One of the two TPB members who completed the roster of 25 at the 2011 edition of Octoberun, forefoot runner AJ is also one of the youngest in the team at 20. He is also very vocal that being able to join the team is a dream fulfilled.
Coming from an athletic family (mom was a hurdler and aunt was also a runner), AJ believes he still can improve if he works hard for it. And although this recent Marine Engineering graduate has enjoyed success in some fun runs, he is not about to rest on his laurels and knows he’s got his work cut out for him if he wants to follow the footsteps of idol/teammate Wilnar.
When not racing or training for a running event, AJ loves surfing the net and making friends. So the next time you see this self-described “cheerful competitor,” say hi and you will discover that beneath that young talent is a humble and down to earth guy who dreams of someday making it to Kona Ironman in Hawaii.
When did you start running? Why did you start running?
Well, it was a mandatory inside my previous semi militaristic-training school to have two(2) kinds of sport you'll be willing to participate. For indoors, I played Table Tennis. For the outdoor, I tried Marathon Running. But since I hate training in the morning, i shifted to Soccer. I enjoyed the game but when i went out due to some reason, I returned back to Running since there's no more available soccer field for me. I began to love the mornings, the sun, the stormy highways, the people cheering for my finish. I began to have friends, i won, i lost, and i have loved RUNNING since then :)
What is your favorite distance? Why?
16k. Why? Well its too short for an ELITE, but too long for a FUN-RUNNER. haha! It's just the right category for me.
What is your most memorable running moment? Event?
Bull Run 2011, i guess. So many memorable moments happened on that event!
Who are your running idols?
All of the runners are my IDOLS. I mean, to run a Fun Run, Run for a cause, Marathons, Half Marathons, Triathlon, or even Ultra Marathons need a lot of GUTS and a pair of brave BALLS for a will to finish it :)
What was your weight before you started running? What is your weight now?
Honestly speaking, I never gained or lost any weight so much. PROMISE! My initial weight before running was 48kg. Last year I weighed 50kg (constant for about a year). When i stopped last June to July i weighed 52. Now, I'm back to my shape, my weight ranges from 49-51kg. hahaha!
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Only one. She's the sister of Taylor Swift. My LunarSwift+! (oo na, corny na yung joke. haha)
What was your "slowest" race?
Run United 2 '10, 32k for 3hrs 33mins :(
What are your usual pre-race activities?
I make sure to have a good sleep. But not to good to be called as "deep slumber". I always have a problem in waking up on time. I'm a sleeping monster. lol. What else? I make sure I've got my things packed-up or else, it'll be all f*ck*d up. Good food and proper warm-up.
What is your favorite non-TPB singlet?
Rogin-E: Last Man Running singlet
What is your target race? What is your target finish time?
FM! kahit once lang. Basta Full-Marry talaga :) target time? sub 4 sounds good :)
Forefoot, midfoot, or heel?
What was your worst injury? How long were you sidelined?
I don't have any records of serious injury. I always listen to my body so that I can avoid serious injuries. My longest rest after running was after RU2-2010, i ran 32k without training. IT HURTS! LOL
How many races have you raced already? What is your total mileage since you started running?
More or less, about 40 races? Not sure. 500kms? Not sure also.
How did you get into TPB? When did you join TPB?
I was invited by KAMPUGER and sir BEEPS. They asked me if i could run with them in an event and if I'm still interested to join the team. Of course, being the "dream team" eversince, i never had second thoughts. I immediately said, "YES!" --- baka kasi magbago pa isip nila :D
What is your message to TPB fans and supporters?
Uhh? To our fans? Well, FAN din ako ng TPB! Wooooohooooo! :)
In your own words, what is running to you?
Running isn't running, without the will to finish a certain distance. Near or far, motivation always takes place in order to achieve the highest form of happiness in running :)
If you are to create a running event what will you name it?
"takbo para sa mga ayaw tumakbo" --- upang mabuksan ang pagiisip ng karamihan kung gaano kahalaga at kaganda ang naidudulot ng pagtakbo :)
If you are to create a team of 5 runners for a 5 x 32 km race, who will your members be (can be anyone, runner or not, living or dead)?
5 from my team will do. i do believe in their capabilities :)