Villafria completes 60K ultra marathon in PH
Run Saipan member Ronald Villafria is looking for a donation of new shoes.
This, after he essentially ran his latest pair to the ground completing the Luneta To Tagaytay 60KM Midnight Ultramarathon last weekend in the Philippines.
The 52-year-old longtime Saipan resident, who is currently taking up vocational courses in his native country, finished the grueling race from the Philippine capital to the popular holiday town south of Manila in 10:14:38.
Villafria and around 200 intrepid ultramarathoners began their 60-kilometer trek at 11:20pm on Saturday, Feb. 26, and completed the journey to the boondocks the next day, Feb. 27, a Sunday.
Villafria, who trained for the 60K by running several long-distance races including the 7/11 32K last Feb. 4, said the most challenging part of the Luneta To Tagaytay 60KM Midnight Ultramarathon was the last part when they had to traverse the uphill climb to Tagaytay, which rises to the height of 2,000 feet.
Another challenge was the pollution of Metro Manila. Although. Villafria said the smog became less of a problem the farther they ran from the capital.
As for the best part of the run, he said hands down it’s the scenic and breathtaking view going up to Tagaytay where you can see the provinces of Laguna and Batangas below.
He dedicated his successful completion of the ultramarathon to his running groups—Run Saipan in the CNMI and Nueva Ecija Runners in the Philippines. He also thanked his wife, Lorna, for her all-out support “in all my sports activities that includes all my training and competitions.”
Run Saipan president Edward Dela Cruz Jr. congratulated Villafria for testing the limits of his running capability.
“Spectacular job to Ronald. His Run Saipan family couldn’t be any more proud. We look forward to him increasing his ultra marathon distances and achieving success.”
He added that like when Run Saipan members cheered for Jalen Lucido in the two times he entered the Honolulu Marathon, his run family on Saipan is fully committed to cheering him on and supporting from afar.
“He ran 70K while he was here for Christmas break. He’s one of our only two off-island members, the other being Jalen Lucido. We are proud he’s still running, representing the NMI out there.”
Next up for Villafria is the international Animo Marathon this coming weekend. He is also planning to take part in the 100K Pampanga to Bataan Death March.
Villafria is currently taking up EIM Electrical Installation Maintenance courses under the Technical Education And Skills Development Authority in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.
Prior to taking part in the Luneta To Tagaytay 60KM Midnight Ultramarathon, Villafria had his first taste of an ultramarathon when he entered the 70K Ayta Ultramarathon. He ran that virtually on Saipan with a time of 10:50:43.
He also took part in the Ayta 555K Bike, which he also virtually completed on Saipan in a time of 23:06.