Dubai: Picture this: He has run just over 16,000km and intends to complete another 25,000km by the end of 2017. Blows you over, right? Then here’s some more. He is 57 years old and has been running for nearly three decades.
Cesar Guarin is a Filipino athlete who dreamt of running in the Olympics as a young lad. But an injury put an abrupt end to his dreams. After giving it a thought, he embarked on a bigger journey and that’s how the Global Run took shape. His first run was held in 1983 and has been divided into 16 stages of which he has successfully completed six. The Global Run raises funds for Batang Pangarap, a sports programme for local street children.
“ At this time in my life I have a simple goal: To keep on running as long as I last! My inspiration has been to complete this Global Run” Tweet this
Guarin is now all set to arrive in the Middle East for the Stage 7 — The Middle East Run — which he will cover from April to May. “I feel I was born to be a runner,” he told XPRESS in an exclusive interview. “I have had a taste of being a marathoner, an ultra-marathoner and now I am fascinated with the opportunity to become one of the few ‘global’ runners.
As for me, running around the world is a beautiful challenge. It’s more of a gift of life that I want to claim and pursue to the end. It has become a tribute run for my countrymen who are called the Global Filipinos, as well as to all the people who believe in their dreams,” he added.
Middle East stint
Guarin’s stint in the Middle East begins on April 9 starting from Bahrain and covers Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman before he arrives in the UAE for a 325km-run of the total 1,253km.
“I have been earnestly looking forward to doing the Middle East Run. It has been my dream to go to countries in the Middle East where Filipino communities are working hard to earn a good living,” said Guarin, who along with his team Joon Malicse and Lester Fernandez are making their first visit to the UAE. His stop at the end of each leg culminates with a gathering of Filipinos. “There are four million Filipinos across the Middle East. I look forward to connecting with as many as my team can manage to do in each country. I would like to meet them and say thanks for the hard work they are doing to help their families back home. It’s also a big help to our country with the money they collectively send,” said Guarin.
“At this time in my life I have a simple goal: To keep on running as long as I last! My inspiration has been to complete this Global Run,” he said. “The best moments in my runs are seeing the beautiful landscapes, weather conditions and the strange culture of the countries we passed through. The physical pains and injuries that I encountered along the way were not significant compared to what I felt in those moments.
“Along the way you get to discover which other goals you want to achieve. I just hope whatever running I am doing now and will be doing in future will make a lot of sense to people,” said Guarin, who is married with four children.
“It was not easy pursuing an Olympic dream with your family,” he said about their continuous support. “There were tough times when I had to be away from them to continue the Global Run project or when I had to shelve my running for many years to see them in their growing years. Overall, we have tried to appreciate the opportunity we have had and continue to inspire each other along the way as my running odyssey unfolds.”