Weekend warriors focus on livelihood

FULL-TIME athletes like running couple Azlan Pagay and Ruffa Sorongon are finding their own ways to stay active and productive amid the community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Pagay and Sorongon rely on the weekend running events as a source of income, but things have changed after all the sporting events were canceled or postponed.

Fortunately for them, they have something to look forward to during the hiatus as the couple has put up a small piggery from their winnings in the City of Naga, southern Cebu.

“Next month, we target to sell around 32 pigs. They’ll be at the right weight and age,” said Pagay in Cebuano. His last race was the SM2SM Run last month.

Pagay, a citation awardee during the 37th SportsWriters Association of Cebu-San Miguel Brewery Awards, said the cancelation of events is for the safety of everyone.

“It’s a tough one for us runners. There are some who already went home to their provinces, but it’s good for everyone. We’ll just have to wait and just stay at home,” he said.

Pagay and his partner stopped training and plan only to resume when things get back to normal.

Weekend runner Lizane Abella, who’s also a usual presence in fun runs, said she’s now putting all her focus on work but also keeps herself fit by doing core exercises.

“I’m just focusing on my work right now. It’s hard to train when you’re working, especially this time. There’s a chance that your immune system will weaken,” said Abella, who works at the Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ).

Abella of Minglanilla, Cebu is one of the ace runners of Spectrum Runners Club.

For ultra-runner Bonifacio Monjas, volunteerism is needed in these trying times, and he is open to giving his time as a volunteer if needed. Monjas was ready to help the City of Naga as a track and field coach for the Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association (Cviraa) Meet, but the event has been postponed.

“I’m ready to volunteer if there’s a chance,” said Monjas. “Anyway, I’m trained on Wilderness Emergency Medical Response.”

Monjas said he now lives in the mountainous part of the City of Naga, where he can still do short trail runs while maintaining social distancing measures.

On the other hand, the Mary Joys of Cebu—Mary Joy Tabal and Mary Joy Loberanis—are making use of the hiatus to fully heal from injuries. Loberanis recently sprained her ankle on a road run, while Tabal is nursing an Iliotibial band syndrome.

“Aside from TikTok,” Loberanis’ father, Arvin, said in jest, referring to the famous TikTok app, a short-form video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos, “she does core strengthening at home.”

The 17-year-old Loberanis is a varsity athlete for the University of San Carlos.

Rio Olympian Tabal, meanwhile, is using the social media platform to share her exercise routines. (RSC)