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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..

February 20, 2012


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

Nearing Hermosa

Entering Lubao

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.   


  1. kayang kaya sir vic. di pa huli ang lahat. we still have this weekend for our last training. we can do it!

  2. Thank you Ernie aka "Banderas". Your positive energy will surely help me and the others. Are we running in Camp Aguinaldo this Sunday? Perhaps 8am to 11am?

  3. yes sir. see you on sunday.

  4. good luck to all of you!