Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Interview Tuesday: Meet Ultra Trail Runner and Race Director Doi Calbes of the Philippines

From Ultra Trail Panoramic 100 Miler
This week I talk to Doi Calbes who is an Ultra runner and Race Director from the Philippines.  I met Doi in a round about way via Facebook and thought it would be good to have him share about his running and race mangement work to help us get to know runners from around the world.  I encourage you to check out the races Doi directs in the Philippines as they look pretty cool.

Tell us a little about yourself not necessarily related to running: age, where born, education, area you live in, etc…..
I’m already 36 years old, born in Catbalogan Samar, Philippines.  My father came from Waray tribe in Samar and my mother is Bisaya in Bayugan Agusan region in Mindanao, southern part of Philippines, now we reside in Davao City since 2005.

I graduated college at the University Of Cebu (UC), in Cebu City, with a Bachelor Of Science and Customs Administration (BSCA) in 2004. It took me almost 7 years to finish my studies because I’m a working student and also very friendly, haha! Very active in outdoor sports (mountain and water sports) and also University Vice President of Student Council fraternal affairs for 2 years and Grand Chancellor of Alpha Phi Omega for 3 years.  Then I preceded LLB or College of Law, but I did not make it because of very busy work schedule.

What is your profession?
After I graduated Customs Administration, I worked in a Customs Brokerage as an Account Executive and I changed profession after a year ‘cuz I’m not good in import beyond my perception, I’m not used to it, haha! Then a friend offered me a job at a Telecom Company (which I’m highly qualified), to conduct surveys and put-up riley towers on high mountains all over country. That Cellular Phone Company was new in Philippines, our project was Sun Cellular or DMPI then after more than 8 years of experience, I moved to next level. I operated my owned Telecom Company as a contractor, The Four Faith Construction and Installation Services, then a few years later I retired the company due to complication with the budget at the higher office, haha! And now I’m focused on organizing races specializing on trail and mountain races as Race Director of Vertical To Sky Mountain Races in Philippines, coming 5 years on December this year.
Example of Towers Installed

How did you start running and what prompted you to do so?
We are family of athletes and outdoorsmen. When I was elementary age, I was a member of Track and Field and Baseball Team. In high school, I was a soccer player as goal keeper and on the volleyball team I was a spiker.  I also started climbing mountains at early age. When fun runs started in the Philippines, I joined 3km, 5km, and 10km, and then ultras -road and trail races.

How long have you been running?
I think more that 10 years! V2S (Vertical to Sky) is running 5 years this December 2018. So before I started organizing races I joined lots of races all over the country.

Did you participate in any other sports over the years?
Yup! I surf, I skim, I kayak, I climb walls, and hike mountains. Aside from organizing mountain races, I’m also a mountain guide, mostly the scenic mountains here in Mindanao, in the southern part of Philippines.

Did you run in grade school, High School or College?
Yup! I have been running since my young age at school -in Samar, Cebu and Davao.

So we get an idea of where you have been with running can you share your PR’s for: 5K, 10K marathon, 50K and any other distance you may have run in the past.
For 5k I can make it less that 30mins and sub 1 hour for 10k ,both on roads.  For 50k trail I can make it sub 8 hours, I’m not that fast, haha! My nicest time for the 100km trail race is sub 16 hours (15:28:55) at The Magnificent Merapoh Trail (TMMT) in Malaysia, year 2017.

At Mt. Hamiguitan
Congratulations on being ranked 15th in the “Asia Trail Master Series”  - What races did you have to do to be in that ranking?
  • 2016 Ultra Trail Mapawa – 50km, Philippines
  • 2017 Ultra Trail unseen Koh Chang – 100km, Thailand
  • 2017 The Magnificent Merapoh Trail – 100km, Malaysia
  • 2017 Ultra Trail Mapawa – 50km, Philippines
  • 2017 Ultra Trail Panoramic – 100miles, Thailand
  • 2018 Pilipinas Akyathlon – 46km, Philippines
  • 2018 Beach Bunch Trail Challenge – 100km, Brunei
  • 2018 Vietnam Mountain Marathon – 100km, Vietnam
  • 2018 Ijen Trail Running – 100km, Indonesia
All are trail/mountain races of Asia Trail Master series.

