Race Director’s Report: 1st BDM 160K Ultra Marathon Race (Longest Edition)

Race Director’s Report (Longest Version): 1st BDM 160K Ultra Marathon Race (February 26-27, 2011)

Birth of an Idea/Concept

The idea was brought about by my invitation as the Guest of Honor and Speaker during the Araw ng Kagitingan  Bike/Cycling Event sponsored by the Philippine Veterans Administration Office under the Chairmanship of DND’s Undersecretary Ernesto Carolina which was held on the 1st week of April 2010. The cycling event consisted of Officers and EPs of the AFP and other Bike Clubs in Metro Manila and other provinces within the suburbs of Metro Manila. Almost 200 cyclists attended the event where they started at the BDM Shrine in Mariveles, Bataan and finished inside the Capas National Shrine, passing through the historical markers and Kilometer Posts of the Bataan Death March in the Old Railway Stations in San Fernando and Capas, Tarlac.

As most of the cyclists arrived in the early afternoon, I asked a lot of cyclists with cyclometer on their bikes on the actual distance they have traveled or biked on the said route. More than four cyclists registered a distance of 151 kilometers as they ended on the last Flagpole of the Capas National Shrine. This gave me the idea that the distance from Mariveles, Bataan to Capas National Shrine could be a running event that would completely commemorate the distance travelled by the POWs by march and by train.


Being “low-tech” and non-Google Map expert, I started to plan the route by actually going to the area and recon the place where the runners would continue as soon as they reached BDM Km Post 102 in San Fernando, Pampanga. My former multi-day run from Manila to Baguio City using the McArthur Highway gave the idea to let the runners take this road as they proceed to the Old Railway Station in Capas, Tarlac. (There was no way for me to trace the old railway that connects San Fernando, Pampanga and Capas, Tarlac.)

I considered in my planning that there is a necessity for a “test run” for the BDM 151 runners, at least, one month before the Race Day and it would be an easy 49K long run.

I made an announcement in my blog that there will be a longer version of the BDM Ultra Marathon Race which will end at the Capas National Shrine in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac sometime in May/June 2010. I received a lot of comments from friends and Finishers of the 2010 BDM 102 that it would be a big challenge on their part and they were amenable to join the said extended distance. In addition to the said positive and encouraging comments, some of the runners intimated that if possible, I could extend it to 160K so that the runners would be able to experience a solo 100-Mile Run. Initially, I did not approve of it because there is no historical basis to extend the Bataan Death March as what was stated in the books of history.

In one meeting with my brother, General Samuel, on the third quarter of last year, he told me to contact another General who is now the Historical Officer of the AFP, General Aguilar. Through these good Generals, they informed me that the POW Concentration Camp at Camp O’Donnell was divided into Two Sectors/Areas. Sector/Area 1 is the same area where the Capas National Shrine was established and it was the POW Concentration Camp of the Filipino & Militia contingents; while Sector/Area 2 which is now the area occupied by the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) and Light Armor Division (LAD) of the Philippine Army was the POW Concentration Camp of the US troops before they were finally transferred to Nueva Ecija in June/July of 1942.

So, the BDM 151 could be extended for another 9-10 kilometers just to meet the requirements of a 160K Run with the purpose of letting the runners reach the TRADOC, PA area and back to finish inside the Capas National Shrine. The DPWH Km Post 118 along the Capas-Sta Juliana Road was used as the turn-around point for the course. I had to measure this distance again from the Gate of the Capas National Shrine up to Km Post 118 just to make sure that it will be 160 kilometers.

Advance Scheduling

Due to the increasing number of applicants for the 3rd BDM 102K Ultra Marathon Race which breached the 200 limit of runners, I decided to schedule the BDM 160K in advance, at least, one week before the main event, which is the BDM 102K. The reasons were for the safety and control of the runners. Also, I don’t like that my attention and focus will be divided to two different races in one day in two different finishing areas. It would not be possible for me to be shuttling from one finish line to another with 58 kilometers in between each other!

With the BDM 102 as the main event, I decided that the focus and attention should be concentrated on the supervision and administration of the 1st BDM 160K Ultra Marathon Race due to its being the longest, hardest, and most challenging distance. This will entail a lot of pre-positioning of our time stations/checkpoints and mobile marshals within the distance of 160 kilometers.

It was an action that I have to take risk as most of the participants from outside the country were pissed off or complained due to another adjustment in their flight schedules. I am really sorry for those who were affected by this decision but in the end it was the right decision in order to have a successful result in this event. I hope that those who were not able to join this event due to such decision would be able to come and join the event in its second edition.

