This run was really for the hardcores and “crazy runners”. This was my first time to exprience this kind of running from midnight to sunrise and this event had brought us to another level of running experience.
Albert aka Run2Dmoon (http://run2dmoon.wordpress.com) had invited the participants of the 2009 Bataan 102K Ultramarathon Race for a Midnight To Sunrise Run/6-Hour Run for the past weeks at the MOA-PICC-Luneta and Back Loop. The Hardcores missed the first scheduled run as the group had a “runabout” from UP Campus to Antipolo and back. So, the next scheduled practice run of Albert for the midnight run was fully attended by the registered participants of Bataan 102K and “guests” from across the seas.
As scheduled, the participants were already at the Blue Wave along Macapagal Avenue at 11:30 PM last night. I observed that the hardcores were punctual this time even if Jerry aka High Altitude had to come all the way from Silang, Cavite. The companions of Albert in last week’s Midnight Run were already at the assembly place. For the first time, I met Norio Tanaka, a 61-year old Japanese runner, who had been a permanent resident in the country for the past 10 years and married to a Filipina. Runner Rollie, who came from Tagaytay, was also there. The CAMANAVA Runners, Atty Jeffrey Abenina and Francisco Lapira Jr were there ready to run at least 10X around the loop. And for the first time, I met in person, Albert aka Run2Dmoon, the author and host for the said run. Kim O’Connell and Coach Jo-Ar were also there complete with their support vehicle. Of course, you would not miss the Hardcores/Team Bald Runners & Power Runners led by Jonel aka Bugobugo85 who had been always present in our past “runabouts”.
Of all surprises, my Pinoy Ultramarathon Trail runner friend, Ben Gaetos was also there ready to join us for the said run. Ben Gaetos and his wife just arrived last Friday evening from Los Angeles, California and with only two hours of sleep, he was with us for the 6-hour run. This guy is really “hardcore” par excellence! Just imagine how this guy (51 years old) finished the famous and challenging 100-Mile Angeles Crest Endurance Trail Run last September 2008 in 30 hours! (with 3 hours more to spare for the 33 hours cut-off time). The Angeles Crest 100-Mile Endurance Trail Run is one of the four “Westerm Slam” ultramarathon trail running events in the USA.
After a briefing from Albert and myself, we started the run at exactly midnight. From Blue Wave, we ran along Macapagal Avenue towards the PICC area, passing at the Film Center Building, Sofitel Hotel, Coconut House, Folk Arts Theater, CCP and towards Roxas Boulevard. At Roxas Boulevard, we passed by Baywalk and the US Embassy Area. We turned left to Quirino Grandstand at Kalaw Street and passed infront of Manila Hotel and waited for the slower runners at Km Post #0. After some photo-ops, we were back to our run towards Manila Hotel-Quirino Grandstand and back along the Roxas Boulevard. After running a distance of 13+ kilometers, we were back at the place where we started, Blue Wave.
After a few minutes of replenishing our water in our hydration packs, we decided to run along the MOA Grounds. At first, Albert led the group with what he calls the C-loop covering the perimeter roads of the MOA. The said C-loop had a distance of 7+ kilometers and after running through it, my GF 305 registered a distance of 20+ kilometers. After running 20K, we decided to have our first “pit stop” and ate spaghetti & yam burger at Jollibee. After our food & water stop, we were back on the road and ran along a loop at the MOA grounds which has a distance of 3.85 kilometers. At this point, I missed counting the number of rounds on this loop as my mind was focused in finishing at least 42 kilometers for the run.
Two of our hardcore runners, Dr Joe aka The Loony Runner and George Dolores aka The Talkative Runner, joined us while we had our first C-loop run at the MOA grounds. All in all, there were 23 participants in this Midnight To Sunrise Run.
Jose Mari Javier & Charlie Chua of Team Bald Runner, Tanaka, Raffy, Albert, Ben Gaetos, Rick Cabusao and the CAMANAVA runners were with me during the early rounds but they later increased their pace and went ahead running along the said loop. As we got nearer to our 6:00 AM deadline, we were also nearing our goal of finishing 42K. With only few minutes left before the deadline time, I decided to walk along the loop for my cool-down until we were back to where we started. I was able to finish (by running & brisk walking) a distance of 46+ kilometers with an average page of 6:30 minutes per kilometer. All of us did not complain of any “cramps” during the run which was a good sign that we could last for more kilometers after running six hours.
To all the participants in this run and to Albert, thanks for the company and the invitation. Congratulations for a good and fufilling run! Guys, if we were able to run at least 45 kilometers for the past 6 hours, I am assuming that we could also finish another 45 kilometers in 7-8 hours! This means that you need to finish the remaining 12 kilometers in less than 4 hours in order to finish the 2009 Bataan 102 Ultramarathon Race within the cut-off time of 18 hours. To Kevin and Anne, thanks also for being the “official photographer” of the group.
To Ben Gaetos, thanks for the “gifts”, most especially to the 100-Mile Angeles Crest Endurance Run T-Shirt. This morning, you met the future ultramarathon runners in the country and I am sure some of these runners will be joining the ultra trail events in the USA in the future. These guys consider a marathon race as their “snacks” and I could see in their eyes for more running challenges and ultra run adventures in the future. We look at you as our “inspiration” in ultramarathon running. See you on the Bataan 52K “test run” on 22 February 2009 in Balanga, Bataan. Enjoy your stay in the country!