2012 BDM 102 Rules & Regulations: Update

‎2012 BDM 102 Update: NO SUPPORT VEHICLE will be allowed to enter the road leading to the Finish Line/BDM Km Post #102 at the Old Railway Building. Support Vehicles should park on the road infront of the Provincial Capitol of Pampanga. There will be NO exemptions! Runners whose support vehicle will enter this road leading to Purok #6 PNR will be declared DISQUALIFIED/DID NOT FINISH.

Yes, all Support Vehicles are not allowed to enter and park on this road during Race Day!

(Note: Photo courtesy of Lawrence Arvin Tomas of Team USB)


Vibram Hong Kong 100K Race Report—Ryan Sandes Wins Again

(Note: This is an article written by Andre Blumberg of Hongkong and it was posted at www.ultra168.com)
Vibram Hong Kong 100km Race Report – Ryan Sandes wins again
Ryan Sandes takes Vibram Hong Kong 100 title in new course record despite fierce Nepalese assault- Andre Blumberg reports.

The second edition of the Vibram Hong Kong 100 took place 18 – 19 February 2012 and has already established itself as one of the region’s premier ultra events. The HK100 entered the scene only last year and is still the only 100k solo distance race in Hong Kong. Perhaps not surprisingly, and well in line with the global explosion of ultra popularity, the registration rates skyrocketed to over 750, or about four-fold in just one year, and the race sold out almost three months in advance and without any significant advertising.

And the “Picture of the race Award” goes to:

All of the eventual HK100 Top 6 close together here at only 11k into the race

Hong Kong may not be the first place that comes to mind in the context of ultra trail running. However the city has a lot to offer, including four long-distance trails and numerous shorter trails in the various country parks. The HK100 course follows the famous MacLehose trail but with a few modifications to make it even more scenic and interesting. The start is in Pak Tam Chung and the course then stretches through the Sai Kung country park along beaches and mountains to continue into the Central and Western New Territories of Hong Kong to finish with a descend of Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s tallest mountain at 957m. The course has an elevation gain of over 4,500m which includes literally thousands of stairs. When compared to TNF100 Australia in the Blue Mountains, the consensus among those that have run both seems to be that HK100 is a lot harder and less runnable.

Vibram Hong Kong 100 elevation profile – a very back-loaded course

The organisation of the race was once again flawless. Race Directors Janet Ng and Steve Brammer, a lawyer and a banker by trade, are both seasoned ultra runners who have participated in events worldwide. This year Janet will race UTMB whilst Steve and one of his buddies will join the PTL, a 290k, 22k D+ event. So the HK100 truly is an event by runners for runners. It is often the little things that make a race stand out, for example an amazing ratio of less than two participants per every one volunteer along the course and at the aid stations. Two aid stations were operated by kids from a scouting organisation and the vibe and motivation of the kids was absolutely infectious.

The course was well-marked with well-stocked aid stations approximately every 10k. The weather conditions were perfect, temperatures around 10 – 18C and humidity around 65 – 80%, fairly low levels by Hong Kong standards. Participants could enjoy the most stunning views across Hong Kong’s peninsula.

One of the more unique aspects of this race is the very generous cutoff time of 32hrs which is a lot compared to other 100k events; in fact it would more commonly be associated with a 100 miler. The rationale is to enable a broad range of participants from all walks of life to participate, including those that prefer to hike a 100k solo effort. Regardless of the lavish cutoff times, the event still recorded a DNF rate of about 20% which shows just how hard the course really is.

Shortly after the HK100 start

Wu Shan Kuan from China DNFed at 52k after 9:28hrs – he ran barefoot the entire way

This is not to say that the race was slow – nothing could be further from the truth. The field was deep and stacked with talent. Salomon International sent Jen Segger from Canada, Grant Guise from New Zealand and Ryan Sandes (winner of all 4 Deserts races and 2011 winner of the famous Leadville 100) from South Africa. Then there were the top Nepalese mountain runners Aite Tamang, Bed Sunuwar and Sudip Kulung who all finished on the podium at the recent Annapurna 100 in Nepal. China’s top ultra trail runner Yun Yan Qiao 运艳桥 joined as well (2nd at 2009 TNF100 Singapore, 2nd at 2011 TNF100 China and 14th at the 2011 CCC in France).