Ultra Marathon Clinic

At least 4-5 sessions of lecture had been conducted at the Philippine Army Officers’ Clubhouse Lecture Room ranging from subject topics like Training, Strengthening Program, Hydration, Apparel, Nutrition, Race Strategy, Support Crew Tips and Techniques, Reminders and Rules & Regulations, Heat Training and others. It was the lecture of Atty Jonnifer Lacanlale that gave the insight among the participants on what it takes to finish a 100-Mile Ultra Trail Run as he just finished the GNW 100-Mile Endurance Run in Australia.

Test Run

There was only one scheduled “test run” for the BDM 160 runners which was held at least one month before Race Day. The “test run” was from BDM Km Post 102 in San Fernando to the Finish Line, a distance of 58 kilometers. I scheduled it to start in the late afternoon, 5:00 PM, which is the estimated time that the lead runners would reach the area on Race Day. And I was right in my estimation for the said start as compared on what really happened on Race Day. The runners were exposed on what it felt to run on night time along the dusty and traffic areas on the stretch of San Fernando-Angeles-Mabalacat-Bamban Areas, and the cold breeze (and lots of dogs) as they run along the Capas-Sta Juliana Road and ending at the Gate of the Capas National Shrine.

Registration Fees

The registration fee is costly if compared with the BDM 102K Race. This race and the  experience you get has a “class” of its own because of its historic significance, the procurement of the “Finisher’s Silver Buckle”, and being the most prestigious extreme running event in the country today. There will come a time that this event will be participated by those who have saved their money and well-trained & sincerely prepared  for the event.


I became strict on this matter as I advised late applicants that they have to finish first the BDM 102 before they could be considered and invited to join this premier event. The foreign runners from USA had finished 100-Mile Endurance Runs and I accepted them. The Singaporean Runners had to finish a 100K Running Event within the cut-off time of 18 hours within the year prior to the event just to be able to qualify to join the BDM 160K. I am glad they complied with this requirement in one of their ultra races in Singapore.

I have to turn down triathletes who applied and had finished 70.3 Ironman or Kona Ironman because of the reason that they have to finish first the BDM 102K Ultra Marathon Race before their application will be considered to join the BDM 160. It is not a guarantee that an Ironman Finisher would be able to finish the BDM 160K without trying and qualifying first in the BDM 102K.

Race Day (February 26-27, 2011)

Fifty-Nine (59) “brave warriors” toed the starting line inside the BDM Shrine in Mariveles, Bataan at 5:00 AM of Saturday, February 26, 2011 for another historic moment in the history of running in the country. The BDM 160K Ultra Marathon Race is the first 100-Mile Solo Road Race in the country which is doubly significant because it is a tribute and commemoration of the infamous Bataan Death March in April 1942.

Out of the 59 runners, 7 are foreign runners—2 from the USA and 5 from Singapore; and four (4) ladies—2 locals and 2 foreigners.

After a short program that consists of an invocation (by Jonel Mendoza), singing of the US (by Gilbert Gray) & Philippine National Anthems (by all the runners & crew), and a brief final instructions by the RD, the gun went off at exactly 5:47 AM. The runners left the BDM Shrine with a slow jog and most just walked due to the heavy traffic of vehicles and personnel near the Shrine.

BDM Km Post #14

After two kilometers, the runners had stretched out on the left side of the road while their support vehicle had to “leap frog” to Kilometer Post #7 and wait for their respective runners to arrive thereat. After one hour had elapsed, the 59 runners have already covered a stretched distance of 14 kilometers, with the 3 lead runners (Lacanlale, Iglesia, Santos) reaching the Km Post 14 in 1:12 hours which was a very fast pace for a 100-Mile race on the early part of the event. As the first group of runners had cleared Km Post #14, the last runner (Wenceslao), while brisk walking, just passed by Km Post #7. Despite the increase in elevation on the 1st 7 kilometers to about 800 meters and the strong headwind meeting the runners on top of the mountains and hills of Mariveles, the lead runners maintained their fast pace (5:08 mpk) as if they were running a Marathon Race.

The fast pace could be attributed by the cooler temperature prevailing on the early morning of Saturday; the strong wind and breeze; the overcast sky; and the pressure within each runner and the competition.

