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Cesar Guarin: Father of Philippine Ultramarathon

Cesar Guarin may not ring a bell, but this 5’ 6” fellow has run farther than any Filipino, literally. It all started in 1978 when a young Cesar, then studying at the University of the Philippines, holding an ambition to become the first Filipino Olympic marathon gold medalist.

It was more than just a dream for him, it was his obsession. The fine arts graduate put most of his time and resources to achieve his dream of running in the Olympics until he ran into a brick wall. He earned the chance of making it to the Olympic marathon competition but an injury he acquired during the 1980 Batulao Marathon ended his dream. How did he deal with his dream that fell short? He took that dream farther. Cesar began to run long distances to take the frustration out of his system. This is how he found his new “obsession”. So far, his obsession has brought him running from Zamboanga to Baguio City. This was his first ultramarathon running experience. They called it Trans - Pilipinas run which covered a total distance of 2,251 kms. After that, he finished successfully a Trans - USA run from New York to Los Angeles in 87 days, which covered 4,960 kilometers. A few years after that, he finished the Trans - Europe run starting in Spain and crossing the countries of France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. The Trans - Europe run lasted for 63 days and covered a total distance of 3,756 kms. He finished his US - Canada run in 2009 starting in New York and finishing in Toronto, Canada in 24 days and covering a total distance of 1,272 kms. Last October to December of 2012, he conquered the land down under, Australia by running from Melbourne to Brisbane in 37 days with a total distance of 2,053 kilometers. And just recently, he crossed seven countries on foot which was his Finland to England run that covered a total running distance of 1,820 kilometers.

Cesar is a veteran distance runner with decades of experience running across the globe. He is determined more than ever to finish what he started. With thousands of kilometers more to go, Cesar and his team carefully plan out the remaining stages of his global run as attribute and honor to Filipinos around the world. This will be a global expedition filled with challenges and adventure. He is now set to take the challenge of finishing all the stages. Once finished, his run will cover a total distance of 42,000 kilometers in 47 countries! He will then be numbered among elite global runners worldwide numbering less than ten. It will be a feat worth the recognition throughout the world. It would be an epic demonstration of human endurance and courage.

A Man of Passion and Determination

Cesar didn't wake up one morning thinking "I am going to run across the world". He thought about it for a long time, carefully considering and planning every stage. Several runners had tried, but only three on official record have completed an ultramarathon of this magnitude. At first, he started running longer distance to get the frustration out of his system. And that’s how he found his obsession. He had no doubt that he can accomplish it. What started out as a way to cope with disappointment soon became one of his passions in life. By 1983, he ran the first Trans - Pilipinas ultramarathon running from Zamboanga up to Baguio City. After that, what's left? He asked himself. Well, how about running around the world? Over the past few years several runners had attempted to run around the world, but all of them either failed or were caught cheating, like the guy who took a train, thinking he could fool the public.

He was thrilled by the prospect of finishing his run around the world and he knew it was the right time for him to do it. He feels that now is the time to finish all the remaining stages of the Global Run. He said, “I don’t see myself stopping from running because I enjoy the meditative part of it. I do long distance running not only for physical fitness but also in order to meditate. So kahit may edad na tayo, I believe I will still run. Wala naman pinipiling edad ang pagtakbo.”

With 4 to 5 years as target duration to finish his global run, he is more than eager and excited to do 2 stages per year. He just recently finished his Stage 6: Finland – England run (1,820 km.) from May 27 to July 22, 2012. And this 2nd quarter of 2013, he will conquer his most challenging global run stage of all, Stage 7: Middle East run (1,265 km.). This stage stands out not only for its terrifying distance, but also for the challenging weather conditions, rough terrain and blinding sandstorms it throws.

Up Close and Personal

Cesar Guarin is a humble, soft-spoken husband and father of four children. Twice the grandfather by his first child and only daughter, Cesar also has three boys who are all pursuing college degrees. A UP Fine Arts graduate himself, he brought his passion for designing, as well as his passion for running, into setting up and running a sports apparel manufacturing facility that churns out premiere quality made-to-order sports jerseys under the brand name BOTAK©.

Having inherited the genes and aptitude from his father, who was a pioneer in the Philippine garments industry, Cesar put up CeJoGua Sports Corporation in the early 80s to design, manufacture, and market the BOTAK© line of athletic sportswear. Starting with his passion for running wear, BOTAK© has since evolved into producing custom - made basketball jerseys, always maintaining its quality reputation for durability and stylish designs. Immersed as he is in managing the day-to-day affairs of the BOTAK© business, Cesar had made it a point to regularly join, and even organize, local runs. A few years ago, he organized, together with his friends, a series of local road races under the Paa-Ligsahan brand - with its subsets: Paa-Bilisan (5k and 10k fun run), Paa-Tibayan (21 and 42 km marathon), and Paa-Lakasan (100 km ultra marathon).

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