Carl Don Rudas, Jr: The Running “Security Guard”

27 08 2019

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.

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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.

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“Running In A Suit” @ The Manila MILO Half-Marathon Race

26 08 2019

“Running In A Suit” @ The Manila MILO Half-Marathon Race

I have seen a runner dressed as a Butler/Waiter when I accompanied and cheered my Son during the time when he joined the New York City Marathon few years ago. I was impressed about him and I was more impressed when one of my running friends informed me that he had been a yearly participant in the said event for the past 10 years or more. Later years had passed, I saw a picture of the Japanese Runner Champion of 2018 Boston Marathon, Yuki Kawauchi, dressed in a Business Suit while running one of the Marathon Races in Japan to show or send a message that he is an elite runner who has no Corporate Sponsor but I am not sure if he is complaining or asking the corporate world of Japan to sponsor him in his participation to marathon events and support for his training. But more than that, I have seen news reports and stories in popular Running Magazines about the Guinness Record for the Fastest Runner In Business Suit.

The said “challenge” about setting the record of the fastest runner in a business suit inspired me to attempt and experience what it is like to run in a suit with a necktie. It is far from my mind to be the fastest in this attire. I just wanted to experience the feeling of running with the said attire knowing that I am already old for this feat. Actually, it had been months before that I planned to do this after I have bought the necessary pants, white shirt, necktie, and jacket/suit. I bought those things that are cheap and readily available to be worn, in short, ready made. I was not too technical and scientific about the materials used in my attire and I did not have to find out if my attire are appropriate by doing some training runs. 

It is not my intention to send the message or have the goal to be in the Guinness World of Records for being the Fastest or Oldest Runner in Business Suit or have the intention for my feat to featured in the traditional media, thereby, making me a popular topic among the runners and the public. I just wanted to experience what it is like to be running with a suit in a half- marathon and through my Facebook account and in this blog, I could encourage those in the Corporate World to embrace and start running as a form of exercise or part of a routine to make everybody healthier and more active.

After I finished the Cortina Trail 48K Ultra in Cortina D’Ampezzo, I decided to join the MILO Marathon Manila Elimination Race Half-Marathon distance. I could have joined the Marathon distance but I felt that my body was still weak after I had a flu after I finished my trail running event. Actually, I was still recovering from the run and flu when I ran the half-marathon race.

On Race Day, I purposely entered the starting area few minutes before the start of the race and tried not to be noticed by most of the runners as I was the only one who was not in the usual running attire. I positioned myself at the back of the pack and waited a few minutes for the usual pre-start activities before the race started. It took me almost two minutes to cross the Starting RFID pad to activate my start time.

I walked about a few meters as I crossed the Start Line and Andrew Neri of RunRio Events saw me in my attire and he was surprise. When the runners in front of me thinned out, I started to jog and made sure to maintain a running space all around me. After we left the MOA Complex, the road was very dark that I was not easily noticed by the runners. It was when I was running along the Roxas Boulevard that somebody shouted at me with the word “Attorney” and I just waved my right hand at him.

After running for about one kilometer, I started to feel the hard feeling of breathing through my nose and mouth because of the restriction made by the uppermost button of my white long-sleeved shirt and the necktie. The neck button and necktie were not too tight but as I breath harder with my faster pace, I felt that somebody is trying to grip his hand around my neck and sometimes I felt like I was choking. I have also maintained my suit to be buttoned with my Race Bib being pinned on top of my buttoned suit just to make sure I would not accidentally or have the urge to unbuttoned my suit/jacket. Once my visor was wet with my sweat/perspiration from my head, my sweat went down to my shirt and jacket/suit. In addition of the sweat coming from my upper body and arms, I felt I was running slowly despite the effort that I was increasing my pace.

I was able to finish 10K in 70 minutes and I thought I could maintain the pace until I finish the race even if it was far from my mind that I would be able to finish the race in 2:15 hours. After 12K, I felt that all my attire to include my socks and shoes were already wet and became heavier. My pace slowed down tremendously as if I was running uphill along a trail in the mountains. Once I reached Km 15, I was already mixing walking and jogging just to be able to reach from One Water Station to another for the much needed hydration to replenish my sweat. At Km 18, I was feeling the start of cramping on my calves that I had to stop jogging. And just walked until the cramping would disappear.

On the last two kilometers as it was already sunrise, most of the faster Marathon runners would pass me and greet me. They are surprised that I was wearing a suit during the race. One Kilometer before the Finish Line, I started to walk due to exhaustion and cramping of my calf muscles. On hindsight, I was too confident to finish the race without any problem that I brought only 4 pieces of Power Gels as my source of nutrition during the race. I should have brought twice the number of Power Gels to be able to sustain my pace and try to offset the heavy weight of my suit once they are wet from my perspiration. I crossed the Finish Line at 2:45 Hours and my legs were cramping that I had to stop and stand still for a few seconds.

With the proper training and nutrition, I will be able to pull it off again this stunt in the next running event even if I will be using a dress shoes as my running shoes. There is no need to have a “high-tech” suit to finish a Marathon or Half-Marathon Race  as I am not attempting the goal of having the fastest finish time. Who knows, there might be an Award for the Oldest Runner Finishing The Fastest Marathon Race Wearing A Suit.

As of now, I am the First Runner In A Suit who have finished the MILO Half-Marathon…and also the Oldest One!

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