The second group of leading runners at Km #14 with one minute difference from the 1st group consisted of Albert Salazar, Junrox Roque, and Gene Olvis and the group of Singaporean runners  (Wee, Sean Say, & Paulina) were trailing them with a difference of two minutes. Jonel Mendoza, General Narcise, Lemuel Narcise and John Jeffrey Avellino’s were on the middle of the stretch of runners with 28 minutes behind the leaders and they were running at an average pace of 7:08 minutes per kilometer. While the last runner, Jael Wenceslao, was able to clear Km Post #14 in 2:09 hours (9:13 mpk pace).

BDM Km Post #23 

At the next critical intersection at Km Post #23, Jonnifer Lacanlale & Wilnar Iglesia were running together and reached the place in 2:26 hours. They slowed down to an average pace of 6:20 mpk because of the terrain of the route as it was a rolling road. Behind them in 3rd with 4 minutes difference was Gene Olvis and followed by Junrox Roque and Totoy Santos. A 10-minute difference from Totoy Santos, Say Huat Tan & Paulina Tanoto had been established as they arrived at the intersection. Victor Ting, General Narcise, Jonel Mendoza, and Lemuel Narcise were still at the middle of the pack where they reached the intersection in 3:28 hours. Abe Lim and Gilbert Gray, both from the USA were ranked #38 & 39, respectively, with an identical time of 3:32 hours. Consistently, Jael Wenceslao reached the intersection as the last runner #59 in 4:13 hours with an average pace of 11 mpk!

BDM Km Post #32

The sun started to appear and the sky became clear from clouds when the runners were about to reach the intersection at Km Post #32. Wilnar Iglesia was already leading at this point with 4 minutes ahead of Jonnifer Lacanlale. Iglesia reached this point at 2:58 hours. Gene Olvis and Junrox Roque were trailing Lacanlale with 2 minutes difference. Totoy Santos was on 5th place with 13 minutes difference from Olvis & Roque. Totoy Santos was followed by the Singaporean Runners (Sean Say, Hong Soon, Wee Tech & Paulina) and reached the Km Post #32 in 3:26 hours. Aniceto Grimaldo, Jonel Mendoza, and General Samuel Narcise were at the middle of the pack with a time of 4:21 hours. They were followed by Blas Ople Tiangco, Mark Hernandez, and Julius Giron with a time of 4:25 hours. Eventually, Gilbert Gray and Abe Lim from the USA had improved their ranking/standing when they reached this point. The two runners were ranked #33 & #34, respectively. Jael Wenceslao was still the last runner who reached this point in 5:15 hours.  

BDM Km Post #50

Wilnar Iglesia was the first runner to reach this point in 4:27 hours with 10 minutes difference from Jonnifer Lacanlale who was the second runner. 3rd runner was Gene Olvis with a time of 5:00 hours. Sean Say Huat Tan of Singapore was the 4th runner in 5:04 hours followed by Junrox Roque in 5:13 hours. Junrox was followed by Wee Tech Hian and Seah Hong Soon after 7 minutes. Totoy Santos and Paulina Tanoto arrived #8 & #9, respectively, with a time of 5:34 hours. Gilbert Gray of USA was able to gain grounds as he improved his standing to #18 as he reached this point in 6:33 hours. Jonel Mendoza has also gained grounds from #25 in Km Post #32 to #20 as he reached this point. Mark Hernandez and Julius Giron were still together and ranked # 22 & #23 with a time of 6:44 hours, followed by General Samuel Narcise with 14 minutes difference. Jael Wenceslao was no longer the last runner when he reached this point in 7:41 hours and gained grounds to be ranked #51. Junar Layug & Joseph Soriao were the last runners to arrive with an identical time of 8:06 hours.

RD’s Personal Observation From BDM Km Post #50 to #97 

After the 59 runners arrived at BDM Km Post #50 in Abucay, Bataan, I left the place aboard my vehicle and took the Roman Highway so that I can catch up with the lead runners before they would reach the intersection that goes to the town of Guagua, Pampanga after passing Lubao, Pampanga. I brought a Race Marshal to be prepositioned on the said intersection.

At the vicinity BDM Km Post #80 (before reaching the Poblacion of Lubao, Pampanga), I saw Jonnifer Lacanlale brisk walking on the left side of the road and I asked him what is the problem or “issues” he was encountering. I slowed down driving my vehicle and asked him about his situation. He gave me a body language that sent me a message that he is “giving way” for the stronger runners and had some problems with his quad muscles due to stiffness and cramps. I smiled at him and shouted that he can still make it and be able to recover along the way. To be accurate, I shouted at him, “Kaya mo pa yan!” Pwede ka pang maka-recover niyan!” and gave him the “thumb-up” sign before I left him.

