In the military, if you are caught “sleeping on post” during a guard duty, you will face a “military court martial” and if you are found guilty, it means the end of your military career.
Well, this is how an ultrarunner looks like when he is “sleeping on post” during an adventure run…and during those times when he misses his regular posts in this blog (joke!). The picture below says it all!
9:30 AM September 21, 2011 to 4:00 AM September 22, 2011
One week after I was bitten by an astray dog in San Narciso, Zambales during my first attempt on this adventure run, I was back where I started at the Remy Field’s Oval Track inside the Subic Freeport. I started the run at 9:30 AM which is 30 minutes earlier than the targetted 10:00 AM start time. As I was about to enter the Oval Track, I met some triathletes, Melvin Fausto and two others on their bikes who just had their running workout at the Oval Track. I told them about my event to start a run from the Oval Track all the way to Pangasinan. These guys wished me good luck and shaked my hand before I finally started the run.
After a brief photo-ops and one lap around the oval track, I was on my way for my second attempt to finish what I’ve started. Initially the sky was clear from clouds but I could feel a colder wind coming from the sea. I walked the first 2 kilometers until I reached the Kalaklan Gate & Bridge and turned left as I entered the Olongapo-Bugallon Highway. You would notice in my picture that I was wearing the red ARC (Los Angeles) shirt and red Zhensa calf sleeves. I thought this color would mean “luck” for me on this attempt. It was also my attempt to run with my Hoka One One Bondi B (courtesy of Joe Matias of ARC) and find out its comfortability in road runs. I’ll make a separate shoe review on this pair of shoes later in my future posts.
I was already confident and familiar with the terrain from the Olongapo City Public Cemetery all the way to San Narciso, Zambales. I became faster this time as I limited my “pit stops” and shortened my time to rest and eat solid foods. I never attempted to update my blog or opened my laptop as I wanted to cover much more distance this time.
It started to rain after I left the town of Subic and as I was approaching the town of Castillejos, Zambales. I had to bring out my The North Face “Venture” Waterproof Jacket and used it to protect my body from the cold feeling brought about by a damp shirt on my body. I’ve observed that even if my shirt was wet from my own perspiration, I could still feel a comfortable temperature that is being maintained on my body using the TNF Waterproof Jacket. The body heat that is trapped by the jacket balances the cold feeling that is brought by the damp shirt to my body. The jacket gave me the much-needed comfort during the downpour of rain.
I never had a decent lunch this time as I ate some solid foods and tried to ingest some GU Gels in between my “pit stops”. In this manner, I was able to cover farther distance from my first attempt. As scheduled, I had again my decent dinner in the very same place where I had dinner in San Narciso, Zambales. This time, my crew and I stayed longer in the said “carinderia” and we had to engage them with some conversation. They were surprised to see us again for the second time and we told them about the dog bite incident. We later found out that the owner of the establishment is a retired Philippine Marines. Ultimately, they knew our purpose why we were there. However, we paid for our bill.
A short conversion with the owner of the carinderia spread like a wildfire that every people along the route in the Poblacion of San Narciso knew that I was on my way to Iba, Zambales which is still 43 kilometers away by running through the night. I could hear the conversations among the people along the road and among the tricycle drivers waiting for passengers from arriving buses and pointing at me that I was running towards the capital town of the province. At this point, I was already on my 8th hour of running for the day.
I brought out my headlight and my Surefire Flashlight and became wiser now from not using my Ipod during night run and for that matter, on this whole second attempt of this run! The highway was dark and I could only see some lights on the road in the center of each municipality. The road was silent and my support vehicle and crew were on my back “shadowing” me. There was no vehicle around except for the Victory Liner Buses that travel along the said Highway. I would observe that it’s the only Bus Transport Line that caters to the said route. I was already running on the right side of the road with my support vehicle on my back giving me more illumination on the road ahead of me.
My headlight served as my early warning light from incoming vehicles while my Surefire flashlight served as my weapon for barking dogs along the road, I have observed that the powerful illumunation from this special type of handheld flashlight is so strong that dogs would stop barking. I believe that this kind of flashlight is used among the police and military security forces to stun their targets through their stong and powerful illumination. So, for the whole stretch of the road, I was protected by this flashlight. However, from time to time, one of my escorts would come out from my support vehicle with a baseball bat just to be ready to use it if there is any brave dog who would attack me while I was running. Yes, I was well-armed and protected this time!
The next town was San Felipe after San Narciso, It was uneventful until I reached the Poblacion of Cabangan, Zambales. As I was about to take my “pit stop”, I was approached by one of the residents riding on his bike and a conversation started. I forgot to ask his name but I’ll just call him as “Cabangan Biker” (CB). Some portions of our conversation went this way: (Our converation was in Tagalog but I’ll have to translate it to English in this post)
Cabangan Biker (CB): It seems you are running through the night. Where did you start and where is your destination?
