Bataan 102k Ultramarathon!(Recap 2)

6 04 2009

After delivering a short prayer…me-praying

* the first 3 photos were grabbed from S’ Jovie’s blog http://www.baldrunner.com

…and the group photoshoot before the race…

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and preparing for the actual race to start in a few seconds…

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km 0- km 10

The race started at 12:35am in my timex heart rate monitor watch. I started very slow and in pace with Dennis. When we reached the base of the Mountain, I brisked walk every time there is an uphill and occasionally run at downhill. The road too dark but the presence of galore of convoys made that highway accessible. At km 3, Dennis was lagging behind, I tried to wait for him but it’s too early to taper so I continued.

km 11- km 20

Already conquered the mountain, I’m all alone now. Our convoy is nowhere to be seen. In one place in Cabcaban, seeing a barking dog, I ran as fast as I could and reached two guys, Vinny and Bernabe..they are both professors like me. We have a good pace, 6.30/km and I enjoyed their company. Their convoy was very supportive of them and even gave me some drinks. Feelling hungry, I stopped at km 20 for the first water station and ate bananas, sweet potato and refilled my hydration belt with gatorade. When I looked for Vinny and Bernabe, they are already gone.

km 21- km 30

At this point, I’m approaching the town of Limay going to Orion, again running alone since both of them were running in their own pace, I badly needed to change my sock for I felt that some blisters are beginning to develop, but my convoy was still nowhere. Since Dennis my buddy, were still behind, I decided to ran slower so that Dennis can catch me up, for my notion that our convoy was with him. I saw a Petron Gasoline, and there I made the first “call of nature” for 12 minutes. Here, I already ran 3 hours and 30 minutes…

km 31- km 40

Dennis catched me up somewhere in Balanga Bataan but the sad news is, the convoy was still out. At this time, my left foot was aching and blisters were now obvious, I needed my petroleum jelly and a new sock very badly.

Near Death Experience:

Dennis and I were running at comfortable pace when Bugobugo overtook us somewhere at this distance. The road too dark, and Bugobugo chose the left lane of the road, where there was a big Mansion House but unknown to us, there were two vicious giant dogs manning that fad. Those dogs barked vehemently and when we reached that house, those two dogs at the rooftop were trying to jump on us and I at the center. Will I retreat and go back or go ahead and run faster? I chose option no. 2, and thanked God we’re safe and sound. What if those dogs jumped and attacked me? God forbid. That was my first death experience, later on I will tell you my second accident..

Now, our convoy is in and I changed my socks, ate my black chocolate and changed too my shoes.

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*at km 39 post…

km 41- km50

We reached the second water station and here we replenished our systems. Some pains were now obvious. We reached km 42 at 5 hours and 15 minutes and I congratulated Dennis, for it’s the first time he conquered this distance.

At Abucay, we reached km 50, arriving there at 7:31 am. At the station, Ie wanted to eat “lugaw” or rice porridge but there was nothing left so I sipped the noodle soup instead. We were 58th and 59th who arrived here and the staff told us that there were still 18 more runners to come. Our companion Mr. Nama reached this place at 6:31am according to the list on paper.I’m now running straight 7 hours, still…52 kms to go.

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km 51- km 60

I now changed my running apparel from adidas short/nike singlet to New Balance Leggings/Adidas Long sleeve for the sun was now rampaging! I readied also my spf 70 sunblock tropic. Reaching Samal, Orani and Hermosa at this point in time, I am blessed to have with me a sponge, dipped in ice cold water and placed it on my head with my cap. This system was the best method to prevent heat stroke, I thought to myself.

Along the road, I saw a free-flow supply of water (pozo style), I wanted to take a plunge but since I’m wearing a leggings, it’s not that easy, I just borrowed a pail from the local villager there and showered my upper extremities. That was the nicest feeling in the world at that time.


km 61-km 70

Approaching Dinalupihan, I made my final strategy to finish this race and I shared it with Dennis. The result? We overtook some runners. How? We ran 5 minutes and walk 2 minutes. We did it over and over again.

