We Make Difference, Whenever Available, Wherever in the world!
One of the advantages of Virtual Races is that we get to run races, interact with fellow runners, and even share the goals of the event itself, without physically being on same pre-set location. This makes it enticing not only to our runners which are from far-flung cities or provinces, but also those working or living abroad. We have interacted with 3 of them to get their insights on our events…
Ronaldo Almazan (Doha, Qatar): Runner, Paddler, Certified Virtual Racer
Ronaldo initially finds Virtual Races interesting and a very welcome innovation for Filipinos abroad like him. There are few running events in Qatar and the prices are a bit steep. He finds the causes of VirtualRacePH, especially those for the education of children, an important advocacy that is worth pursuing.
One of the leading members of the PDRT Fireblades Qatar chapter – a group of Filipino paddlers based in Qatar – he would suggest members to sign up for Virtual Races as an “assignment” for their land training. For the AERO Virtual Race, Ronaldo and co. has been able to form a group of more than 10, composed of members of the PDRT Fireblades.
Renato Vergara (Al-Khobar, KSA): Breaking barriers and proving that age is just a number
Like most of us dealing with online transactions, Renato was skeptic to join Virtual Races at first. Who would want to get scammed by online “businesses”, especially if you are not in the same country as the orgnizers, and chasing your hard-earned money becomes harder? But because of a co-worker’s recommendation and seeing the benefits of joining a Virtual Race, Renato instantly became hooked to it! He usually joins multiple concurrent Virtual Races, as it not only gives him more motivation, it also allows him to help more worthy causes supported by the organizers. Aside from reaping its physical health benefits, Renato swears by its ability to make him destress and let go of work related stress or the sadness brought by being far away from his love ones.
Photo credit to RunMania
As of this writing, Renato is physically fit at 43 years young. He frequents the gym and usually runs the highest mileage categories in Virtual Races. He was able to complete his first UltraMarathon just last year at 65km and his training composes of mainly Virtual Race Mileage!
Richard Ramos (Beijing, China): Losing some, then Winning more with the VRPH community
Just by looking at the before and after photos, you will see what huge transformation Richard went through (30kg worth of difference!). It may not be fair to say that this is 100% due to running, but the hardest phase – the maintainance phase – was mainly stabilized due to the consistency and dedication gained by joining Virtual Races. Since then, Richard has used Virtual Races to physically and mentally prepare for competitions like marathons and even obstacle course races.
Photo credits to 5J Runners and Pinoyfitness
For Richard, it is not only the fact of being able to motivate oneself, but to extend
to the community and make connections while doing Virtual Races that makes him aspire more to finish any Virtual Race challenge he joins. In fact, he looks up to his sister as one of his encouragement and inspiration in his fitness journey.
Indeed, being in a place far away from home does not need to be lonely, when you have a great positive community cheering you up! Aside from them being far from Philippines (and their first names beginning in ‘R’), another thing that Ronaldo, Renato, and Richard have in common is that they are active VirtualRacePH community members!
Their almost daily posts maybe one of their ways to beat off the distance from their love ones, but to most of us, they serve as inspiration to push us harder and achieve our goals, ANYTIME and ANYWHERE.
We asked them for some tips on being a Filipino Virtual Racer abroad and here are their responses:
- Complete the challenges not only for yourself, but also for others. It is an added push for us runners abroad that what we are accomplishing here makes impact to those in need in our country.
- Focus and determination, mixed with proper time management is the key. You decide the best time and place for your runs, you should have no excuse not to execute the plan.
- Trust that God is always with you in your endeavors.
- Start slow, but improve constantly.
- Enjoy each run as it is a celebration of God’s gift. Run to thank Him that you are able.
- Learn from the community, the posts from the social media groups regarding proper training, nutritional tips, etc… We are getting tips from across the country and some abroad, and that is probably one of the best knowledge database you can have.
- Use the excellent finisher’s entitlements. Post them proudly not to brag, but to inspire others in the community that you can finish at your own pace.
- Best to have a local address in the Philippines to have the entitlements shipped. Get someone to receive it and take photos to send them to you, so you can “enjoy” them without actually having the items yet 🙂
- As with late race fatigue that we rely on mental strength, tap on others’ support on your Virtual Races. Harness the power of the community; their cheers, words of encouragement, and advices.
- Treat your registration fees as investments. This is after all, for your health. And long-term health needs a lifestyle change, and not just a one-time health activity.
- Most important of all: Believing Always Matters (BAM!)