I tried to catch up with the lead runner/s as I proceeded to the Poblacion of Guagua, Pampanga. The first runner I was able to catch up (after leaving Jon Lacanlale) was Gene Olvis and tried to ask about his condition and he answered that he was doing fine. As I moved forward, I saw Sean Say Huat Tan approaching Km Post #85 and he was the second place runner at this point. I tried to ask him about his condition and he answered that he was doing fine. I gave him a “thumb-up” sign before I left him.

After positioning my Race Marshals at the Poblacion of Guagua, Pampanga, I proceeded to Bacolor, Pampanga, towards San Fernando, Pampanga, just to find out where Wilnar Iglesia was located. I was surprised to see him running towards BDM Km Post #97 and he was strong with a consistent pace. I asked him if he is ok and he replied with a positive answer. I could only conclude at this point that the lead runner was already ahead by 12 kilometers from the second runner.

As I returned to Poblacion of Guagua, Pampanga and to pick-up my Race Marshal at vicinity Km Post #83, I saw Sean Say Huat Tan approaching BDM Km Post #89 and Gene Olvis trailing him. After I picked up my Race Marshal at Km Post #83, I turned around and proceeded back to Guagua Poblacion. As I approached Guagua Poblacion, I saw Jon Lacanlale jogging & shuffling and he told me that he was able to recover and he is bouncing back on the race. At this point, my staff informed me that Wilnar Iglesia was approaching the BDM Km Post #102 with a time of 10:20 hours!

After 10+ hours had elapsed, the 59 runners have already stretched out within the distance of 35 kilometers in between the lead runner and the last runner!

BDM Km Post #83

At this point, Wilnar Iglesia was leading the runners with a time difference of 47 minutes from the 2nd runner, Sean Say Huat Tan and arrived with a time of 7:14 hours. The 2nd runner arrived at 8:01 hours. Gene Olvis was 3rd runner with a time of 8:11 hours while Jon Lacanlale arrived with a time of 8:40 hours. Singapore runners Wee Tech Hian and Hong Soon were ranked # 5 & #6, respectively with 19 minutes difference from Jon Lacanlale. Gilbert Gray from the USA improved his standing at this point and landed at #12 with a time of 11:16 hours. Ariel Cortez of the Philippine Army was ahead of him who arrived 6 minutes earlier with a time of 11:10 hours. Jonel Mendoza slowly improved his standing by placing #18 with a time of 12:45 hours. Mark Hernandez arrived at this point with a rank of #21 with a time of 12:57 hours followed by General Samuel Narcise in 13:00 hours. Jael Wenceslao had tremendously gained grounds at this point where he landed as #30 (from #51 @ Km Post #50) with a time of 13:23 hours. Patrick Alcomendas, who was consistently on the upper half of the runners, had slowed down and eventually arrived as runner #48 with a time of 14:26 hours. Joseph Soria was the last runner to arrive with a time of 15:03 hour.

Only 53 runners arrived and crossed this point. Six (6) runners have declared themselves as DNF.

BDM Km Post #102

Wilnar Iglesia reached this point in 10:20+ hours as the leading runner. Gene Olvis was the 2nd runner to arrive with a gap of 1:26 hours from the lead runner. Sean Say Huat Tan was 3rd with 5 minutes difference from the 2nd runner with a time of 11:51 hours. Jon Lacanlale was 4th with a time of 12:36 hours followed by Seah Hong Soon in 12:44 hours and Wee Tech Hian in 12:59 hours. Francisco Lapira was trailing Paulina Tanoto with 3 minutes difference as he arrived in # 9 with a time of 13:45 hours. Gilbert Gray had overtaken Ariel Cortez and Junrox Roque and placed #10 as he reached this point in 13:53 hours. Albert Salazar had also recovered and arrived as #15 with a time of 15:10 hours. Kelly Lim was the 2nd woman to arrive as #21 with a time of 16:27 followed by Abe Lim of the USA with a time of 16:28 hours. Unfortunately, Abe Lim had to wave and drop the towel once he crossed BDM Post #102. General Samuel Narcise was able to overtake Jonel Mendoza along the way as the General arrived as #23 with a time of 16:31 hours followed by Joma Galauran in 16:41 hours and Jonel Mendoza in 16:42 hours.