Nepalese Bed and Aite are the first to reach CP2

Yun Yan Qiao from China reaching CP2 in third position

Ryan Sandes coming into CP2 in fourth position

Most of the notable local Hong Kong ultra runners also participated; including last year’s first and second William Davies and Jeremy Ritcey, respectively. Dan Parr and Eric LaHaie toed the line, both with excellent Racing The Planet event credentials. Unfortunately “Stone” Tsang Siu Keung was unable to join due to injury. On the female side Hong Kong-based Nora Senn and Claire Price signed up, last year’s runner-up in the 100k solo and winner of the 100k duo. Claire finished 4th at the 2011 TNF100 Australia and an outstanding 2nd at the 2011 CCC. Olya Korzh, who did very well in a number of local mountain marathons this season, as well as Xing Ruling 邢如伶 from China (1st in 2009 TNF100 Singapore and China, 1st 2010 Taklamakan 100k) rounded out the top prospects.

Female winner Nora Senn always in good spirits

Female first runner-up Claire Price refueling at CP2

Female second-runner up Jen Segger digging deep on tar at 72k with a floating Matt Meckenstock

Australia was well represented with Andrew Dawson, John Ellis, Keith Mearns and Michael Ormiston, all currently resident in Hong Kong. Richard Mountstephens and Matt Meckenstock came up from Australia specifically to participate in the event.

Having participated in a number of ultras in the Philippines, I was very keen to have some of their talent join the HK100 to get some international exposure and therefore sponsored Raul Lamprea and Jucell Laya. Both are members of the Philippines Army and the Bald Runner Ultra Elite Team, run a 2:40 marathon time and it was the first time for them ever to travel overseas – a great experience with many lessons learned.

Members of the Ultra Elite Team Bald Runner from the Philippines proudly showing their Gold trophies

Come race day the starting area was absolutely buzzing with runners, everyone seemed to be in a great mood and it was truly an international field with 28 countries represented. After a short race briefing the gun went off at 8am and the pace at the front was ferocious. The course only has around 600m of wide road at the start before turning off into single-track for several kilometres, so everyone was keen to speed up in order to not be bogged done there.

I had done the inaugural 2011 HK100 in a time of 13:51 which placed me 10th overall and my target time was 13:30 since I only had about six solid weeks of training in my legs and had completed TNF100 Thailand in 2nd place just two weeks earlier. After the start I was hanging with the lead field for a short while but quickly backed off since the pace was not sustainable for me. I settled into a good rhythm and ran with Keith Mearns for the next two hours or so. I felt pretty good all day apart from the usual minor lows and my two-pack strategy worked well to reduce any unnecessary layover time at the check points. Paper, my girlfriend and crew chief-of-staff, had all the routine worked out based on the prior year and welcomed me at each of the accessible support stations during the first half for bag swaps, some motivational words as well as taking plenty of pictures along the way.

By the time the 52k check-point came around I was ahead of plan by 30 mins and at that time decided to change the target to go sub-13, previously considered an absolute dream time for me. All I had to do from now on was to execute based on my plan and maintain the 30 mins lead. It was pretty rough at times going through a few lows and I had to constantly remind myself to persist with relentless forward progress. I was pleased to see that my ultra experience thus far paid off and I started to take positions by benefiting of the evolving carnage around me, runners that went out too fast for their abilities and then spent too much time at support stations. On the other hand I was not overtaken for several hours, except when Nora Senn stormed past just prior to the 65k mark. Despite trying hard, I was not able to hang with her and had to let her move ahead. Later on coming down from the notorious Needle Hill at around 86k into the race, I was surprised to catch Matt and Jen who was suffering from the concrete surface of the course. After a short chat with them I carried on to hit the 13hrs mark and then brought it home in 12:50, over an hour faster than last year which I was extremely pleased about.

In the meantime, Nora went on to catch Claire and finished in a Senn-sational 12:34 followed by Claire in 12:40 and Jen rounded off the female podium in 13:01.

All smiles on the female podium – Claire Price, Nora Senn and Jen Segger

Sometimes I wish not to race in an event, just so that I am able to follow and witness the lead pack go about their business. This year’s HK100 would have been such an event. The pace was fast from the start and surprisingly not a lot changed in the ranking between early on in the race and the finish after 100k.

