Jong Saljulga – A True Ironman Champ

I asked in my post before the Malaysian Ironman in Langkawi regarding the importance of race nutrition “Who will perform the strongest of the 127 Filipino strong contingent? For some that just might be 9:59:59 seconds.”

Well, meet Jong Sajulga, a true Filipino champion who finished first with a time of 10:17:32 among all the Filipino contingent, 5th in his age category of 30 to 34 (just missing a Kona slot by 6 minutes) and 22nd male overall including a strong pro field.  A great effort in just his 2nd Ironman!

Jong_Sajulga_Primed

Jong’s previous best time in a Full Ironman distance event was 10:28:36, which he did last March 2014 at Melbourne Ironman, Australia.

When I chatted to Jong the day before the Ironman he said he was hoping for the following splits: – Swim 1:10:00 (he swam it in 1:06:58) – Bike 5:30:00 (he biked it in 5:27:16) – Run 3:30:00 (he ran it in 3:35:33) – Total time of 10:17:32.

Jong Sajulga's Langkawi bike

Remember his name (actually it is Felipe Sajulga III) and his smiling face as I am sure we will hear a lot more great things about Jong as his career progresses. You don’t have to be the best to be an inspiration, but Jong really is inspirational.

Jong got into triathlon because he loves the variation and skill required for the 3 disciplines. He loves that you can have a race-cation at the various race venues around the the Philippines and the world. Jong’s team is the Caltex Delo Tri Bukidnan.

Jong_Sajulga_Primed4 TRI-BU (Triathlon Bukidnon) Photographed by Ironman Armand Ansaldo — with Adolfo Miñoza, Cher Estrada, Buggy Intong, Kenneth Amiel M. Taylor, Romwell Roque, Diogenes Alejandro Pia, Jong Sajulga, James Mark Battung, Daryll Dave Magaway, Donna Grace Battung, Gregie Pamakid, Ronald Parantar and Bigcat Memeng.

Never Too Tired To Say Thanks – The Spirit of a Champion:

Jong’s motto is life is “C’est la vie” which ties in perfectly with his affable and easy going nature. Here he said “Never too tired to acknowledge the cheers and encouragement of Pinoys along the run course! Such a big boost, especially here on my last loop as I was running on empty! Salamat!”

Jong_Sajulga_Primed5 Picture courtesy of Catherine Bril Jordan

Five interesting facts about Jong:

(1) Jong is five foot 8 and 65 kilograms.

(2) Jong has a girlfriend (also a triathlete) and they have been steady for 4 years!  Cher Estrada would have been cheering Jong in Langkawi but she was too busy standing on the podium at the Safeguard 5150 Triathlon Race held in Bohol.

Jong and Cher Estrada

Jong and his lady love at the Mt. Mayon Triathlon, 2014.

(3) Jong is a brand ambassador for Vitargo Philippines.

Jong Vitargo

(4) Jong wants to qualify for the Ironman World Championship at Kailua-Kona in Hawaii and after missing out this year by just 6 minutes I am sure he will achieve this goal.  Good luck Jong.

(5) Jong clocked an amazing 4:39:10 in 2013 in the 70.3 Centrair Chita Tokoname, Japan.

Best of luck to the 3 Filipino triathletes competing at the Ironman World Championship this Saturday October 11th. 

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