Haide Acuna was the 3rd lady runner to cross the BDM Km Post #102 in 17:34 hours and ranked #37. Raiza Tulan was the 4th and last lady runner that reached this point in 17:39 hours. The last runner who cleared this point in 18 hours was Dionam Basco and the rest of the runners behind him were declared DNF.

After 18 hours of running, only 49 runners were left on the road with the goal to reach the finish line within the cut-off time of 30 hours. Ten (10) runners eventually were declared as DNF.

BDM 160K Km Post #135 (@ Vicinity Bamban Bridge)

Wilnar Iglesia arrived at this point in 14:21 hours with a time difference of 1:56 hours from the 2nd runner, Sean Say Huat Tan who arrived at 16:17 hours. Eight (8) minutes later, Gene Olvis arrived as the 3rd runner with a time of 16:25 hours. Jon Lacanlale was 4th trailing behind Gene Olvis by 27 minutes and arrived at this point in 16:52 hours. Sean Hong Song was the 5th runner with a time of 17:30 hours and trailing behind Jon Lacanlale with a time difference of 38 minutes. Wee Tech Hian was the 6th runner with 15 minutes behind Hong Soon. Arman Fernando was able to gain grounds as he was able to overtake Francisco Lapira and Gilbert Gray and put himself to number #8 with a time of 18:15 hours. Paulina Tanoto, the 1st woman in the race, placed #11 with a time of 20:15 hours. Julius Giron was able to overtake Junrox Roque and he placed #15 with a time of 21:43 hours with Junrox Roque trailing behind with 9 minutes difference. Jael Wenceslao was already ranked as #18 with a time of 22:05 hours at this point and was able to jump from #30 @ BDM Km Post #102. (This guy really conserved his energy during the daytime run and only to get stronger during the night run!) Jonel Mendoza was steadily maintaining his pace with a time of 23:52 hours while General Samuel was following him with a gap of 8 minutes and a time of 24:00 hours.

At this point, my time marshals had only listed 35 runners who passed the Bamban Bridge with the last runner, Arturo Virata, with a time of 24:22 hours and it was already 6:09 AM of Sunday.

The remaining runners have only 6 hours left before the cut-off time of 30 hours with 25 kilometers to go. Severe running–related injuries would be the only reasons why any one of them would not reach and cross the Finish Line and declare themselves as DNF. The mental challenge was on the mind of each of the runner at this point.

@ Highway Post #118/Turn-Around Point on the last 5K

As I approached the turn-around point at Km 118 near the TRADOC, PA Compound in Camp O’Donnell to check if my route marshal had been positioned thereat, I saw Wilnar Iglesia and his Pacer brisk walking in his half-naked attire with long tights as he was 100 meters away from the turn-around point. I said some encouraging words to him that he could finish the race in sub-18 hours! He looked pale and tired but I could see in his eyes the determination to finish the race with a good time.

I left him on the road and proceeded directly inside the Capas National Shrine to set-up the Finish Line Banner, the electrical lightings, and prepare for the Silver Buckle and other awards/souvenirs for the finishers. I knew I have a lead time of almost one hour before he finally arrives inside the Shrine.

Finish Line @ Capas National Shrine

Wilnar Iglesia arrived and crossed the Finish Line at exactly 11:22 PM of Saturday evening with an official time of 17:35:48 hours. It took him 3:14 hours to cover the last 25K-leg of the race. After the traditional “hug” from the RD, I gave him his Awards—1st BDM 160K Silver Buckle; #1 Finisher’s Medallion, BDM Km Post Trophy, and Finisher’s T-Shirt with Collar. He was apologetic to me for having slowed down and walked on the last 9 kilometers of the race and thereby extending so much time for me to wait for him to cross the Finish Line. This guy is so humble!

From here, it was a waiting game for me for the next runner/s to arrive. The Shrine was so silent and the place was windy and cold. It was past midnight already and I was shivering from the cold breeze of the early morning. Even if I was wearing a thick Adidas Cotton Track Suit with a T-Shirt inside, I was still feeling cold that I have to get inside my vehicle just to be able to warm myself.

After 3:17 hours, I was surprised to see Jonnifer Lacanlale approaching the Finish Line Banner from a distance of 10 meters! He was running like hell and as fast as possible as if somebody was trying to catch and kill him from behind! He was trying to catch his breath and perspiring like he was running under the heat of the sun when I hugged him! After the traditional hug, he immediately lie down on the cemented steps of the Shrine to rest. His official finish time is 20:52:18 hours!

