Hector Begeo: The Legend

Begeo receiving one of his two 1991 SEA Games medals held at Manila. Begeo won the 3,000m Steeplechase gold and 5,000m bronze. Also in the pictures are Coach Ernesto Mendoza (C) and Primo Ramos (R)

To better motivate our young and upcoming athletes,  this blog will come up with exclusive interviews with past, present and future stars of Philippine Athletics.  Two months ago, I’ve shortlisted a couple of legends that I felt, should be interviewed first due to their accomplishments and contribution to the sports.

I then decided that 7 time SEA Games gold medalist Hector Begeo will be our first interviewee.   However, senor  Hector is not that easy to find.  Hector have lived in Australia for the last decade or so.  It took me 2 months to trace him.  First a PATAFA official gave me a number of a former national coach who have contacted Hector 2 years ago.  But after  forwarding to me his supposed celphone number in Australia,  it turned out that that number is lacking 1 digit.  Thanks to the modern social networking site, Facebook, I was able to contact him (thanks to Andrew for the lead).

Begeo on his way to a gold medal in the 1986 Asean Cup 3,000m SC.

Below is the email interview of Mr Hector Begeo.

Q1: Pwedenyo bang i kwento ninyo kung papaano kayo nagsimula sa Track and Field? Sino ang nag impluwensya sa inyo? Bakit sa steeplechase kayo nag specialise?

A1: Nagsimula ako sa district,provincial, and regional meet, hanggang na qualify ako sa Philippine team noong 1981.
Sa 3,000 m dati ang laro ko pero dahil wala ito sa national and international competition, kaya ako nag shift sa steeple chase, na naging paborito ko.

Q2: Sino ang idolo nyo nung kayo ay aktibo pa sa sports? Local at International kung mayroon?

A2. Na inspire ako sa mga dating mananakbo ng aming local school at naging sa mga atleta ng bansa, kaya sila ang naging role model ko sa mga competisyon na ginampanan ko.

Q3: Sa mga medalya na napanalunan mo, ano ang pinaka proud ka? Bakit?

A3:  Proud ako sa lahat ng mga competisyon na sinalihan ko pero sa Chiang Mai SEA Games ang pinaka proud ako dahil isinilang ang panganay na anak ko, inalay ko ang larong ito sa kanya.

Q4: Ano ang titulo o medalya na pinapangarap mo pero, di mo naabot? Ano ang naging epekto nito sa inyo ngayon?
A4:Makakuha sana ng medal sa Olympics, pero masaya na ako na napasali sa PhilippineTeam ng tatlong beses sa Olympics.

Q5: Ikaw ang huling Pilipino na umabot sa semifinals ng Olympics, ano sa tingin mo ang kulang sa ating sports ngayon?
A5: Dapat sanang mabigyan ng sapat na budget ang mga athletes dahil marami sa mga kabataan ang may potential at lakas na sumali sa mga competition.

Begeo, was a decent roadrunner as well. With PRs of 2:24:12 in the Marathon and 1:06:04 in the Half Marathon.

Q6: Kung ikaw ang uupong PATA chief, ano ang unang 3 mong gagawin?

A6: 1) Pagandahin ang training facilities ng mga athletes para lalo silang magkaroon ng motivation na mag training
2) Mabigyan sana ng pagkakataon na ma expose ang mga athletes na makipag training sa mga malalakas at magagaling na athletes lalo na sa ibang bansa.
3) Mabigyan sana ng sapat na benefits ang mga athletes para may continuity ang training lalo na ang mga athletes na nagsisimula pa lang.

Q7: Updated pa po ba kayo sa Philippine Athletics ngayon? Kung oo, sino sa tingin nyo ang pinaka may talento?
A7: Hindi na ako updated sa ngayon.

Q8: Matagal po ang naging career nyo sa Athletics, ano ang inyong naging sikreto sa pag condition? At paano kayo naka iwas sa major injuries?
A8: Disiplina sa sarili, ipagpatuloy ang training kahit wala ang coach. Dapat laging condition ang katawan bago gumawa ng hard training, gaya ng stretching at warm up, at warm down pagkatapos ng training.

Q9: Dati kayong record holder sa 5,000m at kasalukuyan pa ring record holder sa 1,500m and 3,000m steeplechase. Pwede nyo bang i-share ang typical 2 week work out training nyo dati?

A9.   Week 1                                                                 Week 2
Monday- Am   3km warm up                               Monday- Am- 3k warm up
10 X 300 m                                                                   10 X 400m
3k warm down                                                              3k warm down
Pm   10-15k                                                                    Pm- 15k Easy run
Tuesday- Am   15k Easy run                                 Tuesday-  Am- 20k Easy run
Pm   10k Fast run                                                         Pm- 10k Fast run
Wed      – Am   3k warm up                                    Wed-   Am- 3k warm up
10 X 400 m                                                                     10 X 300m
3k warm down                                                                3 k warm down
Pm – 10 k Easy run                                                        Pm-  15 k Easy run
Thurs-     Am – 20 k Easy run                                Thurs-  Am-  25k Easy run
Pm – 15k Easy run                                                         Pm-  10 k Easy run
Friday      Am-  3k warm up                                   Friday-  Am- 3 k Warm up
200m speed & 200 m jog                                            10 X 50 uphill
3k warm down                                                                3 km warm down
Pm-  10k Easy run                                                         Pm-  10 k Easy run
Sat-        Am-  20 k Easy run                                   Sat- Am-  25k Easy run
Pm-  10-15 k Fast run                                                   Pm- 10-15 k Fast run
Sunday    Am-  20-25k Easy run                         Sunday-  Am-  25 k Easy run
Pm-  5k Easy run/ Rest                                                 Pm-  rest

TARGET/WEEK   160-190 KMS

Q10: Tumakbo po kayo ng 2:24 sa marathon and 1:06 half marathon nung 1996, bakit hindi nyo po itinuloy ang road racing ng mas agresibo hanggang sa mag retiro kayo nung 1999?

A10: Ok ang marathon kaya lang nadiscourage ako noong  nasagasaan ako ng motorcycle, running 3rd ako ng nangyari ito, 8 kms away from finish line, at nadala na ako sa ospital, sa Indonesia ang event na ito.

Q11: Ano po ang mapapayo nyo sa mga high school at college players natin ngayon sa Pilipinas?
A11:  Discipline, dedication and aim for your goal

– end of email interview-

Hector Begeo won the SEA Games 3,000m steeplechase in 83, 85, 87, 91, 95 & 97; and the 5,000m run in 85.

He was the last Filipino Track and Field athlete to advance to the Olympic semis round of any athletic events. That was during the 1988 Seoul Games when he competed in his pet event – the steeplechase.  He did not advanced to the finals, but he set, during the semis, the still standing steeplechase national record of 8:35.09.

He is the current Philippine Record holder in the 1,500m (3:49.00 set in 1993) and steeplechase and is a former record holder in the 5,000m (14:22.28 for 17 years) before Eduardo Buenavista erased it in 2002.

Below is the complete listing of Begeo’s races when he joined the Philippine team from 1981 up to his retirement in 1999:

Hector Begeo Races

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