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BDM 102 Lecture #1: History & Honesty

11 10 2010

Bataan Death March Logo

The 1st Lecture for the 2011 BDM 102 was conducted last October 1, 2010 in one of the Function Rooms of the Philippine Army’s Officers’ Clubhouse. It started on time at 6:00 PM in the presence of 15 runner-participants & applicants.

I personally conducted the lecture with the topics, History & Honesty. The following is the summary of the lecture:

History

Based from my readings in history books and personal accounts of survivors of the Bataan Death March of 1942, I discussed to the attendants about the history of the event that happened from April 9-24, 1942 which resulted to the killing and death of an estimated 20,000 POWs during the March and ultimately, during the POWs stay in their Concentration Camp at Camp O’Donnell, Tarlac. These POWs during the March was a combination of Filipinos, Americans, Chinese-Filipinos, and civilians. Literally, these POWs were made to “march” for a distance of 102 kilometers from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga; transported by train from San Fernando, Pampanga to Capas, Tarlac; alighted from the Railway Station; and then marched/walked for another 11 kilometers from Capas Poblacion to Camp O’Donnell.

This unfortunate event during the World War II was considered as the most barbaric act in violation of the treatment of POWs as provided by Geneva Act. The people responsible for this dastardly acts during the Bataan Death March were tried by Military Tribunal/Court after the war and they were executed to their death. However, this event in history will be always remembered and commemorated.

The history of the BDM 102K Ultramarathon Event was also discussed with the emphasis that the commemoration of this important event should be done in the very place where the event happened. Some countries had been using BDM as the title of their running events but they are done in their respective countries. It is for this reason that we should continue commemorating this event in the most practical way which is through running an ultramarathon event. It was initially was a dream but through persistence and patience, this event became a reality with the support of runners who believe that it is worth doing in memory of our dead heroes and living survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March.

Honesty

For the past editions of the BDM 102, I always emphasized the “honor system” in a running event. I told to my audience about my personal observations on the actuations of some of the runners and the reports I received from my marshals and staff with regards to honesty in running this event. My past journals/posts about the 1st BDM 102 would explain more about such incidents of breach of honesty during the event.

The 102K distance is daunting and running under the heat of the sun is very challenging. Such distance and challenge would tempt every runner to be honest or not, just to be able to finish the race within the prescribed cut-off time of 18 hours. Finishing an ultramarathon distance is a “mind game” and each of the runner must be able to prepare and train physically and mentally.

We made some adjustments on our protocol in order to monitor our runners along the route but these are not enough to make sure that runners with bad intentions would be detected by our staff/marshals. It is in this view that our outfit would be able to encourage and prepare all interested runners to run along the actual route through “test runs” before the scheduled race day. 

After a brief open forum, the lecture was terminated after one hour.

The next BDM 102 Lecture will be held on October 22, 2010 at the same time and place. One of the top runners in this year’s BDM 102 will be invited as the resource speaker and another resource speaker will be discussing on her experience and “tips” as a Support Crew to her runner-husband.

To all BDM 102 runners, train well and keep strong!

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