I had been receiving and reading a lot of information about the Bataan 102 and most of them are apprehensions from the participants. As much as possible, I just laugh and try to relax myself and stay “cool” as I am supposed to be the one who is apprehensive and nervous about this plan/idea of mine which is becoming a reality. As the Race Organizer/Race Director and a Competitor in the race, the fate, welfare and safety of the 82 runner-competitors are on my shoulders. As everything in place through the support of volunteers, Team Bald Runner members, friends/relatives, and my former subordinates in the AFP/Philippine Army, the Bataan 102K Ultramarathon is set to “GO” on D-Day!!!
Ooopps…I did not realize that President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA) will be celebrating her 62nd Birthday in her hometown on the day of the Bataan 102K. Her hometown, Lubao, Pampanga is one of the towns along the route of the race. I happened to know her activities in the area last week when I coordinated with the security support along the route during the race. I was assured that lots of security forces will be deployed on Sunday & Monday along the route for the PGMA’s Birthday and her attendance of the “Araw ng Kagitingan” Day at Mt. Samat, Balanga City as the Guest of Honor & Speaker the following day. Let us leave politics behind us for the meantime. Anyway, I did not get any support from the government’s sports and tourism offices for this event.
The Weather Forecast from PAGASA for the next days up to Holy Week will be cloudy with overcast sky with rains and thunderstorms. This is a good news for the runners as it will bring a lower temperature during the day. But it does not mean that each runner would relax in its hydration strategy during the race. I would like to emphasize again to encourage runners without support vehicles to bring with them their hydration system for contingency purposes even with the presence of the roving/mobile aid stations and stationary Aid Stations. Find time to drink water. sports drinks, and eat the foods available on each Aid Station. Remember to eat something sweet and salty as we prepared boiled sweet potatoes, boiled bananas, fresh fruits, boiled eggs with salt, salty biscuits & crackers, Mami Soup, Arroz Caldo, and chocolate bars!
On whether this event will land and will be printed on the daily newspapers. I really don’t care if news reporters or sports writers would write about this event. Basically, ultramarathon races spread by “word of mouth”, not unless I want to get profit out of it in terms of popularity and monetary considerations. I am doing this event because it “pains me” to know that other countries are using the name of Bataan Death March in races where it is becoming a worldwide event. There should only one Bataan Death March and that is supposed to be in our country. I encourage all the participants to come up with their own Race Report on this event and e-mail them to the publishers of ultra running magazines and to ultra running websites in the USA or other countries.
On the discipline of some of us. Some of the runners who would like to participate in this event thought that there is an extension for the registration deadline. These runners could not believe what they heard from me that the registration was closed last 16 March except for the foreign runners who made reserved slots. Yes, even if you double the registration fee for you to register after the deadline, you are firmly denied and wait for next year’s race. Many runners had been calling me as late registrants but I declined them. I think this is one way to discipline our runners.
My race strategy? Finish the race within the cut-off time of 18 hours and have fun and explore the limit of my body’s endurance as this will be my first 102Km Ultra Race.
Thanks for those who supported me to make this plan/dream a reality. You know who you are!
To The Bataan 102 Warriors, see you at the Starting Line and Think Positive to reach the Finish Line…Good Luck!
What’s my next ultra race?…Blue Canyon 100K Ultra Trail Run in Santa Barbara, California this June 2009.