“I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.” -selected
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 Enriquez. When we reached the base of the Mountain, I brisked walk every time there was an uphill and occasionally run at downhill. The road was 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 was 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. Feeling 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, was still behind, I decided to ran slower so that Dennis can catch up with me, 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 was terribly 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 huge edifice. 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, glad that I did. We survived but if what if those dogs jumped and attacked us? God forbid. That was my first possible death experience, later on I will tell you the second accident..
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, We 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.
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 beginning to peek on us terribly! I readied also my spf 70 sunblock Hawaian 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.
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.
Reaching this point, I was so emotional. I ran 100 kms already!
those were my pride and glory!
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