Bald Runner (BR): Yes, I’ve been running since 10:00 AM today and I started in Subic Base. I hope to reach Iba, Zambales before the day breaks.
CB: You are very strong! How old are you, Sir?
BR: I am already 59 years old. You are using a bike. Why are you still awake this time of the night?
CB: I have a small business which I own and operate. I am on my way home when I saw you running towards the Poblacion and I followed you and your support vehicle.
BR: You look very athletic. Do you run, too?
CB: I started running few months ago because a friend of mine invited me to run in one of the road races in Manila. I joined a 5K run and then a 10K run and lately, I just finished a half-marathon run in RunRio’s UNILAB Run. Now, we have a running club here among friends.
BR: That’s good! Congratulations on your first half-marathon finish!
CB: Our running club only join races in Manila when it is a Run Rio’s Event!
BR: Of course, you have to be selective in your races because it is very expensive on your part to be travelling from Cabangan, Zambales to Manila and back. Why do you like and prefer to run in Run Rio’s Events?
CB: Our group likes RunRio Events because there are more people/participants running the race. We find enjoyment if we see a lot of different people running along side with us. The more people to see, the better for us! However, I am a competitive cyclist and it is my favorite sports!
BR: So, you are a cyclist! Do you participate in cycling events, too? How often?
CB: We have cycling group/team here and we usually compete in Subic Cycling Events and to other provincial cycling events to include Duathlons!
BR: So you are very athletic and competitive also. That’s good! C’mon let’s eat!
The conversation went on as I consumed the hot noodles and boiled bananas prepared for me. I found out from CB, who is in his late 30s, that Cabangan Poblacion is the turn-around point for the cycling stage in the yearly White Rock 70.3 Triathlon. So, basically the route where I was running is the route of the White Rock 70.3 Triathlon. Very interesting!
After I finished with my “pit stop”, I resumed my run towards the next town—Botolan. CB was still looking at me as I left the Poblacion’s Public Park!
I could only see at least 10-15 meters ahead of me brought about by the light of my support vehicle and the rest on my sides was totally dark. From time to time , I had to check on my watch for my HR and I was surprised that I was having an average of 132 bpm during the run. I was running comfortably making sure to take a sip of water from my handheld Nathan “Sprint” bottle (bought from ARC Los Angeles). And everything was on “cruise control”. I would stop as I asked for my hydration bottle to be filled up with water. There are times also that I had to take some GU Gels every other hour. I was running an average of 6-7 kilometers per hour on this part of the route as I didn’t know if I was running uphill or downhill except when approaching on bridges. All the bridges on this part of the route have uphill approaches but as soon as you reach the end of the bridge, everything is downhill.
The distance and the road from Cabangan to Botolan took me sometime to cover it. It could be a half-marathon distance with lots of uphill and downhill on the last 6 kilometers from the town’s Poblacion. The best part of this route was that I could hear the sound of the strong waves coming from the beach on my left side and it became good “music” to my ears for almost 8-10 kilometers! The worse part is that on the last 3 kilometers from the Poblacion of Botolan, there is a road construction and widening of the road being done and the road was full of mud and loose soil. The feeling was that as if I was running on a trail for about 2 kilometers. I thought it was better to be running on muddy and damp ground rather than running on a dusty road. It was good also that there were only one or two vehicles that passed me along this part of the route.
Finally, I reached the Poblacion of Botolan and it was about 3:30 AM of September 22 and I was on the road for the past 17 hours! I did a slow run once I passed the Municipal Hall and started to walk and be ready for a short “pit stop”. After eating boiled banana and eggs, I felt sleepy and it started to rain. I decided to get inside the vehicle and look for a decent place where I could change to dry clothes and sleep for awhile. From this point, I still have 6 kilometers to go before reaching Iba, Zambales!
The rain was so hard that I could hardly see the road while I was inside the vehicle. Moreso, it was harder to look for the names of the establishments on the sides of the road. It took us sometime to find a place as most of the resorts did not have a personnel to man their registration offices at 4:00 AM. Finally, we checked in to a new motel which has the amenities of a hotel. I guess, the name of the establishment is “Circles Inn” which is located in between Botolan and Iba, Zambales! I went immediately to bed once I changed to a drier clothes and my support crew just did that. We were all tired after 18+ hours on the road
The plan was to sleep for about 4 hours, take a bath, change to a new attire, have a decent meal, and we were ready to continue the journey for our second day! So far, everything went well and I was able to cover a distance of 73 kilometers!
1. I could run and walk as far as 73 kilometers in 18+ hours to include “pit stops”.
2. I could run on the run & bike legs of the White Rock 70.3 Triathlon Event and I am now familiar with it. It does not mean that I will try also to swim its swimming course at the Subic Bay in the future. But, who knows?
