BDM 102K Ultramarathon Clinic

29 09 2010

In preparation for the 2011 Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Run, the Bald Runner’s Events Management will conduct a FREE Ultramarathon Clinic starting on the month of October 2010. This clinic will consist of lectures on related topics about ultramarathon; “tips” and guides to finish the race and the conduct “test runs” on the actual route of the race. The following are the details of the clinic:

WHAT: FREE BDM 102K Ultramarathon Clinic

WHO: A “Must” for 1st time applicants for the event. A runner-participant must have finished a Marathon Race with at least 6 hours or better as finish time. BDM 102 “veterans” are not required to attend the lectures. However, they are encouraged to join the “test runs”.

WHEN: Every 1st & 3rd Friday of the month. From 6:00 PM-7:30 PM. The first clinic/lecture will be held on Friday, October 1, 2010.

WHERE: 1st Floor Lecture Room, Philippine Army Officer’s Club, Headquarters Philippine Army, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City

ATTIRE: Casual/Athletic or Sports Attire

The lecture will start at exactly 6:00 PM.





“Back To Bataan” @ Sunday Inquirer Magazine

29 09 2010

Two weeks before this story was published at the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s (PDI) Sunday Inquirer Magazine, I received an SMS from Eric Caruncho introducing himself as a writer for PDI asking me for an interview in relation with his assigned job to come up with a story on extreme sports. He specifically mentioned about the Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race.

I told him that I don’t want “e-mail interviews” as I prefer to have a “face-to-face” interview with him and other journalists. I could be the conservative type on matters like this but I know that this is the proper way for a writer to actually feel and get a full knowledge about the topic from his source. I would like again to experience those “eye-to-eye” contact while talking to a journalist as I have experienced when I was still in the active military service.

I asked Mr Eric Caruncho to send me “guide questions” through e-mail so that I could prepare for our meeting/interview. I was glad he sent me a list of questions immediately and we set for a meeting a few days after.

So, the meeting was set and Eric arrived ahead of schedule but I was there already at our meeting place before he arrived. I was happy to see him carrying a tape recorder, writing pad, and a ball pen. Great! I have the impression that I am dealing with a real and professional journalist. Over a cup of coffee and a simple Filipino breakfast in one of the Military Golf Courses in Manila, the following story was the result of our meeting-interview.

Thanks, Eric for the nice story! I hope you will regain your love for running with his story.

 

FEATURE
Back to Bataan

By Eric S. Caruncho
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 16:53:00 09/18/2010
Sport, Marathon, People, history

Filed Under:

THERE are marathons. There are ultra-marathons. And then, there’s the Bataan Death March.

Quickly gaining a reputation as the toughest race in the Philippines, the aptly-named Bataan Death March (BDM) is an annual 102-kilometer slog that retraces the route of the infamous World War II debacle from Ground Zero in Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga.

Now on its third year, BDM promises to be an even greater challenge for “the few, the proud, the brave” next year. The race organizers plan to extend it to 151 kilometers, retracing the final journey of the original survivors of the death march to the Japanese concentration camp in Camp O’Donnell in Capas, Tarlac.

If you have to ask “why,” you’re obviously not ready. But if your question is “why not,” then perhaps you have the makings of an ultra-runner, for whom the full marathon distance of 42 kilometers is just the starting point.

The Bataan Death March is the brainchild of retired Major General Jovenal D. Narcise, better known to the local running community as the Bald Runner through his blog “Bald Runner” (www.baldrunner.com).

“We wanted a nice gesture to remember our Filipino heroes,” says Narcise, who at 58 has a blood pressure of 110/70, a resting pulse rate of 50 to 60 beats per minute, and the same 29-inch waistline he had when he was a cadet at the Philippine Military Academy – all thanks to his high-mileage, clean living lifestyle.

“In the States, they have been holding the Bataan Death March Memorial Marathon in White Sands, New Mexico for the past 20 years, to honor veterans from the state. It has become internationally popular, and they have a ‘heavy’ category where runners run with a 35-pound backpack.”

Back home, local runners had been competing in the Araw ng Kagitingan ultramarathon relay on the anniversary of the Fall of Bataan.

“With the advent of ultramarathons worldwide, I thought, why not an ultramarathon?” says Narcise. “To make it more competitive, I thought of making it a 100-kilometer run.”

