With the aspiration to run marathons in all seven continents of the world, Danny Aimi believes that you don’t have to start out great to become great. In fact, he weighed 117kg at one point in his life! But take a look at him now. It is only a matter of staying positive, believing you can achieve your aims and constantly developing yourself to be able to run the extra mile. Running marathons is not solely about winning prizes; it is the satisfaction and joy that comes from it. For Danny, the next finish line is only the start.
Tell us about your world marathon endeavour.
It all started three years ago after I found out that I had excess amount of Uric acid, which led to gout. I’ve tried many ways such as using herbs and medicines to reduce the gout problem but nothing seemed to work. The only way was to change my diet style and of course by exercising. From then on, I chose to run.
My first International run was the 10km Sports in Science run in Singapore, which I completed within 50 minutes. My first Marathon was in Pulau Pinang back in 2012. I managed to clock in with the time of 4 hours and 35 minutes. Since then I have competed six full marathons in different countries. My proudest achievement so far on an international level would be coming 4th place in the mountain challenge in 2013 in Rembau Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia when I won a cash prize of RM800. To date, I’ve covered four continents excluding Africa, South America and Antarctica.
I’ve joined the official seven continents club with all the runners from all around the world. This club mission is to compile the first allinclusive list of all seven continent marathon, ½ marathon and ultra Marathon finishers. To join this club, one must have completed at least three marathons in three different continents, which I have already successfully accomplished. Of course with God’s will, I will achieve my goal of completing all seven continents.
Why do you run?
Weight loss is my main motivator when it comes to running. I also believe that my competitiveness keeps me motivated and pushes me to go beyond my capabilities. When I started this hobby, I had no intention of competing in any running events but to my surprise, I managed to clock a good time even though I was in an obese state. My family and friends also motivate me to keep going forward.
For Danny, the next finish line is only the start.
How do you prepare for your runs?
Proper hydration is important when running so I always use sports drinks to retain my fluid level and always use Redbull to boost my energy. Whereas for post-run nutrition, I normally eat bananas, salmon; which contains omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which is good for recovery, almonds and lots of fruits.
I’ve heard different advice from different runners, dietary supplement consultants and websites about using a good supplement either to enhance endurance, strength and power. The power gel and power bar have been the most effective ones for me so far. It helps me to endure long hard training sessions especially when running a marathon.
How do you get funding for international events?
At the moment, I don’t have any specific sponsors but I plan to send in an application proposal to some of the targeted sponsors. I run privately, but every international run I have participated in it was an honour for me to represent Brunei directly or indirectly.
Being based in Kuala Lumpur, it was hard for me at first to adapt my exercise routine due to workload but I still made the time to maintain my fitness level so that I would not lose my momentum in running a marathon. I do get physically and mentally tired when I get home from work but this does not hinder me from training. After figuring this out, I managed to find a suitable time for my training, which does not affect my work at all.
What kind of equipment do you use for your run?
Running is a cheap sport to take up – all you need is a comfortable running outfit and good running shoes. I wear any brand of running apparel (Brooks, Saucony, Garmin to name a few) that dissipates excess heat such as dri-fit shirts, well-fitted running socks and a comfortable pair of running shoes that enhance performance and prevent injuries.
What advice do you have for budding runners looking to take their pastime to the next level?
Develop a positive mindset and a mantra that runs through your head. Don’t force yourself to run, just enjoy it. Uncover your strengths and abilities. In the end it all comes down to selfsatisfaction and sense of achievement. Don’t be complacent with your current personal best time or distance. Run the extra mile and try to go beyond your capabilities. Don’t regard marathon runs as torture. I believe in the saying, ‘Run when you can, walk if you have to, but NEVER GIVE UP.