How About “Bataan Death March Memorial Ultra Run” In The Philippines?

The reason why I conducted the “first and only Bataan Death March Challenge” in April 2000 held along the exact route where the event occured because I was challenged why in the world would the ROTC of White Sands, New Mexico, USA celebrate such event in their desert where a handful of US World War II survivors from that State would be supported and commemorated. Also, there are three other places/States in the US where they commemorate this famous Bataan Death March.

As WWII history and survivors would tell that about 600-650 US soldiers died in that Death March while the 5,000-10,000 Filipino soldiers perished in that long march which took them 2-3 days to reach San Fernando, Pampanga and then boarded a cargo train to Capas, Tarlac as more of them died in those “sardine-packed” cargo trailers. By the number of fatalities on the side of our Filipino heroes of Bataan and Corregidor, we should be the one who should be doing this memorial services to them by way of retracing the route they had taken in order to imbibe in us the sacrifes that our forefathers had to offer in the name of defense to the country and freedom from foreign invaders.

For the past years, a “relay run”, usually known by runners from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, San Fernando Runners of Pampanga and the Running Confederation of the Philippines (RUNCPI), had been conducted to commemorate the Bataan Death March during the week-long celebration of the “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Fall of Bataan & Corregidor Day). This is a yearly project of Mr Ed Paez, a runner & journalist, who loves the sports of running with passion. This is dubbed as the “Araw ng Kagitingan Tribute Ultramarathon Relay Run”. Since this is a “relay run”, there is no competitive spirit in it but it is very commendable as it gives awareness to the heroic deeds of our “Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor” and it contributes in supporting the needs of the living survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March. 

On the other hand, I would like to adopt and apply a competitive spirit in this historic event in World War II and make it as an Ultramarathon Race with an imposed cut-off time to finish the 102K running event. It is for this reason that the “Bald Runner’s Events” is now on the planning stage of coming up with a 100-K Ultra Run from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga which will be held on 05 April 2009 to commemorate the Bataan Death March on the exact route that our forefathers took (without the beatings, bayonet/sabre killings, famine, lack of water and firing squads, of course!). We will make this as our “Comrades Ultramarathon” in Africa or as our “Badwater Ultramarathon” in the USA for the Philippines. And let the ultramarathon runners in the country and worldwide experience our Bataan Death March Memorial Ultra Run. As they say, “build ’em and they will come”.

Patterned after 100K and Ultramarathon Races held in any place of the world, each participant must meet the following requirements and follow some rules:

1) Runner must have finished at least one (1) marathon race. Age limit—at least 20 years old. Open to male & female.

2) Cut-off time will be observed in particular Aid Stations. Cut-off time for the whole run is 18 hours.

3) Maximum number of participants—100 runners. This is a “solo” race. (This race will push through even if there are only 10 runners or less)

4) Registration is expensive as each Aid Station will be provided with water, energy drinks, and lots of food! This is a non-profit event and this is all for the love of running as we need volunteers for our Aid Stations for this event.

5) “Big and heavy” medal or Plaque and T-shirt will be given to all the Finishers and/or Belt Buckles for winners. Cash Prizes will be available depending on the availability of corporate sponsor or other benevolent sponsors.

6) Each runner can have his/her crew (optional) from the Starting Area and could be only assisted with a pacer from Balanga, Bataan to the Finish Line.  

7) Race starts at 4:00 AM of Sunday or midnight of Saturday.

We will come up with a clinic/seminar for ultramarathon to interested runners early next month. This will be free of charge and the final details will be announced here in this blog. If you are interested to join this ultra race and start your 30-week training, you can check my other blogsite at

I will join the race and my training starts next week.

I need your comments about this plan, whether they are negative or not. Go to the next level, go ultra!

25 thoughts on “How About “Bataan Death March Memorial Ultra Run” In The Philippines?

  1. I am hoping that something like this will be organized in Manila and I heard about the Bataan Run before. Although I dont run an Ultra but this is something I want to help promote. Let me know the details and updatese BR and I can promote it also at the website. Sana may other distances for those who wants to join too.


  2. Looks like BR has planned it out already! I say…. Go for it sir! Even if i can’t run an ultra ( i’m a newbie, just started running last may) i would like to help in any way i can. God bless!


  3. this is way cool! if everything goes as planned, i’ll be running the feb 1 QC marathon so I can qualify to register for this run. 8 months of base training ought to do it 😀 great race planned BR!


  4. i did four ultra runs this year including the death march run last april with beth siojo, i’m definitely in for this one. go bald runner, ultra is the way to go!


  5. Whoa I got excited with this! BR if you can organize this I want to join! I am familiar with this route as we go to Montemar quite often.

    See you there bugo2x!!


  6. to all the runner-bloggers: guys, thank you very much for your positive and supportive comments with this proposal and plan. so, we will go for it and please spread the news. we will announce the details and the conduct of a seminar/clinic about this run as soon as possible. thanks!


  7. Hi Sir,

    I’m all in with the objective of this project; though I must admit I couldn’t do ultra by that time yet. I still hope Sir, that you would consider having a team relay.



  8. sir jovie, can i give some suggestions? maybe a 15-hour cutoff time will be acceptable to you.and lastly, a midnight saturday start would be would be the onset of summer then and things can be hot and humid. at any rate, whatever you come up with, wala ng urungan ito sir. i wouldn’t miss this for the world.


  9. Hi BR! I would like to run in the Bataan death march, since my grandfather was part of that Death march… But I still can’t because I’ll do my first marathon next year. I would like to offer my services as a volunteer for the Water stations for that event though 🙂


  10. Pheww! This is almost a year away which means lots of time to prepare and do the requirements. 🙂 Hope I’ll make it in time. 100km, 13hours is surely a big challenge. I’ll gladly spread the word. ^^


  11. after exchanging texts and mentally reviewing my mileage buildup … di talaga abot. *sayang* happy to be support team to pax or even in the aid stations. cheering squad pede rin ako BR. do you have a banana booth? I can be the volunteer for that one hehehe


  12. i’ve been sending texts about this event. just have a question on the cut-off 13hours, the champion’s finish time of tnf 100 was 13hours+. Could it be that this cut-off time would be extended a little bit? =)


  13. hey high altitude,

    the cut off was extended to 15 hours. anyway, the route won’t be anything like the tnf route of hills,trails,mud and things like those so i am pretty confident we can all manage 15 hours or less!!!!!hahaha. a few other details are in the 200 days;ed paez…. post of sir jovie.

    and welcome to the growing list.looney runner is also in.we are good to go.


  14. Dear Sir:

    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.
    Project Chairman
    Rotary Club of Clarkfield


  15. Hi BR,

    Wow–the concept of a Bataan Memorial Ultra in the Philippines is so appropriate and timely. I often wondered why New Mexico should have one so far away.

    I actually ran in White Sands last year (2007). It is at high altitude (6000 ft+) with plenty of off-road (trail and sand) paths. I did like the ceremony honoring the small number of soldiers and scouts left in the U.S. that survived the march. I’m not sure what units they represented in WWII, but their motto states “The Battling Bastards of Bataan, No Mama, No Papa, No Uncle Sam”. Very sobering.

    Good luck on this project. 100K is a respectable distance. If you don’t have to run crazy trails and bad roads, I think 15 hours is more than enough.



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