3. A simple conversation from the local residents creates a fast news to everybody along the road.
4. It is nice to engage to people along the road and find out more about the place and the people.
5. Local folks would like to run in Metro Manila (and Run Rio’s Event) for the fun of being part of a bigger crowd & running community.
6. All night running is very relaxing and silent. The cooler temperature made my Average HR to be in the lower 130’s and it kept me going without any muscle cramps or soreness on my legs.
7. And last, Surefire Flashlights are really good for barking/attacking dogs along the road!
The lists of invited runners are now posted in this blog. Please click the appropriate BDM Race PAGE above to view the list.
Invited runners are encouraged to follow the instructions stated in the Letter of Invitation. There will be no extension of deadline for the payment of Registration Fee. (Remember that you paid your Registration Fees immediately when you applied to join in one or in every road race like, the Standard Chartered Singapore/Hongkong/Kuala Lumpur Marathons; New York City Marathon; San Francisco Marathon; Portland Marathon; Big Sur Marathon; Boston Marathon; Los Angeles Marathon; or California International Marathon—I am registered in this race and I paid last June and this race will be held yet on the 1st Sunday of December!).
Guys, your BDM Race had always been an International Road Race!
On the rules and regulations, we are updating some of them. Updates on this matter will be published on this blog and/or at the BDM site at www.bataan102.blogspot.com.
1st Mayon 360-degree 50-Mile Ultra Marathon Run had been adjudged and awarded as the 2011 Best Sports Tourism Event (Provincial Level Category) by the Association of Tourist Officers of the Philippines (ATOP) during the newly concluded Convention among Tourism Officers and Agencies in Capiz City (Roxas) last October 3-6, 2011.
This kind of running event in the “grassroots” level should be a good example to be emulated by the local government. It was a very successful event due to the full support given by the leadership of the province through the Office of the Governor of Albay. Governor Joey Salceda was totally supportive of the event in terms of cash prizes and for the logistics needed to implement the event. The JCI of Legazpi was instrumental also in creating and organizing this event but what matters most was the cooperation and “volunteerism” by the members of the Provincial League of Barangays and other government entities in the province.
I don’t need to mention particular names of those who were involved in the planning and implimentation of the event in this post as I had mentioned them already in my Race Director’s Report after the event.
Congratulations to everybody! See you next year on the 2nd edition of the race!
The following are the results of the 3rd BR’s Barefoot & Minimalist 6K Run held at the Philippine Army Grandstand & Parade Ground’s Jogging Lane o/a 4:30 PM October 8, 2011 (Saturday):
Gerda Summerian Cuestas (F)
Loreta Llamado (F)
Rexie Saldivar (F)
Podium Finishers (1, 2 & 3) for the Men’s and Ladies Categories for each Barefoot and Minimalist Events may now claim their respective VFF Prize/VFF Shoes from Cherry Ermita at cellphone #0917-807-0330 or send an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use these results as your reference.
Whether we have 10 or less runners for this event (and rain or shine), we will continue the effort to sustain this endeavor in order to promote barefoot/minimalist running.
As you all know, I stopped this run after covering the distance of 40 kilometers after being bitten by an astray dog at the Poblacion of San Narciso, Zambales at around 7:40 PM of September 14, 2011, Wednesday. However, I would like to relate what transpired, in detail, from the time before I started the run up to the time when I reached the Poblacion of San Narciso.
The day before I started this first attempt, I was having some problem with my stomach as I’ve been having a LBM for the past days and I was taking Loperamide tablets on a daily basis but to no avail, my condition did not improve. I was wondering if I had a stomach virus that was keeping me from being cured from such predicament. The solution that I could think of was to take a Loperamide tablet every time I have to eat and drink something few hours before I took off. Such move relieved me somehow.
However, my aggressive drive was not there when I started for my “photo-ops” inside the Remy Field’s Oval Track at the Subic Freeport. You can’t see a smile on my face and for the first time in my adventure runs, I was nervous of the uncertainty of the challenge I was going to face. I guess, my biorythm was not synchronized with what was in my mind. But it suddenly rained while I was about to finish one lap on the oval track and my mood changed a little with the fact that this could be a “blessing” from heaven that it was a “GO” for me to continue this run. I finally started my run at 9:50 AM which is barely 10 minutes earlier from the usual 10:00 AM Elite runner’s realease for the Badwater Ultramarathon. (Note: If ever this will be an official running event, the race will start at exactly 10:00 AM)
I purposely walked while I was leaving the oval track and making my way to the Kalaklan Gate which is located on the northern end of the former US Navy Base of Subic. As I passed the Gate, I waved to the Security Police that was guarding the gate, he responded with a smile and I was out of the base. As I passed the bridge and turned left towards the Olongapo-Bugallon Highway, I was still walking and I was on the ascending portion that goes to the Gate of the Olongapo City Public Cemetery. I came to realize that the whole portion of the hill occupies the
Once I reached the peak, I started my slow run in the descending portion. I was always on the left side of the road making sure that I can see what is infront of me. The road to Olongapo City was a busy one and I was very careful of the incoming traffic because the road was wet due to the brief rain in the area.
