Assumption Run: with other awardees

The Talented Mr. F

I bet none of you have realized this blog has just had its first anniversary. Yup! Kikay Runner has turned a year old, and for one of my celebratory posts I’ve got an interview with one running personality who has supported my endeavor from Day 1.

Even way before I started this specific blog, he encouraged me to run my second race ever. He’s the first ever person to Like my Facebook fan page (aside from myself, of course). At various times in the past year I’ve referred to him as Mr. F. Who is he? It’s probably an open secret, but here’s a pic of us together:

Assumption Run: with other awardees

He’s in this picture!

My anniversary interviewee (and this blog’s first interviewee ever) is none other than Mr. Rovilson Fernandez. It’s pretty hard to miss him when he participates in races; he’s kinda like the male version of Tessa Prieto-Valdez, except instead of those unmistakeable tutus his trademark is his bald head.

Aside from being a runner, his day job includes running his mouth while standing in front of a green screen for QTV’s “Ang Pinaka“. He is also a National Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund with best buddy and The Amazing Race Asia 2 partner Marc Nelson. He is probably as well-rounded as his shiny pate.

So, without further ado, on we go to the interview!

Noelle: Hey R! Thanks so much for agreeing to be my first victim — I mean, interviewee. How long have you been running?

Rovilson: First up. What an honor to be the first interviewee for the Kikay Runner experiment. So many fashionable runners out there (Iza Calzado, Tessa Prieto-Valdez, that guy in the red tights and cape [editor’s note: that’s the Runner’s Runner mascot], so this is truly epic. On that note, been running in organized races since the golden age of “adventure racing” (San Mig Light Enduro, AXN Challenge, Carerra Habagat). But running as the only discipline, 3 years now.

N: Has it always been part of your fitness regimen?

R:Yes, but only as a warm up. Engaging in a sport/gym “cold” can be dangerous.

N: How often do you run in a week?

R: Lately, due to my unforgiving schedule it’s been reduced to 5k jogs on the treadmill twice a week. Rugby practice on Wednesday, basketball in my village on Friday, then a 15K race on Sunday. Feel free to do the math for me.

N: Why did you take up running and what do you like most about it?

R: The camaraderie. Running alongside thousands of “like minded souls,” the collective energy is amazing. I also enjoy hanging out at the finish line cheering people on. Love hearing people tell me they’ve just ran 21k, or beat their best time, or set a new PR or finally beat “that guy” or just ran their first 3k. It’s refreshing. It’s inspiring, it’s the little triumphs, miracles and victories every Sunday that has me coming back for more.

N: How do you choose which races to run?

R: Distance and cause (charity event) are big factors. I also shy away from the “mega-runs” (races with over 10,000 runners). With that being said, of course, Coach Rio is a buddy, so I always support his events.

N: What’s your favorite race distance and what’s your PR for it?

R: 15k and 21k. I don’t get too hung up on time (I never ran with a watch until Garmin was kind enough to give me one). For 21k, as long as it’s a “sub 2” I’m happy — and so far, they’ve all been.

N: Which is better for you: go fast, or go far?

R: Hmm… Good question. Go far. I may not care about time, but I’ll always remember the numbers that matter to me — 21k, 15k, 10k.

N: You once mentioned to me you did a 42K once and would never do it again. What happened?

R: I was invited to run the Pasig Heritage Run as we were covering it for Gameplan. No training, improper equipment, I thought my athletic ability would carry me. Boy was I wrong. Seven dead toenails, bed-ridden for a week, bloody nipples, chaffed butt-cheeks and a “bruised ego” later, I realized, running a 42K is no joke.

N: Any pet peeves during races?

R: Hmm… at water stations, DO NOT stop and drink. Move to the side away from the path of oncoming runners who’ve mastered the art of “run, grab, gulp, run”.

Also, it’s called a race. Or a run. Leave the term “marathon” to those who’ve actually completed 42K.

Running is like driving — slower traffic on the right side. Stay in your “lane” and if you throw trash (discarded energy gels, bottles, banana peels, etc.) throw them near a trash can or where they can be seen and picked up by the race organizer clean-up crew. Be a responsible runner! Happy trails!