Under the International Association of Ultra Runners, the federation that regulates ultramarathon events, the standard ultramarathon distances are 50 kilometers, 100 kilometers and 100 miles. Narcise had had a bit of experience organizing races as an army commander, when he was in charge of the AFP’s Gintong Pangarap marathon. With his own funds (taken out of his retirement benefits), Narcise organized the first Bataan Death March in 2009.

“The standard cut-off time for a 100-kilometer race is 15 hours,” he says. “We decided to make it 18 hours for the BDM.”

To avoid the hottest part of the day, the race started before midnight. Out of 85 runners, 82 managed to make it to the finish line, with the fastest runner finishing in a little over 9 hours.

The second BDM held last April had even more participants, with 120 finishers, including 13 international competitors from the US, Singapore, Japan and France – all of whom heard about the BDM and signed up for it through Narcise’s blog. Despite the absence of any corporate sponsorship, the BDM is shaping up to be one of the premier annual events on local runners’ calendars.

Narcise isn’t just dreaming, however. He has organized local endurance athletes into the Philippine Association of Ultra Runners (PAU), which is federated with the International Association of Ultra Runners based in Morocco, a group that includes 40 member countries. Under its auspices, he has organized monthly ultramarathon events. He even sponsors his own Team Bald Runner, a core group of 15 elite athletes.

“My cause is just to promote the sport and raise funds for my athletes in Team Bald Runner,” he says. “I have 15 elite athletes I’ve been training for events. I support their registration fees, some subsistence, some out of town trips. They have been consistent in the top 3, top 5 in road races here. I brought two of them to South Korea last month for a 100-kilometer race. One of them placed sixth in the Jeju International 100K Run, setting a national record of 9 hours and six minutes. This is a good start.”

Through his blog, Narcise has become a pied piper of sorts for local endurance athletes and enthusiasts alike, providing training advice, anecdotes from his own experiences, commentary on local races, and miscellaneous information on diet, nutrition and training.

Originally from Laoag, Ilocos Norte, Narcise’s own running path started in 1968, when he was a pre-med student in Baguio dreaming of entering the Philippine Military Academy.

“The university doctor examined me and found that I had weak lungs and a heart murmur,” he recalls. “He advised me to start running. My original motivation was to pass the physical exam so I could enter the PMA.”

The running seemed to help his constitution, and he continued to run as a cadet.

“In the PMA, I had no talent for sports, just running,” he says. “I placed in the top 20 in a 20- kilometer race, out of 80 cadets.”

His running was interrupted, however, when he was assigned to Mindanao as a fledgling army officer, right in the middle of the MNLF rebellion in the mid-1970s. By the time he returned to Manila three years later, the first running boom was in full swing.

“I was running only 30 minutes a day when I entered a race from Camp Allen in Baguio to Fort Del Pilar in 1980,” he recalls. “I placed in the mid-pack but my brother, a sprinter, placed in the top 6. I asked him how he trained and he said he ran from his house in Diliman to Fort Bonifacio every day. I went and bought several back issues of ‘Runner’s World’ magazine, and that’s how I learned about scientific training for long distance running.”

He paid particular attention to the work of Arthur Lydiard, the legendary New Zealand coach who basically wrote the book on training for long distance running.

The following year, he placed second in the same race. “I began to appreciate the scientific approach to training – you have to develop endurance first, then speed.”

His career path took him through various commands in the military, but physical training became a constant in his life.

“When I became an army commander, I decided to set the example. Soldiers drink, smoke and indulge in other vices, but once you introduce running to them, they become disciplined. But for them to do that, you have to set the example. Clean living was the reputation I had among the soldiers.”

Narcise ran his first full marathon in 1980, and from then, there was no looking back. He continued to run local and some international marathons until his retirement three years ago, when he discovered the wonderful world of blogging. He started Bald Runner in 2007 as a way to share information and experiences about training. It has since become one of the more popular sites for local runners, especially on ultra distance events.

“In an ultramarathon, you are trying to find your limits physically, mentally and psychologically,” he says.

Obviously, a 100-kilometer run isn’t for everybody, but for those who are willing to put in the necessary training mileage, ultramarathons can often be easier than the marathon.

“In a marathon, you’re trying to finish the race within a set time,” he says. “In an ultramarathon, it’s different. You need somebody to talk to. You share food. You socialize. You develop camaraderie. The atmosphere is less competitive. You compete with yourself, the route and the elements, not against the other runners.”

