Familiar face in Mayon run tests limits anewBy Joanna Los Baños
Inquirer Southern Luzon
LEGAZPI CITY—In almost all of the running events in Legazpi City, Danny Lim has been a familiar face.
“I want to test my limit. Even if it’s tiring, I still enjoy it,” the 58-year-old gasoline station attendant says.
On Aug. 18, Lim joined a 10-kilometer fun run in the city in the morning and, again, the tough Mayon Trail Run (MTR) in the afternoon. He wore a pair of rubber shoes given to him by a friend selling surplus items.
The MTR is known as one of the hardest trail runs in the country. Participants start at Ligñon Hill, cross Yawa River, traverse Bonga Gulley in Mayon Volcano, and climb the five-story lava wall. It is part of the three-weeklong Ibalong Festival, a yearly celebration in Legazpi which highlights the city’s mythical past to help boost local tourism and encourage investment opportunities.
Based on the record provided by the Amagett Race Timing Team, Lim finished the MTR in 3 hours 41 minutes.
At the end of the day, he was recognized in both events as the oldest runner.
Lim runs to avoid such vices as drinking alcohol and smoking.
Slowly, signing up registration forms and joining running events became his favorite hobby. He no longer remembers how many events he has joined.
He said his interest started when he was in high school, competing in track and field during intramural games.
Every other day, he would go to Legazpi Boulevard and practice for about an hour.
Lim sees his participation in running events as a challenge. One of his toughest runs is the Mayon 360, an 80-kilometer ultramarathon along the national highway across 77 villages in seven towns and three cities that surround the world-famous volcano.
Unlike other runners who travel to different places to compete, Lim has chosen to stay in Albay. If he could afford it, he would also do the same.
“I need money for that,” said Lim, a graduate of Bachelor of Commerce in Accountancy.
Lim has been an MTR participant since the event was first staged in 2008, except during last year’s staging when “he was not feeling well.” During the MTR, he wore a pair of borrowed old black leather shoes.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer has been a media partner of the MTR up to this year, when six of its employees signed up to join. Out of 163 participants, 107 made it to the finish line before the 6:30 p.m. cutoff.
Bernardo Desamito Jr., a former Southeast Asian Games athlete, topped the open category with a time of 1 hour 51 minutes. Martin Balaybo was second with 1 hour 53 minutes and Rolando Añonuevo, third, with 1 hour 57 minutes.
Desamito received P100,000, while Balaybo got P50,000.
Desamito no longer remembers how many trail runs he has joined, This year alone, he finished first place in three out of the four he joined. Balaybo was also the first Filipino to finish in last April’s Mayon 360 Ultramarathon.
In the All-Filipino category, Eugene Postrado finished first with 1 hour 54 minutes, followed by Alley Quisay, 2 hours 2 minutes, and Fritz Handig, 2 hours 5 minutes.
Each of them received P50,000, P25,000 and P10,000, respectively.