MANILA - After a 30-year journey, traversing rugged mountains and concrete jungles around the world, Cesar Guarin, the Filipino who aims to be the first Asian to run around the world, is almost halfway through his dream.
The 56-year-old has covered 18,000km, with 24,000km more to go, running an average of 43km a day in seven to eight hours.
It's a daunting goal, to say the least, especially when most people find it a Herculean task to finish a full marathon of 42km.
But Guarin, known as the "father of ultramarathons" in the Philippines, is taking things one day at a time.
During his Trans Pilipinas Run in 1983 (Zamboanga to Baguio), the epic run that started it all, he ran an average of 65km a day. His Trans USA (New York City to Los Angeles) two years later saw him do 56km a day.
Today, with 30 years of long-distance running behind him, Guarin's goal has shifted.
"I used to want to run the longest, to run the fastest, to run the strongest. Now I find it more fulfilling when I connect with people, with other Filipinos and runners around the world," he said.
"Global Run: Alay sa Pilipino" is a tribute to overseas Filipino workers and a running campaign for tourism in the Philippines, and Guarin hopes to reach his goal by 2018, by which time he would have finished an equivalent of 995 full marathons.
To set a record for a global run, he must cover 42,000km - a figure that is roughly the size of the earth's circumference.
Last year Guarin completed his European leg, kicking off from Finland, then crossing towards Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Britain.