Lessons Learned: 1st BDM 102K

1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race: April 5, 2009 (Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga)

After reviewing my past posts, I found out that I did not post the usual “Lesson Learned” from my participation in the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race. What I posted in my blog immediately days after the conduct of the race was the lessons I’ve learned as the Race Director/Race Organizer of the said Road Race.

In view of the incoming BOTAK 100K Paa-Tagalan Ultra Race this coming Sunday, I am posting this “Lessons Learned” from the BDM 102K to guide the “first-timers” in ultramarathon race with the hope of helping these runners join the ranks of ultra runners in the country.

The following are the lessons learned in the said race:

1) Think always “the end-goal”—Finish The Race. Ultramarathon race is an endurance sports, just like a marathon race but the distance is longer which usually covers the standard distances of 50K, 50 Miles, 100K, or 100 Miles. For a runner who have finished his first marathon race and jumping in to the ultramarathon distance, he knows what to expect and what he has to do to last up to the finish line. As a runner, I always believe that if you run a marathon race, it is a “sin” to walk within the said distance and you can not afford to hit and experience the dreaded “Wall”.  But in ultramarathon distance running, walking during the race is a good strategy in order to conserve your energy and have the enough endurance to finish the race. The “Wall” to me is just a word and it does not hit a well-trained ultra runner. At this advance age of running technology and research, the “Wall” should be removed from the articles and stories of runners. If a runner knows his training, hydration, food, and possesses the right equipment, there is no chance that a runner would experience such. If you are trained for the ultramarathon distance, you should have experienced in your training at least running for about 6-8 hours under the heat of the sun. In my training for the BDM 102K, I had to experience running for a maximum of at least 8-9 hours at my easy pace which is 70% of my total effort. If I can not run, I saw to it that I would walk around Metro Manila during day time for a maximum of another 8 hours just to train the body to be exposed under the heat of the sun.  Remember, speed is not considered and what counts most is a proper & positive attitude for you to finish the race.

2) Don’t ever think of quitting—Most of those runners who quitted after running more than 50, 60, 70 kilometers in the BDM 102 could hardly slept, ate, and focused their minds few days and weeks after the race because they committed the gravest mistake in their running careers—to quit the race! It is easy to say that there will be another ultra running event in the future where you could redeem yourself but the damaged had been done because you are already branded as a “quitter”. Don’t ever, ever, do this…don’t quit. You must remember that ultra running is NOT a battle in between you and the other runners or the course, but it is a battle between you and yourself! So, if you quit in an ultra running race, don’t whine and blame the weather, the race organizer, your shoes, your blisters, your body “issues” and others reasons, but instead, you should be blaming yourself ALONE. In the BDM 102, I prepared for this race not to quit but to finish the race and be an “example” to everybody with the saying/idea, “If I can do it, you can do it, too!”

3) Be prepared and have the necessary “equipment/tools“—Think and prepare for your needed equipment for your hydration system, food support, lighting system. running apparel (to include night running attire), shoes, socks, medicines, salt tablets, and other miscellaneous needs like cash, communication device, & sunblock. The number one mistake that I committed during the BDM 102K was my hard-headedness to use only one running shoes for the whole duration of the race and using only one pair of socks! (I used my ASICS Gel-Kinsei 2, Eddie Bauer Coolmax Running Socks, Patagonia Trail Shorts & BDM 102 Long-sleeved race shirt)Though I did not have any blisters or any foot-related “issues”, using a fresh and dry running shoes and socks every 50 kilometers or 35 kilometers would be highly recommended to ease some numbness or pain on the feet. Wearing a fresh pair of socks and running shoes along the race has a psychological effect. You think that you are just about to start another race if you wear a new set of running shoes and socks. I also consider wearing another fresh set of running apparel once you change your shoes and socks as highly recommendable to ultra runners. In the use of medicines, please refer to my earlier post on the “dirty secrets” of ultra trail running.