The Nepalese runners Aite and Bed took an early lead and managed to hold on until somewhere between CP6 and CP7. At that time Ryan Sandes took the lead and then brought it home in an absolutely astonishing 9:54hrs, almost two hours faster than last year’s record by William Davies. But Ryan was not alone: remarkably, all of the Top 10 finishers broke the course record, including William himself. Aite finished second in 10:17, followed by Bed in 10:26 and Jeremy Ritcey did Hong Kong proud in 4th and a blazing 10:47. Andrew Dawson (12:30), John Ellis (12:34) and Richard Mountstephens (12:40) were the top Aussie finishers. On the Kiwi side we had Grant Guise in 10th place (11:45) as well as Callum Stowell (13:22) and Denis Kelliher (17:56). Full HK100 race results can be found here.

The three Nepalese runners Sudip, Aite and Bed with their support crew

Ryan Sandes clearly has left a mark on this race. Going sub-10 on this course it truly remarkable, especially since the season is only just starting. Ryan didn’t even run all the uphills as you can see in this short video here, but he surely is blazing the downhills – he probably studied Dan’s related Ultra168 article. So – well done, Ryan. For those racing TNF100 Australia in May, brace yourself for the potential of a new course record.

But HK100 was more than just about the top winner. It was an interesting case study in how the ultra world may be changing in future. To have the three Nepalese participants Aite, Bed and Sudip finish in 2nd, 3rd and 8th place is a clear signal that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg here in Asia when it comes to top performances. There are many untapped “markets”, such as Nepal and the Philippines, with a range of top talent that has yet to hit the international ultra trail event scene.

The difference in background between the Salomon team and the Nepalese team could not be more pronounced. Ryan is a professional ultra runner, has multiple sponsors, access to Salomon R&D for customized kit and accessories, latest training methods and presumably a number of trainers and coaches. Two of the Nepalese runners are in the Army, the third worked as a porter. They get by on very limited means. They have no regular sponsors, no expensive kit. They do have a lot of talent and a certain level of ignorance, innocence, almost purity – and I mean that in the best possible way. While the Salomon team held trail clinics and product demonstrations in the days leading up to the race, the Nepalese walked along the course to prepare for the race.

Despite the vastly different backgrounds, the top three finishers only separates a bit over half an hour with Aite and Bed coming in second and third. I was very fortunate to share dinner with the Nepalese team and their coach Ramesh after the race, and came to the conclusion that despite all the differences in background, financial means, equipment and training methods we all share one thing: a deep passion for ultra trail running.

Feedback from the participants of the HK100 was outstanding across the board. Clearly, the event moved from good to great and it sets a new benchmark for ultra trail races in the region. Well done Janet and Steve – when will registrations open for your eagerly awaited third episode?

Pinoy Runners’ Result @ 2012 HK 100K

Overall N  A  M  E TIME (Hrs)
98 Raul Lamprea 15:09:34
125 Jucell Laya 15:55:45
171 Kian Vicera 17:45:58
184 Napoleon Dela Torre, Jr 18:13:21
189 Roland Wangwang 18:21:05
261 Joseph Anthony Parcon 19:57:30
288 Marie Anne Constantino 20:26:03
289 Zenon Alejandro Villangco 20:26:04
353 Simon Sandoval 22:25:57
383 Jessie Lou Sulague 23:03:51
414 Carlo Leandro Dino 24:15:13
420 Cheryl Bihag 24:45:38
428 Constante Mendoza, Jr 25:23:53
440 Joel Garganera 25:58:58
444 Alexander Yap 26:13:19
463 Philippe Arenillo 27:48:39

In its first edition last year, 136 runners finished the race out of more than 200 runners who started the race. In this year’s 2nd edition, out of the over 750 registered runners from 28 countries, 511 runners were able to finish the race within the cut-off period of 32 hours. Sixteen (16) of our local Pinoy Runners were able to finish the race despite the cold temperature and lack of familiarity of the trail route. Congratulations to all of them.

For the complete official result of the event, you can visit this link—http://brammar.weebly.com/uploads/6/9/9/4/6994217/2012_results.xls

Ryan Sandes: 2012 Hongkong 100K Trail Run Champion

BR & Ryan Sandes of South Africa

Ryan Sandes of South Africa finished the 2012 Vibram Hongkong 100K Trail Run in 9:54 hours beating the course record in almost 2 hours. He is the reigning Champion of the 2011 Leadville 100-Mile Endurance Trail Run with a finish time of 16:46:54 hours. (Note: At the background is his girlfriend/support crew, Vanessa Haywood, an actress and a model). Two Nepalese soldiers-ultrarunners were 18 minutes behind him who finished 2nd and 3rd place!

