Backward runner seeks Guinness record

LINGAYEN– A 46-year-old native of Lingayen is now warming up for his attempt to break the Guinness world record for 100-meter backward running.

Alfonso ‘Jojo’ Bigay Jr., a family man and a liaison officer in a law office, is determined to earn a Guinness record in 2015, an effort that was aborted bid in 2011, by breaking the record shared with Roland Wegner of Germany and Ferdie Ato Adoboe of Ghana.

BACKWARD RUNNER

Jojo Bigay practices backward running at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Complex in Lingayen for his Guinness World record attempt.

With Nancy Navalta, an accomplished track and field athlete, as coach, Bigay trains every other morning at the Narciso Ramos Sports and Civic Center in Lingayen.

Bigay, a track runner in his college days and started running backwards in 199,1 said in an interview that he plans to do the record attempt during the Pista’y Dayat 2015, or earlier.

He is also a member of an international backward running group, along with Wegner.

“The concept of backward running amused me at first… So I searched on the web and learned that there are world events for it. Every two years, there’s a world championship,” he said when asked how he got started on backward running.

On July 25, 1991, Adoboe got the world record of 13.6 seconds for 100-meter backward running in Massachusetts, United States of America. Meanwhile, Wegner set the same record on August 4, 2007 in Horgan, Germany.

Bigay said he has joined about 15 regular foot races and ran backwards with no special lane or any other special concession. His latest race was in year 2012.

In 1991, he joined a 10-kilometer race in backward running.

“During the 10-k Milo marathon in 1991, I clocked in 56 minutes. At that time the Guinness record was slower than that, yet, backward running wasn’t yet recognized that time.,” he said. It was only in 1995 when he earned recognition as a backward runner.

Bigay said he wants to organize a backward running event, perhaps, a competition, before his record attempt.

At present, apart from his training, the backward runner is working on his Guinness application with various government and private groups and individuals for possible sponsorships.- (Johanne Macob)

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