At present, I am reading a book entitled, “Getting To The Point: In A Dozen Pairs Of Shoes” by Brian R. Stark. This book is about the personal account of the author as a “Transcontinental Runner” by running along the newly designed American Discovery Trail (ADT), starting at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware to Point Reyes National Seashore (50 miles north of San Francisco, California). It was a solo trail run without any support and crew covering a distance of 5,000 miles which he completed in 238 days (8 months) from March to November 1998.While reading this book, I thought of Joy Rojas of Takbong Pangarap Run Across America as to where she is now after starting her 120 days run from Eagle Rock, California to New York City on the 2nd week of May this year. She is already one-half of her scheduled duration to complete her feat and there is no available update about her. This is the very reason why I asked a question on my Twitter about her whereabouts.Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Ben Gaetos, an ultra runner friend from Los Angeles who ran with Joy Rojas for 5 miles from Eagle Rock Plaza (start of the run), informing me that Mat Macabe called him and Ben relayed to me the salient information about the progress of Joy Rojas run across America.Joy Rojas and Mat Macabe are presently somewhere in the plains of Kansas after crossing the high mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains which means that they were able to cross the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.
According to Mat Macabe, Chuck Crisanto, one of the crew/support, abandoned them in Las Vegas, Nevada. I think Mr Chuck Crisanto was supposed to be the PR guy and driver of their support vehicle and at the same time alternate support crew to Mat Macabe. Moreover, Chuck Crisanto brought with him his wife and his 2 toddlers in the trip. Mat also claimed that Chuck was out all the time shopping and when on the run, he’s nowhere on the road as he uses the Freeway instead of following Joy’s run on the side roads. The worse is that Mat also said that Chuck is in his possession 70% of the donated money to support the run. Fortunately, Joy and Mat found someone to support them after Chuck Crisanto abandoned them. The “Good Samaritan” is an editor or owner of a Pinoy newspaper who provided them with a support vehicle.
The abovementioned information came from the side of Mat Macabe who is in constant contact with Joy Rojas being her pacer & support crew. I really do not know personally Mr Chuck Crisanto as he should be able to explain his side about the said information about him and his family’s whereabouts.
Yesterday, I sent an e-mail to Joy Rojas as she requested Ben Gaetos to find out and send to her my e-mail address. I hope Joy Rojas will be able to respond to my message. If you have the time and want to send a message of support to Joy Rojas, you can send your e-mail message to www.thepoc.net.
The picture of Joy Rojas was taken from the following news report of Joseph Pimentel of the Asian Journal Los Angeles dated July 11, 2009.
Joy Rojas in Kansas
Sunday, 12 July 2009 23:49 Joseph Pimentel / AJPress Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES – THE text message read, “We are in Great Bend, Kansas, staying on highway 50 and 56.”
She followed it with a phone call to this reporter.
“We’ve made it to Kansas,” exclaimed Filipina marathoner Joy Rojas to the Asian Journal last Thursday July 9. “It’s totally different running here than it was in Colorado. Kansas is flat and hot with lots of corn and wheat fields, lots of sun.”
She says the Midwest sun gets as hot as Manila in the summer.
The 44-year-old Rojas is less than halfway from her goal of running across the United States of America.
Waking up at 6am everyday, Rojas has been running 30 to 35 miles a day since she began her Trans-USA run called Takbong Pangarap or Dream Run at the Eagle Rock Plaza in Los Angeles, California on May 10. She made a quick stop over in Las Vegas, Nevada where she was celebrated during Western Union Customer Appreciation Day on May 23 and another stopover at the Western Union headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Western Union is one of the sponsors of her Trans-USA run.
She says that she’s on her way to reaching her goal of arriving at the Philippine Consulate in New York City on September 8.
So far, Rojas and her trainer, Mat Macabe, have run for more than 40 days now, crossed five states, jogged over 1,000 miles, and touched the lives of many people who see the two running on highways and streets across America.
While passing through Arizona, a couple saw Rojas and Macabe running. When they found out the reason for Rojas’ run, they immediately invited the Filipina and her partner to their home for dinner. The same thing happened in Colorado. Rojas recalls how before reaching Denver, a Filipino man read the words “Can we ignite the Filipino spirit across America?” on the Western Union support vehicle. He then immediately introduced himself to Rojas and Macabe. After the day’s run, the Filipino man came over to their hotel where he cooked them dinner consisting of elk and deer that the man had hunted.
“Can you believe that? All of these strangers that we meet everyday have been so kind and generous to us,” said Rojas. “I’m a vegetarian but when he asked if I was eating elk and deer I said ‘for you, I will.’ You have to be a gracious guest.”
Another time in Colorado, Rojas met a group of cyclists on the road like her but they were biking across the US from San Francisco to New Hampshire.
Rojas and the cyclists took pictures and wished each other well.
The experience has been so far so good, says Rojas.
Rojas also admits that the run sometimes is a bit unforgiving. In Colorado, she had to withstand the high altitude and steep roads that at times, required her to stop and walk but she continues to persevere.
Despite being tired at times after a long day’s run, she says that by the time she wakes up the next morning, she feels refreshed and ready to go.
A survivor of tuberculosis, Rojas’s is running for her beneficiaries: a Division of the Philippine Heart Center and the Anti-TB Program of the Inner Wheel Club of Quezon City, District 378
Rojas said that after Colorado, her run should be smooth as the flat plains of Kansas.