After coming from a 2-hour workout at Gold’s Gym this morning, I received a SMS from LT GEN Alan Cabalquinto (Ret.), a “running general”, my partner in past marathon races, my former “boss”, and my “idol’ as a commander and a leader in the Armed Forces of the Philippine, informing me that he just read my post about “Running Generals” which I posted during the early days & weeks of this blog. The said post was a “tribute and honor” to the members of the AFP who rose to the rank of General (Star-Rank) who had the passion and commitment to running. Lt Gen Cabalquinto (Ret) was glad to know, through this blog, that I had kept the faith and love in running. In return, I was happy to inform him of my project on the Bataan Death March Ultra Run and I was glad to know that he sees to it that running is still a part of his daily activities. Sir, my snappy salute to you! How I wish our active military and police Generals have still the attitude and strength to show to their officers and men that they are really good “examples” and “models” of physical fitness, not in words but in deeds.
After reviewing what I’ve posted last year, I have to make some addition to what I’ve posted. I am adding the name of PNP Police Director Samuel Tucay as one of the Generals who was able to finish marathon races while he was holding such rank in the active service. Lately, he ran a full marathon dubbed as “The Legacy Run” together with his officers and men and other civilian guest runners as a way to celebrate his retirement from the police service. I was invited to this run but I was then out of the country. It would had been an honor for me to run side by side with Gen Tucay on his marathon retirement run as we have the same love and passion towards running.
After months of being absent from the gym in Metro Manila, I decided to have a 2-hour workout early this morning. I concentrated my workout to my shoulders, chest, and core muscles. I did 50 reps of pull-ups (5 reps X 10 sets); 100 reps of push-ups (10 reps X 10 sets) using my Nike Push-Up Bars; P90X abs exercises; dumbbell flyes; bench press; and I used machines for the back muscles and chest. It was a short workout but I was able to attain what I wanted in the said activity. It was nice to be back again at the gym.
Yesterday, I received a comment from Dr. Daniel Redona of the Rotary Club of Clarkfield and I copied and posted it as part of this blog. The following was the comment:
We would like to inform you that our Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Clarkfield, has began preparations for the Bataan Death March Memorial Ultra Marathon for 2009. In April 8 of this year, our club sponsored a lone woman runner when she ran the course from Bagac, Bataan (Km00) to Clark (Km100). Her name is Beth Siojo, a member of the Pinoy Ultra Runners. Her story and her advocacy inspired us to organize this event.
The Filipino-American Memorial Endowment (F.A.M.E.) will be including this event in their official list of events for the Bataan Day Celebrations. The Veterans of Foreign Wars have also endorsed the event. Clark Development Corporation has also included the event in its official list of events for next year.
The course we have set is different from what you may be envisioning. The course will start on April 8, 2009 from Bagac, Bataan (Km00) snakes through Balanga, Floridablanca, Porac, Angeles and makes a rest stop in Clark at the American Cemetery (Km100). This continues on towards the north where it will end in April 9, 2009 at Capas Memorial Shrine (Km135).
We intentionally avoided the Olongapo-Gapan Road that goes to San Fernando because of the high volume of trucks and cars that traverse the road at high speeds. We deemed it to be too dangerous for any runner.
We plan to make this an annual event to commemorate Bataan Day on the day the Bataan Death March began April 9.
We hope that this event shall not create confusion or divide us but be a unifying event for our nation.
Daniel Redona, M.D.
Rotary Club of Clarkfield
I would like to assure Dr Daniel Redona that the 1st Bataan Death March Tribute 102K Ultramarathon Race will not, in any way create confusion or divide us in our effort to celebrate this memorable event in the history of our country and World War ll. My project is geared towards “competition” in the sports event of ultramarathon running and at the same time giving awareness to the people of the Bataan Death March. I could not accept the fact that New Mexico, USA is conducting a marathon race (which is now very popular worldwide) in its desert in memory of an event where a few of their residents experienced and survived the said event. The US Forces had only about 600 fatalities while the Filipino Forces incurred almost 25,000 soldiers in that infamous Death March. It is really a shame on our part why we are not celebrating the Bataan Death March with more events and more “gimmicks”! since our forefathers were the ones who were greatly affected by the atrocities of the Japanese Imperial Army then. So, if other groups would celebrate this event with their own “gimmick”, then it would be better. The more events, the better!
As an avid runner and “observer” on the growing number of ultramarathon races in the United States, Europe, North & South America, and worldwide, the Philippines does not have any ultramarathon RACE to be proud of. Africa has its “Comrades Ultramarathon Race” & ”Sahara Desert Ultramarathon”. Europe has lots of Ultra Races like Sparthathlon; Brighton to London Race; Mont Blanc Ultra Race & others. China has its Gobi Desert March. South America has the Atacama Desert Crossing in Peru/Chile & Jungle Ultramarathon Race in Brazil. The United States has the Badwater Ultramarathon Race; Western States 100; Angeles Crest 100; Wasatch 100; JFK 50 and others. However, if you observe, it is only Sparthathlon Ultra Race in Greece where it has a historical significance and all the other ultra races do not have any historical backing or significance. If we want to place the Philippines in the map of Ultramarathon RACES in the world, the Bataan Death March route is our best and winning bet. And this is my VISION for this event! This a competitive race and the runners will be well-screened and selected. We will see to it that this race will be the safest and well-organized/supported.
This is just an additional information. There is a plan to introduce 100K Ultramarathon Race as “demonstration” sports in the 2012 London Olympic Games, which means that by 2016, ultramarathon race will be a regular sports in the Olympic Games. If we want to start developing our potential athletes to this event, the Battan Death March Ultra Run would be a very good race to qualify or test our future ultra athletes.
The best time to start training our ultra runners is NOW. Baka pagpatulog-tulog lang tayo ngayon ay mahuhuli na naman ang Pilipino sa “pancitan”!!! Well, that is always the case…we are fond of “cramming, shortcuts, and the miracle pill”
To those who will be joining the ultramarathon race, put your feet more time to run or brisk walk on the roads and good luck on your training!