My support vehicle was prepositioned in front of me in every 3 kilometers and I had to stop and cross the road to the other side in a careful matter in order to refill my handy Nathan “Sprint” Bottle and eat some solid foods. I was fortunate enough that the sun was covered with clouds for the first hour of my run. The first 4-5 kilometers was a “roller-coaster” where I strictly followed walking on the ascending portions and then running the descending ones. However, I have to regularly check on my Heart Rate Monitor Watch to be able to maintain a certain range of beats per minute. I made 135 bpm as my upper limit on my first 10 kilometers of the run.
Along the stretch from Olongapo City to the town of Subic (actually I was surprised that there is a town named after the former US Naval Base/Facility) which is a distance of about 10 kilometers, I could see only two things along the road—entrance to the beach resorts and bold & colored names of night clubs/bars. There are also commercial establishments and cafes where you can see “senior white” guys drinking their coffee and smoking their cigar (not cigarettes!). A typical “Cool”-look of retired US servicemen who knew their way around in the country and in Subic/Olongapo area. They are good contributors to the economy of the place. You could just imagine how they could spend their monthly retirement pay with a business to manage, a young wife/partner, a nice house with maids, a nice car, and a beach/sea where they could relax. Such kind of life way back to their country of origin would be a fortune and luxury only for the rich and famous!
It is along this stretch where I made my first status on Facebook, telling something about being “horny” while running on the hot and humid stretch of the Olongapo-Bugallon Highway and I received a lot of comments immediately after I posted it. Actually my feeling during the run was the complete opposite of what I’ve posted. I was trying to entertain myself and taking some positive vibes as the sun was already hot and it was noon time already. My hydration and nutrition strategy was strictly followed in order to last for the distance and I was feeling fine and strong.
I have to rest in waiting sheds along the road and most of them are located on my right. After eating and hydrating myself, I have to open my laptop computer to find out if my Internet connection is strong. I was glad I was able to post a brief summary and some pictures about my run where the signal is strong. It took me at least 30-35 minutes for these “pit stops” and had only a few remaining minutes to complete my targetted number of kilometers in every hour of my run. At least, I would be able to run or cover a distance of 5-6 kilometers per hour to include my rests/”pit stops”. For the next hours, this ritual had been repeated all the way as I covered more towns of Zambales. But I did not meet the required targetted mileage as hours passed by.
After Subic, the next place to go was the town of Castillejos, the birthplace of the Former President Ramon Magsaysay. The place is clean and it has paved sidewalks. I did not bother to pay attention that the preserved old house of the former President was on my side which I learned later on my next attempt. The next town would be San Marcelino, a big towm which serves as the meeting point/junction for the towns of San Antonio and San Narciso. If you turn left from the junction of the town near its Municipal Hall and Public Market, you would go along the Old Route that goes to the town of San Antonio but if you go straight, it will lead you to the new highway which is a “shortcut” to the town of San Narciso. This stretch of the Highway is wide, flat and with lesser traffic but the view of the ricefields on both sides of the road was very refreshing. On the east you would see the Zambales-Tarlac Mountains and the west would be endless sight of ricefields and some hills.
After my hourly “pit stops”, I was already on the boundary of San Narciso but I need at least 6 kilometers more to reach the Poblacion and it was starting to get dark. I had to use my Eddie Bauer Headlamp and hand-held flashlight to illuminate the ground about 2 meters ahead of me and I was comfortable with my run. As I slowly reached the Poblacion of San Narciso, I told my support crew that we need to have a decent and “hot” dinner along the first eatery (carinderia) that we could reach. That would be my first complete meal for the day. I decided to pass on the first one because there was a loud Karaoke with an out-of-tune and out-of-beat singer/performer. The place is crowded, too! So, I have to stop on the next eatery where there is no customer.
The owner of the carinderia was generous and kind that she allowed us to charge my laptop and heat up our electric thermos. For meals that cost us P 120.00 (rice and pork sinigang) and free use of their electricity for about an hour, it was something to cherish when you are in the province. I took some time to update my blog in this carinderia while talking to the owner and to the waitresses who happen to be the nieces of the owner. From our conversation, they were informed that I was running from Subic all the way to their place and hopefully end up in Iba, Zambales. (I did not tell them that I’ll be running further north from their province and end up in Alaminos, Pangasinan!).
Fresh from a decent meal and after changing my wet ARC shirt to a dry one, I was ready to continue my run. After almost one kilometer from this carinderia, I was attacked and bitten by an stray dog along a dark portion of the highway, barely 500 meters from the Municipal Hall and Public Plaza of San Narciso. “Houston, we have a problem!”