Top Six (6) Finishers In Action @ Km #12

Ryan Sandes is a member of Team Salomon.

(Note: Full Report to follow soon)

Look & Compare…The Cheapest Ultra Race!

This could be the road race that you had been waiting and looking for. If you are fond of looking for cheap registration fees and want to get back what you have paid for, then this the running event that is worth every centavo of your money!

2011 Champion DOT Award For Sports Tourism

If you want to have a review about what had happened in last year’s 1st edition of the event, you can click on the following links.




Nothing Beats MAYON 360 50-Mile Endurance Run that promotes Sports Tourism in the Regional as well as in the Provincial Level.

See you at the 2012 Magayon Festival!

Result: 2012 BDM 52K “Test Run”

2012 BDM 52K “Test Run”/6:57 AM February 11, 2012/BDM Km Post #50, Abucay, Bataan To BDM Km Post #102, San Fernando, Pampanga

1 Henry Laron 5:29:05
2 Jerome Bautista 5:55:37
3 Nolan Llanora 6:15:22
4 Fernando Dellomos, Jr 6:25:25
5 Jerry Guiao 6:28:42
6 Roberto Abad 6:33:02
7 Jesus Llarena 6:34:18
8 Mark Repala 6:45:15
9 Frederick Quitiquit 6:56:27
10 Teodulo Alferez, Jr 6:57:13
11 Carl Balagot 6:58:25
12 Paul Vargas 7:00:34
13 Miguel De Alba 7:01:08
14 Adrian Salay 7:01:09
15 Joseph Pineda 7:03:29
16 Jon Las Bruce 7:03:30
17 Jorell Paringit 7:04:25
18 Benjamin Termulo 7:15:25
19 Benedict Muriel 7:15:25
20 Marlo Guloy 7:26:46
21 Ruben Fajardo, Jr 7:26:47
22 Rolly Nirona 7:26:48
23 Jason Sison 7:32:42
24 Jojo Paguia 7:37:37
25 Aristotle Carrino 7:37:40
26 Candy Balaba (F) 7:41:18
27 Mark Delumen 7:47:11
28 Calvin John Escandor 7:51:12
29 Raymond Bodino 8:01:19
30 Val Caro 8:02:02
31 Ernesto Badong 8:09:24
32 Jinky Yray (F) 8:14:40
33 Harold Ramirez 8:17:14
34 Choy Zaguirre 8:30:52
35 Emmanuel Chavez 8:32:21
36 Jigs De Jesus 8:32:37
37 Kharl Ocampo 8:35:59
38 Elmar Tolete 8:37:53
39 Jonah Rivera 8:37:54
40 Addison Sayoc 8:45:40
41 Joseph Ligot 8:46:49
42 Carmeli Ortega (F) 8:56:58
43 Rico Cabusao 8:57:27
44 George Dolores 8:57:38
45 Russel Sanchez 8:58:22
46 Mike Galas 9:10:47

Good luck to all the 2012 BDM 102 Ultra Marathon Race Participants.

See you at the Final Briefing & CLP/Starting Line!

2012 BDM 102: (Partial) List Of Registered Runners

The following is the Partial List of Registered Runners for the 2012 BDM 102 (March 3-4, 2012). If your name is not on the list, please resend the scanned copy of your deposit slip to my e-mail address at jovie75@hotmail.com. Also, all registered runners should submit their medical/doctor’s clearance on or before March 1, 2012.

Final Briefing & CLP for the 2012 BDM 102 will be held at the Officers’ Club (AFPCOC), Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on March 1, 2012, 6:30 PM, Thursday. All registered runners are advised to bring with them their LandBank Deposit Slip and Medical/Doctor’s Certificate for confirmation. My staff will be distributing Race Packet for each runner. For those who could not make it on the Final Briefing, race kit distribution will be done One Hour before Gun Start on Race Day. Gunstart on Race Day is 10:15 PM (evening), March 3, 2012.

Good Luck and See You At The Starting Line!