How is running in Asia as we hear a lot about races in the US and Europe but not so much about Asia?
We have lots of races here in Asia; you should visit sometime, especially here in Philippines and join Vertical To Sky Mountain Races, haha! You will find it very satisfying and you will crave for more, I assure you that! ;)

What is your most memorable race or races and share a little about at least one of them?
At Mt. Apo
When I joined The North Face Ultramarathon (Philippine edition) long time ago, it was my first 100km race. I left all my gear (running shoes, shorts, and hydro pack) because we have a little problem that time, family matters. Then all I got was a road shoes, trekking shorts and body bag that I can possibly put all my essentials, jacket, etc. and two 500ml water bottles, haha! It’s like suicide but then I made it.

Do you have a favorite workout you do?
Yup! Early morning running and jogging with my dogs.

How about a favorite route you like to run?
I have one favorite route, going for a run to the market. We called it Bankerohan, haha! I don’t trained a lot, I just run if a have time.

What is your favorite distance to run and race?
100km and 100miles, always do the major category in a race! ;)

What shoes do you run in and what do you like about them?
I don’t have sponsor shoes but recently I used La Sportiva, the Helios 2.0. The lugs is sufficient, I don’t have any hesitation running on very technical terrain.  Two thumbs up! ;)
At Mt. Dulang-dulang

Do you have any long-range plans?
Nothing special, maybe to create a 100 miler mountain race here in Philippines and join races in American and European soil, in God’s will.

What do you like best about running in where you live?  Where is the best place you have run?
Always love running in Mindanao Mountains here in Philippines and other than that, the mountains of East Java in Indonesia. Love the cold weather and the mountainous terrain! ;)

Can you share something about your race management company Vertical To Sky ?
Yup! Vertical To Sky (V2S) Mountain Race Event Management is one of the establishments in the Philippines who have a license to conduct mountain races, mountain guides and exploration all over the country. Under Business Permit B-139542-2, DTI Certificate No. 04040354 and Tourism Certificate No. 2016-TRE-363 and of course we have our outstanding citizenship for always updating our license renewal and tax payment, haha!

If you like to have vacation here in Philippines, climbing or running.  Join Vertical To Sky Mountain Races, very scenic and challenging races!  We’re heading into 5 years this December, check out our year ender special race "The Punisher 50"  on December 15th 2018 @ Samal Island, Davao Philippines.

How has participation in your events been?  Do you have one race in your series that is considered the premier race?
At Mt. Kitanglad)
It’s all good! All of my races I considered quality but I think the most premier one is the Mt. APO Sky & Vertical Race, it’s the highest peak in the Philippines and it’s the first 100km race in Mindanao.  Mt. APO at the Boulderface trail in Sta Cruz, Davao Del Sur is the most unique and mystic view of all the mountains in Asia, everyone should try it, either running or climbing.

What do you struggle with most with regards to running and also race directing?
Yup, time management is the key with lots of dedication, passion and love of sports.  And struggle is nothing! ;)

What do you see as a trend in running?
Nowadays trail running is very mainstream. I think we need to promote more of this sport, especially here in Asia. Tell the world that we have lots of beautiful races and running destination here in Asia! ;)

If you had one, well maybe two or three, things to say those that are running to encourage them what would it be?
I’m not good in running quotes or words, haha! But for me running is like a cure for everything -healthy lifestyle, good friends, nature, adventure, and life. We need to maintain it, very basic, just run and explore the world. And for the beginners, it’s never too late to buy running shoes, remember I started at 3km fun run, haha!

Do you have a website or other social media site you would like to share?
Any closing comments?
At Lake Holon
Thank you so much for this interview! And I would like to thank all the people who supported me. Department of Tourism Region XI, Sta Cruz Davao Del Sur, San Isidro Davao Oriental, Samal Island. And to all my Sponsors –Ultron International Clothing, Truestart Coffee, Compressport, Trailjunkie Cap, Tagakan Purselas, Warp and Woof Sandals, Pepsi Cola, Nature Spring, Dole Company, H & Y Company. And to my international partner –Asia Trail Master (ATM) in Hong Kong, International Trail Running Association (ITRA) in Europe, Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) in France, American Trail Running Association (ATRA) in Colorado USA, and International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) in Europe.  And to all my family and friends thank you so much! ;)