In ultramarathons, it is also necessary to eat during the race to replenish the body’s nutrients, to hydrate, and to take walking breaks in between running. The Bataan Death March provides typical Filipino fare, including boiled bananas, boiled sweet potatoes, and a bowl of steaming mami or arroz caldo at the 50-kilometer mark, although many runners also bring carbohydrate gels, power bars and sports drinks.

All of these make ultramarathons less of a grim and determined death race and more of a shared bonding experience. Be that as it may, Narcise says prospective ultramarathoners should build up their weekly mileage to at least 50 kilometers a week, slowly building up to 80 to 100 kilometers a week as they near the event.

“I encourage my runners to have back to back long runs on weekends, ideally 15 to 20 kilometers on Saturday and a longer run of 30 kilometers on Sunday, or vice versa.”

“My vision for the sport is that maybe in eight years, the ultramarathon will be a regular Olympic event. By that time, maybe we can develop good ultramarathon runners. The Japanese are now the number one ultramarathon runners in the world. Why not Filipinos?”

That would be sweet revenge indeed for the original Bataan Death March. •

Links at http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/sim/sim/view/20100918-292999/Back-to-Bataan

 (Source: Sunday Inquirer Magazine dated September 19, 2010)





1st CAMSUR Marathon

27 09 2010

CAMSUR Marathon/Pili, Camarines Sur/4:00 AM September 26, 2010

1. This is my 3rd Marathon Race for the year and I prepared this race without any training plan or program. Everything was done by “feel” and “instinct”. All my runs after the 34th MILO Manila Marathon Elimination were easy long runs; mountain trail runs; and a limited once a week tempo runs. Basically, I did not train for “speed” on this marathon race.  I concentrated more on my “back-to-back” weekend easy long runs and decided to have the CAMSUR Marathon Race as part of my easy long run in preparation for another “epic” running experience in the future.

One of My Finish Line Pictures (Courtesy of Babes Guloy)

Having Two Escorts At The Finish Line (Courtesy of Babes Guloy)

2. I finished the race in 4:39:33 hours (unofficial) as recorded in my GF 305. It is not a “shabby” finish time but I was able to learn a lot of what my body is capable of with my age of 58. Comparing myself with my friend and BDM 102 “veteran” Victor Ting who is already 62 years old, he was faster in reaching the Finish Line and I think he was ahead of me by 3 kilometers, I think I still have the chance to reach his age and run as fast as he can. But I think Victor is getting faster as he grows older. But for now, speed will remain at the back burner up to the end of this year and I will slowly introduce it again in my workouts at the start of the new year.

1st CAMSUR Marathon Logo

3. So far, this Marathon Race is the third major running event in the country that is fully sponsored and supported by a local government unit. The City Government of Quezon City came first with its own version of an International Marathon Race on the later part of last year and it was followed by the Cebu City Marathon last January 10 of this year and now it’s the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur. These local government executives in these cities and province are commendable for promoting the sports of running with their own resources without the support of the national government. How I wish more of these kind of local executives should come up with such sports events in their respective provinces and cities in order to promote their place through sports tourism. With cash prizes at stake on these running events provided through the efforts of the local executives, it will give more incentives to our elite athletes to train some more and at the the same time inspire the local folks and “grassroots” to develop themselves as competitive runners in the future. My salute and congratulations to the good leadership of these “pioneers” in promoting international running events in their own cities and provinces.

4. Camarines Sur Marathon is showing an example of the trend of marathon races in the country. It is no longer possible to have an ideal environment for a marathon race within the confines of Metro Manila and its immediate environs because of the problem of vehicular traffic, pollution, poor quality of air and the “no concern attitude” of the residents to people who are competing in a road race. It is only in the province and cities outside Metro Manila where you see spectators cheering and saying best wishes and good greetings to runners along the route of the race. Moreso, you can feel the hospitality when you see the barangay officials and folks manning the different Aid Stations offereing some food and water to the runners as Volunteers. I was informed that the Race Organizer had fielded almost 1,500 volunteers for this running event.

