Fredelyn Alberto burst onto the trail running scene this year and has reach the podium in a host of ultramarathons, but she never thought her life would take her down this path. Her success resulted in her joining the Hong Kong Sports Clinic trail running team.
“I never expected this. I never expected to be recognised by anyone. I just wanted to enjoy my life,” Alberto said
For Alberto, running is more than a sport, but a tool to claim her independence and deal with past traumas. She works as a domestic helper, and before running felt trapped by misconceptions of her profession.
“I’ve experienced two terminations. I felt like I was in jail, I was being controlled. Trail running opened my eyes to the circumstance of domestic helpers,” she said.
Alberto said it is a great job and a privilege to manage a household.
Domestic helpers allow Hongkongers to continue to work full-time jobs and “without helpers Hong Kong might fall.”
These revelations came to her on the trails.
“I feel free and I don’t have to worry about my status [while running]. I don’t have to think ‘I am a domestic helper, I don’t have the right to run’.”
Alberto was always into hiking, and would often head to the hills on her own. It was there, she met others who introduced her to competitive sport and gave her a new lease on life after personal loss and tragedy.
“I am widowed, I lost my child,” she said. “When that happened I tried to focus on working, working, working, then trail running came and helped a lot to recover from everything, from the pain I’ve been through.”
“I think of all the positive stuff, the past, that makes me more strong,” she said. “All the friends – there is a crowd in my head cheering saying ‘you can do it’.”