SURIGAO CITY — A thirty-something woman from Surigao City vent all frustrations over a heartbreak over two years ago, towards running. And like Forrest Gump, she never stopped running since then, joining marathons and ultramarathons left and right, both locally and abroad, even winning in a number of them.
Starting at 1 p.m. on Saturday (Aug. 15), Cherry Rose Betonio will go out and “set a record” – as the first woman in the Caraga Region to run from Butuan to Surigao, the region’s prime cities. That’s a total of 130 kilometers, from the St. Joseph Cathedral in Butuan to the City Hall in Surigao.
Running clubs in Caraga said no woman from the region has yet dared to do it so far. Betonio hails from Barangay Talisay in mineralich Nonoc Island, which is part of Surigao City, but is now based in Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City for her house property rental business. A nice place indeed, considering that runners consider the Bonifacio Global City as one of the best running places in Metro Manila.
But Betonio, in an interview over Facebook, admitted she doesn’t have a regular running training program to prepare for certain races. “My running is usually in actual races,” she confides, “unless some friends invite me for a run.”
Where she spends time, however, is in the gym, where she already was years before she started running. That’s three to four hours in the gym almost daily, doing weights and squats, strengthening her muscles, her core and her back, exercises that are just as vital for runners.
Asked how long it would take her to run from Butuan to Surigao, she said she doesn’t have a target time to complete the course. “I just want to explore the place and enjoy it by running,” she explains.
These past few years, Betonio has been joining races in many parts of the country and even abroad, including marathons (42 kilometers long), and even much longer races, or what runners call ultras. And winning some of them.
“There were times during these races that I wanted to give up. But determination and support from my family and friends made me finish all my ultra races with these unforgettable podium finish,” she said.
Betonio said she enjoys running because it entails self-discipline and constant training. To prepare for the Butuan-Surigao run, Betonio has been running along the highway these past few days. Last Thursday, she ran from Mainit town to Surigao City, which are 40 kilometers apart.
A few friends will be pacing her in her run this weekend, but they won’t be running the whole distance with her. She will have a support vehicle, too, loaded with food, water and other drinks.
Betonio is preparing for the Craze Ultra 100 Miles in Singapore on September 5-6 this year. On October 31-November 2, she will joining the 200-kilometer 3rd West Coast Manila Ultramara-thon.
Betonio will also run for the 120k Andres Bonifacio Day Ultramarathon on November 29-30 in Silang, Cavite. By January 1-3 next year, she will be gunning for the Monster Ultra 200k in Singapore.
Betonio will also participate in the Bataan Death March 102k Ultramarathon on January 30-31 next year, and its 160k version on February 27-28.
“There are only two things that could probably stop me – either I get an injury or I’ll get sick. I hope God will spare me from both,” she stressed.
Come Saturday, Betonio will likely set a record for herself, all for the love of running. (MindaNews)