Relaxing Moments at CWC

5. Going to Naga City and Ipil by land and air from Manila was so easy. By land on our own vehicle, it took us an easy 8-hour ride on the late evening from Manila and arriving at Naga City on daybreak. Travelling by bus, I heard it was more comfortable by sitting on “Lazy Boy” seats with a Comfort Room inside. And by plane, after a short 45-minute ride, you are already in Naga City.

6. Having registered to run the Marathon Race last June, I had a lot of time to plan for the trip and for the accommodation for my Elite Team. I was lucky to know that one of my officers assigned as one of the General Staff of my Command when I was the Division Commander in Panay Island is now assigned with the 9th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army based at Pili, Camarines Sur. Col Ace De Asis took upon himself to look for a place for us to stay. I was surprised to find out that another officer who served as my Camp Engineer in Panay Island is also assigned in the said place. Through the transient facilities of the Philippine Army, my team and I were “billeted” at the VIP Transient Facility of the 565th Engineer Battalion of the Philippine Army for almost 3 days.

7. We arrived in Pili, Camarines Sur on the early morning of Friday and went around the facilities of the CWC and later proceeded at Camp Martillana where our the Philippine Army’s Transient Facility is located. We were received by our host, Lt Col Tony Celoso ( my Command Engineer in Panay Island) and led us to their Battalion’s VIP Transient Facility. The facility has two big bedrooms with two bathrooms; a big living room with TV and cable connection; and dining area. We were able to buy fresh foods at the Pili Market and cooked them in the facility’s kitchen. My elite team’s members were the cooks, dishwashers, and the ones going to the market to choose what food to eat for the day.

8. My elite team and I attended the scheduled briefing on Saturday morning at the CWC and I was impressed on the preparations made to make this running event a success. I observed that a lot of international runners attended the briefing and I saw new faces from the Kenyans. I even saw athletes whom I was informed to be from Russia. I was able to meet other runners who are regular participants of my PAU races as well as runners who came all the way from the Visayas and Mindanao. Definitely, this running event was a meeting place of the avid and passionate runners from all over the country. 

42K Runners at the Briefing

9. A day before the Marathon Race, I requested the Battalion Commander of the 565th Engineer Battalion to assemble his officers and men for an “impromtu” Running Lecture which will guide them to a more scientific way of training in preparation for a running event. The running lecture was done after one hour with the hope that the soldiers of this unit would be able to train properly. I gave them the challenge for them to join the next year’s half-marathon race after imparting to them the basic principles in training as well as tips in running. I told them that they are lucky and fortunate to have the Provincial Oval Track located just in front of their camp. In conclusion, the most important thing that I emphasized to them are the good values each one of them to develop while they are preparing for a running event.

Running Lecture With The Army Engineers

10. The race was conducted perfectly as the race started promptly at 4:00 AM; there was a “festive” mood at the starting line which was highlighted with fireworks; lots of photo-ops with runners; greetings from the “usual suspects” in marathon races; lots of hydration points; proper markings along the road; presence of volunteers and marshals along the route; fresh bananas, sports bars & sports gels (although some were “expired”) were available to the runners at the 2nd half of the marathon route; and most of all, the presence of spectators who were cheering and greeting the runners!

My Favorite Racing Shorts & Singlet For Marathon Races!

"The Usual Suspects" In Marathon Races

My Walking "Breaks" On The Last 3-4 Kms

11. Kenyan runner Richard Kemeli Kemboi won the Marathon Race with a time of 2:19:40 hours. In the women’s category, Ethiopian Ayelu Lemma Geda won the race in 2:40:05 hours. The Champion received a Cash Prize of $ 7,000. This could be the highest paying marathon race for this year in the country. My Elite Team managed to win First Place & Third Place (Local Category) for the Half-Marathon Race with a Cash Prize of P 20,000 and P 10,000, respectively and 3rd Place (Local Category) for the 10K Race. My team did not make good in this running event due to sickness and flu weeks before this race.

Don't Worry, Guys..There Are More Races To Come

12. Successfully finishing a Marathon Race this year is becoming a “trigger” mechanism for me to do something more challenging in the coming days. Few days after my Condura Marathon last February, I did my 5-day multi-day run from Manila to Baguio City covering a distance of 240 kilometers. Two weeks after my July 4th MILO Manila Marathon, I ran the Headlands 50-Mile Mountain Trail Run in San Francisco, California. And now that I’ve finished the CAMSUR Marathon, I am supposed to run the Dick Collin’s Firetrails 50-Mile Mountain Trail Run on October 9 in California but I had to cancel it due to some commitment which I could not refuse. But instead of the Firetrails 50-Mile Run, I am coming up again with another multi-day run in the coming days (with the message that you can “journalize” your multi-day runs on near “real-time”!)