Almost 2 minutes after Jon Lacanlale crossed the Finish Line, Gene Olvis was also sprinting so fast to cross the finish line as if he had seen a ghost along the 400-meter paved stretch of the Capas National Shrine! Gene was able to register an official time of 20:54:08 hours placing himself as the 3rd runner to cross the Finish Line. I overheard Gene saying the following to Jon Lacanlale, “Pare, ang lakas-lakas mo!” Through the blog of Jon Lacanlale, I found out that these “two warriors” battle it out on the last 5K of the course with a blistering pace of a 5,000-meter run in an oval track!

And the rest is history.

Sean Say Huat Tan of Singapore arrived as the 4th runner in 21:07:42 hours. Wee Tech Hian, another Singapore runner arrived as the 5th runner with a time of 21:44:06 hours. Totoy Santos arrived as the 6th runner followed by a teary-eyed Sean Hong Soon of Singapore as the 7th runner in 22:30:11.

Arman Fernando was so gentleman enough not to overtake Sean Hong Soon who finished ahead of him by mere 5 seconds! Arman placed #8 with an official time of 22:30:16 hours. I found out later that he really wanted to be ranked as #8 Finisher because it’s his favorite number. He even reserved the Race Bib #688 for this race. So, he got his lucky number in this race, from Start to Finish!

Francisco Lapira crossed the finish line as #9 with an official time of 23:21:10 hours. His hug was a memorable one as he lifted me for a few seconds in the air. Gilbert Gray from the USA, carrying the flags of the USA and Philippines, followed in a few seconds as the #10 with a time of 23:21:25 hours. While he was hugging me, he also lifted me into the air. These guys are really big and strong and still have the strength to carry me after going through a 100-Mile run. These guys are simply amazing!

Ariel Cortez, a First Lieutenant of the Philippine Army, arrived at the Finish Line at sunrise with an official time of 24:49:39 hours placing him in #11th position. After one hour, Jael Wenceslao arrived with his wife, Cookie, as his Official Pacer with a time of 25:49:33 hours placing him in #12th position. Jael was sporting a “Tony Krupicka”-look (half-naked with very short running shorts) without the long hair and mustache/beard!

The first woman finisher, Paulina Tanoto of Singapore, followed as the #13th runner with a time of 25:56:37 hours. The 2nd woman finisher, Kelly Lim, proudly carried the Singapore Flag as she crossed the finish line as # 29 with a time of 28:54:38 hours. She had to be given with a seat after she crossed the Finish Line and she was seated while I was giving her awards.

General Samuel Narcise finally entered the Gate of the Capas National Shrine with so much time to spare before the cut-off time of 30 hours. He was declared finisher #31 as he crossed the Finish Line in 29:18:20 hours.

At this moment, I started to ask the location and condition of my friend, Jonel Mendoza. As the minutes and seconds ticked before the cut-off time of 30 hours, I received information that he had 18 kilometers more to go before he reaches the Finish Line and he had some “issues” to deal with. I advised his crew for him to finish the race even beyond the cut-off time. As I closed the arrival of the Official Finishers of the race, I got information that he declared himself as DNF for the race.

Officially, 34 runners, out of the 59 starters, finished the race within the cut-off time of 30 hours. At exactly 11:47 AM of Sunday noon, the official time was closed.

Unofficial Finishers

I maybe harsh and strict with my rules and regulations in my races but there are also ways and means where I could be very kind and generous to my runner-competitors. It is for this reason that I waited for the arrival of the remaining runners who forced themselves to keep up the challenge to finish the FIRST 100-Mile Run in the country and get the reward for their accomplishment. Although I don’t include them in my Official List or Result of my races, I will mention them and acknowledge their accomplishment through this blog. (These guys should be paying me an extra compensation for waiting for them up to 6 hours under the heat of the sun!)

#35 Ramon Gillego—–30:23:27 hours

#36 Haide Acuna (F)—31:08:05 hours

#37 Mar Marilag ——-34:05:54 hours

#38 Christopher Montaos—36:05:08 hours

Except for the BDM 160K Silver Belt Buckle, these 4 “brave runners” received their Bataan 160K Finisher’s Medallion, BDM Km Post Trophy, and Finisher’s T-Shirt.


My special gratitude and thanks to all the runners who had the courage to be a part of this historic event in running in this country. Each of these runners has their own story to tell as they could even write a book out of their failures and victories in order to explore and go beyond their physical and mental limits. These runners, whether they are finishers or not, will serve as inspiration to upcoming ultra runners in this country.

