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Pinay DH to run in London Marathon for charity

22 March 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao
Theresa Calo


A Filipina domestic helper will run in the world-famous London Marathon on April 23 in the hope of raising awareness in Hong Kong for global charity Oxfam.

The London event will be the first marathon for Theresa Calo, a member of fitness and health specialist group Pherform and its Philippine ambassador who has only been running seriously for 15 months.

The 37-year-old Calo, who hails from Baguio City, is no stranger to running long distances as she has joined several running races in Hong Kong.

Most recently, Calo ran in the Vibram HK100, a 100-kilometer race held on Jan 14 where she was awarded a bronze trophy for a sub-21-hour time.

Earlier, she completed the 63-km HK168 event on Nov 6.

The gutsy Filipina, who has been working as a domestic helper for the past 14 years, said she took up running originally to lose weight, but soon started to love the sport, that she was enticed to join organized races.

“As a DH, I work long hours, but it’s always possible to find time to train if you are serious about getting fit. Where there is a will there is a way,” Calo said.

It is this tenacity in pursuing her goals that convinced Pherform, a specialist facility that offers a host of services designed especially for females, to sponsor Calo.

“It’s a huge honor to run the London Marathon and I’m lucky to get a space,” Calo said.

“The London Marathon is one of the most famous races in the world, so it will be a great experience and I want this run to be meaningful by helping a charity raise money. It may sound unrealistic for someone who works as a domestic helper like me, but I want to show everyone that we can do more.”
Calo will be among more than 30,000 other runners from around the world and some famous celebrities who were selected to join the race from nearly 400,000 applicants.

It is not known how many Filipino runners will be in the race, but it is highly likely Calo will be the only domestic helper from Hong Kong carrying the Philippine flag.

As for a prediction on her time, Calo cannot comment. “I have no specific target,” she says. “The main thing is to run, have fun, enjoy the scenery, mag-selfie sa mga celebrity, finish the race, and hopefully raise some money for Oxfam.”

Calo says she and her team Bandilang Pinas are paying for all the costs for taking part in the race, so every penny raised goes directly to Oxfam.

To support Theresa in her efforts to raise money for Oxfam, please feel free to donate any amount at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheresaCalo2017. You can also contact 93113167.

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