My first instinct was to stop on a lighted part of the road and see the wound clearly with my hand-held flashlight. I asked for some wet wipes from my support crew and immediately cleaned the wound as there was no blood coming out from the wound. One thing that I failed to prepare and bring was my basic first aid kit. This could be one of the reasons why there was something wrong in me! We had to rely on the services of an open drug store where we bought Betadine, Cotton and Bandage. After buying such medical needs, I walked to the Public Plaza where the park lights are stronger. I just sit on the steps that lead to the park while treating and cleaning my wounds.
It was time to call the doctors whom I know. Not only one but three of them and they gave me identical recommendations and procedures to follow. After I dropped my phone, I immediately decided to stop the run and go back immediately to Manila for my immediate treatment. In less than 18 hours, I had my anti-tetanus shots first and then my first anti-rabies shots, not after going in 3 different branches of Mercury Drug Store. The anti-rabies shot is not being carried by all Mercury Drug Stores and they are very expensive! For a 1/2 cc of injectable drug that costs P 1,630.00, the company that manufactures it would be making a lot of profit.
As of this writing, I was able to complete the required number of shots within 14 days after the 1st injection and the scars of the dog’s bite leave as a memory/souvenir of my first attempt to run the WC 200.
Stupid as it may seem, I put the blame on me for deciding to use the Ipod Shuffle during this run. For years, I’ve stopped using any wires on my runs but I brough it back last June of this year. (Reading Phil Maffetone’s training influenced me to go back to hearing music during my runs). As I said in previous post, using some kind of music on one’s ears disrupts ones depth of perception on his/her surroundings and it brought me to be complacent on the threat of the barking dogs. Thanks to the late Steve Jobs for inventing the Ipod as I owned a lot in the past and gave them as “gifts” to those who would like to have one when it came to the point that I finally decided to stop having wires during my runs. (It’s amazing that this post ends up to the visionary Steve Jobs! May he rest in peace.)
I never met this guy, Andre Blumberg from Hongkong, in person but we are “friends” on Facebook and I’ve seen him joined in this year’s TNF 100K in Bicol through pictures of other runners posted at Facebook. He had been travelling to other countries just to participate in TNF’s and other Ultra Races and he also finished the TNF 100 in Australia last June of this year. We were supposed to meet at this year’s MIWOK 100 last May at the Marin Headlands in San Francisco, California as he got a lottery slot for the race. But it never happened as he can not make it to the United States due to work commitments.
Last September 6, he sent me a message on Facebook which I’ll repost in this blog and it is self-explanatory:
Dear Sir Jovie, As you may we aware we will have the second Vibram HK100 event here in Hong Kong, along the famous MacLehose trail. 100km distance, around 4.5k vertical. It will take place on 18/19 Feb. Last year Lizzy Hawker joined, and no doubt next year there will be some good international presence as well. I am not directly involved with the event but know the RDs well and would like to support the race since it is the only 100km solo event currently in HK (we have many other events including a very tough 156km one, but they are all team events with at least 2 members to a team). I am very proud about the work you do for the ultra community in the Philippines. Whilst I did not have a chance yet to join any of your events (hopefully BDM160 next year), I cherish the Pinoy ultra community, largely because the people I met are all very friendly. I’ve worked in Manila for 6 months in the late 1990ies (but didn’t run at the time), so always keen to go back. Anyhow, purpose of my note is the following: I would like to consider sponsoring one or two athletes in your team to join the HK100 event in order to give them international exposure. I have no specific arrangement in mind yet, but I could help out with sponsoring the entrance fee and/or hotel and/or flight, or parts thereof. I know there are many talented and very hard working runners and that many of them may not be able to afford traveling overseas for a race, hence I would like to support perhaps one male and one female athlete to join this event, ideally this would be runners that have good potential and who would “grow” by participating internationally. The HK100 is a qualifying event for UTMB, Comrades and Western States, so it could be a stepping stone for one of the truly big events. Would be interested in your thoughts on the above.
I immediately sent this reply to him.
Wow! I am amazed with your gesture to help/support one/two of our pinoy ultrarunners. I could not imagine a foreigner offering such support. All along my blog and status at Facebook had been sending the message to my readers to support our elite athletes to international exposure and I am really surprised that you understood the predicament we have here.
Your offer is very timely as I am in a venture to send at least one/two elite runners to WS100 in 3 years time. I’ve talked already to two of my athletes and they have started training for the said goal. They wll be competing in the IAU Asian 100K Championship in Jeju on the last Saturday of March 2012 (1st weekend of April).
However, I have another 2 elite ultra runners whom I have to talk about your offer. I will update you on this matter in the coming days.