N: Describe Rovilson Fernandez the runner in 3 words.


Rovilson Fernandez would like to thank: Mizuno, Oakley, Ruby Palma of R.O.X., Allan Tanchiong of EdgePro, RunRio, and Finishline. Follow him on Twitter: @rovilson_f.

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About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in wellness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

21 thoughts on “The Talented Mr. F

  1. Paul, thanks! You’re one of the godfathers of this blog, remember?

    TPH, he used to bandit. He doesn’t bandit when I’m around, and I think this year he isn’t banditing anymore. 🙂

    RJ, thanks!

  2. very good conversation there noelle, inspired to run again this time.nice meeting you awhile ago at the Run United confrnce,see u around,stay kikay!! 🙂

  3. nice interview… btw, i’ll be running this sunday, 5k lang. problem is, hindi ako nakapag-ensayo dahil sa aking busy schedule. ano kaya pwede kong gawin? thanks. hopefully makita kita this sunday hehe…

  4. Hi Jong! Thanks for sticking with reading this blog the past year 😉 5K is short enough that you can run it without much training. Just remember that you can go as slow as you like and take as many walk breaks as you like. 🙂 Just never stop until you reach the finish line.

  5. RunningAtom, that was my gimmick last year to add a little mystery to my blog. Haha 🙂 Rovilson’s been doing the whole race thing longer than I have so he’s seen a lot. Thanks for reading!

  6. nice interview ms kikayrunner…

    met him in boracay during the selecta gold event last new year’s

    didn’t expect him to be so cool, down to earth and fast!

    “sub 2” in all his 21k races? wow!

  7. Ken8, he is cool isn’t he? 🙂

    frustrated triathlete, there is no right or wrong answer to that question. Both speed and distance have their own merits. Why else would we be awarding prizes to the people who run races the fastest (no matter what distance)? And next time, please give a real email address, otherwise I will mark all your comments as spam. Thanks.

  8. pretty fast runner too. He usually finishes his 10k’s in less than an hour and about 1:30 + – during 15km’s …so I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s always sub 2 in his half marathons.

  9. tph, I think Rovilson averages about a 46-minute 10K. He won’t tell me exactly how much below 2 hours his 21K is but I’ll be drafting behind him at Condura. Haha!

  10. Is he serious when he said that he was bedridden for a week after running a marathon? For a guy his size who plays rugby I deem it as an exaggeration or a joke.

  11. frustrated_triathlete, you obviously are not reading the blog entry in full and are only responding in a way to cause a reaction. Let me quote Rovilson’s statement and emphasize what you should have picked up on:

    “I was invited to run the Pasig Heritage Run as we were covering it for Gameplan. No training, improper equipment, I thought my athletic ability would carry me. Boy was I wrong. Seven dead toenails, bed-ridden for a week, bloody nipples, chaffed butt-cheeks and a ‘bruised ego’ later, I realized, running a 42K is no joke.”

    You said, “For a guy his size who plays rugby I deem it as an exaggeration or a joke.” (emphasis mine) Let me pick that apart.

    Size does not equate endurance. Height is determined by genetics and nutrition, and the kind of training a person does to attain bulk is not the same kind of training a person does to attain endurance. At that time, according to Rovilson, he had no training for an endurance sport such as a marathon.

    Rugby is not an endurance sport. It is made up mostly of short anaerobic sprints interspersed between jogs across a football field. It’s hardly a 42K run.

    So I do not think it highly unlikely that Rovilson was bedridden for a week after a 42K with no training.

    Go ahead and feel macho about yourself that you can run a back-to-back 42K with just 6 weeks of training under your belt. Believe it or not, most people need more training than that, myself included.

    By the way, since you have again used a false email address, I’m now going to block your IP.

  12. Great interview Noelle. Short, sweet and the questions are well-picked. Hope to see you soon. Haven’t seen you for awhile at ANR-BHS. Hehehe! Take care and see you on the road. LiveStrong. RunStrong. 🙂

    By the way, congratulations on the 1st anniversary of KikayRunner.

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