Last February 11, 2012, the Bald Runner conducted the 2nd test run for the 2012 Bataan Death March 102-km ultramarathon. Forty-six runners participated in this 2nd test run which started at the Km 50 marker in Abucay, Bataan and ended at the Km 102 marker in San Fernando, Pampanga. Unfortunately, I was not able to join this 52-km test run as I was in Bicol on that weekend.
|At the start at Km 50 in Abucay|
Knowing how important this test run is, I was focused to have my own 52-km test. This bootleg version became a reality last Sunday morning February 19, 2012 at 5:30am. Thanks in large part to three of my fellow 83nean runners – 2012 BDM 160-km ultra finisher Bob Castilla, first time 2012 BDM 102-km ultra aspirant Ernie Badong and Condura marathon finisher Ed Balcueva. These three decided to accompany me in this 52-km test run. They never wavered in keeping me company. I would have gone crazy running alone under the intense heat of the sun in the plains of Pampanga. Kudos to Ed for bringing cool watermelon and melon.
Also crucial was the help of my boss in First Balfour, Tito Fernandez, who provided a service vehicle and driver that provided the all-important hydration and nutrition support. The driver, Orly Jacob, given his ABS-CBN background, was busy documenting the test run by taking pictures in almost all the places we passed.
There were actually nine towns and cities that we ran thru: Abucay, Samal, Orani, Hermosa, Dinalupihan, Lubao, Guagua, Bacolor and San Fernando. And of these nine, Lubao proved to have the longest stretch in the 52-km route, accounting for at least 18 kilometers.
|Leaving Samal, entering Orani|
|Changed shirt already but still in Lubao|
|Our favorite number|
|Promise this is still in Lubao.|
|Touching 94km in Guagua|
|Leaving Bacolor, entering San Fernando|
|In San Fernando, 2 kms to go|
I got to finish my 50-km test run in 8 hours 33 minutes. At the first 28 kilometers, I was running at a pace that would have allowed me to finish it below 7 hours but the heat from the sun starting at 9am was so intense that my pace deteriorated.
|Finally, Km 102!|
|Picture taking with kids at Km 102|
|With Orly Jacob|
With Fernando Sanchez, Jr., a son of a Bataan Death March veteran
Adding these 8 hours and 33 minutes last February 19 to my 7 hours 56 minutes of finishing the first test run of 50-kms last January 15, gives me a not so ample buffer of roughly 1 hour 30 minutes in finishing the 2012 BDM 102-km ultra within the 18-hr cut off time. Manipis.
I really need to train harder. I really need to pray more that the stars are aligned come March 3-4, 2012.