I will be sending an e-mail soon for us to discuss the details.
Thanks! God bless!
Why am I posting these exchange of messages in my blog? Because for the past THREE YEARS that I’ve been promoting ultrarunning races on the Philippines, nobody cared to have the INITIATIVE to offer any kind of support to our elite athletes for INTERNATIONAL exposure. Except for those “usual suspects” in ultrarunning whom I’ve been asking for support, I was able to bring two (2) of our elite long distance runners to the IAU Asian 100K Championship in Jeju, South Kore last year. Alquin Bolivar of the Philippine Army was able to set a National Record of 9:06+ hours for the said event where he placed #6 beating other countries.
I don’t want to mention the names of corporations and private institutions/Race Organizers who had been engaged in promoting their products and corporate names through running, and who should/must be at the forefront of having the initiative to help our elite athletes in international exposure. I am sorry to say that our ultrarunning as a sports could not be supported by the government as the different Sports Federations in the country are competing with each other for the funds coming from the Philippine Sports Commission. As I said before, the VISION of our Sports Federations only goes up having a Podium Finish at the SOUTHEAST ASIAN GAMES! And the government ONLY recognizes an athlete or a team if he/she/it wins a World’s or International Event.
Have you noticed that Race Organizers in our Marathon Races could not even send their (Pinoy) Winners to some of the prestigious Wold’s Championship in Marathon like Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin or London? I don’t know the reason why, BUT they could send an AVERAGE competetive runner to these Marathon Races through sponsorship! It boggles my mind as I am not envious with this kind of arrangement. It is simply a waste of resources sending such runners instead of sending our top elite runners who can really compete with the world’s best runners! It is the truth and I am sorry that, reality bites!
I had experienced “begging” to the government (to include politicians) and to some of the known private corporations in the past, most specifically when I planned to launch the 1st BDM 102 and most of them did not offer any support and as a result, I made a promise to myself that I will never attempt to do it again. I am satisfied and contended that I have “friends” who can understand my message in this blog and willing to support in my endeavors for the simple reason of promoting the sports of Ultra Running.
To Andre and to the “usual suspects” in ultra running, thank you for your INITIATIVE to support our Sports and to our elite athletes! God bless!
So, if you are awaken to what I am driving at in this post, then I will be glad to accept voluntary offers to support our elite athletes in order to bring them to international exposure, whether in Asia, Europe or in the United States. You can send a message on Facebook or send me a note to my e-mail address at email@example.com. It’s about time we have to hear from you. Don’t wait for a foreigner to be more generous to us than from a full-blooded Pinoy. Let us help one another!
Days after my trip from Bolinao, Pangasinan to coordinate in the conduct of the PAU’s COCOS To Sual 65K Run on the second week of July, there was “discussion” among my friends at Facebook about coming up with our First Pinoy to join the Badwater Ultra Marathon in California, USA. The discussion consisted of Joe Matias of ARC Los Angeles/Manila; Benjamin Gaetos; Tess Geddes; Rick Gaston, and myself. Joe Matias had just witnessed the conduct of the Badwater Ultra Marathon a few days after where he supported one of the runners in the name of his store in Los Angeles and he had an idea of suggesting Ben Gaetos or Rick Gaston to be the 1st Pinoy to join the said prestigious race.
It was a very interesting idea to ponder and discuss among Pinoy Ultra Friends at Facebook with Ben Gaetos as the most likely candidate for the said race. I even volunteered as one of the support crew of the team just in case Ben Gaetos is amenable with the idea. However, Ben gave his word that he could not make it due to financial reasons. And the the very interesting discussion just ended from there.
Idea Was Born
That discussion gave me the idea of coming up with a possibility of a “one stage” road race which is longer than the Badwater Ultra Marathon (135 miles) to even up the lack of elevation in the Philippines but the heat and humidity could be worse than the real event if done during the summer months of April or May.
Why go to Badwater, California when I (or anybody) can create a “Badwater Route” in the Philippines which is more scenic and refreshing to the eyes of the runners? And there is no need to pay for at least $ 1,000.00 for the registration fee and that is excluding expenses to be incurred for travel, accommodation, rent of support vehicles, and logistics for the runner and the members of the support crew. Yes, it takes a lot of fortune and resources to join the said event aside from the fact that you should have completed some of the well-known 100-mile endurance races!
The plan was the route from Bolinao, Pangasinan to Subic Freeport’s Remy Field Oval Track along the Olangapo-Bugallon Highway which is approximately 240 kilometers. Since I had the experience of running the Bolinao-Alaminos route during my “West To East” Adventure Run, I planned to try to run the distance of 200 kilometers from the Subic’s Remy Field Oval Track to Alaminos, Pangasinan.
