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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Anjelica M. de Josef: The Barefoot Runner

Anjelica M. de Josef: The Barefoot Runner
by Melchor F. Cichon
February 15, 2015

She was born on March 22, 1999 in Sta. Cruz-Biga-a, Lezo, Aklan to parents who are both athletics.

When she reached Grade Three, she joined in a running competition for a primary level.

When she reached Grade Four, she was the representative of Aklan to the West Visayas Regional Athletic Association Meet. And won a prize.

From then on, she has been representing Aklan for this annual regional meet. She was sent to Vietnam as the Philippine representative in a running competition. There she won 5th place among the ASEAN runners in the girl category.

She also broke two Palarong Pambansa 2012 record in the elementary girl's 800-meter run set by Joneza Mie Sustituedo in 2011 and the 1, 500-meter race elementary girls with 4.49.9 seconds in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

And when she runs, she is barefooted.

Why barefooted?

When I interviewed her in her residence on February 13, 2015 in Sta. Cruz-Biga-a, Lezo, Aklan, she told me that it is much lighter for her to run without spiked shoes.

Once she wore spiked shoes in a running competition, she collapsed. And of course, she lost in that event.

After that event, she never wear spiked shoes in all her running competitions. And won medals. Usually gold medal.

In the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association 2015 (WVRAA 2015) meet held in Aklan, she won three gold medals in running. She competed in the 400 and 800 meter dash.

I am referring to Anjelica Mamagat de Josef.

Since the family de Josef is not familiar to me being a native of Lezo, Aklan myself, I asked her where her roots came from.

She said that her grandfather came from Libacao, Aklan,

But then her father and mother have been residents of Sta. Cruz-Biga-a, Aklan.

Except for her father, all the members of her family are all runners, including her mother. Her father plays basketball.

So I asked her what is her secret as a prize winning runner.

She said that she likes to eat vegetables. Eating meat, particularly pork, is not in her menu.

And she keeps on practicing. This she said is the key to her extra-ordinary performances.

To attain the needed stamina, she runs from Sta. Cruz-Biga-a, Lezo to Numancia, about five kilometers away. But she rides a jeep when she returns to her residence. She wears spiked shoes when she practices.

The other secret that she has is the banyos (a combination of oil of winter green, alcohol and omega pain killer) which is applied to her legs after each run. Her elder sister is her official masseuse

But she has a little problem. Her right knee is aching probably because of too much running. If this problem will not be cured immediately, this might cause a bigger problem later.

When I asked her about her academics--she is now a Third Year student in Lezo Integrated School--she said she is doing well.

And after graduation, she said that she might enroll in the University of Sto. Tomas, Manila. A coach from this university has offered her a scholarship.

Another university which she is considering is the Far Eastern University in Manila because the same scholarship has also been offered to her.

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