People often say that once you grow old, you should slow down and take things easier. Not for Caesar LLedo though. In his ripe age of 64 this super senior citizen is capable of outpacing even professional marathon runners themselves.
A native of Zamboanga City, “Tay” Caesar, as he is lovingly called by fellow runners, had just picked up running this 2013. He recalls that back then, he would only chauffer his daughter and her boyfriend (now husband) to running events. One day, he requested to join them as he has nothing to do in his car while waiting for the kids. He first started running for the 5 kilometer fun run and never stopped since then.
Along with fellow runner Renson Emradura, a PWD who runs while using crutches, they were both stand outs from the rest of the runners. Aside from being the oldest, “Tay” Caesar also used the traditional Kalinga G-String or “BAAG” during the Tabuk Road To Trail Run 2019. “Tay” Caesar stated that he likes to use the traditional attire of the host province for every competition he goes to.
“Mula nang ntumakbo ako noon para sa rice terraces marathon, nakika ko na very dedicated mga tao doon sa culture nila, nag arkila rin ako ng costume ko sa Banaue, mula noon, nagcocostume run na ako para sa team Malaya,” Tay Caesar recalls, “isa rin ito para mapromote ko and kultura nga lugar na pinupuntahan ko, at kung ayaw nila na magsusuot ako ng traditional attire nila, hindi talaga ako magsusuot out of respect sa kanila.”
He further adds that he does not only wear traditional attires like those from the indigenous people, what he wears also depend on the theme of the occasion he attends. Tay Caesar explained that he also wore many kinds of costumes like a soldier, business man, astronaut, clown, a giant baby and more. He also finishes races he attends with his trade mark jump shot and always sporting a huge grin in his face.
Tay Caesar underscored that he enjoys many kinds of running from trail running to ultra-marathons where he was a 120 kilometers finisher and a recipient of an ultra-marathon gold ring. He also said that he also competed in a Duathlon and one thing he wants to cross in his bucket list is to compete in a Triathlon in the near future.
He stated that he wants to inspire as much people he can, even runners he is competing against. During the 42 kilometer Tabuk Run, he recalls that one runner was about to give up but he kept pushing her to finish the last 4 kilometers and even paced himself to match that of the runners.
“Mayroon pa nga noong isang trail run naming, may mga nawalang mga runners. Kahit malaking oras nawala saakin sinamahan ko sila para sabay sabay kaming makatapos sa finish line kasi mas enjoy pag mas marami,” he added.
“Sa totoosin bonus nalang saakin ang mga trophies at mga medalya, ang tunay na prize para saaking ay ang maka punta sa mga iba’t ibang lugar at makatapos sa race,” he emphasized. Tay Caesar even proudly stated that though he is 64 already, he does not take any medication and credits his healthy lifestyle as the reason.
Asked when he plans to stop running, he answered that until his knees give out and until he can still keep inspiring others to run, he will continue running. He proudly added that although 64 already, he does not use any maintenance and credits his healthy lifestyle the reason. “Hinahanap kasi katawan ko ang pagtakbo eh, kaya nakakaabot ako ng umaabot 100 kilometers sa isang lingo.”
“Gusto ko ipakita na wala sae dad ang kahit anumang sports at gusto ko mapatunayan sa aking sarili na kaya ko kahit anong ichallenge ko. At sana mabigyan ko sapat na inspirasyon ang mg aka edad ko at mas lalo na sa mga kabataan na kumuha din nga sports, para sa kanila din iyon,” Tay Caesar ended.
Credits: Edward Joseph Gacuya and Brent Martinez