However, if things will materialize in the planning of this race that will replicate the Badwater Ultra Marathon, the route will cover a distance of 240 Kilometers from the Subic Freeport’s Remy Field Oval Track to Bolinao, Pangasinan. Or the other possible option is to have the finish line at the Provincial Oval Track/Stadium at the vicinity of the Lingayen Gulf in Lingayen, Pangasinan. The significance of this option is that a runner starts from a former US Navy Seaport Facility, passing along the Birthplace/Province of the Former President Ramon Magsaysay (dubbed as the “President of the Masses”), a view of the lahar formations brought about by the eruption of Mt Pinatubo in Botolan, Zambalaes, a view of the Masinloc Coal Plant, a glimpse of Potipot Island, seeing the salt beds in Dasol, Pangasinan on both sides of the road, and finishing at the very exact location where the Battle of Lingayen Gulf happened in World War II when the US Forces returned to the Philippines to liberate us from the Japanese occupation. At least, there is history and tourism explanation of this route.
The only person who knew about my plan to run a 200-kilometer distance in one stage was Joe Matias of A Runners Circle (ARC) Specialty Store and I asked him to sponsor my run and explained to him that “I am creating a Badwater Route in the Philippines” and be able to “test run” it within two (2) months. He immediately gave his word to support my run and within a few weeks, he sent me load of “logistics” all the way from Los Angeles to include Gu Gels, ARC Shirts, ASICS Cap, Salt Caps, and Mix Drinks. Thanks, Joe for that superb and wonderful generosity!
Other solid foods and additional special drinks were bought at the Puregold Warehouse Store inside Subic Freeport to include Loaf Breads, Peanut Butter, Instant Noodles, Ensure Drinks, Nescafe Latte & Espresso Canned Drinks, Sports Drinks, Bottled Water and others. Emergency medicines were also bought at the Mercury Drug Store located within the compound. The usual boiled bananas and eggs were also prepared for the event.
I spent the following days and weeks on building my base-endurance by the number of hours I placed my feet on the ground. I had some daily runs at the ULTRA Oval Track and at the Philippine Army Grandstand & Parade Ground’s Jogging Lane with a minimum of 1.5 to 2 hours per workout. Whenever I have the chance, I could be in Subic Freeport’s roads and Remy Field’s Oval Track for more of my endurance runs lasting to 2 hours or more. My regular visits and “test runs” on the Taklang Damulag’s trail route in Fort Magsaysay had also added my training for this run where I was able to run for almost eight (8) hours under the heat of the sun and intermittent rains in one of my workouts. Speed was not a part of the training. Everything was purely on endurance with the use of the Heart Monitor.
The rule of thumb in my Heart Monitor training is to be able to maintain a HR below 150 beats per minute! If my HR Monitor exceeds to more than 150 bpm, it is a signal that I should start on a “brisk walking” mode until it settles to 120 bpm in order to start running again. But maintaining HR with an average of 140-145 bpm was perfect to me.
Side Story on My Running Form
During my 8-hour “test run” at the Taklang Damulag’s route, I asked my elite runner to take my pictures from my back as I ran the trail route. He took some pictures on many occassions during the run. While we were having our “pit stop” before the last 10K of our run, he mentioned that something is “wrong” with my running form and stride! He explained everything what he observed about my leg movement, stride, and footwork. I know all along that something is wrong with my left leg (my latest injury is on my left knee) through the years and nobody cared to correct me! I’ve been with three (3) running coaches for so many years of running but they did not have the courage to tell me what was wrong with my footwork! What they cared was for me to become a faster runner!
So, my elite runner started to explain to me what I was doing and what should be done to correct my footwork and stride. The correction was immediately done after our “pit stop” and he observed my footwork and strides from my back. He constantly cautioned and warned me if I was going back to my old form during the run. In short, for the last 10K of my run, I was strictly observed by my elite runner on my proper footwork. Since then, I was aware of said correction whenever I do my runs. What was good about it is that the pain on my left knee just disappeared after a few workouts with the corrected form and footwork!
The correction was so simple. I had to point my left toe more outward as I run until it will be conditioned to be pointing directly forward in the long run. Before, my left foot points inward during the take-off and on landing on the ground and this movement put some added pressure to my left knee, thus, after years of running, the knee is already in pain absorbing such added pressure. My leg stride is not balanced. My left foot lands on the ground with more force than my right foot which means that my left foot is exerting more effort than my right foot. My elite runner suggested that I have to loosen my right hips and let my right leg exert some effort during the run. It seems that my right leg is “lazy” during my runs due to stiff hip muscles/flexors. I am still working on my hips to be loose and it was suggested to have more massage on my butt and hip muscles! And the last advise was to have my foot land on the ground on a flatter mode, not on a forefoot strike. Basically, it is flatter than a midfoot landing where tmy midfoot lands almost at the same time with my heel.
