Running for heroes
Run, walk, crawl.
Organizers are inviting the public to join the 3rd Annual Santacruzan Fil-Am 5K race to benefit World War II veterans.
The event will be held during the East Coast’s largest Santacruzan celebration on Sunday, May 28, in Jersey City. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep), an organization whose mission is to obtain national recognition of Filipino and American World War II soldiers. The year 2017 marks a milestone in Filipino-American history in that April 9, 2017 will be the 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March. President Barack Obama has also recently signed the bill awarding Filipino soldiers who served in the war the Congressional Gold Medal.
This event is produced by Fil-Am Racing, a not-for-profit organization headed by pro triathlete Arland Macasieb as part of its “Run for Heroes” race series throughout the U.S.
“Santacruzan is designed to be a fun event targeting the Filipino-American community, inclusive of all fitness levels, while also welcoming anyone who wishes to join,” he said. “This aims to promote sports as a way to live a health and active lifestyle.”
The race starts at Town Square Place and ends at the historic Manila Avenue, an area in Jersey City with a large Filipino-American population. The fast, flat course overlooks the Hudson River and New York City, and takes runners and walkers through picturesque landmarks, including the Colgate Clock and the Jersey City Sundial.
In true Filipino style, there’s a post-race festival with food, awards, and raffles. The Santacruzan celebration follows, which showcases cultural fairs, exhibits, and procession.
Arland Macasieb is a three-time Philippine National Triathlon champion and a two-time South East Asian Games bronze medalist. He currently holds the Philippine record for the Ironman Distance Triathlon — 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run — and the hour record for cycling. Arland is also the founder and CEO of the Filipino-American Triathlon (FAT) Club, the world’s largest Filipino triathlon club with over 400 members worldwide. FAT’s race production arm, Fil-Am Racing, partners with existing Filipino festivals to help highlight Filipino culture. He holds a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Pedorthics specializing in Biomechanics and Metabolics.
With Arland in this project are health enthusiast Cynthia Clemente, Bike Lane Group founder Rowell Roxas and entrepreneur Loren San Diego.
Cynthia started running at the age of 40, after being diagnosed with cancer in 2004. She finished the New York City Marathon in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. Most recently in October 2016, she completed the Marine Corps Marathon. She remembers being barely able to walk 20 minutes without huffing and puffing when she started training.
“Discipline, dedication and devotion made it possible for me to complete my first marathon,” she said.
At 51, Cynthia is cancer-free, thriving and happily running in snow, rain, or under any weather condition. She believes age is only a number and anybody can start running at any age.
Rowell founded the Bike Lane Group in the summer of 2011 with some friends. He started running in early 2013 after a fellow biker encouraged him to run his first 5K. Slightly overweight then at 250 pounds, he hoped that running would help him lose some extra weight. He got addicted to running and tackled longer distances including half and full marathons. He says running has turned him into a happier and better person. He is now at a healthy 190 pounds.
Loren decided to leave the corporate world to set up three home-based businesses: Piano Playground, Bébé Chérie Photography, and Lovelots Loren. She loves sports and tries to keep a healthy lifestyle by participating in endurance races. She has done over 50 races, including marathons, half marathons, triathlons, and obstacle races. She believes in setting a good example for her two daughters on how to live a healthy lifestyle.
To register, visit website.