The Incredible Tale Of A Destitute Ultra Winner

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published May. 1, 2011
  • Updated May. 2, 2011 at 1:22 PM UTC

He was the last to sign up and the first to cross the finish line.

The story of 21-year-old ultra runner Aivan Villalon of Sipalay, Negros Occidental in the Philippines sounds like something out of a movie. He won the Coast-to-Coast Run, a 65-kilometer race from Toledo City to Cebu City Capitol, which took place over the weekend.

He did it while wearing a pair of broken shoes that he’s had for three years. According to a report on the Sun Star Web site, Villalon was a last-minute entry to the race. He showed up for it on Friday,which made him the last person to register.  He then spent the night in a building across from the Toledo City Hall, sleeping on a bed fashioned out of a cardboard box.

Apparently, he took the lead from the start and set a new personal record for 65K at 6:22:52. The Web site noted that he sustained no injuries during the race.

For More: Sun Star

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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