Ultramarathoner needs your soles

Posted on Mar 17 2023

Run Saipan member Ronald Villafria shows his raggedy training shoes after back-to-back runs encompassing 70 kilometers. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

It turns out, Run Saipan member Ronald Villafria needs your soles or donation of running shoes after all as he continues his ultramarathon career in his native Philippines.

After running the TCS Clark Animo International Marathon and the Luneta To Tagaytay 60KM Midnight Ultramarathon the past month, the 52-year-old longtime Saipan resident is now down to his last two pairs of shoes—one relatively new and the other a raggedy recently stitched pair he just uses for training.

Ronald Villafria is requesting a donation of size 10 running shoes of any make. (CONTRUBUTED PHOTO)

“Before my last race, my other pair actually gave out and I had to go to the shoe repair shop to have it fixed. It’s still good for training but is a no-go for actual races,” he said in Filipino. 

Villafria said help is on the way though as his wife, Lorna, is coming home for vacation next month and will bring one of his better pair of running shoes that he left on Saipan. In the meantime, he’s asking those who have slightly used running shoes that they want to part with or those who want to outright donate new running shoes, to contact Lorna at (670) 285-2293 before she leaves for Manila next month. Villafria is requesting size 10 running shoes of any make.

“I just want to thank everyone who will be willing to donate slightly used or new shoes. The sport of ultramarathon is tough and is even tougher on the shoes of participants. Big thanks to all of you for all the support and bigger thanks to those who are willing to donate shoes,” he said.

Villafria is currently taking up EIM Electrical Installation Maintenance courses under the Technical Education And Skills Development Authority in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, 

“I’m studying vocational so I can upgrade my skills so I can have a different kind of work when I return to Saipan. I’m already done with air-conditioning and refrigerator maintenance and next in line is electrical,” he said.

Currently, the former waitstaff at Kanoa Resort is training six times a week that includes running at least 10 kilometers and a bike workout of 42 kilometers.Villafria’s next challenge is a 32-kilometer run in Clark City, Pampanga on April 2. It will be followed by a 16-km run in Baguio City on April 23, a 10K in Manila on May 14, before a 70-km ultramarathon on May 20.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com
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