Near Death Accident 2:

At km 64, I cheated death once again. I was running when the side mirror of a speeding car hit me on my left shoulder and the impact almost threw me out of the roadside. The car just hit and ran, miraculously, there was only minor scratch…but now it’s painful. Thank God for protection.

At km 68, we overtook Bernabe ,the one I mentioned earlier. I stopped for a while and told him to be with us, but he said he will Quit this race. I encouraged him to continue, but he just sit down and told me to go on with my pace. He faced his wall already!

km 71 -km 80

This was the toughest part of the race, the narrow road of the highway with sharp gravel stones at the roadside not suitable for running! If you’ll run at the asphalt part, you may be hit by speeding vehicles, and your already injured feet may be worsened if you’ll run by the roadside. Here, we walked for there is no place to run, and the heat of the sun was killing us little by little.

Along km 75…Dennis, I and a new friend Richard, whom we overtook but eventually got even with us as we slowed down decided to rest for a while underneath the shadow of a big fence and we analyzed the whole scenario. We’re like wounded soldiers and we’re afraid we can’t make the cut-off time of 18 hours. Still 27 kms to go, and with a situation like this, eventhough we still have 5 more hours to beat the cut-off time, this last 27 kms was different.

After some calculations, we decided to continue. If we can’t finish this race now, when? It’s now or never!!!

km 81-km 90

Reaching Lubao, its road and bridge under construction, worsened the scenario, for the dust I inhaled and the space was limited. To avoid my previous experience, I opted to run slowly at the roadside, avoiding sharp gravel…missing some…hitting some!

Somewhere at this point, Dennis can’t barely run anymore and he told me to continue my pace. I overtook more runners as I’m nearing the 90 kms mark, and Richard was far behind me.

At km 88, I’m running and walking for almost 5 kms now without Dennis, my convoy was not with me anymore. With no more food, drinks and my best weapon, sponge dipped in ice I felt dehydrated and hungry, so I bought soda and a piece of bread at a nearby Sari2x Store, and here Dennis came and was running so fast. I’m trying to stop him so that he could be with me for the last kick, for I’m refilling now for the last 14 kms of the race, but I think he can’t be stopped at that time.

km 91- km 100

At km 91, I have this painful scratch and small wound beside my right underarm. I need to replace my long sleeve to just ordinary singlet. Also at this point, I saw Razon’s halo halo, I wanted to stop and taste their delicacy but I’m worried I could not beat the time target so I decided to continue my slow run.

At km 92, our convoy remembered me, nice to replace my outfit to prevent further damage to my underarm.

at km 93, I overtook Dennis because he was now walking. He admonished me to continue with my pace.

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9 kms to go, but my feet were swollen already!

When I reached km 100, I knew I can make it to the finish line, I still have more than 1 hour to complete the last 2 kms. It sounds funny but it’s true, the last 2 kms were the most challenging part, mind over body.

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Reaching this point, I was so emotional. I ran 100 kms already!

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*this shot was taken by a good samaritan, Fhar whom I mentioned in part 1…she saw me trying to picture myself with that of the marker bearing the 100 kms, and she volunteered to take this picture. I’m all smile for I knew I’m only 2 kms away to the finish line.

km 101- km 102

at km 101, I can almost hear the sounds of the trumpet(from above) signaling that sooner or later, I will be at the finish line. The time was 5:05 pm, and I’m running for 17 hours and 5 minutes.

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*Fhar took this picture for the last time…

This last 1 km was the most exciting, stirring and moving part in my entire career as a runner. I regrouped my last strength and showed my last kick!

I arrived at the finish line in 17 hours, 24 minutes and 36 seconds. With average hour of 136, peak hour 237, minimum hour 84, total calories 9,998. I lost 10 lbs in this race…

I only cried when I’m praying, but when I reached the finish line of this particular race, I cried like a baby, but secretly! When S’ Baldrunner put that medal around my neck telling me I’m the 49th finisher and handed me my trophy together with my finisher’s shirt, my world stopped!

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those are my pride and glory!

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this baller was given in the last part of the race, every time I wear it, this will remind me that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Believe in God, and believe also in yourself…that I was able to conquer Bataan 102 kilometers!

