Eye doctor sees world-class Cebuano runners by Iste Sesante Leopoldo Inquirer Visayas

First Posted 03:03:00 08/29/2009

Filed Under: Athletics and Track and Field, Health

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A Cebu-based eye doctor foresees running as becoming popular that could bring honor to the province and the country.

Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal III, a scion of the Larrazabal family who owns several hospitals, dreams of developing running as a serious sport. He is putting up his own training pool that would produce world-class runners.

“I wanted to do that in the near future,” said Larrazabal, who is organizing a “Run for Sight” every month in Cebu.

Organized by the Larrazabal Eye Center and his Run for Sight foundation, the running series would provide funding for the foundation’s medical missions and assistance to orphanages.

It would also help him spot potential runners while providing serious runners a venue to develop their skill.

A serious runner who has been participating in several marathons here and abroad, Larrazabal said he would like to complete 33 marathons in his lifetime.

He also wanted to promote running as the best form of getting fit.

His wife, former singer-actress Donna Cruz, shares his passion for running and has even participated in the recent 21-km Milo run held in Cebu.

“I also wanted to address this to the youth who are into bad habits because if they start running, their attention will shift to their health and they will become more conscious of it (health),” Larrazabal said.

Larrazabal is offering sports courses at the Cebu Doctors University (CDU), which his family owns, to help improve the country’s sports program. The courses would include sports management and sports medicine.

Larrazabal serves as chairman of the CDU’s Department of Ophthalmology and as the corporate secretary of the Cebu Doctors’ group of hospitals and the university.

City education consultant Joy Augustus Young welcomed Larrazabal’s proposal to offer sports courses.

“It is very good for us,” said Young, who also plans to establish a Sports Science High School for athletes.

“It’s good that Larrazabal is considering offering sports-related courses. I am looking forward to working with them on that,” he said.

Larrazabal has started preparing for his 7th marathon, the 28th Robin Hood Marathon in Nottingham, England, scheduled for September 13. Around 15,000 runners from all over the world are expected to participate.

He plans to join the marathons in Macau in December, in Seoul in March 2010, and in San Diego, California, in June 2010.

He participated in the Milo, Pasig, Hong Kong, New York City, and Chicago marathons.

Larrazabal has several eye clinics which he manages at the Center for Sight at the Cebu Doctor’s Hospital in Cebu City, and three other eye clinics at the Mactan Doctors’ Hospital in Lapu-Lapu City, North General Hospital in Talamban, Cebu City, and the South General Hospital in Tuyan, Naga City. He completed his medical degree at the CDU, where he also received his master’s degree in hospital administration. He placed 6th in the diplomate board examinations in ophthalmology.

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