See you on the roads and trails!!!





Running Clinic @ AIR 21

22 09 2010

 Days before the conduct of the PAU’s P2P 70K Run in Ilocos Norte, Frederick Gabriel and Vic Viola of takbo.ph approached me with the request for their company to conduct a running lecture and clinic to their staff and employees numbering to about 200. It was only during these conversations that I have found out that these two ultra runners and consistent PAU runners are connected with the company called AIR 21. Their request was very noble that it was worth making it as a priority because of the number of participants plus the interest they put into the importance of running as part of the company’s sports program and the company’s program to look for the welfare of their subordinates through running as part of their active lifestyle. 

In addition, one of the objectives of the running lecture and clinic at AIR 21 is for everybody at the said company to know the basic and scientific way of training in running. It is a part of the company’s training and preparation for their participation in this year’s October 10 A Run For Pasig River. I was informed that almost all the staff and employees will be joining the said running event. Days before the conduct of the lecture & clinic, I have already the impression that the owners are sports-minded and health buffs. (Note: Mr Lina is a golf player while his wife has progressively finished her first 5K run) 

The lecture and clinic was decided to be conducted on the Company’s Health & Medical Expo Day which was held on the Birthday of Mrs Sylvia Lina, co-owner of the company and wife of Mr Alberto Lina, President & Owner of the Company. The lecture and the first session of actual running was conducted at 3:00 PM of September 6, 2010 at the Company’s Cargohaus near the NAIA Airport Complex. 

Birthday of the 1st Lady of the Company

 I was impressed that the owners of the company, Mr & Mrs Lina and their two daughters attended the lecture and the practical part and actual demonstration of the stretching exercises, running drills, and a 30-minute run. 

Lecture Room Filled With Staff & Employees

 The lecture room was “jampacked” with the staff and employees of the company that most of them remained standing during the 1 1/2 hours of lecture and open forum. Basically, the lecture covered the “Why’s” of Running, Steps To Follow, Laws of Training in Running, Practical Tips In Running, Phases of Training, and lastly, Etiquette In Running. Some concerns and apprehensions from the participants were answered during the Open Forum. 

Lecture On Running Basics & Principles

 The lectured was followed with actual involvement of the participants in the conduct of stretching exercises, running drills, and a 30-minute steady run. The clinic is scheduled to be conducted every Monday afternoon up to October 10 with the hope that every participant will be able to finish the scheduled 3K and 5K runs on race day.

The following pictures will best describe the activity on September 6 with Mr Alberto Lina; Mrs Sylvia Lina; their daughters and the rest of the staff and employees of AIR 21.

Mrs Sylvia Lina & Children Listening To The Lecture

Mr Lina & Daughters Preparting For the Stretching Exercises

Almost 100 Staff & Employees Joined The Clinic

Leadership By Example Is The Key To A Healthy & Progressive Company

Cool-Down Exercises After A 30-Minute Steady Run

For a related story about the AIR 21 Running Lecture and Clinic and more pictures of the event, please visit www.lina-group.com.





FREE Fun Runs

16 09 2010

Why PAY if you can run at “race pace” for FREE?

The Bald Runner’s Events Management, in cooperation of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, will be offering FREE Fun Runs to everybody! Yes, these fun runs will be free—no race bibs, no singlets, no printed race results, no Finisher’s Shirts and no registration fees. But there will be a digital clock or chronograph watch at the Start/Finish Line and it will be the responsibility of each runner to see, hear, and remember his/her finish time. All you need to bring are your running shoes and your running attire. Runners could bring also their respective hydration system/bottles during the race, however, there will be minimal number of water stations along the race route.

Interested runner-participants just simply assemble at the Starting Line before 6:00 AM of the scheduled date of event and the start of the fun run is set at exactly 6:00 AM. Runners will be guided by the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner during the runs. There will be no marshals as the route will be easy to follow through directional signs and kilometer markings.

For documentation purposes, each finisher will receive a Finisher’s Certificate for FREE!

