Meet the 70 y/o man who can outrun all of us combined
Barry Viloria on May 24, 2016 07:49 PM
Let this ‘super Lolo’ be your new #LifePeg! (Photos courtesy of Skechers)
One hundred and twelve. It’s a figure Victor Ting tells us after a brief Sunday morning run staged by sports and lifestyle brand Skechers for its ambassadors like him and some members of the press. We ask him how many marathons has he participated in, knowing the answer is never constant. The man, at 70, with white hair like tiny riddles on his monk-like head and revealing a set of crooked teeth, after all, instantly draws curiosity for being a pioneer of running in the country.
“Sa full marathon ay 75, yung ultramarathon naman ay 37,” he counts. “Yung long Slow Distance, hindi kasama yon. Yung mga training, practice hindi kasama yon.”
While we presently enjoy the company of Ting, or “Master Vic” as he is known in the running world, we also find ourselves easily fooled with his age. No, we tell him, you don’t look and definitely don’t act it. We go on to think—his running credentials is a feat in itself, for a man who puts fitness foremost is someone any younger, self-respecting dude will bow down to.
The starting line
Ting, we learn, has been running since 1980, shuffling 5k, 10k, and 21k fun runs. Two years later, he joined his first marathon (42k).
Running wasn’t just for the aesthetics if you ask Ting, compared to what today’s, say, spornosexuals would tell you about their workout motivations.
“Namatay Tatay ko nung bata pa ko, mga 13 years pa lang ako nun. Namatay sya sa high blood kaya naisipan ko mag-exercise kasi may lahi yan, eh. Kaya naisipan ko tumakbo para ma-exercise ako. Dun nahilig ko na.”
Ting recalls that marathons and other denominations of runs saw only a few of its kind. He points out that running only picked up around seven years ago, to which he credits the growth of interest among amateur runners.
“Nung araw, konti lang ang mga marathon. Hindi gaya ngayon every weekend, ang daming marathon. Dati sa loob ng isang taon, tatlong marathon lang ang 42k. Kaya kokonti palang takbo ko.”
Obviously, Master Vic’s sense of athleticism has stretched over his lifetime. When he’s not running, “Araw-araw lumalabas ako—lakad, takbo, ganyan, 5 a.m. pa lang.” His common location to sweat out: Quezon City, even if he comes from Caloocan.
“Dadaaan ako ng Sto. Domingo Church sa Apo St.. Diretso hanggang Quezon Avenue tapos tatawid ako ng Araneta Ave. Pupunta ako ng Mother Ignacia St., tapos tatakbo ako hanggang EDSA. Minsan, tiunutuloy sa QC circle, minsan umaabot ako sa UP (Diliman).”
When he stopped with the sport in 1991, he was just shifting towards hiking and continued it until 2000. He came back to running because of his father and husband duties.
He jokes, “Kasi pag hiking, wala ka sa pamilya. Minsan, dalawang araw kang nasa bundok. Nagalit yung Misis ko kaya balik nalang ako sa takbo.”
To keep fit, Ting also opts for a healthy diet. For example, when it comes to maintaining, “Wala akong pinipili pero mas gusto ko gulay at isda. Pag may baboy, okay lang tikim, tikim lang.”
His only vice, though? Spare the old man for boozing—“Ang problema ko lang, umiinom ako gabi gabi pa. Red Horse ang paborito ko! Yun ang gusto kong iwasan kaso pag nakainom kasi masarap matulog talaga.”
“isang araw, dalawang bote lang naman. Pampatulog lang,” he explains with a laugh.
Master Vic finished his 100th marathon at the Cardimax Clark Ultramarathonin September last year, as a way to celebrate his 70th birthday. Still, he has no plans of retiring soon, or at least give up running in general. In fact, he’s part of a group of fellow runners in their seniors aptly, called Senior Citizen Runners. They’re around 30 in the club, and one of the group’s missions is to raise funds that’ll pay those usually expensive registration fees in marathons.
His reason: “Lifestyle ko nalang din sya. Libangan ko nalang sya araw-araw. Ibang pakiramdam ‘pag nakatakbo. Ayoko yung di ako pinapawisan.”
Ting, though, has retired from work. He is now living peacefully with his likewise retired wife, who sometimes joins him in his runs, “pero ngayon masakit yung tuhod nya.” Two of his children are in Canada and the States on their own, while two others are here in the country.
Thanks to running for 35 years now, Ting is just enjoying this stage of his life. No health worries to mind!
“Nagpa-check up ako last week—okay naman. Yung cholesterol lang, mataas nang konti tapos the rest, normal. Taon-taon ako nagpapacheck-up,” he reveals.
In fact, past his most fulfilling runs including an ultramarathon in Florida,
Master Vic is setting his eyes on a new feat.
“Ang gusto ko sa 2018, sana makuha ko yung 100 marathon record. Kulang pa ng 25 kaya focus ko puro marathon ngayon kahit mas madami ang ultramarathon.”
We tell him that we’ll be watchin’ come his centennial run, with popcorn and a Red Horse bottle in hand, of course.