Almost 3 years ago during the Race Briefing of the 1st Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run (TD 100) in Fort Magsaysay, I mentioned about having a choice of preference in ultra marathon distance race for a runner. I intimated that a runner must be able to experience a road and a trail ultra race but I went further to suggest that at a certain point in one’s running career, an ultra runner or ultra marathoner must be able to specialize and concentrate in only ONE kind of an ultra event.
This is the very reason why I started to organize the first TD 100 in Fort Magsaysay and the rest is history. For the past two years, only 10 runners have earned the most-coveted TD100 Silver-Gold Buckle.
Going back on my topic. I recalled that I was “baptized” into the world of ultra running with my first ultra race which was the Bulldog 50K Trail Run in Malibu, California. Much to my delight to come up with a trail run in the Philippines, I had some reservations in trying to discover some trails in our mountains and outside Metro Manila. Instead, I took comfort in the conduct of an ultra marathon race on the road. Thus, the Bataan Death March 102K Ultra came into being.
However, my love for the trails was still in my mind and being assigned in Fort Magsaysay during my military days, I made some meetings and coordination with my former Command/Unit which is based in the said camp which resulted with the 1st TD100 Endurance Run.
It was a satisfaction on my part after the first TD100 event was conducted. Local runners have now a choice of being an ultra runner and be able to test his/her limits of endurance in running. For a road ultra, the BDM 160 serves as the goal. For a trail ultra, the TD 100 serves also as a goal.
I firmly believe that these ultra events serve as “jumping boards” for the local runners to prepare them for more challenging ultras abroad. They are more accessible and more economical rather than having your first “hundred” in another country.
As an advise to the younger runners, you have to try what it takes to be a road and trail runner. But in your later part of your running career when you have the speed and strength, I highly suggest for you to go outdoors and into the mountains and concentrate on the trails.
Keep on running!