Three years ago, on October 25, 2007, I started my 2nd blog in the Internet which was purely about running. My first blog, which was all about my activities as the Division Commander of the Philippine Army covering the Western Visayas area, was created on April 2007. As I started to post my running workouts in the said blog, I received a lot comments from my readers and such interest made me to find out runner-bloggers in the Internet. It appeared that there was only one runner-blogger in the Philippines at that time whose posts were concentrated about running/training for 5K & 10K distances and maintains a schedule of road races, of course, in the Philippines. It was The Bull Runner.
From my first post that was published as the Bald Runner, I started to recall my past training, road races, find out some pictures in my computer, and look for personalities/Icons of running in the past. And this blog evolved as what it is now.
Basically, my posts were about my runs in the place where I was assigned as a Division Commander of the Philippine Army. There was a time that I was religiously posted my daily, weekly, and monthly running mileages and activities. The blog became my runner’s diary, so to speak. My preparation for the 2008 Pasig River Heritage Marathon and my comeback to marathon training was the gist of my running workouts. From a runner’s diary and a source of information about running, it evolved as a “critic” of the Road Races being conducted in Metro Manila and running events where I participated. This blog ultimately became a “feedback” mechanism of Road Races.
“Project Donate- A-Shoe” was born. A simple observation of runners at the Pasig River Heritage Marathon gave me the idea to make something happen to help those who are “less-fortunate” runners to change their dilapidated, worn-out/tattered, and old running shoes which they are still using in road races. This project became a success as runners from abroad are still actively contributing to this project and everything was history.
“Project Donate-A-Shirt was also born in tandem with the need to change the old shoes of runners. The families of Gawad Kalinga communities in Laoag City are still continuously receiving donated singlets and finisher’s shirts from runners. Some of the donated jackets & shirts from abroad (courtesy of Rick Gaston & Ben Gaetos) were given to my elite athletes and to other runners with potentials to become elite ones.
Elite Team Bald Runner was created and organized. After 3 years, the team is still intact and strong. Many joined but others got separated after one year. However, this elite team is still intact and train as a group.
BDM 102 as an idea/dream came into being. An experience finishing an ultramarathon trail race in August 2008 and witnessing the start of the 2008 Badwater Ultramarathon Race in Death Valley, California gave me the idea to conduct an ultramarathon race using the historic & world-wide known Bataan Death March route.
“1,000-Km Club” was born. It is a tool to motivate each runner to accumulate his/her mileage with a goal in mind. BR’s “1,000-Km Club” black shirt is becoming a well-deserved “trophy” for each runner!
BR “Speed” Training at the Philsports ULTRA Oval Track started to attract recreational runners to become competitive ones. Most of the fast runners around had gone through this training. Due to its demand, we started to accept “newbies” ; transformed them to recreational runners; and later, as competitive runners. This “speed” training is still on-going on Tuesdays & Fridays (5:30 PM to 8:00 PM) at the Headquarters Philippine Army Grandstand/Parade Ground and on Wednesdays (same time on Tuesdays & Fridays) at the ULTRA Oval Track.
Designation as Chairman for Road Races of PATAFA. I accepted this designation in order to improve the quality of road races being held in the country but my position, in reality, became as an advisory position to the President of PATAFA.
BR’s Lectures and Clinics started as a pilot project to the Officers, Staff and Employees of Reinier Pacific with the cooperation of its President, Mr Amado Castro, Jr., who is a good friend and supporter of Elite Team Bald Runner. I could no longer count the number of corporate offices, government offices, and running groups where I was invited to conduct such lectures and clinic with the support of the members of the Elite Team Bald Runner.
BDM 102 Ultramarathon Race was a reality with the attendance of 82 “brave warriors” at the Starting Line on the evening of March 6, 2009 with 63 runners crossing the Finish Line within a cut-off time of 18 hours. It was a success and my first test as a Race Director in Ultra Races.
Creation of PAU (Philippine Association of Ultrarunners) as the National Sports Federation on Ultramarathon Races/Events in the country. In a few months, PAU was accepted as the 39th member-federation among the present 50 members of the International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) and the 6th member in the ASIA Region.
5-Day Multi-Stage Run from Manila to Baguio City. I was able to do this. It was a 240-Km distance but I was able to prove that a runner in this kind of running adventure can “journalize” or inform and update his/her readers through the Internet on a near “real-time” situation.
Invitation to the 1st IAU ASIAN 100K Championship at the Jeju International Ultramarathon Race. Alquin Bolivar and Frank Indapan of the Elite Team Bald Runner represented PAU and the country in this event. Bolivar was able to place 6th among the 500 participants and was able to set a national record of 9:06:15 hours for the said distance race.
2nd BDM 102 was again a success with more runners participating and finishing the race. More foreign runners participated as compared during its first edition. It is a proof that this ultramarathon event is already an international ultramarathon road race. For the local runners, it is considered as the “Holy Grail” of Running in the country.
PAU Road Races. After my trip and observation in the conduct of ultra road races in South Korea, I aggressively pushed for the conduct of monthly ultra races which started last May of this year. So far, 4 ultra races had been conducted (all the races were done outside Metro Manila) to include one ultra trail race where each race promoted “sports tourism”. More ultra runners had attended these races.
BR’s FREE Fun Runs. This is a new “alternative” way to entice “newbies” and recreational runners to enjoy a free road race, instead of paying high cost of registration fees.
BDM Lectures/Clinic is a pre-emptive tool to prevent casualties in running and at the same time, inform and train interested runners to participate in ultra road races and prepare them to the “gruelling” experiences of finishing the BDM 102.
More Mountain Trail Runs Abroad. I scheduled at least 2 ultra trail runs for me to participate for this year in the United States but I was only able to participate in the PCT’s Headlands 50-Mile Trail Run in Marin Headlands last July 17. The Dick Collin’s Firetrails 50-Mile Run last October 9 would have been my 2nd trail run for the year. Attending these mountain trail runs in the US was a way to learn how the Race Organizers conduct their trail races and find out their difficulty ratings.
4th Year; Future Plans and Beyond
Expand the BDM 102 and implement BDM 151. This will be the ultimate and the “only historic” ultramarathon race that will place the country in the world map of ultra running events.
1st PAU 50K Road Race National Championships and the 1st PAU 50K Mountain Trail Run National Championships.
1st PAU 24-Hour Endurance Run
PAU Road Races in Other Parts of the Country & Promote “Sports Tourism”
Conduct of More Multi-Day Adventure Runs Within the Country
More Running Lectures & Clinics
More Ultra Races Outside The Country
Develop More Elite Ultra Runners for Exposure to IAU-sanctioned Championship Races
Finally, I would like to extend my thanks to those who supported my advocacies in running for the past three years. I hope more of our citizens will be able to appreciate the benefits of running and other related sports. I still firmly believe that, it is through Sports that our Nation will become United and hope that “A Healthy Population is a Strong Nation”
See you on the roads and trails!