1 Henry Laron
2 Michael Rheneson Galas
3 Simon Pavel Miranda
4 Gabriel Tuason
5 Ronnel Go
6 Jose Pedrito De Guzman
7 Maria Angela Stephanie Hefti (F)
8 Richard Toledo
9 Dindo Diaz
10 Dennis Chavez
11 Miguel Angel De Alba
12 Rick Adrian Salay
13 Jorell Anthony Paringit
14 Jerome Aragones
15 John Andrew Alcedo
16 Edgar De Jesus
17 Emil Hulipas
18 Peter Kennedy
19 Carlos Macasarte
20 Don Juan Arishtottle Carino
21 Marie Ann Ortega (F)
22 Ernesto Badong
23 Ruben Fajardo, Jr
24 Michael Kent Reaport
25 Erwin Tolentino
26 Lawrence Arvin Tomas
27 Chester Puno
28 Jonathan Manas
29 Wilfredo Estepa
30 Jessie Lou Sulague
31 Tomas Miguel Miranda
32 Rolando Nerona
33 Marlo Guloy
34 Mario Alberto Danguilan
35 Andre Blumberg
36 Jesus Bayrante
37 Gregory Maranon
38 Caloy Nobleza
39 Alan Paul Vargas
40 Dennis Munoz
41 Ofelia Lorete (F)
42 Din Cordero
43 Marlon Saracho
44 Alfred De Los Reyes
45 Fernando Cunanan, Jr
46 Honorio Agnila
47 Jorge Richard Guerrero
48 Alexis Huebert Dolor
49 Ace York Guerrero
50 Emerson Sto. Domingo
51 Junrox Roque
52 Jericho De Jesus
53 Jayson Tan
54 Emmanuel Chavez
55 Julius Danas
56 Allan Roy Martos
57 Angelo Anillo
58 Reno Enopia
59 Alberto Castro
60 Joseph Ligot
61 Jose Arturo Virata
62 Leo Tugade
63 Raymund Canta
64 Irene Ong (F)
65 Jon Michael Tan Flores
66 Roger Villareal
67 Jonalthan Colao
68 Carlo Serrano
69 Trojan Lorenzo
70 Benedict Muriel
71 Harold Ramirez
72 Ma. Aleth Reblora (F)
73 Camilo Paran, Jr
74 Franklin Ace Panuncio
75 Carmeli Anne Ortega (F)
76 Ronie Morimoto
77 Fernando Dellomos, Jr
78 Teodulo Alferez
79 Mark Repala
80 Paolo Tambo
81 Cindy Sevilla (F)
82 Jeje Ajusto
83 Alan Paul Vargas
84 Jinky Yray (F)
85 Alexander Jones
86 Elmar Tolete
87 Nathaniel Domingo
88 Francisco Delmo, Jr
89 Japhet Grande
90 Chaps Grande
91 Harold Lorete
92 Aileen Manat (F)
93 Jeffrey Jay Amurao
94 Michael Dauz
95 Carlito Buenaventura
96 Junn Besana
97 Kathrina Perez (F)
98 Marvin Pangan
99 Jerome Lagumbay
100 Napoleon Ocampo, Jr
101 Daniel Manuel Macrohon
102 John Barona
103 Addison Sayoc
104 Gerzon Patriana
105 Ailee Manat (F)
106 Pepe Calulot
107 Erwin Ordonez
108 Angelo Lagumbay
109 Brian Tan Seng
110 Erell Villalba
111 Steve Paul Dumlao
112 Randy Racho
113 Jason Sison
114 Fernando Sy, Jr
115 Alvin Rivera
116 Reylynne Dela Paz (F)
117 Mark Chester Obligado
118 Laurencio Ogerio
119 Eugene Yasay
120 Anthony Mark Alindada
121 Jerome Bautista
122 Jazz Paringit
123 Theodore Zamora
124 Russell Sanches
125 Bob Castilla
126 John Lao
127 Vicky Ras (F)
128 Catalino Lee Escasinas
129 Robert Jonah Rivera
130 Mark David Aquino
131 Loiue Cochanco
132 Francis Joseph Acop
133 Jemuel Bayot
134 Carlos Delos Santos
135 Franklin Ace Panuncio
136 Nolan Llanora
137 Philippe Arenillo
138 Jojo Paguia
139 Jinkee Guerrero (F)
140 Frederick Quitiquit
141 Dino Dolina
142 Jonel Mendoza
143 Perkins Briones
144 Blas Ople Tiangco
145 Merwin Torres
146 Asher Dolina
147 Torii Akimitsu
148 John Paul Baldomar
149 Benjo Termulo
150 Jon Las Bruce
151 Alain Cuchas Llaguno
152 Candy Balaba (F)
153 Carl Balagot
154 Cris Dela Cruz
155 Jonnifer Lacanlale
156 Jude Palispis
157 Peter Roy Salingay
158 Garry Garcia
159 Paul Pajo
160 Mary June Villamor (F)
161 Alvin Adriano
162 Ryan Albert Moral
163 Jonathan Colao
164 Julius Cervantes
165 Teejay Yoshuimi Sakuma
166 Joey Baladad
167 Cesar Abarientos
168 Victor Viola
169 Doel Torres
170 Yan Dizon
171 Brandy Simbe
172 Wesley Orana
173 Vicente De Lima

“Shit Happens!”

