Rossyle (Ross) Ayuro is a Doha-based runner who has championed marathons such as Ooredoo Marathon 2022 and has won the 90 km Qatar East-to-West Ultramarathon three consecutive times.
Ross not only runs for sport but has been running for a fundraiser helping displaced children gain access to education.
The ILoveQatar.net (ILQ) team caught up with Ross to learn about her journey as a marathon runner and her valuable advocacy.
Ross grew up in a small poverty-stricken rural town, Bicol, in the Philippines. This is where she was introduced to the Sisters of Mary School during their community visits. They offered her a chance to join their school in the city of Manila where she excelled academically. This would eventually bring her to achieve a scholarship at La Concordia College.
She then moved to Qatar in hopes of providing for her family in the Philippines. As an expat woman in Qatar, she looked for ways to break the monotonous cycle and took up running as a hobby.
It wasn’t long until she started joining marathons and became an active member of the running communities in Qatar.
She now runs every day before work, joins marathons consistently, and has partnered with World Villages for Children where she runs to raise funds for children’s education in underprivileged areas.
Ross started running five years ago. She joined a local running group called Doha Bay Running Club, where she found like-minded individuals that encouraged her to continue her journey and join marathons. She also formed Kabayan Runners in Doha (KRID) for Filipino runners.
When asked what she loved about running she shares, “I love everything. Everything is a reflection for me. I call it ‘school of life’, from the training to the discipline. I honestly wake up at 4 am and start my day running.”
Her latest marathon win was during the 90 km Qatar East to West Ultramarathon last 6 January 2023 in the women's category. The track spans from Sheraton Park to Dukhan Beach and Ross was able to complete the run in 9 hours and 30 minutes. This was 1 hour later than her last year’s achievement because of the extreme weather.
Ross shares that this has been her most difficult marathon yet. The storm was terrible and was the first time she experienced a marathon where she fought against that amount of rain, wind, cold temperatures, and even hail. She even experienced symptoms of hypothermia during the run but managed to push on and finish the race.
“It was a battle with no one else but ourselves”, she shares. She recalls that she would tap other runners on the back and encourage them to continue, even when she herself almost gave up.
Ross and three other friends formed a ladies’ running club and were the first group of women to circumnavigate Qatar on foot in 2021. Their goal was to inspire and empower women to push themselves and take on challenges.
They traveled 6 days traveling from Sheraton Park to the north, west, and south of Qatar until finally making it back to the Doha Corniche.
“Most importantly: start. Lace up those shoes and start.” She further explains that if you don’t take the first step, you won’t achieve anything.
She also mentions that she has a personal mantra called PDF which means patience, dedication, and focus that keeps her motivated to reach her goals.
Ross has signed up for TCS London Marathon, a virtual marathon event where anyone in the world can participate. Through this platform, she has set up a fundraiser where she raises money for World Villages for Children, the mother-funder of the Sisters of Mary, which is the very same organization that gave her a chance to study and achieve a full scholarship.
People can witness her daily running progress and donate to her cause through the website. Funds she raises go towards displaced children to gain access to education. She has recently achieved her target goal of EUR 1,000 but will continue to raise money for the cause.
Ross will be running at the Ooredoo Marathon 2023 on 20 January 2023 in hopes to defend her championship title in the women's category.
She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Development Communication at the University of the Philippines Open University.
Her ultimate dream will be to compete in marathons in the Philippines.
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