These fun runs will be a good training runs for “newbies” and the youth (18 years old & below) who would simulate a road race and for them to develop confidence in paid road races. As for the competitive runners who would not like to spend their hard-earned money in road races, they can do their “race pace” or “tempo run” workouts in these fun runs.

 These fun runs are conceived to be conducted at least twice a month on Sunday mornings. The first Fun Run will  be a 5-mile or 8-kilometer run inside the roads of Camp Aguinaldo and the 2nd Fun Run will be a 2-mile run or 3.2K run at the Philippine Army Grandstand & Parade Ground. The fun runs will start promptly at 6:00 AM during Sundays. In Camp Aguinaldo, the start/finish area is infront of the Grandstand at the GHQ Parade Ground. These places have ample free parking spaces for the vehicles of the runners.

After each fun run, there will be a brief lecture and open forum for 30 minutes to interested runners. These fun runs should be terminated within the period of two hours.

The first Fun Run will be held at Camp Aguinaldo o/a 6:00 AM of October 17, 2010. There will be no limit in the number of runners in this fun run. However, all runners should be at the starting area at least 30 minutes before the start time. The 2nd Fun Run will be a 3K/5K run at the Philippine Army Grandstand o/a 6:00 AM of October 24, 2010.  Schedule of future Fun Runs will be announced in this blog.

If plans will materialize, future Fun Runs will be conducted at The Fort/Global City, MOA Grounds, and Roxas/Macapagal Boulevard.

These Fun Runs will reach a maximum distance of 10 miles or 16 kilometers and with a minimum distance of 3 kilometers.

Running should be made simple and free! Running should be FUN!

Running is for EVERYBODY!

(Note: Race Walkers & Brisk Walkers are also invited to join these Fun Runs)





Mountain Trail Run @ Porac

14 09 2010

Early this week I received an e-mail message from Atty Jon Lacanlale of Team Clark inviting me to join their group for a mountain trail run in Porac, Pampanga. I was specifically mentioned in the invitation by the host of the event, Jerry Guiao, a BDM 102K veteran, to join the said run. I immediately confirmed my attendance to this trail run as my training ground is near the place. I was actually invited also for another run to the peak of Mt Arayat in Magalang, Pampanga on the day after the run in Porac. But, I begged off not to join the run to Mt Arayat as I have another commitment for another long run at the Subic Freeport on the following day with Team Bald Runner-Professionals.

One Of The Uphill Climbs

 The Team Clark was already waiting for me at the Porac Exit of SCTEX as arrived thereat at 5:00 AM. I was a part of a 4-vehicle convoy to a 2-3-kilometer distance from the SCTEX as we proceeded to the center of Barangay Sapang Uwak of Porac where the start of the run is located. After a short trip, we parked our vehicles and started to check and wear our respective hydration system.

Our run started at 5:40 AM and the visibility was already clear. The running group consisted of Atty Jon, Jerry, BR, and two elite runners of Team Bald Runner. The rest of the Team Clark served as our support crew. We started with slow jog, then to slow run until we reached the first uphill climb. The first uphill climb was so steep but we tried our best to slowly jog up to the crest but after a few meters, we were met again with another climb.

Jerry & Frank Attacking The Uphill

I could no longer count the number of uphill climbs we encountered during the run. I could say that this route is more challenging than the route that I considered as my training ground in the “Brown Mountain”. Admittedly, this place is more scenic and the air is cooler and more refreshing. 

Jerry prepared for this run as he prepositioned our water station with a 5-gallon water container at the 5-Km mark a day before our run. With a cooler temperature early in the run, I only consumed one-half of the water in my Nathan Bottle and had it refilled in anticipation for more uphill climbs and hot temperature later in the day. As informed by Atty Jon in his invitation, our one-way trip of 10K  with take us 2 hours and there is a side trip also to a waterfalls near the turn-around point. He was right as we reached the 5K point in one hour of run and brisk walking.

As if we were running a trail race, we have to brisk walk on steep uphill climbs and then run on the level parts and run faster on the downhill parts of the route. Atty Jon and I had a lot conversation while running as we exchanged tips in ultra trail running training and races. It seems we have the same insights and race strategy in ultra trail running and I am confident that he will make good in his next ultra races here and abroad.