I could be a “perfectionist” in terms of planning and execution, something that I’ve ingrained in my system since I was in the active military service. But even though how thorough your plan and preparations are, there is still a chance that something goes wrong. It’s the Murphy’s Law that one has to contend with.

Running Accident!

Behind the success of the last BDM 160 Ultra Marathon, an incident happened involving the runners and pacers. While two runner-participants were running with their respective pacer along the Mabalacat, Pampanga’s part of the MacArthur Highway at about 1:00 AM of Sunday, January 29, a drunken motorcycle rider was able to “sideswipe” two pacers who were running with their respective runner on the right side shoulder of the highway. As a result, the two designated pacers were brought immediately to the hospital for treatment. One of the pacers was declared out of danger immediately as she sustained minor bruises. However, the other pacer was brought to Manila for further observation due to hip fracture and suspected internal bleeding. With more tests and observation & treatment, the pacer was declared out of danger and she was released from the hospital after one week.

It is for this reason that future BDM runner-participants are advised to be extra careful while running at nighttime during the race.

The following Race Rules will be imperative and strictly implemented during the conduct of future BDM Races:

1. Runners shall ALWAYS stay on the farthest LEFT SIDE of the Road. Runners should be facing the incoming traffic during the run. If a runner has a support vehicle and support crew, the support crew should be the one to approach the runner to the left side of the road. If a runner needs to take a longer “pit stop” with his support vehicle, he/she should immediately return to the left side of the road not more than 10 meters in front of the parked support vehicle.

2. Runners should be ON SINGLE FILE while running on the farthest left side of the road. Runners will not be allowed to run abreast at any time during the run.

3. During night time running, runners should wear “reflectorized” vest or wear “reflectorized” strips on their running apparel. Obviously, runners should also be using headlights and hand-held flashlight. Runners without these item/s will not be allowed to participate in the event.

4. Pacers are NOT allowed in the BDM 102. If two runner-participants would like to pace with each other, they should be ON SINGLE FILE during the run (on the left side of the road).

5. Ipods, MP3s, and headphones ARE NO LONGER ALLOWED in ALL FUTURE BDM RACES.

Violations of these rules will result to disqualification of runners. Marshals shall be advised to be observant to implement these rules. THERE WILL BE NO WARNINGS!!!

If the Race Director says that you are DISQUALIFIED, it will be a FINAL verdict on the runner and he/she is advised to stop the run. If a runner reported to have violated these rules and insisted on finishing the race, he/she will be declared DNFd and will not be included in the Official Result of the Race.

Runner’s Mistake & Omission

While I was trying to inspect and collate the “split times” of all the runners and finishers in every Time Station along the route, I discovered that ONE FINISHER did not pass through the “Km Post #118” turn-around. He made a wrong turn directly to the Capas National Shrine, instead of running the last 10-kilometer stretch of the route.

I immediately advised the concerned runner that he is officially declared as DNF in the race; his name to be removed from the Official Result; to return all the Finisher’s Swags given to him at the Finish Line; and informed him that it is the runner’s responsibility to know and find out the actual route of the race.

This road race is already on its SECOND EDITION and a proper FINAL BRIEFING was conducted prior to the race, thus, runners are fully aware of the actual route of the event!

In view of this incident, all FINISHERS from 35th Place to the last place are advised to bring their respective Finisher’s Medal at the Awarding Ceremony & Get Together Party so that proper adjustment will be made on the proper rankings of recipients for the 2012 BDM 160 Finisher’s Medal.

The Final Official Result of the Race had been corrected.

See you at the Starting Line!

(Note: Awarding Ceremony & Get Together Party For 2012 BDM 160 & 102 Races will be on March 7, 2012, 7:00 PM, Wednesday @ The Officers’ (AFPCOC) Club, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City)

Spectator @ 2011 New York City Marathon

Last January 2, 2012, Monday, the registration for the 2012 New York City Marathon has opened and most of the runners will have to wait for the result of the lottery before the middle of the year. I predict that at this time, many of the local Pinoy runners had already applied for this race despite the costs and resources one have to save and spend just to be able to experience the feeling to join the most popular and well-attended “street party” among runners in the world.

