a living example of the joys and benefits of running.  Spread the love. 

To the Pinoy ultrarunning community, may we always keep our feet on the ground and our heads on the clouds.  Raise your own bar and keep pushing the limits.  Always respect the distance.

 

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