4) Recon, recon, & recon the route—The “test run” for the BDM 102, which was conducted almost two months before the day of the race, had greatly helped most of the finishers and participants. Aside from knowing the general terrain of the last 52 kilometers of the course, they also experience what to expect on the weather and the intense heat of the sun during daytime in Bataan and Pampanga. However, I still advised the participants to find time to, at least, conduct a “windshield” tour aboard a vehicle on the the first 50K of the course just for them to know what to expect during the race. Knowing the overall terrain and actual walk-through of the race route will enable the runner to come up with his race, hydration and food intake strategy. This item or lesson learned guidance is always my number 1 advise to runners who are participating their ultramarathon distance races, whether it is road race or mountain trail run…run or walk-through the course!

5) Drink, drink, drink & eat, eat, eat—In one of the ultrarunning books that I have read for the past weeks, ultra running is best described as a running event with lots of food to eat and fluids to drink and lots of miles to finish. I think, it’s true! But the very essence of running an ultramarathon distance is for you to determine the limits of your body’s endurance and capability and after finishing the said race, you will determine and find out of what you are capable of. For you to finish the race, you have to replenish your body sweats and body minerals by drinking water and sports drinks. Your body would be able to use your muscles and you burn some calories in your body. These burned calories should be replaced immediately by eating some solid foods or else you will be exhausted and tired, thereby, making yourself quit from the race or making your pace slower. During the BDM 102, I had to alternately drink water and sports drinks every two kilometers, making sure that my sweating is continous. If my sweating stopped, it was a sign that I need more water to my body. What is good about my body is that I sweat a lot and that is a good barometer if I am fully hydrated or not. Since the course, have an Aid Station every 20 kilometers and at the 50-Km point where solid foods are served, I had to take in a considerable amount of food to provide fuel to my body aside from the GU Roctance Sport Gel I’ve taken every 10 kilometers. These rtiuals of hydration and eating of solid foods along the way helped my a lot to finish the race. By the way, while running, I have to wear my Nathan (Small on The Back) Water Belt and a Hand-held Water Bottle. The Nathan container held my sports drinks while my hand-held container held my water supply. Since there was a “Roving Aid Station” during the race, these containers were easily replenished with their contents along the way in-between Aid Stations. I just hope BOTAK 100K Race Organizers will be deploying these “Roving Aid Stations” during the race. Anyway, since most of the roads will be wide, it is wiser to have your own support vehicle tagging along with you or “leap-frog” along the course. Correct hydration does not only mean drinking water and sports drinks. It also means lowering your body temperature when running under the heat of the sun. Unable to maintain your normal body temperature would result to dizziness, hallucinations, cramps, shortness in breathing, and “heat stroke” or even death to a runner. Maintaining your normal body temperature takes a lot of ingenuity—some runners would pour cold water on their head/runner’s cap regularly, some would place water sponges on their napes and backs, some would use wet bandanas on their wrists and necks, some would regularly pour cold water on their groin area, some would wear two runner’s caps on their head and in between them, they place crushed or tube ice, to provide coolness on their heads and some would simply shower cold water to their body. All of these, I’ve done them in the BDM 102K in order to finish the race. Scott Jurek, at one time in his Badwater Ultramarathon Race where he won, he totally immersed his whole body to a big ice chest filled with ice in order to stabilize his normal body temperature when he started having some “issues” with regards to the effect of high temperature in the desert of Death Valley to his body.

