Tillor relishes challenge in running with Kenyans-A A +A
Sunday, January 13, 2013
SOME local elite runners may not welcome the presence of competitive foreign runners but for Noel Tillor, the presence of Kenyans could benefit them as they can monitor their personal improvement when they go neck and neck with them.
“Daghan man tag elites na kusgan unta pero kay ma-discourage kay naay Kenyans. Mas nindot man nuon if naa sila kay macheck nimo if naabot ba nimo imong target,” said Tillor, the top local runner who finished at sixth place in the men’s division.
He encouraged his fellow runners to have a change of mindset as regards these Kenyan runners, some of whom are already based here.
“Dili man jud nimo ma-appreciate ang imong preparation if dili ka ka-test if ni-improve ba ka or wala,” said Tillor.
Going to the race, he was driven to improve his eighth place finish and a time of 2:49 last year rather than aim to beat the Kenyans. And he did, placing sixth overall in 2:43.
He said that had he beaten these Kenyans, that would only be incidental to his main focus of improving his time.
“At least maka-ingon ka na nakasuway kag atbang nila. Makahibaw ka kung asa ka kutob unya unsay adjustment mabuhat nimo ug makabantay pud ka kung unsay weakness nila,” he said.
According to him, the Kenyans are at their most weak spot in uphills and trail runs.
He has steadily improved in the Cebu Marathon. In his first run in 2010, he finished in 4:07 before improving to 2:52 in 2011.
He credits his climb to his ample preparation in endurance and speed , which started right after the Be Resorts 50K Warrior Ultra Run last September.
And this year, he was able to stay close to the Kenyans unlike last year.
Tillor is known as Cebu’s Ultra King and before he became a weekend warrior, he first started with ultra races three years ago.
He believes that in time, Filipinos can be at par with these Kenyans and can beat them in major races.
He added that in the same way that Filipino elites are always on the lookout for the Kenyans, these foreign runners are also observing the local elites.
“Mag agad ra man na sila nato, paminawon ang Pinoy kung kaya ra na nila kay magpadikit gyud na sila pero kanang mga dagko na dagan kay mubulhot gyud na sila,” he said.
Meanwhile, Virginia Parajenog and Robert Daang also improved their finishes and the long weeks that had them waking up early paid off.
From ninth place last year, Parajenog rose to no. 6 in 4:08, while Robert Daang made the top 10 from 19th place in 2:54.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 14, 2013.