BUSINESSMAN and avid sportsman Junel Borromeo’s desire to help athletes with potential reach their dreams, led him to form the Motor Ace Racing Team, which is into triathlon and running.
Borromeo, the president of Motor Ace Philippines, is a sports enthusiast and has been into triathlon and running for three years. He has finished the Cobra Ironman Philippines twice and Ironman 70.3 Vietnam once. He also joined Xterra, local triathlon races in Cebu, and weekend fun runs.
The experiences he had in the sport made it easy for him to understand the hard work of the athletes and the trials that they go through. And that is why when the 28th Southeast Asian (Sea) Games silver medalist Mary Joy Tabal left the national team for personal reasons, he never hesitated to take her on the team.
In helping Tabal chase that Olympic dream, Borromeo decided to help her out on her financial needs during trainings and races. The team has also shouldered the two-month training expenses of Tabal in Japan.
“I see the potential of Joy (Tabal). As a company we just want to help the dream of the athlete. I think every athlete’s dream is to be on the big stage which is the Olympics. It only happens every four years and we want her to give her best shot, the training in Japan will really help,” Borromeo told Sun.Star Cebu in an interview after his SM2SM Run last Sunday, which he finished under two hours. “I told her that I we will help her out and let’s see how far we can go. Our target is the Olympics.”
The team of Borromeo is also helping out John Philip Dueñas and Tolitz Dagoy Albina of Dumaguete City.
He said that the team was formed two years ago, but it was only this year that they have upped the ante by adding elite athletes to their roster.
The 44-year-old Borromeo said that right now, the target for Tabal is to make it to the Olympics and after that they have no plans yet, and if there are other bigger opportunities for Tabal, he is willing to let her go.
“If say, some companies will recruit her as an ambassador I am willing to release her because it’s for her own good and for her career,” said Borromeo.
The team is planning to develop more athletes from the grassroots in the coming years. Borromeo said that they are looking to help the grassroots runners in the mountainous barangay and support them on their trainings.
For him it’s a way to give back to the sport that has helped him stay physically fit and mentally sharp.
Borromeo, a father of three, manages around 100 Motor Ace Philippines stores nationwide and is also part of the Borromeo Group business. His involvement in triathlon keeps him focused on scheduling.
“Since joining triathlon, I noticed that I am now more agile and more focused on scheduling because you wanted to train despite the busy schedule on work,” said Borromeo, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) graduate in Australia. “I learned to be more disciplined as well since the sport requires you to train for you to finish. Because it’s an individual sport and no one can help you out during the race.”
Borromeo had played badminton as a recreation sport but was forced to stop when he tore his ACL. This made him look for a new sport that could help him with weight management and his health and the shift to triathlon seems to be a perfect fit.
“I lost a lot of weight because of it, before I was at 260 pounds and now I’m around 175 to 178 pounds,” he said. “At first, my family was shocked because I dropped a lot of weight, but now they understand my sport.”
Borromeo believes that with determination, anything can be achieved. He practices that with his daily training regimen, waking up at 4:30 a.m. and train from 5:30 a.m. to 7 a.m. After work, he trains again from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For the team Borromeo said that he will find a way to help those athletes and will even look for other sponsors to help them out.