Running to Help Save a Baby’s Eyesight

Last month’s Labor Day took a different twist for me and my running friends as we joined the Tri30+ Run-Summer Edition organized by running and biking priest Fr. Robert Selecios in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon. The intention was to raise funds to help defray the cost of operation for 7-month old baby Jayyden Garnett Paurom Pagutayao. Baby Jayden was diagnosed with Congenital Cataract and needed two major operations on both eyes for him to see normally.

Registration fee was set at a minimum of P200 pesos and participants are welcomed to donate more. There were no singlet, water stations and finisher’s certificate as all proceeds were intended for the beneficiary.

Having missed the previous Tri30+ run due to waking up too late, I made sure to not to skip this one since I personally knew Baby Jayyden’s father. So on the dawn of May 1, 2014, I was among the group of more than 20 runners huddled inside the St. Ignatious Parish of Barangay Kalasungay for prayer and race briefing.


It was still dark when the run started past 4:30 AM. The lead pack zoomed off with their blistering pace while I found myself in the company of Fr. Robert, Jick and Jun Lite at the rear end with our leisurely pace. The “palanay” mode allowed us to talk more about running while soaking in on the early morning scenery of Mt. Kitanglad and the pineapple fields.

10247393_649828785066137_3211586765495665245_nPhoto by Willy Jusoy

10169219_649829965066019_5596850427912047836_nPhoto by Willy Jusoy

The route started from Barangay Kalasungay in Malaybalay and finished at Atugan Swimming Pool in Impasugong. The first 18 kilometers or so are along the highway and has lots of uphill stretches.


Upon reaching the road junction in Brngy. Capitan Bayong, Impasugong, we made a right turn towards the Old Atugan Highway. Here, the run got more interesting. Since vehicles hardly passed along this road, we have it all to ourselves. It felt great running along a quaint barrio and seeing local folks quietly doing their morning routine.


It was mostly downhill upon reaching the last 3 kilometers, where the beautiful view of Impasugong hills and canyons laid before our sights. It made us run with glee, breathing in the fresh mountain air while enjoying the scenery. This is the kind of running I always love as it made me closer to nature and appreciate more of what my home province has to offer.

IMG_3883Happy runners at the Old Atugan Highway in Impasugong, Bukidnon


IMG_3896Run organizer Father Robert Selecios

We reached the municipal-owned Atugan Pool after 3 hours of running, walking and picture-taking. GPS Tracker indicates a total distance of 23 kilometers. It was actually my first time to run long after the Cebu City Marathon last January. Though I was very exhausted, I did enjoy the run so much.


Later on, we feasted on the lechon donated by Impasugong Municipal Mayor Mario Okinlay and rehydrated with Red Horse Beer. It was a fitting way to end another edition of the Tri30+ Run series, where runners run not to beat each other but to help in giving back to the community.


I recently talked with Baby Jayden’s father and he informed me that he received about 18,000 pesos from the proceeds of the run. He further revealed that the two major operations on the eyes of Jayyden were both successfully done.

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