The 1st WEST COAST 200K Ultramarathon Race would not be a success without the initiative and generosity of the people who selflessly offered their time and support to the runners along the route of the event. These people are residents of some of the municipalities that runners would pass.
These people had surprisingly offered help in establishing Aid Station in their respective hometown by giving water, cola drinks, electrolyte drinks, boiled eggs, boiled bananas and some bite foods to each of the runner passing in their respective area.
In San Felipe, Zambales, John Maigue positioned one tricycle full of water, cola drinks and food near the Cemetery of the Municipality. The Aid Station was a welcome relief to all the runners as they were fighting with the hot condition of the road. He also became the instant reporter on the exact time that each runner had passed his location.
In Masinloc, Zambales (on the 2nd stage), the Vice-Mayor of the Municipality, Honorable Jeffrey Bautista offered bottles of Gatorade, Water, boiled eggs and bananas to each of the runner.
Once the runners crossed the boundary of Zambales and Pangasinan, another ultrarunner who finished in the 1st Marcos-Kennon 50-Mile Ultra Classic Run came all the way from Alaminos, Pangasinan aboard his personal vehicle filled with bottled water and Gatorade drinks to meet every runner along the way and share whatever support he can give. He was too shy to have a picture with me but I told him that it is the least way I could thank him for his time and effort. Looking at his shirt that he was wearing, he is one of my “silent” sponsors for this running event. He is Joel Balagtas from Alaminos, Pangasinan and he promised to me that he is slowly getting back his form as an ultrarunner after he was sidelined from an injury. Thanks, Joel for the support and hope to see you again in our future runs in Pangasinan.
On the third and last leg of the event in Dasol, Pangasinan, RJ Knight Runner’s parents and relatives also established an Aid Station along the route. His relatives and friends were out of their houses cheering each runner that stopped or passed on the said Station. It was a lovely sight to see these people on the side of the Highway waiting for the arrival of each runner, cheering them as they approached, and telling each runner to have a quick stop for the water & food prepared by them. They waited from 8:00 PM to almost midnight when the last runner passed their location.
What made the event more significant was the show of support and care by those support crew with support vehicle on those runners without any support vehicle or crew. These unsupported runners were ready for any eventuality as they prepared themselves to get their support from those “sari-sari” stores and local “convenience” stores along the way. One of the support crew even asked me if he/she will not be disqualified from supporting other runners in addition to his/her runner. And I said it’s not. There was so much generosity and camaraderie among the runners during the 3 days that they lived and stayed together.
Worthy to mention also are the “instant” official photographers of the event who took pictures to all the runners and who had the patience to post those hundreds of pictures on Facebook. My special thanks to Juvy Pagtalunan, Lyra Cruzelle Dapito Rosario, Jorell Anthony Paringit, and Rexie Saldivar for their excellent “multi-tasking” performance during the event.
For those 33 runners who joined this first edition of the FIRST Multi-Stage Ultra Marathon Race in ASIA (per stage), you are already a part in the history of running in the country. Congratulations to everybody!