The Event

Take a moment and imagine…

You are sitting on a beach on the East Coast of the South Island of New Zealand watching rustling waves push up against the shore. It’s an amazing day, the sun beating against the liquid you face and the millions of grains beneath you. The New Zealand summer, in full force but still tolerable, brings the wonderful sun and all its benefits. The white water sizzles on the sand pushing up to your toes then retreating to the depths to which it came.

You are about to slip into a daydream when your buddy, slightly startled, points at the walking path at the end of the beach. Intrigued, you entertain his suggestion. A figure bounces in the distance, gaining size and speed as it approaches along the path. It starts to materialize, showing a person jogging along at a moderate pace, a pack strapped to their back. Content, jovial determination on his face. His feet gliding, covering the ground in front of him. ‘Ok,’ you think, ‘Like I’ve never seen a jogger before.’ Your thought ends as another beach-goer beside you starts chatting with his girlfriend.

“Is that the guy?” He asks his mate.

“I think so. I think he should be around this area by now.”

“So, he’s really running the length of New Zealand?”

“Yeah.” She answers, with a jesting but benevolently impressed look in her eyes.

You turn to the conversation, unsure what you heard was correct. You clarify with the two people, just as the jolly runner silently pads by. Running the length of New Zealand? That’s absurd! The beach-going guy notices your facial reaction and responds, “Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking.”

The Video (Huge Thanks to Change Stream Media)

The Event

Allow us to introduce you to the Philip “Cat” Guerrero Memorial Heart Run.  Our committee, based in beautiful Southern California, plan to make the descriptive piece above a reality come the late October of 2011. Per the name of the event, one main purpose of this challenge is to remember, Philip “Cat” Guerrero. In July of 2010 he unexpectedly passed away due to heart failure related to the Heart Disease he was diagnosed with approximately one year prior. He was a genuine and loving man, who instilled his love for fitness and running in his children and others that he coached or mentored.  His bright face radiated happiness and fun-loving personality penetrated even the most stubborn facades.  He is greatly missed, but his memory will be cherished by many for a very long time.

Remembering “Cat” is not the only reason for this event. We will use this opportunity to get donors to sponsor Phil “Big Cat” Guerrero (or any other participants) and raise funds for the research of Heart Disease and the related ailments that fall under this blanket term. Furthermore, Big Cat and the planning committee plan to spread awareness about the benefits of running.  Supportive empirical evidence behind these benefits is stacking up, however, technique and proper training is necessary to run safely and efficiently. So, we also plan to spread the most trustworthy techniques and training ideas to all those willing to listen.

Some of the funds raised will be directed at organizing the event, but a majority will be donated to Heart Disease research centers and trusts in both New Zealand and the USA.  As of October, the PCG Memorial Heart Run Committee decided to donate the New Zealand portion of funds to the Heart Health Research Trust which is currently being developed.  Information about what they do will be posted as soon as they publish their website.

GIVE PHIL 5 – The Theme!

The brilliant people over at ChangeStream Media came up with our theme for the event in a flash of creativity (which they seem to have quite often).  Let’s elaborate!

Phil or Philip “Big Cat” Guerrero is the runner in this event and also one of the main organizers.  He, along with the rest of the committee, is looking to achieve all the goals for this event (listed below). So we chose to employ this great theme to help grab the public’s attention and encourage them to “Give Phil 5.”

Here’s how you can Give Phil 5:

  • Give Phil 5 minutes of your time to hear what he has to say about the benefits of running and how to enjoy running safely
  • Give Phil a $5+ donation towards the event.  
  • Maybe you saw the website and were inspired to get out there and start putting those legs in motion.  This can give you a chance to give Phil 5 miles or kilometers of running.
  • Tell 5 other people about the event and get them to “Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our blog!
  • And of course, just give Phil a high 5, or low 5, or any other kind of hand-slapping 5 you want to give.  He is very excited about the event and any encouragement  will inspire him that much more.

So, why New Zealand?

Heart Disease does not discriminate. This pandemic has hit numerous countries and it’s getting worse. Improper nutrition, poor exercise habits, and lack of useful information for preventing Heart Disease are some of the main reasons it is still one of the top causes of death in many Western societies. New Zealand is no different. At this point, nearly 26% of deaths in New Zealand are caused by some form of Heart Disease. To add to this, obesity, a main factor in Heart Disease, is on the rise. Almost 50 percent of Kiwis (those from New Zealand) are overweight or obese. This issue is relatively new, but increasing at an alarming rate. Since these developments are recent, the spread of awareness of the importance of obesity prevention is still early in its effects. What better way to display a beneficial way to quell obesity and spread the gospel of good health, than to lead by example in a place where the public can benefit? In New Zealand, now is the time for this awareness, but since the country will host the Rugby World Cup in September and October of 2011, we chose to avoid conflicting and will hold this event after the RWC closes.

Furthermore, New Zealand is an amazing country with an exciting and accepting culture. They are known to be hospitable to tourists, thus making this forum ideal for my event.

The Main Goals in a Nutshell

  1. Spread”Cat” Guerrero’s positive, fun-loving vibe everywhere this event goes.
  2. Raise as much money as possible for the research of Heart Disease ($10000 is the goal)
  3. Spread awareness about the harmful effects of obesity and how running can be used to improve overall life, not just health. And, of course, teach the public how to run and enjoy it.
  4. Safely scurry the length of New Zealand(1200 miles!) in 3 months or less.


8 Responses to “The Event”

  1. Chris LeBere January 4, 2011 at 1:01 AM #

    Hey Big, This is a great thing you’re doing. Cant begin to tell you how much I miss your Father and my friend, we shared many memories at work and even better ones outside of work, such as your Football games. When you were on that field his face was glowing. It would be my pleasure to donate to this great cause..

    • philipguerrero11 January 4, 2011 at 5:53 AM #

      Chris, I appreciate you sharing with the website these words that help paint the picture of the man my father was. I know, for sure, that he always enjoyed your company and the times you shared with him. These words are greatly appreciated. Thank you and I hope all is well!

  2. Wendy Koh February 2, 2011 at 6:16 AM #

    Hello Mr. Guerrero, I am a student from Daewon International Middle School. I just watched the video you came out made by Mr. Koenig.
    It was very inspiring.
    I feel very sorry for your Dad…
    I hope that you can gain a successful result from this, and
    see you at school this March 🙂

    • philipguerrero11 February 5, 2011 at 7:16 AM #

      Thank you for the kind words and support! However, I will not be returning to Daewon in March because I am going back to America to train for the event 😦 Best of luck at Daewon and in the future!

  3. Ms. Chae Jin Gyun April 21, 2011 at 4:05 AM #

    Hi, Philip

    How is it going with your running?
    I told Dain, my first daughter whom you met in the Movember event, about your mission. We watched your video one more this morning. This reminds me of the happy days we’d shared at Daewon. Please take care of yourself and keep your initial cause^^.

    I miss you~~

    • philipguerrero11 June 1, 2011 at 4:36 PM #

      Hello Ms Chae!
      I hope life is going well for you at the Daewon Boys High School! Thank you very much for the kind note and I appreciate you spreading the word about my event. I wish you and your family the best of luck and health! I miss Daewon and working with you and the other teachers there very much. Please stay in touch!


  4. Anonymous November 1, 2011 at 4:52 AM #

    I love the way you wrote the introduction. Very well worded and makes me feel like I’m home (New Zealand). Great work and I think you’ll be very well received while you’re there on the big run. Fighting!

    • philipguerrero11 November 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM #

      Hi! Thanks for the comment and for reading about my event! It’s greatly appreciated! 🙂

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