Carl Don Rudas, Jr: The Running “SecurityGuard”
It is not my style or habit to be asking the personal life of each runner who joins my Running Events even if they become a regular member of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU). However, one of my consistent participants in all my ultra road races for the past two years had been asking from me the permission for him to finish the race in a Security Guard attire and I usually give him the approval. Through these requests and his Facebook posts, it is obvious that he is really a Security Guard.
Carlito Don Rudas Jr is one of the few awardees of the PAU 100-Mile Grand Slam Award since its creation. He got the Award for all the 100 Milers Finishes for the year 2018 when he finished the Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Race; West Coast 200K Endurance Run; Antique 100-Mile Endurance Run; and the 2019 Bataan Death March 160K Ultramarathon Race. He is consistently at the “Back of the Pack” but he makes sure that he finishes his races within the prescribed Cut-Off Time. So many stories and observations about the grit and tenacity of this runner speak volumes of the character and attitude of this guy.
It was in the 2018 West Coast 200K Endurance Run, where I shortened the cut off time from 48 hours to 42 hours, that I personally met his Boss who came all the way from Valenzuela, Bulacan to support and crew for him during his run on the last 100 kilometers. He finished hours before the cut off time and he was a Podium Finisher, Overall 2nd Runner-Up! Through my conversation with his Boss (a Chinese-Filipino businessman in Valenzuela, Bulacan), I found out that he is an all-around “assistant” in a warehouse and is considered and treated as a part of the family. Through his Facebook posts, I could see that there are times that Carl would be in his Boxing Gloves doing some Boxing drills and spars by himself. He would post also some pictures of him carrying heavy loads in bags inside the warehouse where he works. This guy had been busy doing all those Cross Training Workout while he is doing his job and in preparation for his races.
Aside from joining our PAU Races, he is a popular running figure in shorter running distance events being held in Metro Manila because he starts and finishes in a Security Guard attire using the authorized Dress/Duty Shoes, instead, of using a pair of Road Running Shoes. He told me that he ran in last year’s MILO Marathon Manila Eliminations in the said attire but he finished beyond the cut-off time. However, for this year, he came back with a vengeance and he was able to finish the Marathon Race few minutes before the cut-off time of 6 hours. This shows the character and attitude of this guy where failure makes him more motivated to come back and finish the job with flying colors!
In the first edition of the Manila To Pagudpud 580K Ultramarathon which is now considered as the Longest Footrace in the Philippines, Carl finished the said race with almost 10 minutes before the cut-off time of 135 hours last June of this year. He is one of the 14 runners which started the race in Rizal Park in Luneta, Manila and finished as the last runner among the 6 Finishers of the race. As told by one of his support crew, he wanted to change to his attire as a Security Guard on the last kilometer of the course but he was advised not to do so because of the tight buffer time for him to be able to cross the finish line. He finally crossed the Finish Line heeding to the advise of his support crew.
In last weekend’s Antique 100-Mile Endurance Race, I saw the frustration in his face for the first time when he finished beyond the cut-off time of 32 hours. He finished this race last year but the course was modified where it started in Guimbal, Iloilo and ended in Culasi, Antique. Last year’s course was more challenging because of the elevation profile (more ascents and descents at the boundary of Iloilo and Antique) and the whole time it was raining and the runners were challenged with strong winds throughout the course. As compared to this year, it was raining hard on the first 15 hours where some sections were flooded until the sky became cloudy as they reached the boundary of Aklan. The last 20K uphill climb from Nabas, Aklan to the Finish Line was a surprise to all the runners. This section is always the “waterloo” for all the runners in this event.
In one of my conversations with him after he finished one of my races, he told me that by wearing the Security Guard attire in his races, he would be sending the message to all the Security Guards in the country that he is proud to be one and his job does not prevent him from taking care of his healthy body even if he works more than the required number of hours they are being paid on a daily basis. Being an owner and operator of a Security Agency for almost 4 years after my retirement from the service, I know the life and challenges of being a Security Guard. Through my experience and observation, this job and the people in this kind of service need more strict implementation of the Labor Code and better treatment for them to support their respective family. Next time you see a Security Guard, treat him with much respect because they contribute for your outmost safety in the establishments where you work, stay with your family, shop, and to where you bring your family out in public, as well as, in private areas and they remind you that there is orderliness and rules and regulations to follow in places where they are employed to protect.
If you ask me who are our heroes? I can safely say that the Security Guards are my heroes and Carl Don Rudas, Jr is more than special to me because he is an example of one of the best “warriors” that I have as an Ultramarathon Runner of PAU.