The Pasuquin to Pagudpud (P2P) Run was planned together with the 1st PAU 50K Run in Tanay, Rizal due to the following reasons & factors as stated in this story. In addition with the reasons as stated in the story, I thought of promoting the province of Ilocos Norte as a sports tourism destination even without the involvement of the local government in the planning stage as this race was conceived during the campaign period in the last May elections.
One month before the race, I made my final implimentation of my race plan by paying my courtesy calls to the different local government units’ executives from the Governor of Ilocos Norte to the Municipal Mayors of Pasuquin, Burgos, Bangui and Pagudpud. Unfortunately, I was not able to personally meet the Governor and the rest of the Municipal Mayors but I was entertained by their staff/secretary as they received my formal letter of intention/request to conduct an ultramarathon event in the province, passing along their respective municipalities.
I was happy and satisfied about the preparation on the security aspect as I was able to personally talk and coordinate with the PNP Provincial Director of Ilocos Norte. Being a PMA Cavalier and underclass, he immediately approved my request with additional support. Local friends involved in local sports with the likes of Dr Chester Puno, one of the participants & finishers of the race, Faivo Bartolome (a Race Organizer/triathlete & Finisher), and the Luis Family of the 5 Sisters Emporium were available during my visits in Laoag City and that they greatly helped in the realization and provision of the much-needed logistics and medical services for the run.
I actually made three trips by bus from Manila to Laoag to bring our logistics requirements and to recon the whole route. Those were tiring trips but I was satisfied with my personal coordination with the local friends who were there on the background to help and make the event a success. On hindsight, my planning and coordination were all worth plus the fact thatI was able to bring the whole staff and elite athletes of Team Bald Runner on those tourist attractions/spots for the first time!
A Briefing and CLP was done to inform and warn the runners that the course will be passing along tourist spots in Ilocos Norted with the exact points and distance along the route. But the main message for the participants was to expect some surprises and challenges during the run. However, I always emphasized the runners of their personal safety and observation of their surroundings while they are on the run. I even informed the group that my staff will wait for the last finisher even beyond the announced cut-off time for the race.
The Elite Team Bald Runner and my staff left Manila for Laoag City on the evening of Wednesday in order to have ample time to orient my staff and thresh out final coordination for the race. Final Briefing among my staff was done on Thursday on site and each of the members of the team was given their respective job desription for the race.
With proper timing and scheduling, we were abe to start the race before the scheduled time (my signature in all my races!). In conclusion, I think the conduct of the race went successfully well and there had been no major problems with the runners. However, I admit that there are still “kinks” and “lapses” to be solved and attented to in order for me to improve in my next PAU races.
Let me share you my thoughts about running in marathon and ultramarathon races.
I’ve been running for almost 40 years and I had also been running competitively with the same number of years. I’ve started finishing Marathon Races here and abroad since in the early 80s and I could not count anymore the exact number of Marathon Races I’ve finished since then. And two years ago, I got hooked to ultramarathon running and this is the reason why I came up with the Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race, simply dubbed as “BDM 102”. Later, I created and organized a distinct Sports Federation for Ultrarunning which is now called as “PAU” (Philippine Association of Ultrarunners) with the main objective of promoting the sports and be able to represent the country in international ultrarunning competitions under the auspices of the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU).
With my experience, I would know the “suffering and pain” that each runner would feel and encounter during a race. I would also know the anxiety of each runner within days or few minutes before the start of each race. And I would also know the feeling of joy and jubilation when a runner crosses the Finish Line in every race. Physically, I would know how a runner would look like when he/she finishes a road race because I could identify with them—the sweat/perspiration, the breathing, sunburned & shiny skin, body aches, chafings, blisters, severe pain on the running legs, limping while walking after crossing the finish, and sometimes “disorientation”.
There are two (2) important things that are common in all my participation to running events: (1) I always finish my race and never had any record of DNF (Did Not Finish) and (2) I never “cheated” or made a “shortcut” of the race route. In all the races that I have organized and directed, I always tell the runner-participants to FINISH the race and maintain the INTEGRITY of the race. Each of the runner should be able to finish the race with their own effort and don’t think that they could “cheat” because nobody would ever see them. Running is supposed to be a noble sports! And if a runner cheats in a race, he/she is cheating himself/herself!
After a thorough investigation, I admit (as the Race Director/Organizer) that some runners “cheated” during the P2P 70K Run last August 29, 2010. We have already identified them and they are no longer allowed to run in our future Bald Runner’s Events and PAU Races. These “cheaters” have destroyed the integrity of the race and they showed disrespect to a race where we invested so much time, money and effort. Without this incident, P2P PAU 70K Run would have been a “perfect” race.
Never cheat in running events, sooner or later, the truth will naturally come out!