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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

December 27, 2011


2011 is the year that we have a lot to thank for because the 83neans, collectively and individually,  were able to elevate our running experience. Let us list down the achievements of the Batch 83 runners:

ü  Four  more Batch 83 runners finished their first marathons.  Ric Lozano became a marathoner   at the Condura Skyway Marathon (February 2011);  Ernie Badong had his at the Milo Marathon Manila Elimination Leg (July 2011); and Noel “Ghibz” Guevara and Ed Balcueva both finished the gruelling Camsur Marathon (September 2011).  Given these 4 new marathoners, the Ateneo de Naga High School Class of 1983 has now 10 certified runners.

Ric praising the high heavens in his Condura Skyway Marathon Finish

Ernie at Milo Marathon – Manila Elimination Leg

Ed at the Camsur Marathon finish line

Ghibz approaching the Camsur Marathon finish line, escorted by Ed and BP
ü   One more 83nean finished his 1st ultramarathon.  There are now 3  ultramarathoners in Batch 83.  Ruben “Fards” Fajardo joined Bob Castilla and the Bicolano Penguin (BP) at the Mayon 360 Ultra (80 kms) last April 2011, traversing 3 cities and 5 towns in running around Mayon Volcano.

Fards finishing Navy style at the Mayon 360 Ultra

ü   Batch 83 was at the Bataan Death March  (BDM) for the first time.  Last March, a lone 83nean (Bob) finished the 102-km portion of the premier ultramarathon event of the Philippines.

Bob finishing the Bataan Death March Ultra

ü   Batch 83 was represented at the Milo Marathon Nationals.  Bob, again, was running for the pride of all 83neans when he qualified for the exclusive marathon event and joined less than 400 runners from all over the country in finishing the Nationals last December 11, 2011. 

ü   Batch 83 participated in  the extreme  Mayon Trail Run for the first time.  In October 2011, four  83nean runners (Bob, Ernie, Ric and BP) ran, clambered and even trudged on some of the roughest trail running terrain in the world to earn for them the baddest bling of a finisher’s medal.

Batch 83 runners of Extreme Mayon Trail Run

ü   Batch 83 long distance  running goes international.  Fards, Ernie, Ed and BP finished the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011 last December 4.  Another 83nean runner Bitoy Lorico ran the 10 kms. in the same event. Both Ed and BP established marathon PRs in the SCMS.

Batch 83 runners of the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2011

ü  I got to start my own running blog, this blog. This talks  mostly about the running adventures of Batch 83.  This also deals with the favorite food and favorite places of the Bicolano Penguin.  I have a lot to thank Mau, my editor. 

Batch 83 runners unloading slippers for Apujao Grande school school children

School supplies for Barangay Cagbunga in Pamplona

Batch 83 runners distributing school supplies in Canaman

ü   Batch 83 running was utilized to raise funds for its outreach projects.  For the running of the Mayon 360 Ultra, Batch 83 was able to gather funds from financial pledges of friends and classmates.  The funds were sufficient to partially finance the giving of slippers and school supplies to 500+ public school children of 3 remote barangays in Bicol.  Icing in the cake was the award BP received from First Holdings  Chairman Emeritus Oscar Lopez for this outreach cum wellness initiative (http://lopezlink.ph/component/content/article/39-special-features/2174-giving-back-to-the-community-csr-magna-carta-contest-winners.)       

BP receiving prize from Oscar Lopez

These achievements proved that almost all of the running goals of Batch 83, as enumerated in the http://83neanrunners.blogspot.com/2011/01/2010-year-of-firsts-2011-year-to.html  were accomplished with flying colors.  

It really feels good to fly!

Given this euphoria that we are in, we  enumerate our objectives for Batch 83 runners this coming 2012:

1.      Continue to increase the number of Batch 83
               marathoners from 10 to 14;
2.     Hike the number of 83neans in the Bataan Death March
              Ultra from 1 to 4;
3.      Run farther than 102-kms;
4.     Join again the Mayon Trail Run and improve our finish
5.      Run a marathon in the Visayas or Mindanao;
6.      Run another marathon abroad;
7.      Continue to raise funds thru running; and
8.      Initiate a bootleg ultra in one of the provinces of

Eight goals to target for this 2012.  A lot to look forward to this Year of the Dragon. The celestial dragon, the ultimate auspicious symbol of success and happiness.

Individually, the Bicolano Penguin is aiming this 2012 to run the 102-kms at the BDM, finish marathons and finally break the six-hour marathon finish.

A new year.  Another year added to our life.  Another year to be thankful for the gift of running. 

Happy Running New Year to All!

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