Hopefully, my observations during my experience as one of the spectators of the most popular and most attended Marathon Race In The World would in any way, help or provide positive ideas for them to experience more FUN in joining this event. Race Organizers have also to take note on the different factors why this marathon race keeps on growing and increasing its participants every year.

In the 2010 edition of the race, my daughter Jovelle was able to finish the New York City Marathon and she gained a lot of experience about the place and the event.

In the last year’s edition, my son John Paul was lucky enough to get a slot through lottery and I promised him that I will join him as one of his “chearers” and supporter for the race. It will be also a chance for me to see New York City for the first time!

So, the promise was fulfilled when I went with him to New York City for the race together with my wife and John’s girlfriend, Sharon. I cheered him along the portions of the route and took some photos of him up to the Finish Line. My tour along the streets and subway of New York City was very efficient because of the help of my niece, Mariegelle, who is presently residing and working in one of the hospitals in the city as Physical Therapist.

John Paul @ Mile 8 in Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn

Now I know why the New York City Marathon is the most attended and popular marathon race in the world. Through my almost 5 days stay in the city, I was able to observe a lot of things about the people, the city, and the marathon race itself.

The following are my personal reasons why New York City Marathon is simply the BEST Marathon Race in the World:

1. The City Government of New York and its instrumentalities are totally in support to the event. All of the city’s services and agencies are totally committed for the success of the event. All the government agencies are considered as MAJOR SPONSORS of the event! There is even a competition between the teams of the New York City Police Department and the New York City Fire Department where the top 5 finishers of each team are counted. This tradition of competition event started after the 9/11 incident and last year’s competition was its 1oth year! (Maybe, I have to create also a competition between the AFP and the PNP in the yearly BDM 102 Ultra Race in the years to come!)

Spectators & Runners @ Mile 8 In Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn
Lots Of Spectators Along The Route @ Mile 16 in Lexington Ave Near The Queensboro Bridge

2. The people of New York City knows that the Marathon Event promotes Sports Tourism. You can just imagine 47,000+ runners plus “cheerers” and family members of runners flock to the city and each of them spend money for food, lodging, transportation, and shopping. I read somewhere that almost 2 Million people were considered as spectators and 315 Million people who watched the TV Live Coverage worldwide. The tremendous amount of income the service establishments would earn out of the visitors of the city because of the marathon race is a big boost to the economy of the place. If a visitor spends at least $500-$1,000 for food, transportation (within the city), amusement and shopping, not including the hotel accommodation, it boils down to million of dollars that is being spent for the duration of the event. (Note: In a report commissioned by the New York City Runners, the 2010 ING New York Marathon generated $ 340 Million for the City of New York in terms of hotel, travel, food, entertaiment, and retail. It also raised $ 30.8 Million for Charities)

Got A Space But Too Far From The Passing Runners (Take Note of those Potalets) @ Mile 16

3. Almost ALL the Nations in the World are represented in the Event. Looking at the result of the finishers by country, I found out that there were 32 Pinoy Runners who finished the marathon race. However, I have yet to find out the list of these runners and their respective finish times. This shows that we, as Pinoy runners in the said marathon, were not coordinated. There was no “point man” or informal “leader” who could be responsible in collating the list of Pinoy Finishers in this event. How I wish our local Running Magazines would be able to post the list of names of runners and their respective finish times in the 2011 New York Cit Marathon. (Note: I hope Jonel aka FrontRunner Magazine will have the initiative to post this list in his Magazine. Thanks!)

On The Last 400 Yards To The Finish Line @ Central Park
More Spectators Lined Up Near The Finish Line @ Central Park

4. The event has the most expensive registration fee among the world’s marathon races but it is worth the experience. You are paying for a “once in a lifetime” experience as a runner and a Finisher must be proud to have joined it. The Race Organizer, together with the City Government of New York, the populace and the private sector, are fully coordinated and well-oiled to provide a “world-class” marathon race experience. I think there is nothing to rant or complain about the needs of the runners in this event. My son and daughter’s feedbacks were all positive and they really enjoyed the experience of finishing the Marathon Race. (Note: I never heard or read any complaints from Pinoy Runners who Finished about the high cost of registration fee in this Marathon Race).

