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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..

January 27, 2012

2012 BDM 160 : A CAMP TOO FAR?

Upon the invitation of our classmate, Bob Castilla , I attended the Briefing and Carbo-loading Party of the Bataan Death March (BDM) 160-km ultramarathon last night, January 26.    I was joined by fellow 83nean runners Ruben “Fars” Fajardo and Ernie Badong.  Together, we will have the honor of pacing for Bob come his running of this prestigious ultramarathon this weekend of January 28-29.  Our alma mater  Ateneo de Naga is represented not only by our batchmate but by Cesar Abarientos (HS Batch 1980), too.

Ateneo de Naga delegation with the Bald Runner

Hereunder are some relevant information about the 2012 BDM 160-km ultra:

Registered runners:80
Foreign runners:   5 (from USA & Singapore)
Lady runners:      6
Start:             5:00 am , Saturday Jan 28, 2012
Starting Area:     Km 00 at Mariveles, Bataan
Finish Area:       Capas National Shrine, Camp
                   O’Donnell Capas,Tarlac
Cut off time 
will be strictly 
enforced:          Km 102: 18 hours
                                                                      Finish line:       30 hours

Race is closed after 30 hours.  Race Director (Bald Runner) and staff will leave the finish area once cut off time has elapsed.

Each runner must have a support crew.  Support vehicle must “leapfrog’ the runners at all times.  No “shadowing” of any runner.

Sitting down and listening to the briefing by the Race Director who is a retired Philippine Army general, I was reminded of a scene in the movie "A Bridge Too Far" where British Lieutenant General Brian Horrocks conducted a briefing to the officers of the XXX Corps who were tasked to make an offensive move of 160 kms thru  enemy territory along Highway 69 in the Netherlands    in the execution of  Operation Market Garden.   The commanding officer got to inspire his officers with a lot of bravado.  Same as the Bald Runner.  The BDM 160-km runners are all gung ho to tackle the 160-km challenge of a lifetime as the pics would show.

The 2012 BDM 160-km ultrarunners

Bob with the Bald Runner and Benedict Balaba, one of the top ultrarunners

Question is, would all 80 runners finish within the cut off time of 30 hours?  Would Camp O’Donnell prove to be a camp too far?

The success rate from the 2011 BDM 160-km ultra is 57.6%, meaning almost less than half of the runners are bound to fall short.  

As for  Bob, we are hopeful that he will succeed in the task at hand.  Plus, finish or not, we are sure that in the conduct of his first 160-km ultra, Bob with his fellow 83neans will follow to the letter  the Code of Ultrarunners:


            Sharing & Cooperation

            Camaraderie & Unity    



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