Pangasinense to bid for Guinness as backward runner

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, (DWDD) — A 46-year-old native of Lingayen, Pangasinan, who has been doing backward running since 1991, 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 finally pursue his aborted bid in 2011 this coming year 2015, to grab the Guinness world record shared by Roland Wegner of Germany and Ferdie Ato Adoboe of Ghana.

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

Bigay said in an interview that he plans to propose that his attempt to land in the Guinness book be one of the highlight events in the Pista’y Dayat (Sea Festival) 2015 sometime in April or if not, on an earlier date.

Bigay said he was a track runner in his college days and started running backwards in 1991.

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

“The concept of backward running amused me though at first, I was like, is there such a thing. 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 of his beginning as a reverse runner.

According to Wikipedia, “backward running, also known as running backwards, retro running, or retro locomotion, is the act of running in reverse, so that one travels in the direction one’s back is facing rather than one’s front.”

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 disclosed he has already joined about 15 regular races wherein he ran backward with no special lane or any other special treatment. His latest race was in 2012.

in 1991, he was able to run a 10-kilometer race in backward running.

He said, “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 that he was recognized as a backward runner.

Before his record attempt, Bigay wants to organize a backward running event in Pangasinan .

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. (LMC)

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