-to be continued- next: lessons learned and my assessment for this race.

Note: actual photos taken at the finish line will be available c/o photovendo.

Thank you for all your prayers! God bless us always!

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” -Mathew 6:33

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10 responses

6 04 2009
sundaywarrior

Hi Ronnie I salute you for being one of the brave Bataan warriors! You stories inspire us that nothing really is impossible God bless..

6 04 2009
runnerforchrist

Hi sundaywarrior…thanks a lot. I also dedicate this race to all runners out there who have the desire to finish an ultramarathon but have doubts on themselves. Like me, you can also do it. Sometimes, we have to put our lives on a great risk, to really know what kind of a stuff we’re made!

If you believe that running can make your life a worthwhile one, why not put your bet on it? Try ultramarathon and lose 10 lbs in just one race and set a world record for yourself.

God bless.

6 04 2009
kwarenta28

hi ronnie!
we arrived in Guagua around 10am. we were trying to look for you but to no avail. had road trips from guagua to baconor to san fernando back to guagua again. gave waters to some runner friends and otherwise, cheered them up and did whatever we could to support them. around 3:30 when we decided to stay in the finish line and waited for the gradual arrival of finishers. left san fernando around 4:30pm.
this experience is something that you can be proud of and something worth looking back few years (or decades) from now.

6 04 2009
runnerforchrist

Hi kwarenta28…At 10am, I maybe at Dinalupihan, some 15 kilometers away from Guagua, and I arrived at the finish line at 5:15pm, so we can’t really see each other. However, just the thought that you’re looking for me is enough for me to be inspired, I really thank you for the effort!
I’m happy for the support that you have rendered to our co-runners. In moments like that, no one understood us except runners too.
God bless you and the services you bestowed!
Thanks for visiting!

6 04 2009
bards

amazing run! amazing story! congratulations! rest up and recover quick.

6 04 2009
fa'ar, the runner's wife

hi runnerforchrist! congratulations for finishing an almost impossible race, along with a few brave souls (and matitibay na paa). it’s ironic that i wasn’t there to meet my husband caloy and you and the others who came after you at the finish line because i lost my way going there! i followed the road to the town proper where the policemen didn’t even know where km 102 was! i cried deep inside missing the most important part of the race.
we are kindred spirits in this small community of runners (but its becoming a fast-growing community) so it seems natural to extend kindness and help to everyone. since this race is to honor the memory of the brave soldiers who marched the distance, helping each other the best they could to reach the end of the road alive, the runners/marchers and their supporters helped the participants reach the finish line or finish the race against the odds. this in essence, made the runners share with the soldiers the spirit of death march.
thanks to you and the other runners for inspiring us to aim and do the “impossible”. and i am so inspired, if only to lose 10 lbs in one day, hahaha.

6 04 2009
runnerforchrist

Hi Bards…the race was amazing but the experience so traumatic! After the race, I wanted to go to the hospital, sleep there for a day or two and wake up on the third day undisturbed, complete with oxygen and dextrose (lol)

Thanks for visiting and I appreciate you for being active in commenting and blogging. God bless you po.

Hi fa’ar therunners wife…I’m saddened upon hearing your story and your husband caloy surely missed you at the finish line. But rejoice, for there are still incoming ultramarathons, and this time, you’ll not miss it!
Those 10 lbs are for real, before this ultramarathon, my weight was 140 lbs, after that, I’m now 130 lbs…but i’m always hungry (lol)

God bless you po and thanks for dropping-by.

6 04 2009
miraclecello

Valuable insights for the coming TNF! Congratulations Ronnie and to all the other participants, regardless of how they performed.

7 04 2009
runnerforchrist

You’re right miraclecello…I salute my co-runners for this race and I can’t judge them when I saw some of them at km 70 and km 80 unable to run anymore, and walking is as much as difficult, totally not finishing the race, although they’re almost there! They have their own reasons…

Tnf100 is fast approaching…hoping I’m fully recovered at that time.

God bless.

1 05 2009
Healthy Diet Lets Woman Lose Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days

Hi, good post. I have been pondering this issue,so thanks for writing. I’ll definitely be subscribing to your blog.

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