6) If you think you can’t make it & don’t want to quit, then do not cheat!—My experience and observations as a runner-participant during the conduct of the 1st BDM 102K confiirmed reports of cheating of some of the runners. Some took advantage of riding in their support vehicles under the cover of darkness in the early stages of the race and some also missed or lacked with them the correct number of bands as a “sign” that the runners passed on a certain checkpoint which means that they took a ride in their support vehicles on the last few kilometers before the finish line. I could not believe what I’ve observed among these runners whom I considered as “cheaters” in the said race. One case of cheating was for a runner infront of me for about 100 meters in Hermosa, Bataan to just simply “vanished” along the stretch of Dinalupihan-Lubao Highway (where I could see the back of the runner infront of me for about one kilometer) and seeing his back again inside a poblacion, 12 kilometers from the finish line. Another case of cheating during the race was for a certain runner who was checked on the last station as number 29 runner and this runner was able to overtake another runner along the way on the last 9 kilometers to the finish. Instead of this runner finishing # 28, he finally finished # 30 without any runner overtaking him on the last 9 kilometers. Somebody had overtaken this runner by riding in his support vehicle and alighting from his vehicle at least 2-3 kilometers from the finish line. Another case of cheating is with a runner who could hardly cope up with our regular “runabouts” in Metro Manila and even practically did not finish our “test run”. It was a surprise that he was able to develop an aerobic stamina/endurance and strength on his legs for a period of one month before the race for him to finish it. This guy was so Amazing! Some of the runners made also a “shortcut” on the route on the first 50 kilometers and even went to the extent of questioning or correcting the Road Marshals’ instructions to the runners on intersection along the highway. In the end, these “cheaters” did not win any awards but they seem to be legitimate “finishers” of the said race. Why am I telling all these things? Because in any group of 13 people, there is always a “Judas Escariote” who will undermine or betray the very noble intention or mission of the group or activity. No amount of “safeguards” and “ways and means” to deter these cheaters in road races but they are always there taking the risks. If you are reading this post, make sure to be honest with yourself and to others. Please respect the route and the Race Organizers because it took them a lot of time, money, and effort to plan and prepare for a certain road race. In the first place, you run and compete in a road race because you want to enjoy the fun and savor/celebrate the experience. This is just a GAME and this is not a BATTLE where you want to SURVIVE and let the losers DIE on the road! By the way, if you cheat in a road race, whom do you think you are cheating?

Good luck to all the BOTAK 100K Runners and “soon-to-be” ultra runners! Wishing you the best of luck & my prayers will be with you!

Just “shut up & no whining” and by all means finish the race!!!…but please, don’t cheat!

Bataan 102 Warriors By Age Category


 1) Baldwin

2) Lucas

3) Regie Boljoran

4) John Nickko Nolasco

5) Christian David Alacar

6) Ralph Jerome Salvador

7) Randy Bumahit

8) Bowen Montecillo

9) Andrico Mahilum

10) Vincent Tongson

11) Hermogines Olvis

12) Ronald Rei Declarador

13) Jo-Ar Calvadores

14) Don Ubaldo

15) Dennis Enriquez

16) Jonathan Babsa-ay

17) Alvin Canada 

18) Andy Ho

MEN’S 30-39

1) Adons Lubaton

2) Jerry Karundeng

3) Enrico Tocol

4) Michael Sudario

5) Mamerto Copuz

6) Jayson Fabricante

7) Ezekiel Mangune

8) George Dolores

9) Isidro Vildosola

10) Roel Ano

11) Jessie Ano

12) Jonnifer Lacanlale

13) Albert Salazar

14) Romeo Marquez

15) Mario Salumbides

16) Arman Abalos

17) Mark Bata

18) Richard Poquiz

19) Noel Hernandez

20) Francisco Lapira Jr.

21) Martin Lorenzo

22) Rodolfo Tacadino

23) Rey De Los Reyes

24) John Frederick Abenina

25) Filomeno Duterte IV

26) Jose Mari Javier

27) Regidor Samar

28) July Oconer

29) Charlie Chua

30) Pepito Deapera

31) Melchor De Lara

32) Armand Fernando

33) Bonifacio Dalisay

34) Hiroshi Takei

MEN’S 40-49

1) Esmeraldo Ondoy

2) Fernando De Lara

3) Ricardo Cabusao, Jr.

4) Carlos Nobleza

5) Albert Henson

6) Edilberto Severino, Jr.

7) Jerome Cartailler

8) Roselito Bernardo

9) Constante Mendoza

10) Albert Sama

11) Eric Socrates

12) Edwin Bien

13) Cesar Abarientos

14) Jay Lee Cu-Unjieng

15) Aniceto Grimaldo

16) Nonilo Onoya

MEN’S 50-59

1) Nicomedes Jaranilla

2) Felipe Nama

3) Rey Antoque

4) Alipio Narciso

5) Bald Runner

6) Eduardo Villanueva

MEN’S 60-69

1) Wilfredo Suarez

2) Norio Tanaka

3) Victor Ting

4) Dionisio Potonia

WOMEN’S 20-29

1) Ellen Tolentino

2) Raiza Tulan

3) Odessa Coral

WOMEN’S 40-49

1) Ivy Macainan

WOMEN’S 60-69

1) Kim O’Connel

Bataan 102 Registration Is Closed!

