Izzy Tuazon, an 11-year-old Grade 6 pupil of Dalaguisen Elementary School in Lagangilang, Abra, is arguably one of the most enduring runners of the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) Meet 18 where she was hailed as the sole finisher of the 1,500-meter run.
After running unshod, she was given a chair to sit on and rest her bare feet as she told stories about the race she – and only she – had completed.
Born to Brendalyn Barbosa and Reynante Tuazon, a farmer of Dalaguisen, Lagangilang, Izzy is the sixth among seven siblings. Barely 21 kilograms and with a height as that of a Grade 3 pupil, this girl with admirable endurance dreams of becoming a nurse.
Her ultimate goal, however, is to become an Olympic athlete.
The road to becoming a finisher was not easy for Izzy. She began running last year but she failed to win a medal. She was disappointed at first, but she practiced arduously long before their district athletic meet.
When asked why she continues to strive harder, she enthusiastically answered:
“In every race, you learn more about yourself. It is in doing hard things that you gain the confidence. I was not able to do it before, so I convinced myself that I can do it this time.”
This year, she was better prepared and after an initial low start, she picked up the momentum and kept going strong throughout the race. Haidee Alimira Siwao, Izzy’s coach, described her as a reserved girl.
She cried often because of homesickness, but she is obedient and has a great sense of discipline. Coach Haidee added that Izzy is the earliest riser among the runners.
When the 11-year-old gold medalist was asked what kept her going, she was quick to thank her mother, her most avid supporter. Her mom’s presence and cheers gave her stronger stamina to cross the finish line, but she also said that it was the experience which made the difference.
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She is now longing for home but she said that this experience will be with her even when she ages. After the CARAA Meet, she would like to rest for a while then train double-time for the Palarong Pambansa in Ilocos Sur.
Izzy wants to tell to children her age that in a long race, it doesn’t matter if you are the fastest; it is more important that you finish it. Perseverance, discipline, and obedience are keys to reaching your goals.