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Don’t mess with runners

SPORTS EYE - Raffy T. Uytiepo (The Freeman) - February 23, 2021 - 12:00am

In the late 1960s, a small- time teenage crook was going from car to car  in a quiet Chicago residential road looking for a vehicle to steal.  He found one he particularly liked and forced to open the doors. The commotion was heared by the car’s owner, a middle-aged man who came rushing out of his house, yelling at the thief.  Having barely a forty-year age advantage on his pursuer, the young thief was’nt worried  about being caught. He must have said “Gurang na ni, wala na ni hangin”. To his dismay, the senior citizen chasing him didn’t show signs if giving up, let alone getting tired. In fact, no matter how fast the thief ran, his pursuer seemed to be gaining and it wasn’t long before he’d caught up with him. Holding the out-of- breath crook until the police arrived, the police immediately recognized the intended victim and told the thief he tried to rob and outran Jessie Owens. Who is Jessie  Owens?, well if you don’t know, Owens shamed Adolf Hitler  in the 1936 Berin Olympics after he won four gold medals to shatter the Aryan Supremacy myth  Owens won the 100m(10.3), 200m(20.7) 4x100(39.8) and long jump (8.06m) Owens said he never forgot that he was not invited to shake hands with Hitler and wasn’t invited to the White House either to shake with the American president. According to reports Hitler lost his temper and shouted “Do you really think that I will allow myself to be photographed shaking hands with a Negro?  Owens died of lung cncer in 1979 at age 66.

Philippine Team 

While preparing for the 1988 PAL Manila Marathon, one of the daily regimen  of our Nike Team is a slow jog from the CCP Complex to Rizal Park and back.  Our team was composed of probably the best marathoners in the country, Jimmy Dela Torre, Herman Suizo, Arturo Angel  and Alvin Miraflores, all national champions.  One Sunday as we were heading back to the CCP, a woman shouted that her bag was snatched.  The thief (proabbly in his early 20s, darted towards Rizal Park as we ran after him.  We just paced ourselves until the snatcher ran out os steam and fell to the ground  due to exhaustion.  After reviving him for a few minutes, we brought him to Rizal Stadium where some boxers and took turns in slapping him.  Don’t get me wrong, “Walay sakit to ang gihimo sa mga boksidor kay gipitik ra man ang iyang ilong”.  I told the thief don’t underestimate “Ning mga idaran nga runners kay puro ni mga champions”.  Our Nike team won 12 consecutive team championships in the PAL Marathon to emerged the winningest in the country’s marathon history.

Tears never stop

In a previous column I listed some of the celebrities who died at the start of the year.  Just when I thought people would stop dying, at least for now, another one bites the dust.  I’ve known Sylvan “Jack” Jakosalem for over 30 years even before he became a Cebu City councilor.  Although his built was never athletic, he loved sports a lot especially running and shooting.   Jack suported all my running events from the marathon to the triathlon.  Jack was a big supporter of the 1997 Timex International Triathlon whick I co-directed togeter with Hong Kong’s Chris Hanselman.  We also worked on the  first ever- Masters Athletics Championship  which gathered the best Masters competitors in Cebu and the Cebu City Marathon, which went International.  Of course Jack’s other love is music.  He was known as  “Jack the Wack” on  Y101 FM radio where he was a disc Jockey and station manager as well.  In 2012 Jack underwent brain surgery  due to Neurocysticerlosis, a parasite disease in the nervous system. Jack died last Wednesday of complications of  pneumonia and urinary tract infection at age 57.   Jack is a cousin  of my sister-in-law Peachie Uytiepo who resides in Orange County California.  He is also a relative of veteran actor Nonie Buencamino and sportsman Nino Sinco.  This is “Jack The Wack” signing off.  Hasta La Vista my good friend, RIP (Rock in Peace).

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