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‘Hindi pa huli ang lahat’: 51-year-old OFW defies the odds, clinching ninth place in an ultra marathon

“Hindi pa huli ang lahat,” these were the words of Amancio Cabuga, a 51-year-old Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Greece as he celebrated his recent achievement of clinching the ninth spot at the 2024 Saronikos Ultra Marathon in Athens on April 1, 2024.

Wearing bib no. 603, he proudly passed through the finish line after surpassing 61 kilometers with 537 elevation gain in 5 hours 36 minutes, and 57 seconds.

“Grabe, super saya ko dahil hindi naman ako runner sa Pinas. Dito lang sa Greece, almost 7 years na akong tumakbo,” he exclaimed.

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This victory marked another milestone in Cabuga’s illustrious running career. Two years prior, he showcased his endurance by completing an impressive 187 kilometers in the 24-hour running event, securing second place at the 2022 Altromitos Ultra. In 2023, his prowess was once again on display as he clinched sixth place in the Ultra Race (120 km), finishing with a time of 12 hours and 46 minutes.

Despite his age, his passion and dedication encouraged him to continue.

“Ang inspirasyon ko pag ako’y lumahok sa isang event ay maiwagayway ko ang bandila ng ating lupang sinilangan,” he said.

Cabuga’s achievements are not just limited to Greece. He participated in the grueling Spartathalon International Ultra Marathon from September 30 to October 1, 2023, alongside competitors from 58 countries, completing a staggering 246 kilometers in 35 hours and 45 minutes. Additionally, he conquered the Byzantine Ultra Marathon (50 km) on January 21, 2024, finishing in an impressive time of 4 hours and 22 minutes.

Cabugas also shared that adapting an active lifestyle has been helpful with his health.

“Makakatulong it kasi dati masakitin ako. Dati pag nag washing ako sa yacht lagi akong nagkakasakit. Pero ngayon, ok lang. Masasabi ko talagang malaking tulong ito sa health natin,” he said.

Despite having a full-time work, he shared that he tries to make time for trainings in between rest hours and days off.

With each stride, Cabuga exemplifies resilience and determination, urging fellow Filipinos to join him on the journey to better health and success. “Kaya ini-encourage ko yung mga Filipino rito na sumali dahil hinda pa huli ang lahat.”

This 51-year-old OFW from Surigao del Sur will be turning 52 on May. He migrated to Greece back in 2006 and became a part of Filipino Runners Greece 2023.

(This story was written with the contributions of Alona Cochon.)



Kate Sudiacal

Kate is a Junior Writer at The Filipino Times, where she actively covers a wide range of stories, with a special focus on the Philippines, UAE, and MENA. Her thorough daily summaries of the most significant events appear in The Filipino Times, the Middle East's leading newspaper serving Filipinos. With The Filipino Times' digital platform boasting over 4 million monthly views and nearly half a million followers across various social media channels, Kate's work reaches a wide and engaged audience. Do you have a story to share? Contact Kate at [email protected].

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