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‘Running’ with and for dad

‘Running’ with and for dad

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

The young Gateway Group executive shares his “running” journey, which suddenly kicked off when his father passed away last year

Michael Goho was one of the more than 10,000 runners who joined the recent Leg 2 of the HOKA Trilogy run held in Metro Manila.

Running has usually been known as an activity for improving fitness, as well as being renowned as a competitive sport, as proven by our ancestors eons ago who inspired the sport with its ancient Greek origins in the Battle of Marathon.

However, it can also be an outlet when one feels down and broken.

Experts from renowned global magazine, Runner’s World, even attested to it. 

“Running makes people happier. There is a science behind it, proving that the hormones released during and following a run positively affect various aspects of your mental wellness,” one statement said.   

“Many people use running to ease the tension in their bodies, get their minds out of a dark place and lift their mood,” it added.

This was the case of Gateway Group executive vice president, Michael Goho when his father passed away in August of 2023.

“It was a good escape when he died last year,” shared the young executive when this writer chanced upon him after the former ran the 10-km distance category during the recent Leg 2 of the HOKA Trilogy Run held at the vast SM Mall of Asia complex in Pasay City.

“I was never really a serious runner. I wasn’t even athletic. But I was feeling down. We were having some turmoil. Running was a good outlet,” he continued.

Moreover, the young EVP even shared how he pined for the presence of the deceased Goho patriarch, Martin.

“It only hits you when the person’s no longer there. That’s when you have your profound realizations,” he said.

“We wish we could have had more time together.”

“This year could have been his 69th birthday,” Michael said of his father, who died of choleric cancer and other complications.

How his father impacted his life

Now, looking back, the young Goho then realized that he and his dad had so many similarities, particularly having the same temperaments.

“We’re both melancholic souls and sentimentals. We both have a soft spot for people,” he said.

“We had an overthinking mind and a sensitive heart; and that resonated with me. It’s from him that I got most of my traits.”

Furthermore, his father taught him how to see the world.

“He was always a big picture thinker.”

The Goho patriarch, of course, established their 20-year automotive empire, which is now one of the biggest, if not the biggest automotive dealer group in the country, with numerous dealerships across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, serving various brands, such as: Fuso, GAC, Geely, Honda, Hyundai, Jetour, Kia, MG, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Suzuki and other brands. Here, his older brother Markane, now serves as its chairman, with the rest of the members of his family having their own roles in the company.

“His own methods were very instrumental as to how we approach life. He taught us independence and how to make it in the world,” the management graduate of University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) disclosed.

“He had an amazing impact.”

Being a father himself

Michael even shared how intense last year was for him that aside from losing a father, it was when his son was born, which–in a way–served as a double-edged sword for him.

“It was when I lost a father but gained a son,” he said.

He was thankful though that his father and son were able to meet and interact with each other, even though briefly.

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“My son was born in January, my dad died in August,” said the young family man who was married in 2021, at the height of the pandemic.

For him, his father’s ideologies which he still did not understand before have greatly affected him–especially now.

“Now in my 30’s, I now start to feel the weight of my career, while at the same time feeling the pressures of raising a family.”

Running is like life

Michael said that running, for him–now–is special. Not just because it served as an outlet when his father died last year. But because he now sees the parallels of running and his own life.

“In life, despite the pain and all, you still have to move forward. You face and endure through the hardship. You have to overcome everything and finish the journey,” he shared.

“Very much like running.”

Admittedly, he still sees himself as an “average guy trying to get better” in the realm of running.

“I still have a long way to go. But I’m not rushing. I’m taking it slowly and surely,” said the Cebuano-based entrepreneur who also plans to join the upcoming Leg 2 of the HOKA Trilogy Run in Cebu.  

However, in the bigger sense of it all, it is what his father taught him and his siblings that he will carry with him as they all run the “long-distance marathon” of running their own giant automotive empire. Or perhaps, in this case, the bigger picture of running his own journey called “life”.

(Some memorable moments with his father)