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Robert Watson

Athlete and Ultra Marathon Runner

From the heart I’ve always been an outdoors person. I grew up in the relatively modest-sized mountains of Far North Queensland, Australia. I spent my childhood in “the bush” as we call it in Australia. I played just about every sport that perked my interest from Tennis, Squash, Hockey, Touch Football, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Australian Rules Football, Athletics, Soccer, etc. I started running competitively at a relatively young age during my primary school years (I would have been around 10 or 11 years old at the time) although it was not what you would call “serious” by today’s competitive standards.

When I realised after many schoolyard games that I would not be the fastest person on the planet I decided to try my hand at the longer distance events. I started with the 800m in primary school which was the longest event available and by the end of high school I graduated to the 5000m and cross country events. I performed relatively well considering I did very little (by today’s standards) in terms of training. I relied primarily on my fitness developed by participating in many other sporting and playground activities. By college / university I started entering longer running events at random but only up to 14km road races (Sydney City to Surf Fun Run) as the longest distance. I also performed quite well in these events considering my limited and sporadic preparation at best and the fact that I really only competed a couple of times a year at most.

In addition to completing a number of 14km road races (Sydney City to Surf Fun Run) I also completed one half marathon road race (Sydney Half Marathon) and one 10km road race before the age of 30. In my early 30’s I completed two full road marathons (Sydney Marathon), the first on a whim (no training) and the second as a better prepared runner.

I have lived primarily in the Philippines since December of 2008 and more recently I have become particularly attached to the outdoor lifestyle outside of Metro Manila. In my late 30’s (2011) after an extended period of very little (or no) exercise (and also significantly over my ideal weight) I decided to join The North Face 100km Ultra Trail Marathon in Camarines Sur, Philippines. Despite suffering with massive blisters under foot and also the effects of dehydration I made it to the 70km aid station where I promptly collapsed and was ferried by ambulance back to the start / finish line for treatment.

Luckily nothing major ensued and I was back on my feet literally within an hour. In 2012 I decided to try my luck in the same race however this time it was held in Baguio / Benguet (unbeknownst to me it was a significantly harder route). This time I had about two month’s preparation but only on the relatively flat roads of Manila. I suffered horribly on the way to the 54km aid station due to my quad muscles being “trashed” by the significant downhills and once again had to withdraw.

In 2013, once again I tried the same race on the same course as 2012. This time I was better prepared (about 4 months of training) but with only road running in Manila as my background training I once again failed to finish by withdrawing at the 70km marshalling point due to energy concerns.

My resolution following my third straight failure in this event was to start to train more seriously and build myself up into a more competitive runner. And thus starting in July 2013 I commenced a more serious training regime. Since joining more events in the last year I’m proud to say I’ve met some of the most genuine, caring people, some of whom I now call my closest friends. Since starting my renewed interest in running I have become more interested in ultramarathons and more particularly trail ultramarathons.

Obviously with all this running activity it would be only fairly natural that I would have my fair share of injuries and ailments. Having a number of “niggling” knee and ankle injuries and also some intermittent back pain I decided that it would be beneficial to consult with a Chiropractor. Having consulted a Chiropractor on a number of occasions whilst residing in Australia I knew the benefits that I had experienced previously.

Since living in the Philippines it had become apparent to me that Chiropractic as a profession was not as common as it is in Australia and that there appeared to be very few Chiropractors registered in the Philippines. So after a lot of searching online I found Spinal Care Chiropractic based on Bonifacio Global City. After a lot of research on their website, I discovered that Dr. Daniel Su had lived and studied his profession in Australia which gave me confidence in the training he had received. Also, I found out that Dr. Su had taken up Gonstead technique of chiropractic which I had never heard of before.

So I did a lot more research online about this particular method and I discovered that there is more than one chiropractic treatment technique and that the Gonstead method was considered the “Gold Standard” in Chiropractic treatment techniques. I also discovered that probably less than 1% of chiropractors were proficient in this technique as it was a difficult technique to learn. Considering all this information together gave me the confidence to set an appointment to set my first appointment with Dr. Su.

I and my wife have now been visiting Dr. Su for almost a year and after our initial assessment and x-rays taken at St. Luke’s Global City hospital we commenced our treatment program which for me involved spinal adjustments as well as some knee and ankle realignments related to my running-induced injuries.

As well as eliminating the intermittent back pain and also helping with my knee and ankle problems I was also able to continue with my heavy training schedule which involved up to 100km of running / hiking each week and also significant amounts of elevation gain / loss in the mountains as well as also competing in regular ultramarathon events across the Philippines and regularly finishing on the podium or in the top 10% of finishers.

In addition to training and good diet I strongly believe a good portion of my recent success in running is directly related to the treatment program implemented by Dr. Su over the last 10 months. In addition to back and joint pain relief, good spinal care can lead to great improvement in other ailments seemly unrelated to the back. This is because all organs, muscles and other bodily functions are controlled via the body’s electrical superhighway which is the spinal cord housed within the vertebrae of the back. Therefore back problems can also affect other bodily functions significantly.

Thank you Dr. Daniel Su and your dedicated team of staff for helping me and my wife to improve our health, as well as to allow me to continue to pursue my passion in running. At 42 years of age I am confident I will continue to be able to pursue my passion well into the future and perform well in the events I choose to participate.

– Robert Watson / Athlete and Ultra Marathon Runner

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