Atty Jon of Team Clark & BR @ Few Meters From The Waterfalls

 After walking and running for almost 2 hours and after my GF 305 registered a distance of 10.5K, we turned left to a single-track trail which is covered with grass and wild plants. From this point, it was time to “bushswack” for a distance of 1.5 kilometers down to the waterfalls. Practically, we were walking along a cliff but the sound of the waterfalls made us more excited to reach the place.

Waterfalls In The Mountains of Brgy Sapang Uwak, Porac, Pampanga

 I was amazed with the beauty of the waterfalls. After my picture was taken, I immediately removed my singlet, shoes, socks and my watch and submerged my core and legs into the cold water of the lagoon. The feeling was relaxing and soothing to my tired legs. We stayed in the area for about 30 minutes and prepared for our run back to where we started.

More Trail Runs In The Future

Our run back to the center of the barangay was a challenging one as the heat of the sun was on us. I had only half-filled water bottle for the next 5 kilometers and I made sure that my water was enough before reaching our water station. As I reached our water station, I was able to drink one-half liter to recover the loss of water due to perspiration.

After the 22-kilometer run in 4 hours and 20 minutes, we had our late breakfast with stewed native chicken and steamed rice wrapped/cooked with banana leaves, fresh ripe banana and ice-cooled Gatorade. The food was perfect for runners!

I was informed later by Jerry that the trail will be finally connected to Mt Pinatubo by next year. The construction of another 4-kilometer distance of dirt road from our turn-around point to the base of Mt Pinatubo will start before the end of the year. Atty Jon and I were already discussing for a possibility of a trail run from Brgy Sta Juliana, Capas, Tarlac to Brgy Sapang Uwak, Porac, Pampanga and back or vice-versa. This trail run experience will be exciting for ultra trail runners.

My sincerest thanks to Jerry as our host, Atty Jon and Team Clark for a wonderful and exciting trail run and visit to the beautiful waterfalls in the area. I promised to myself that I will be back to the place for more trail runs and relaxing moments at the lagoon of the waterfalls.

(Note: I am sorry I could not download the pictures sent by the members of Team Clark and have them posted in my blog. My laptop must have some problems. However, I hope Atty Jon would be able to post the remaining pictures in his blog).





Decision Is Final

9 09 2010

1. Weeks and days before last year’s BDM 102 (1st edition),  I included a warning in my rules and regulation that “cheaters” will be disqualified. Some of the runners made a comment why I have to include such instructions in their race packets as according to them this warning was not necessary. I just smiled and did not answer their comments. However, on race day, I was a witness of so many cases of “cheating” among the runners. Did I approach them and tell them on their faces that I saw them cheating during the race? NO! But I remembered their names and faces. In my RD’s Report, I admitted that there were cheating as I personally observed plus the fact that I received also information from my marshals, staff, and from the other runners and their respective support crew. Most of my marshals then were the members of my Elite Team Bald Runner and I really believed in their reports. Their reports were collaborated with the information coming from other runners and their respective support crew. I did not expose them but they know that I know that they cheated. It is for this reason that I declared the Results of the 1st BDM 102 as Unofficial. Case closed.

2. This year’s BDM 102 was a perfect race because there were no reported cheating or making some “shortcuts” of the route as we implimented time stations/checkpoints along the way where each runner were listed with their elapsed time/split time as they passed in many points along the route. Those who were reported to have allegedly cheated on the 1st edition were able to redeem themselves in this year’s BDM 102 by registering a much-improved finish times as compared in last years edition. Did I congratulate them for redeeming themselves in this year’s race? NO!

3. In the 1st PAU 50K Run in Tanay, Rizal last May 9, 2010, one of my marshals reported that one of the runners rode a vehicle with the intention of declaring himself as DNF but he alighted from the vehicle after riding a considerable distance and resumed his race until he reached the finish line. I removed the name of this runner from the Official List of Finishers in the said race and banned him from my road races. This runner contacted me and questioned my decision why I had to remove his name from the list. I stand on my decision based from the reports of my marshals and collaborated by other runners. The runner did not insist to defend himself and I told him that he is banned from my races. Case closed. Most of the finishers in this race knew his name and one of his running friends tried to defend the culprit but I just listened to his reasons and appeal. Did I expose his name? NO, but I kept on informing in my blog and in my race instructions that “cheaters are disqualified in my races and they forever banned in my future races”.

