There is a story behind in every road race that the Bald Runner’s Events had been organizing and implimenting for the past years. The BDM 102 was a “dream” ultramarathon event to honor our heroes which is ultimately becoming the “Holy Grail” of running in the country. The MASTERS 15K was a “test run” being conducted inside a secured environment and in preparation for the RIZAL DAY’s 32K Run last December 2009 at Camp Aguinaldo. Now, we have prepared a series of ultramarathon events which will be held in the different parts of the country.
The story behind the 1st PAU (Philippine Association of Ultrarunners) 50K Run was a combination of the following factors:
1. Jeju Ultramarathon Experience—My exposure/attendance in a Regional (Asian) IAU Ultramarathon Race provided me with more information and techniques on how our neighbors do their ultramarathon events. Our neigbor countries almost have ultramarthon races in their different regions every month which is being sponsored by their Ultramarathon Sports Federation and the Local Government where the event is being conducted. If there are corporate sponsors, these are companies where the ultrarunners are working or personally managed.
2. Tanay Route—The Tanay-Sampaloc-Sierra Madre Route had been the training ground of the Elite Team Bald Runner in preparation for the January 10’s Cebu Marathon. They trained in the said route for almost 4 months. I had also the chance to run on the said route last year and it gave me the idea to hold the first series of ultra distant road races on the said route.
3. Mountain Trail Route—Through my instructions, the Elite Team Bald Runner was able to locate a 20K-loop in Tanay’s Sierra Madre Mountain’s Trails with a plan to conduct a 100-miler ultra trail run within this year but I had to put it on hold status due to security and logistics reasons.
4. BDM 102/151 Training—A year before the BDM 102/151 would be an ample time/period to expose and train runners who would like to participate in the said ultramarathon event. The PAU races are scheduled every 3 months which will serve as “test runs” for heat training, hydration & nutrition strategy, and pacing strategy. The Tanay 50K Run is considered has the “hardest” route in this year’s PAU’s road races
5. Get Out From The Runner’s “Comfort Zone” & See Other Places—Running along the “usual & familiar” routes in Metro Manila is becoming “boring” to the “crazy, purist & hardcore” runners. Yes, I am bored, too! These kind of “warriors” need a different kind of challenging & “pain-inducing” route that would be a “never-ending” source of topics/stories in one’s running experience. Just look at the “status” and pictures of the Finishers at Facebook and stories in their Blogs and you will know what I mean. Seeing other places and running along “pollution-free” areas outside Metro Manila is also something worth experiencing.
6. Reason To Bring Friends & Family—When I set the date of the Tanay’s Race, I really did not know that it was “Mother’s Day”. I thought it would be a nice day to schedule a race because of the 3-day weekend due to the Election Day on the following day. Monday would serve as a rest day for all the runners. But I was surprised that most of the runners brought their respective family with them as their support crew and cheerers! It was an appropriate time to bond and share the day with the whole family.
7. A Test of our Race Operations’ Efficiency—All of our marshals and Aid Stations’ Personnel are competitive and elite runners but we need to make some adjustments due to the distance in-between Aid Stations in ultramarathon races. We have to mobilize and transfer our first two Aid Stations which had been passed by all the runners to the turn-around point at Km 35 and at Km 45. We are glad that making the distance in every 5 kilometers for the Aid/Water Station on the last half of the race had greatly contributed to the safety of the runners from the intense heat of the sun. Our mobile marshals with water supply to the runners had contributed also to the success of the race.
8. Keep It Simple, Sir Jovie! (KISS)—The START & FINISH tarpaulins on the ground were “copied” from ultratrail race events held in the US. It is something different but nice for “photo-ops”. No Emcees, No Corporate Sponsors (who control the Race Director), No Lights, No Fireworks, No Loud Music, No VIP’s (The runners are the VIPs!), No Formal Program, No Digital Timer/Clocks, No Timing Chips, and No “circus” atmosphere. PAU races are simply races where one would test his/her endurance limits through running. These are races where the experience, scenery, and friendship among ultrarunners are priceless!!!
Now, another story is about to unfold as we are starting to open the registration for the next PAU’s Road Race dubbed as the “P2P 65K” (Pasuquin to Pagudpud) Run which will be held on August 29, 2010. The Registration will start on May 17, 2010 (Monday). Last Day of Registration will be on August 1, 2010. The race will be limited to only 200 slots. The registration fee is P 850.00. There will be no distribution of Race Packets on Race Day.
The 1st PAU 50K Run (Tanay) would not be a successful event without the support of the runners & their support crew, BR’s friends & donors/sponsors, BR’s Events’ Staff, Elite Team Bald Runner, 2nd Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, and our “friends” from the Philippine Army & Armed Forces of the Philipines. Thanks to everybody!