📅12 May 2013
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By Jesse Pinkston Santos

The daughter-mother combo of Rhea Macaluso and Tessie ???? share the love of running together. (courtgesy photo)

The daughter-mother combo of Rhea Macaluso and Tessie Escasinas share the love of running together. This was during the 2012 Cebu Marathon. (courtesy photo)

You see her name atop local 5K results and other Guam Running Club events, but there’s another story behind runner Rhea Macaluso.

Six years ago, Macaluso’s father was advised to start exercising due to high cholesterol.  In support of her father, Rhea and her mother also began to run, despite the fact that Rhea’s mom, Tessie, is asthmatic.  Little did Rhea know that years later she would be one of Guam’s top female runners and her mom would be just as stellar.

Rhea is an assistant medical claims auditor, originally from Cebu City, Philippines now living in Tamuning with her husband David Macaluso,  and has always been active.  She was a runner in elementary, played volleyball and dance in high school and college but her love for running and living a healthier life really developed in 2012.

“I always had a sweet tooth.  I love to eat ice cream, cheesecake, chocolates and dozens of donuts.  In March 2012, I decided to change my diet, reduce my sugar intake and eat healthier.  I was so surprised with how fast my body changed, I felt lighter which helped me with my running and I felt stronger.”  Rhea’s lifestyle has coincided with her mother’s and they have shared many races together.

Rhea and Tessie have run a number of events together all to continue to live a health lifestyle. (photo by David Macaluso)

Rhea and Tessie have run a number of events together all to continue to live a health lifestyle. (photo by David Macaluso)

Tessie W. Escasinas is 57-years-old and still resides in Cebu City.  Tessie manages their family business, NSE Trucking Services Corporation.  Since 2007, she has run 12 marathons, including the Guam International, Singapore, Milo and Cebu marathons.

“She has also run numerous half marathons which she usually places within the top ten overall female finishers.  In addition, she ran two ultra marathons.  Recently, in Manila she won five gold medals in the Philippine National Masters and Seniors Athletic Association Invitational.”

Mother and daughter have shared many memories but one of the best memories occurred in 2008.

“We ran our first ever half marathon in 2008.  During that race we ran side by side, counted every mile together, shared GUs and water and helped coach each other just to finish the race together.  We ran our first half marathon in 2 hours and 17 minutes.  There are times that my mom and I still talk about that day.”

Tessie has been Rhea's inspiration and they hope to continue to keep running in the years to come. (photo by David Macaluso)

Tessie has been Rhea’s inspiration and they hope to continue to keep running in the years to come. (photo by David Macaluso)

Rhea’s mom is one of her biggest influences because of all the races she has run.  “I hope one day when I’m her age I would still be running and hopefully inspiring other women the same way she inspires me.  It’s also fun running in the same marathon that my mom is running because it makes us closer and after the race we can talk about our experiences.”

These ladies are tenacious and once they put their minds to something, it gets done.

“We both are very competitive and when we set our goal we strive to get it,” Rhea exclaimed.

Striving they have done!  Rhea was named Guam Running Club’s 2012 Female Runner of the Year and qualified for the Boston Marathon.  “About three weeks prior to the GIM (Guam International Marathon), I had a shin splints, so I had to taper off my training and allow myself to heal.  But despite not following my normal training schedule, I was still able to run 6 minutes faster (3:28) than the Boston qualifying time for women ages 18-34, which is 3 hours 35 minutes.”

Rhea’s future goals would be to be a part of the Guam Track and Field team to represent Guam.  After the Boston Marathon, Rhea would like to do an Ironman.  Tessie will be back next year to compete in the GIM and also hopes to qualify for Boston.  From barely running, to 5K’s, to half marathons, marathons and ultra marathons, these ladies are nothing less of inspiring for all athletes.  It proves that hard work does pay off.

“I just want to thank the Guam Running Club, PRC (my running family), The Trio, my mom and dad and their coaches (Philip and Joy), my brothers (Jhun, Joshua and Vharon), sisters (April and Rizza), my coaches (Patrick Silverio and David Macaluso – my hubby) and Guam’s running community.”

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