After weeks of corrective measures on my footwork and strides, it became natural to me and I could run effortless with higher and more consistent cadence of strides. Of course, I am still “shuffling” but I am more efficient and injury/pain-free during my runs as a result of such corrective measures. One of my running friends observed about the change in my running strides/form when I had my speed run at the ULTRA Oval Track just to apply the corrective measures I have to follow. I had 10 X 800-meter session at that time and I was happy that I did not have any pains on my left knee. However, that was my only “speed” session for the two months that I prepared for this run.
I prepared at least 5 pairs of shoes—Adidas Adizero Adios, Adidas Adizero Mana, Adidas Adizero Rocket, New Balance MT 101, and Hoka One One Bondi B (courtesy of ARC Store Los Angeles).
For my running apparel, ARC Store provided me with shirts (long-sleeves and short sleeves) and brought my ASICS Compression shorts; NIKE Running Shorts; and my ever-reliable ADIDAS Tech-Fit Compression Shorts.
Calf Sleeves: Zhensa (Red & Black)
Hydration System: Nathan’s “Sprint” 10 oz. Handheld Bottle
Running Socks: DryMax
Runner’s Cap: ASICS with cover on the nape (courtesy of ARC); NIKE cap; and Under Armor Cap
Waterproof Jacket/Windbreaker: The North Face: Men’s Venture Jacket (Hyvent DT)
Electronic Gadgets: Ipod Shuffle with Philips Earphones; TIMEX Watch with HR Monitor; Garmin Forerunner 305; Gymboss; SONY VAIO Laptop with SMART BRO Internet Mobile Connection.
Lights: Eddie Bauer Headlights and SureFire’s 6P Flashlight
Medicine: ALEVE Caplets (NSAID) 220 mg.
A telephone call was made to the Commander of the Northern Luzon Command (NOLCOM) of the AFP and SMS to the Commander & Operations Officer of the 7th Infantry Division, Philippine Army requesting them for security and monitoring of my movement along the route by their intelligence operatives. These are military personnel in plain clothes who would mingle with the crowd along the route or stay in one area to watch what is infront and back of me and my support vehicle, most especially during my night runs.
Finally, I created a name for this event as the “West Coast 200K Endurance Run”, in short, WC200! My 3rd Adventure Run and my 2nd one for this year.
Today is the last day of application for the BDM 102 & 160 Ultra Marathon Races. If you missed this date, then you will not be considered for screening for the next year’s (2012) events. There will be no extension of this deadline.
It does not mean that if you applied, you will be positively considered as one of the participants of the event. First, you should be able to have finished at least, a full marathon race. If you have finished an ultra marathon race (without any full marathon race), whether with any of the PAU Races or FrontRunner Magazines’ Races in Cebu & Manila, you will be considered. Second, you should start securing your Medical Certificate or Doctor’s Certification attesting the fact that you can endure a long distance run. Without this doctor’s/medical approval, you may lose your chance of joining this event. You can immediately scan the document and send it immediately to my e-mail address @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline of submission is not later than November 15, 2011.
For those who have applied for the BDM 160, you are considered for screening if you have finished the BDM 102 within the prescribed cut-off time of 18 hours. It means that the only qualifying race for this event is a BDM 102 finish! If you are a foreign runner applying for this event, you have to finish FIRST the BDM 102.
Screened/Accepted applicants will start receiving their respective Letter/s of Invitation for the BDM 102 & 160 on or before October 15, 2011 through their e-mail address submitted in their application through letters of intent or on the comment of the BDM Pages in this blog. If you don’t receive any Letter of Invitation, then you are not included in the list of participants. We will not give any explanation why you are not included and we will not entertain any re-consideration from your end. You can try your luck again to apply for the next edition of the said races.
We are not raising our Registration Fees for the 2012 edition. BDM 102’s Registration Fee is Two Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P 2,500.00) for the Local Residents and One Hundred (US) Dollars ($ 100.00) for the Foreign Runners. BDM 160’s Registration Fee is Five Thousand Pesos (P 5,000.00) for the Local Residents and One Hundred Fifty (US) Dollars for the Foreign Runners.
Invited participants are given up to November 15, 2011 to pay their respective registration fee. There will be no extension of deadline on this matter. Non-payment on the deadline would mean non-inclusion in the final list of participants. Local Residents can ONLY pay their Registration Fee through LANBANK deposit @ this savings account: #1686-0795-85 in behalf of Jovenal Narcise. Foreign runners have to pay their registration fees through Western Union. Copy of deposit slip/payment SHOULD be scanned and sent to email@example.com immediately for verification. This is a MUST as we’ll no longer ask you to bring your deposit/payment slip at the Starting Area on Race Day. Registration Fees are NON-REFUNDABLE and NON-TRANSFERABLE.
The final lists of participants for the BDM 102 and BDM 160 will be published in this blog and at www.bataan102.blogspot.com not later than December 1, 2011.