Blogger’s note: Last February 11, I was not able to join the 52-km test run of the 2012 BDM 102Km ultra organized by the Bald Runner. The route is from Km 50 in Abucay, Bataan to Km 102 in San Fernando, Pampanga. My fellow 83nean runners, Ruben “Fards” Fajardo and Ernie Badong, were able to join. Below is the story account of Fards of the experience. Given his Navy background, he narrates it in a specific and concise manner. Enjoy.
10 2359H FEB 2012 – Departed Camp A and picked up Ernie at Munoz, EDSA. To sympathize with our driver/support crew, Larry, we were awake the whole trip, from QC to Bataan. It could also be the excitement of what would happen in the 52-Km Test Run knowing pretty well that it would no longer be happening at daytime compared to the previous 50-Km test run that took place at night time. But as what Ernie would jokingly say, “52K lang naman” - this already comforted us, and boosted our confidence that we could endure the heat of the sun and the body pains.
0300H – Arrived at Abucay, Bataan(Km50). Since there were no runners yet at the starting line and no stores open at the area, we decided to go to Balanga, Bataan the nearest town proper with abundant stores that were open 24hrs.
0330H- Parked by McDonalds in Balanga and decided to get some sleep while inside the support vehicle, Mits Adventure. While attempting to get some sleep, I noticed that mosquitoes were everywhere as I started to feel the bites and itchiness on my arms, legs and face (In short, di rin ako nakatulog ng mahimbing). And just like our Condura Run, Puyat na naman na madalagan, magkaka araman na naman kung maorag pa magdalagan.
0500H- Decided to take an early breakfast, as an initial nutrition for the run. I ordered the Big Breakfast combo of scrambled eggs, patties, bread toast, hash brown and hot choco. If I recall it right, Ernie ordered the longanisa meal with brewed coffee.
0600H- Were back at the starting line. Runners and support vehicles were already parked this time and we saw familiar faces during the first Test Run. Candy, the wife of Benedict Balaba, was also around and I also saw two of my classmates in PMA, Marlo and Lando, both from the Army. Exchange of pleasantries ensued, and I started dressing up to my running attire. This was followed by registration , picture taking and a race briefing by the Bald Runner.
|Photo op with the Bald Runner and co-runners at the starting line|
|Smiling marathoners raring to hit the road|
0705H- Were off from the Starting Line. As we ran, we agreed to stick together, eat at every stopover while our stomach was not yet rejecting any food and drink and instructed Larry to leapfrog every 5Km. We were pacing 7mins/km and after 35mins of running, we saw our support vehicle, made a short stop, hydrated and ate some fruits. This was our routine during the race.
|Running with my 83nean buddy, Ernie|
We caught up with Candy after our first stop and after noticing us, she offered to be the pacer since she was holding a beeper size equipment. We were running one after the other for about 15km or until km70. From there, we alternately caught up with each other since we had different support crew.
|Catching up with Candy!|
Km80- After about 30kms of running, Ernie started to complain of sudden leg cramps, so we had to slow down and walk. We reached Km83 and had the opportunity to have a photo at this marker which is also a significant crossroads as runners need to turn right from that marker.
After Km83, Ernie’s leg cramps continued to hurt. This was aggravated by the heat of the sun as it was almost high noon. At this point, I flashed a sign to Ernie that I would be going ahead and gave instructions to our driver to support both of us. As the vehicle leapfrogged, the driver informed me that Ernie was just behind me, and he could support the two of us.
At Km90, I caught up with my two classmates from PMA, Marlo and Lando. They had a support vehicle and offered to me everything they had from hydration, nutrition to the soaked foam. At this point I advised our driver, Larry, to prioritize supporting Ernie since I was with my mistahs and could avail of their support.
|Sharing the road and the heat with my mistahs - Marlo and Lando|
The last 12kms was very challenging. Tiredness and leg pains were starting to crop up. The heat of the sun was continuously felt and was now very hot. But the “bolahizing” and story sharing while we were running overshadowed the heat and pain until we noticed that we were just two kms away from the finish line. At km100, I still felt energized. I wanted to dash to the finish line, but we agreed to stick together and finish at the same time. Our last stop was at km101. We took our final hydration. I freshened up my face, arms and legs with the foam soaked in ice cold water.
Finally, we made the final turn and ran the last stretch towards the finish line…It was a strong and smiling finish! At km 102 was the Bald Runner who graciously met us one by one at the cheers and applause of the early finishers.
Wow. What a relief and satisfying finish! I felt good and still energized… We exchanged hi 5’s, shook hands and took pictures at the km102 marker.
After a couple of minutes, other runners continued to arrive at the finish line. I saw Candy cross the finish line and congratulated her…Our support crew arrived and the driver informed me that Ernie was just 2kms away…A few more minutes and finally Ernie crossed the finish line…He was fine other than his complaining about his continuing leg cramps.
|Ernie, with his little bodyguards, on his way to the finish line|
|At Km 102 with the Bald Runner after finishing the 52-K Test Run|
We rested, ate, and changed clothes. Then, we finally asked BR’s permission to go home. As we drove, we still saw runners coming in.
LESSONS TO BE LEARNED:
1. Continuous hydration is a must.
2. Fruits are very effective nutrition. Immediately during the first stop, we started eating them but never experienced food rejection.
3. Cap with nape cover and the arm sleeves help a lot denying the sun to penetrate directly our skin.
4. Foam soaked in cold water and directly applied to the head face, arms, legs is very refreshing. Nakakagising ng diwa!
5. A pacing gadget (used by Candy and my mistahs), which can be set when to run and walk, helps maintain the momentum and running rhythm.
6. Route. The road surface is generally a good combination of concrete and asphalt. However due to the abundance of vehicles (trucks, buses, jeeps, trikes, etc.) especially along the major highways, most of the times we will be running on the shoulder, where it is rough, littered with rocks and sand/dust.
7. With 21 days left before the D-day, we need more practice runs, more mileage, do heat training and night runs.
To Ernie, my 83nean running buddy…Rest and recuperate from your leg cramps. We need to be 100% ready and in good running condition 3 weeks from now.
To Vic, hope you can pick up some good tips from our experience in this 52-km test run and per guidance from the Bald Runner, familiarize with the route.
To Bob, the ultimate 83nean BDM160km finisher…Thanks for the running tips and encouragements. We will be glad to see you again at the starting line of the BDM102 on March 3 and lead us to the finish line on March 4.
To Ed and other interested 83nean runners…Pwede pang mag lamag padi. See you also at the starting line (as runner or support crew).
We aim for a successful and safe run come March 3-4 as we run the whole 102km stretch of the Bataan Death March route… Good Luck and Godspeed!