The “flood gates” had been opened and we have proven that we can conduct a 100-mile road race in our country despite our hot and humid weather (without corporate sponsors). We have proven also that we are already known by other countries and ultra runners worldwide that there is a historic Bataan Death March Ultra Marathon Race which could be done ONLY on the very exact place where history/event had happened. There is only ONE Bataan Death March Route and it is located in the very heart of our country.

This road race will remain to be the ultimate test to runners who have properly trained and prepared for the daunting distance. This race is not for the fast runners but a race for the patient, matured, strong, smart, and have the positive determination to finish the race.

See you on the next edition of the BDM 160K Ultra Marathon Race!


26 thoughts on “Race Director’s Report: 1st BDM 160K Ultra Marathon Race (Longest Edition)

  1. Thanks for the wonderful and incredibly detailed report General! It made the whole event seem so vivid and full of life, and brought back so many memories. Congratulations again on the success of the best ultramarathon ever!

    Doc Art
    (last runner km post 135 hehe)


  2. ripley22

    wow sir!!!

    this is such an interesting article!!! i’m chasing to finish reading your report like chasing to finish an interesting detective novel… its amazing that you have such a great memory, capturing all the details, including the split time, etc… thanks so much for sharing it with everyone… 🙂

    i will see you again next year, sir… but this time, i will crew and attempt to take some nice photos… 🙂

    see you in a year’s time!

    warmest regards,
    kelly from singapore…


  3. kingofpots

    thanks, kelly. my report could had been more dramatic if i had time to upload/insert photos of the race. i’ll just wait for my laptop to be repaired as i have the rest of the photos still stored in my digital camera. see you next year!


  4. fanaticinformant

    Thank you for making this BDM160 possible. It was not an easy decision to DNF, so next year, I will be back with a vengeance! For now, it’s time to recover for another long run ahead… and then back to training mode for the 2012 BDM160 edition! God bless you, Sir Jovie!

    B. Tiangco
    Titanium Runner


    1. kingofpots

      blas, the BDM 160 will always be there waiting for you. train harder and smarter next time and for all you know your friends will be back again running with you. see you soon at the get together party.


  5. sundaywarrior

    Hi Sir, this blow by blow account really said it all, running 160 kms is hard enough but the pressure of reaching 102 and 160 with cut-off times was more of the mental part. I have to dig deep in the last 25kms with the run-walk strategy just to stay in the game and beat the 30hr cut-off.. Thanks for doing the impossible and that runners will always be thankful in your advocacy! Congrats Sir BR..


    1. kingofpots

      i know what you feel. i may not yet experienced finishing a 100-mile race but i have already some information what runners have experienced in their quest to finish their 1st 100-mile race through the numerous blogs in the internet. many failed in their first try and many also made it but what made runners to finish the distance is to adhere to the run-walk strategy. being smart spells the difference. congrats again!


  6. ed328

    A painful 160K race but amazing experience, I still can FEEL in the detailed event of your report. It’s a lifetime privilege to be part of this history. To me you are “THE FATHER OF ULTRA RUNNERS” in the Philippines. More power and thank you very much!!! – Ed Yonzon


    1. kingofpots

      it is a honor to be called as such. but there are good ultra runners in the past and still running but i guess, the problem with them was that they did not encourage other runners to do the impossible which means that they kept their running feats and accomplishments by themselves. congrats! you were consistent on your standing up to Km Post 102 but you have slowed down on the last kilometers but it is understandable. you did great!


  7. gingerbreadrunning

    Thanks for the great race report Sir Jovie. I felt that I started strong and that put me in a position to finish within cutoff later on even when it seemed I had nothing more to give. I hit Km 50 same time as Jonel, which meant we were still at the top 20 as per your report. I was also happy that I had a new “102 PR” by about an hour. If not for that, I would have not made it. I owe everything to Abby and my support crew, they willed me to finish. My prayers go out to Jonel for his speedy recovery, and I am also amazed at Wency’s negative split technique, he covered that final 58k in what seemed like 9 hours or so. Thank you for giving me a chance to show our mettle even if I had been out of the scene for awhile, I always believed I could do it if given the chance. God bless Sir, hopefully you like my article on our race when it comes out.


    1. kingofpots

      luis, from the very start, i knew you can make it with all the people around you who will support you as your pacer & crew. after passing the km post 102, that is where you find out what you are made of. everything is already a mental game from that point to the finish line. that is why i allowed a pacer for each runner from Km 102-160 and you are very lucky to have abby as your companion. well, i am sure it will be an exciting experience to read your personal account in your blog. thanks for supporting this race. you made a history, my friend!