4. After the “P2P” PAU 70K Run in Ilocos Norte, I received reports from my marshals that some of the runners did not pass in one of the checkpoints where each runner must get a string necklace. To be specific, some runners did not pass along the trail road that goes to the Bangui Windmill Project and my marshals potively identified the runners. In another incident, one of my marshals reported also that one runner was seen alighting from a “jeep/multicab” some hundred yards away from the Finish Line. This runner was seen by tricycle drivers in the locality coming out from the vehicle and my marshal overheard some unsavory comments from them due to the incident that they have seen. My marshal positively identified the runner from the pictures I’ve taken at the Finish Line. Before I left Laoag City, I started receiving reports, stories, and observations from the finishers/runners and such reports supported the observations/reports of my Race Marshals. These additional information collaborated with the reports coming from my race marshals.

5. Do I have to call the attention of these reported “cheaters” and let them explain? NO. The reports of my race marshals are enough to pin down these people as I have delegated to them the authority to make sure that the race is conducted honestly and with its integrity intact. These marshals are members of my Elite Team Bald Runner and they know the “do’s and dont’s” in conducting road races. These are the very same people who have been my staff in my road races for the past two & half years and I personally know them since the time I was designated as the Project Director of the DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap for Marathon six years ago! These elite runners do not make-up or create stories of cheating. For what purpose? Bottomline, I trust my elite athletes and they did their job well in my races.

6. Now, ask me how do I feel with these reports of cheating in my races? I am already fed-up and angry about such acts. For the past two years, I am frustrated that there are still reports of cheating in my races (except for 2nd BDM 102) and this is an act of disrespect to the sports, to the Race Director and its staff/marshals, and to the rest of the runners competing in my races. Let us not be legalistic on this matter. But if these runners want to challenge the reports of my marshals, then the burden of proof rest on the shoulders of those who think that they should be innocent or not guilty of cheating.

7. My exposure of ultrarunning events in South Korea and United States as a runner-participant gave me the confidence to conduct more ultra road races in the country. In those countries, I’ve observed that the Race Organizers do not deploy race marshals along the route and there are no reports of cheating among the runners. It is my objective to reach this kind of situation and level of perfection in the conduct of ultra races where every runner should be honest and responsible for their actions. But somewhere towards this goal, a “wake-up” call is needed to remind the runners that I am serious in seeing to it that the integrity of a race should always be intact.

8. If you think I am gaining from these road races financially and for popularity, you are wrong! The registration fees we are collecting from each race are not enough to support the race. We are bringing our logistics from Manila to Bataan, Pampanga, Rizal, and Ilocos Norte and the effort we give just to ensure that each event is successful is not personally rewarding to us as the Race Organizer. The planning, preparation, coordination, bus trips, stress, and discussions among my staff and marshals were all very tiring as if we are also preparing as runners for the race. As you know, our PAU Races are not supported by corporate names or government sports institutions and most of our additional support come from the donations of the runners themselves and good friends who believe in my advocacies. So, I am appealing to everybody that each of the runners of my races should always maintain the integrity of the race and should give respect to us as the Race Organizer and to the other runners. Always remember that we organize these ultrarunning races because we simply have the love and passion to promote the sports. On the other hand, popularity for what end? None! I am already contented as a runner-blogger and enjoying my retirement with a plan to run more miles/kilometers here and to other countries. My blog serves as my one and only marketing tool for my races. At wala kayong makikitang product ads sa blog ko!

9. Now, if you are banned from my races, then that is my decision and I will stick to the reports of my marshals. I really don’t care the implication and result of my decision. My staff and I will continue promoting ultrarunning in this country and spreading the “good news” about running to include honesty in races. Going back to what I always said when I started the BDM 102—“It is better to conduct a race with only 10 participants who are honest than getting as much as thousands of runners in a race which is tainted with dishonest runners”. Lastly, our races define what you are made of, in terms of your attitude, character, personality, and physical and mental capabilities.

10. This “issue” boils down to Integrity, Respect and Obedience. All my races are covered with Rules and Regulations/Instruction and all runners who join my races abide by these rules and instructions. A runner in my races submits himself/herself to these rules from the starting line up to the time he/she crosses the finish line of the race. However, if he/she commits infraction or violation of any of my rules & instructions during the race, then I have the authority to decide to disqualify such runner even without informing the runner in question. It is harsh but, in simple terms, that is the Bald Runner’s Rule!








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