The last day of registration for the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race was yesterday, 16 March 2009. And the registration is defnitely closed and there will be no extension!

As expected, Filipinos are fond of “last minute” payments as most of the runners have already their respective reserved slot for the race. Yesterday, a record payment of fourteen (14) runners in a single day was accepted by Allied Bank and the BR’s office. I exempted the three (3) runners from Singapore for the last day of payment due to some problems with the bank transmittal. I informed them that I will accept their payments on race day. 

Last September 2008, I planned this race to be limited to only 100 participants with the hope that only a handful would be interested to finally join the race. I was thinking that an attendance of at least 10-20 runners on race day would already be a sign of “success” and fufillment for me to introduce an ultramarathon event to honor and commemorate the historic WWII Bataan Death March with a challenging cut-off time of 18 hours.

To my surprise, the final number of participants for this race is already seventy-eight (78), including the foreign runners. There are five (5) female runners. The complete list of runners will be posted later today.

To all the participants and sponsors, thank you very much for your support.

Bataan 102K: Latest Updates & Reminders

1. Last Day of Registration and Acceptance of Registration Fees is next Monday, 16 March 2009. Effective March 17, registration and payments for registration fees will not be accepted except for the special accommodation given to the “foreign runners” from Singapore and other countries for them to register at the starting area on D-Day.

2. Final List of Participants will be posted in this site and at www.bataan102.com;  www.baldrunner.blogspot.com; and www.baldrunnerevents.blogspot.com. Only those who have paid their registration fee up to March 16, 2009 will be included in the list.

3.  Race packets will be available for pick-up effective 17 March 2009 at the ULTRA Oval Track on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday from 5:30 to 9:00 PM or at our office at 115 2nd Floor M.H. Del Pilar corner E. Angeles Streets, Santo Tomas, Pasig City or call telephone number–497-6442.

4.  Race packet will include a “soft backpack”, white long-sleeved race shirt, a running cap with cover on the nape, race bib, GU Sports Gels, PowerBars, Salt, tissue paper (just in case) and Pain Reliever tablets. The “soft backpack” with the printed Race Number of the participant will serve as a “Drop Bag” of the runners where they can put in their extra shoes and clothes. These “drop bags” will be in the care of a dedicated Mobile Aid Station during the race.

5. There will be Aid Station in every twenty (20) kilometers where food, water and sports drinks will be available. In addition, three (3) Mobile Aid Stations will serve as a General Support Vehicle for everybody which will alternately “leap frog” as the race will progress. These Mobile Aid Stations will provide water and sports drinks for everybody and one Mobile Aid Station will serve as the repository of the “Drop Bags”. Gatorade, Propel, RC Cola & Zesto Tetra Pack Drinks are the brands available during the race. Foods available in the Aid Stations will include boiled bananas, boiled sweet potatoes, boiled eggs, fresh ripe bananas and other fresh fruits, Fita Biscuits, Sky Flakes Crackers, Peanut Butter Sandwich, raisins, chocolates, and “hot” cup noodles at Km Post # 50.

6.  Finishers (within the cut-off time of 18 hours) will receive a Finisher’s Medal, Finisher’s Trophy, and Finisher’s T-Shirt. A Certificate of Achievement will be given on a later date where the name & time of finish will be printed. We plan to give the Certificate with an appropriate Finish Picture of each runner-finisher.

7.  Each runner is advised and encouraged to carry with them Hand-held Hydration Bottles, Hydration Belt, or Hydration Bladder during the race. Remember, the Number Enemy or Opponent during the the race is not the other runners but the “Heat of the Sun and the Pavement”. Good luck to everybody!

8. Donors and Sponsors are highly appreciated to give anything (services, money, and material things) to make this ultramarathon race a success and memorable event. A part of your donation will support the “needs” of the surviving veterans of World War II who are presently under the care of the Veterans Medical Center. For those who supported this historical event and those who made “commitments” to support this endeavor (you know already who you are), my deepest appreciation and thanks to all of you.

Note: Payments for the Registration Fee must be deposited at Allied Bank Account # 0251-07156-8 in the name of Bald Runner’s Events or Jovenal Narcise. Please send an e-mail to jovie75@hotmail.com to inform me of your payment as my basis for confirmation with the bank. Thanks!