Houston’s Fil-Am Tri Club: running for community and a cause

HOUSTON, TX — The 47th annual Houston Marathon is a cherished city tradition. Exciting finishes, American records, and Olympic qualifying times highlighted a day that marked another significant step in the city’s recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, just over a year ago.                                       

The Chevron Houston marathon began in 1972, and has grown to be on of the top 10 marathon events in the world. Elite runners and Olympians from over 20 countries come here to compete and support the numerous charitable causes tied to the event.

Some of the top Fil-Am runners in the US were also in attendance.

Arland Macasieb, founder of the national non-profit, Fil-Am Tri Club, is currently the world’s fastest Filipino in Ironman competition since 2012. Arland was also a featured speaker at one of the running seminars prior to the event.

“We talked basic running technique, basic running flaws. Most people are heel strikers and others over-stride. So, we were doing some basic drills to get people lighter on their feet, with a higher cadence so they can be injury free.”

The Houston Fil Am Tri Club is an official USA triathlon registered club dedicated to building the Filipino American community, through endurance sports and sharing of Filipino culture.

Since it was established back in 2006, TRI has grown to include clubs in 6 states and three foreign countries. The group is not only about fitness, as a non-profit they also contribute to charitable causes.

“Anytime there is a natural disaster in the Philippines, like for Hayian, we always have relief efforts, we send balikbyan boxes back to the Philippines. So there is definitely a civic involvement for sure.”

27 members and many other FilAms competed in the Houston Marathon. Running at this level is serious business for the group.

“We usually do interval work on the weekdays and long runs on the weekends. We meet up at memorial park. We usually run anywhere from 14 miles up to 22 miles on the long runs,” said trainer Benjie Go.

While many might not be ready for such a test of their endurance, the Fil-Am Tri group says anyone at any fitness level is welcome.

This group is all about encouraging people. So, we treat everyone equal. There is no fast, no slow runners. It’s all about having fun.

The group says they gain motivation from each other and remind themselves every day, as the saying goes: “Be strong. You never know who you are inspiring.”

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