  8. Babawi ako Sir BR. next year… kung hindi ako tinamaan ng Blisters… i would have go on and finish the race.. I was still strong at 102k… but.. the pain was so un bearable sobra… Kaya next year. I will surely remember my mistakes and prepare for far more worse scenarios… I will bring this buckle back home… !!


    1. kingofpots

      jeff, you have the next 11 months to prepare and train for the next edition of the race. blisters could be prevented through proper care and treatment and the use of appropriate socks. try to experiment but i suggest you try the DryMax running socks. good luck! see you at the get together party.


  9. Human drama at its best. BDM160 is not only about the runners and race organizer. It is also about the vicarious experience of crew, supporters and bystanders with the runners during the race. They also have their own story to tell.

    This is perhaps the best entry of this blog so far! Vivid, detailed, captivating and poignant. Congratulations for making this race possible and the history that goes with it to the whole world. A task of such magnitude and honor to our WWII veterans. Cheers!


    1. kingofpots

      atty, jon, you are right. everybody who witnessed the BDM 160 has a story to tell and share but you and the rest of the runners will remain as the main actors/actresses of this human drama and historic running event. how i wished i could write longer and mention those “other” human dramas that happened to all and each of the 59 “brave warriors” as i’ve gathered during and immediately after the race. once again, thank you very much for supporting this event.


  10. bugobugo

    sir jovie,

    first of all, let me congratulate you for successfully staging the 2011 bdm 160 and 102. indeed, the adage,”build and they shall come”, is true.

    i remember our very first de-virginizing ultra experience together almost 3 years ago when we went up pinatubo with nicko, george and capt espejo, and you shared your vision with us. i am happy to have been part of your achievements. and it will be my honor to be part of these races in the many years to come.

    what happened to me is just a reality that can happen to anyone, to the average runner(that i am) not the least. i hope that one day, i will be able to share my experience in the hope that what happened to me shall never be repeated.

    my experience notwithstanding, i enjoyed each and every step i made, all the pain, blisters and sore muscles that followed are a given in a sortie like this. there is no room for whining and excuses. i dnf’ed and failed this time, that’s it.

    be assured that i and frontRUNNER Magazine will always be at your beck and call in whatever capacity for your future endeavors.

    i thank the good Lord for a second stab in life and for friends and visionaries like you.

    in the meantime while i cool my heels, i shall gladly drop and do 160 push ups instead while i am not still allowed to run a 160.

    cheers apo!

    your wing man,



    1. kingofpots

      jonel, even the world’s top 100-mile runners had DNFed in their races and they are proud to tell to the world that they did it. i know how you feel but this experience will make you a stronger runner in the future. yes, those good old days, 3 years ago, when i expressed my vision about running in the country to you, george, nickko and capt espejo. this vision is being realized with the positive involvement of more runners (local & international) in our ultra running events. i can still remember that you were the only “walking endorser/advertiser” of the 1st BDM 102 and then later as the “FB/internet endorser” for the 1st BDM 160 and i am grateful for those support. bounce back, my friend and we’ll be happy to see you at the get together party.


  11. Thank you for the opportunity Sir Jovie, as for me, I believe that my whole plan worked well. Plus the fact that I was supported by my crazy friends who never thought of sleeping as well.
    (yun lang, wala ako sa race report hehe!)

    I’m not sure if I’m running next year. The thought of BDM scares me.
    Sobrang wasak!



    1. kingofpots

      wee, thanks for joining this event. hopefully, that will be realized as more of your contrymen will come and experience this memorable race. good luck on your next races.


  12. kingofpots

    thanks, haide! i know how it feels to be a warrior! your wish is granted. i will make my announcements during the awarding & get together party this wednesday evening. see you soon.


  13. Sir BR,

    Thank you for the experience. A race where i did not cross the finish line for the first time, and guess that i an also the first casualty of this event. I do not know what happened, i an running strong till the 60th kilometer. Something went wrong (i felt it) on the succeeding kilometers and on the 70km post, dehydration forced its way from finishing my dream. I felt bad when i realized that i will not be able to see the end of the race. Not only did i fail myself but also the people who believed in me. With your permission sir, i would like to run once again next year.
    …i am thankful not only to my crew members (billy and jeff) but also to those who extended their aid and encouragement to all the runners even thoug they do not know us personally. Thank you for taking care of us. Lastly to rico c., thank you!

    BR and the team, BDM warriors and Crew members, i salute everyone!


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