13 July 2009


Okay, this is something local. I mean being a sherpa up there in Mt. Everest is, no doubt, a good qualification. Problem is we do not have winter season here. Either it rains here or we are at the mercy of the sun.

Prior to posting this, I have not searched the Net. This is something that crossed my mind during a long run over the weekend. Perhaps, it is my mind's unique way of keeping its sanity while running for hours while everybody is having their sumptous morning breakfast. Certainly, some of you have experienced running past residential houses and could tell with pinpoint accuracy what the people inside are cooking for almusal. Pray tell. Did you not wish even momentarily that you were at home instead eating, sipping your favorite cup of coffee or tea, etc.? I thought so too.

Now, onto the list and in no order of particular importance. The minimum criteria being time on feet and/or hours at work, endurance, heat acclimatization, etc. What else? Of course, sleep deprivation and specificity of training. Let us get it on:

1. Farmers - Those hours of backbreaking work and on their feet from early morning until afternoon under the sun and sometimes rain. You just have to admire them. They have to work on their endurance though.

2. Postmen - Not the bike-riding type. These guys literally walk for kilometers or hours just to deliver your mails. They also get to engage in some form of speed runs like fartlek or sprint when being chased by those pesky, stray and heaven forbid, rabid dogs and occassional drunkards. I hope they are insured.

3. Security Guards - Time on their feet and especially those on duty during graveyard shift. I mean it is not easy staying awake at night. This will come handy when ultra races involve night time running. On endurance, same as farmers.

4. Mountain Guides/Trekkers - You cannot beat this people on mountain hiking and leg strength. Those power walks, uphill and downhill climbs will be very helpful during trail running. Some of them even wear slippers! As runners, aren't we overdressed?

5. Parenting - Geez, it is a 24/7 job. There is also sprinting involved like when you have to chase your toddler from falling and as a result, besting even the Olympic record time of Usain Bolt!

6. Firemen - On heat tolerance, nothing beats these guys.

7. Bikers - Not the cyclists. More like trikers. These are the ones you see on the streets ferrying passengers for a fee. Basically, they have tremendous leg strength because of almost daily biking. No joke carrying 1-4 persons in your trike especially if they are overweight. They lack specificity of training though.

8. Psychiatrists/psychologists - Basically for their erudite persuasion to keep them from quitting when they hit their lowest of lows. After all, ultrarunning is not only physical but mental as well. They sorely need to be physically fit to undertake a race this long though.

9. Chefs, Waiters and Bakers - They are up on their feet for long hours while they prepare our favorite food to fuel us to finish a race, i.e. if you have money to burn. I bet they need to work on their endurance also. They have also properly learned the meaning of heat adaptation for being exposed to heat in the kitchen.

10. Bus Vendors - An epitome of ultrarunners. Fast and daring. I mean they run after a bus, hold onto the rail and get inside just to peddle their goods all on a busy street/highway and while the bus is moving! And they do it all over again. Talk about guts. Only I wonder if they could do all that running for more than 42.2k.

11. Park Rangers - Countless hours out there. Good for trail running. But endurance? I am not sure.

In closing, there is no best job out there for ultrarunning because it all depends on YOU and you alone. It does not matter what your job is . Just like some things in life, what matters most is you want to do it. And you absolutely can.



  1. I work as a call center agent and was able to complete two ultramarathons in a span of 3 months, 1 102 k and a 100k at less than 18 hours.

    Thought i'd never finish it but made to the finish line and said to myself "so that's what an ultra is and i like it.

    Looking forward to maybe 48 more or so.

  2. atty jon, i think you forget to mention the lowly infantry soldiers or special ops operatives & recon forces in the jungles & desert who walk at night & observe during daytime..as usual, you have a nice post in here and it shows that runners are creative thinkers when they are on the run!

  3. Anonymous - is that you Cesar Abarrientos? What do you mean 48? Multi-day, 48-hour race? I'll start first with 24-hour.

    Bald Runner - Yes, of course our soldiers in special operations, recon, etc. How could I've missed them?

  4. the lovely sales clerks of sm included. just look at their nice calves.

  5. Professor-teaching means patience and a lot more! hehe. Nice post atty. and Godspeed!

  6. After several years encountering them around mountain slopes, the finest Filipino long-distance trekkers in my book are:

    1. Mangyans
    2. Igorots
    3. Dumagats