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My Running Story

Growing up, I was always picked on about how large I was. I avoided dressing girly simply because I couldn’t fit in into clothes properly. During my teen years, I experimented with a lot of bad habits mainly to lose weight. I slimmed down but in the process, I became unhealthy because I acquired a bunch of eating disorders. As twisted as it may seem, I did all that because I enjoyed being underweight.

This distorted perception on the kind of lifestyle I had to have carried on until I was trying to find my career path in the Philippine fashion industry. Being on all the fad diets and crazy workouts just to slip into a size 0 was terrible. At that time, the only thing I liked about the gym was using the treadmill. Everyday, I would “jog” for an hour; little did I know that I was already doing about 10 kilometers each time.

The exact moment I knew I had this passion for running was when I told my mother that it made me stop smoking. I started eating well to complement the active lifestyle. Eventually, I discovered the joys of running outdoors. I found it challenging to just keep passing or weaving through people since I didn’t own a sports watch.

When my best friend, Denise, found out I only used an iPhone to track my first race, a 21k run on the Skyway in early 2016, she surprised me with a running watch for my birthday. Denise also knew that our friend from school, Heather, was recruiting me to join the Poveda Tri Team to be a relay runner in an Ironman 70.3 race in Japan in June of the same year.

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Ironman 70.3 Subic, Photo by Tong Pascua

I was uncertain of joining and had no clue what was in store for me. I did not want to disappoint anyone, but Heather knew I could bring the Philippine Flag to the finish line. I met my teammates and bonded with them instantly, as if I knew them my whole life. Running was part of my everyday routine so the motivation and discipline to train came naturally. Learning new things to become a responsible athlete took some time, but I wanted to be a good runner and so I worked on the discipline consistently until I got the hang of it.

In a span of one year, I learned how to swim, joined local races, some with podium finishes, joined my first aquathlon, did my personal best for a half marathon in Hawaii, became the first female finisher for The Bull Runner Sun Life Dream Marathon for 2017, and to top it off, I was finally able to have an Ironman 70.3 relay experience in my own country. I could say the best memories I made just in one year today were with my loving family and friends, as well as my caring teammates who supported my hopes and dreams.

The biggest lesson I realized through all this is that it is never wrong to aspire to be something more; that it’s okay to have big goals as long as you have the drive and discipline to achieve them.”

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Kacci through the years

About the Contributor

Kacci Santos is a fashion designer by day. But when she’s not sketching or honing her entrepreneurial skills, she can be seen running on the road or with her Poveda Tri teammates.

See all of Kacci Santos's posts →

Main photo by Brian Dee

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One Thought

  1. abby says:

    So proud of you Kacci! :) Inspiring indeed!