The following were my observations among the runners from other nations: (1) The French runners stayed in ONE Hotel which happened to be the place where my wife and I stayed and I am sure most of the other countries’ runners have stayed in one hotel for easy coordination and maybe, with a discounted hotel charges. (2) Countries like France, Peru, Brazil, South Korea, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Japan and others have a distinct uniform with the name of the country written on their upper garments! Some have their national flag colors as their shirts’ color combination. (3) Most of the team from each country arrived at the Finish Line as a Group. I was impressed to see a group of runners from South Korea arriving at the Finish Line in a line formation with their National Flag infront of them and they had a finish time of 4:20+ hours! I guess, the Pinoy runners failed on these things that I’ve mentioned.

@ Madison Square Garden, New York!

Spectators Are Amazing. You won’t believe me if I say that the whole route of the event was full of spectators from Start to Finish cheering the runners as they pass.The number of spectators was simply amazing and uncomprehensible. I could hardly sneak myself on the inner edge of the road because of the thick line of spectators. Noise of cheers and ringing of cowbells filled the air along the route of the race.

So, what makes the New York City Marathon as the best among the best of the Marathon Races of the World? First, it’s the place. The roads and bridges could be very narrow as compared to the newer cities in California but there is something that makes the city very unique. Second, the organization. The City and its instrumentalities together with the private sector and the New York Road Runners Club are united and fully coordinated, it’s a well-oiled machine that has perfected the conduct of a big-time marathon race! Third, the people of New York City. They know how to treat their visitors as more tourists to their city means more “bucks” for the economy. They knew that tourists will keep on coming back to their city. Fourth, 100% Media exposure. No neeed to explain this. The whole TV network of the city had a live coverage of the event and the written media were alive on the event before and after the event. Fifth, Cash Prize for the Elite Runners. Just “google” the topic on how much the cash prize for the winner is and you will be amazed by the numbers.

And what are now the lessons and suggestions we could get from this post?

1. Pinoy Runners who are qualified to run (through lottery and special arrangements with its sponsors) this race should be well-coordinated. Maybe, somebody should be able to unite and be able control the group so that the country is well represented. I hope the local Heads of the Corporate Sponsors of the event should be the one who would coordinate the trip, accommodation, and the itinerary of the whole Pinoy group of runners. Each runner should spend for their respective travel from Manila to New York and back.

2. Coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs so that our Consulate in New York would be able to assist in finding a cheap & decent place where our Pinoy Runners will be billeted. Maybe, a Pinoy Restaurant in New York City would cater for the food of the group during their stay in the city. The RP Consulate in New York has all these information and it would be of great help to the runners.

3. One of the local Corporate Sponsors should provide, at least, an upper garment which will serve as the group’s attire during the event. A long-sleeved technical shirt & a RP Jacket for each of the runner is not worth a million pesos for the whole group even if the NAME OF THE CORPORATE SPONSOR will occupy one-half portion of the attire! What is important is that the group shall be identifiable as runners from the PHILIPPINES! (Are you listening, TIMEX; GATORADE; SMART; GLOBE; UNILAB; CONDURA; etc?)

4. C’mon guys, it’s about time to send one or two of our local top marathon runners to this event. Let us stop sponsoring runners who could finish their best time in more than 4 hours! We are not showing our Best of Bests to represent our country in this prestigious Marathon Race. Corporate Sponsors should wake up on this. If you think our elites will no longer return to the country after they have tasted what it is like to be in the United States of America, you are dead wrong! Supposing, you will select one of my Elite Runners to participate in this event, I will volunteer to work out for the approval of their papers to travel abroad (if they are from the active military service) and I will be responsible that they will return to the country after the event.

5. If you have plans of joining this Marathon Race and you don’t have a friend or a relative in New York City, you have to save a lot of money. It will cost you a fortune to experience what it is like to visit the city and run the New York City Marathon. And you should know how to read a MAP; use their Subway transport system; and don’t be shy to ask for directions from people on the streets.

6. If there is a Race Organizer of Marathon Races locally who has the vision to transform one or two of the existing Marathon Races in the country to be like the New York City Marathon, it could be done! However, there is a need to involve EVERYBODY!

Now, if you ask me if I will make an attempt to register and run this prestigious marathon? Not a priority issue this time. I would rather register and attempt for my first 100-mile trail run whose registration fee is far cheaper than the NYC Marathon!

See you at the Starting Line!