Last December 11, 2011, the finals of the 35th National Milo Marathon was held in Manila. A select group of roughly 460 runners participated.
Indeed, it is a select group as only those who passed the age group qualifying time in the 42.195K and 21K elimination legs staged throughout 17 major cities around the Philippines were allowed to join. It is the closest thing to an exclusive club the Philippine running scene can offer. You cannot join this marathon race if you did not qualify in any of the elimination legs. Boss ka man o mahirap. Presidente ka man ng Pilipinas o ng Nestle.
|Qualifying time reg|
And we are proud and happy to proclaim that our Ateneo de Naga High School Class of 1983 had one representative in this most prestigious of running events in the country. No other than our Salvador Castilla Jr., or “Bob” for short. Congratulations!
|Bob in action|
Bob qualified for the Milo National Finals in the Manila Eliminations last July 31 where he clocked an impressive 3 hrs 53 mins .
This time, last Sunday, his marathon finish time was at 4 hrs 7 mins.
|Bob at the finish line|
Our resident “Hunk of the Night ” continues to bring honor and pride to our Batch 83. Last July 16, 2011, Bob placed 10th in a field of 109 runners at the PAU Fort Magsaysay 60K Ultra Run. A month after, he topped his Top 10 finish with a 4th place spot (out of 72 finishers) at the Western Pangasinan 65K Ultra Run on August 20, 2011.
What is specially impressive about these feats is the fact that Bob is a relatively newcomer to long distance running. The Pamplona native started taking up running only after the summer of 2010 when he was part of the four-man group of Batch 83 classmates I got to “recruit” to train for the Camsur Marathon scheduled for September 2010.
Bob had also no coaching at all nor participation in any of the free running clinics available at the ULTRA or Bonifacio High Street.
What is the key to his success in running?
Being the “silent water” that he is, Bob is quite parsimonious with his answer. His ready answer is “Padi, para sa batch ini.” So, I would like to offer the proposition that the key to his success in running is his dedication. Bob is an inspiring example of a runner who is not just disciplined but is actually dedicated. Because of this dedication, he has made lifestyle changes to make sure that he is able to do regular training runs, rain or shine. He has drastically reduced on his alcohol drinking and he makes sure to have ample sleep. Bob does not believe in short cuts, thus he has persevered.
Proof of this dedication: Bob has finished 6 marathons and 8 ultramarathons in less than 2 years of running. And I am sure this number will increase steadily as the silent water continues to run not just deep but dedicated................