LIVING THE MILO DREAM: Cebu leg champ Keenan Caburnay from Bukidnon shares simple recipe for success
For some of the runners in Bukidnon, life could be a bit tougher.
There’s no proper training facility, not much government support and sponsors, and little access to the right sports nutrition.
But this mountainous province in the Northern Mindanao region still has managed to produce a Milo champion in Keenan Lou James Caburnay.
The 24-year-old runner of the Cebu-based Spectrum Runners Club won the 21k men’s title of the National Milo Marathon (NMM) Cebu Qualifying leg on Sunday, banking on one characteristic his province has that is actually advantageous to runners.
“Our only advantage there is that we train in a high-altitude area. Other than that, there’s nothing else there,” Caburnay said after topping the race in one hour, 13 minutes and 34 seconds.
“We train there ourselves, we don’t have a coach. Our training is purely based on the traditional way, no scientific training. We depend on the food [that is available in our province] as our nutrition. When we get injured, we rely on the cold springs to heal it,” added the accounting technology graduate of San Isidro College of Malaybalay, Bukidnon.
Without much to work with, Caburnay also shared that being persistent in training also helped in achieving his goal of being a champion.
His perseverance has already netted him several titles. Apart from the Milo Cebu crown, he also won the Cagayan de Oro leg of the NMM in 2016, where he also got his best time in the 21k at 1:11.24. He also topped the 10k race in the Butuan leg of the NMM in 2015.
All these he achieved with little to work with, like having to use worn-out shoes from thrift shops in Bukidnon for training.
“I am used to wear shoes that I bought from “ukay-ukay” (thrift shops). I don’t care if it is already damaged or littered with holes, as long as I can still use it. I will wear it because I don’t have money to buy brand-new ones,” Caburnay shared. “Ukay-ukay shoes are also practical and convenient because they are cheap, and I don’t worry if its submerged or covered with mud during our training unlike wearing brand new ones.”
He said even with the hardships in Bukidnon, there was no point in his life that he thought of quitting. He was always motivated to become the best.
“My motivation is to beat the top runners’ best times. Every time I see their official times in social media, I feel motivated to push myself harder, train harder so that I can beat them one day. I know how tough my life is, but that does not mean it will hinder my dreams. So I will continue to work hard,” said Caburnay.
Caburnay was one of 19,250 runners who competed in the Cebu leg on Sunday. The race started at the Osmeña Boulevard and ended at the Cebu City Sports Center.
The win booked Caburnay a spot in the National Finals in Laoag City, Ilocos Norte on December 9. He will compete in the full marathon 42k race.
For the meantime, Caburnay will be staying in Cebu to train for the National Finals. He will train alongside Spectrum Runners Club’s ace runner Prince Joey Lee, who topped the Iloilo qualifying leg earlier this month.
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