Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III started running four years ago to deal with work stress. The successful eye surgeon worked daily from early morning to late in the evening—a schedule he described as very stressful.
“Mamatay ta ani ug sayo,” he told runners in the Sun.Star Cebu newsroom last night.
He started playing basketball until he injured one of his fingers. That spurred him to take up another sport—running.
RUNNING COUPLE. Max Limpag (left) briefs runners on the route of the 10th Friday Night Run from the Sun.Star Cebu office to the BTC and IT Park. At right are running couple Dr. Yong Larrazabal and Donna Cruz-Larrazabal. CLICK ON PHOTO TO ENLARGE. (PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARLEN D. LIMPAG)
Since then, the doctor has run 11 full marathons or 42-kilometer races and countless races in shorter distances. He has run a full marathon monthly since December.
Larrazabal also helped spur the current running boom in Cebu with his annual University Run and monthly Run for Sight series, which he organized when there were still very few running events in Cebu. For that, he was awarded by the Sportswriters’ Association of Cebu.
Larrazabal was the speaker in last night’s ungo run, a weekly Friday night run from the Sun.Star Cebu office to the Banilad Town Center and the IT Park.
Heart surgeon Dr. Peter Mancao ran in college. But then he stopped.
About two years ago, however, he started feeling out of breath when going up the flight of stairs to the operating room of Cebu Doctors’ Hospital.
That prompted him to go back running. Mancao said he took to the web for help on how to start running and found that online, you can get an “instant coach.”
HEART SURGEON Dr. Peter Mancao talks to newbie runners on how to start running. Mancao was the guest in last Friday’s night run with the CebuRunning community. SUN.STAR PHOTO/ALEX BADAYOS
Mancao told more than 70 runners gathered in the Sun.Star Cebu central newsroom for last Friday’s night run that in the operating room, surgeons had a rule of thumb: if the patient is under 40 years old, there is no need for medical clearance.
Mancao said that was a good rule of thumb to apply to running. He said that if someone who is over 40 years old wants to start running, he or she should get a comprehensive medical checkup and a doctor’s clearance.
AMONG the pioneers of running in Cebu are two doctors who have been very influential in increasing the popularity of the sport in the island—Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III and Dr. Peter Mancao. The two have been running marathons all over the world together and started local running events to help jumpstart the then fledgling sport.
In tonight’s Friday Night Run, Dr. Mancao will be talking about how to start running and make it a habit. To join the run, be at the Sun.Star Cebu office on P. del Rosario St. before 10 p.m. Just tell the guard you are looking for Max Limpag.
DR. PETER MANCAO during the Cebu City Marathon. CLICK TO ENLARGE.
Today’s night run with the ungo runners, an informal group of runners who run every Friday night, will focus on newbies and people who still have to start running. Members of the group have been encouraged to bring along a newbie in tonight’s run.
The route for tonight’s run will still be the same for regular ungo runners (interactive route map found at the end of this article)—a 7 kilometer route from Sun.Star Cebu to the Banilad Town Center then to the IT Park.
Ungo runners, the runners who join the weekly Friday Night Run from the Sun.Star Cebu office on P. del Rosario St. to either the IT Park or the Banilad Town Center, are currently commissioning a running shirt.
To qualify to buy the shirt, you’d need to join at least one Friday Night Run. The tentative cost of the t-shirt is P300. (Sign up form available at the end of this article)
We are finalizing talks for a company to sponsor the shirt. The sponsorship, however, will only be enough to subsidize the cost of the shirts and only those who have been regularly joining the Friday Night Run will be able to avail themselves of this subsidy.
Below is the design of the ungo shirt. The printers will use glow-in-the-dark white ink for the print.
ON FRIDAY nights, Sun.Star Cebu executive editor Michelle So works in running shorts. At 9 p.m. managing editor for news Isolde Amante and news editor Charmaine Rodriguez go through the last few news stories and prepare to close the remaining news pages before changing to their jogging pants or running shorts.
At that time, reporters Justin Vestil, Linette Ramos and Rene Martel have finished writing their stories and are now in running attire. Graphic artist Kent Ynot and Ariel Catubig of the Sun.Star Network Exchange are also ready to go.
WE OWN THE NIGHT. Ungo runners in front of the Sun.Star Cebu office before running to the It Park in Lahug, Cebu City. CLICK TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE.
Outside the newsroom, men in tights sit on the steps of the stairs talking to one another. Dr. Raymund “Reel Runner” Bontol accompanies a large group of runners, among them Jefferey Chua and Ralph Noval, from the Cebu Velez General Hospital, and gives tips on running. Aeda Mae Siao, meanwhile, accompanies a friend who is on her first night run.
Higher up the stairs, Eric Agaton of Nike Banilad Town Center leads a group of three men all wearing Nike running shoes.