About Me

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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..

March 13, 2012


To say that runners  “finished” the BDM 102-km ultra is an understatement. 

I think that the more appropriate term is “survived.”  Truly, with all the  tears and pain a runner, particularly the first-timer, encounters in tackling the Bataan Death March ultramarathon, there is no other term to use but this.

The BDM is a different kind of animal.  That is why the BDM is the ultramarathon event of the country.  If the USA has Badwater and South Africa has Comrades, the Philippines  has the Bataan Death March ultramarathon.  

Vicente de Lima

Bob Castilla

Ernie Badong

Ruben Fajardo

To tackle this animal, a different kind of runner is required.  An ultrarunner or in the words of the Bald Runner,
"a warrior ". 

It is with extreme joy and special pride that I inform all that this Bicolano Penguin and 3 more  83nean runners survived the 2012 Bataan Death March 102-km ultramarathon last March 3 & 4, 2012. We four members of the Ateneo de Naga High School Batch 1983 joined 156 more finishers of the 2012 edition of the BDM.  Our respective rankings are as follow:

    Bob Castilla                            31st place (14 hrs 20 mins)

    Ruben “Fards” Fajardo         110th place  (17 hrs 14 mins)
            Ernie Badong                         111th  place (17 hrs 14 mins)
            Vicente “Macky” de Lima II    148th place (17 hrs 44 mins) 

Out of 193 runners who started on Saturday night, 160 runners finished within the 18-hour cut off time.  The survival rate this year is 82.9%.  The BDM 102km ultramarathon stats read now like this:

                2009       63 finishers out of 83 runners    (75.9%)
                2010       104 finishers out of 123 runners (84.5%)
                2011       112 finishers out of 154 runners ( 72.7%)
                2012       160 finishers out of 193 runners (82.9%)

The Band of Brothers, tired yet proud

I will be posting 3  articles of my March 3 & 4 experience of the BDM.  As early as now, I would like to thank the following:

-    My wife Marianne, my son Marcel, and my family for providing the inspiration and material support without which I would not be able to do a lot of running.

-      My fellow 83nean runners Bob, Fards and Ernie for sharing this BDM with me, especially Fards who paced with me in the first 50 kms.

-      My high school classmate, Ed Balcueva, who served as our support crew.  He is a true coach.

-     Our driver, Orly Jacob, for ably handling the support vehicle and serving as the masseur.

-       The company I work for, First Balfour, for providing me the support vehicle (Nissan Urvan).  Its management team, led by  our president Tito Fernandez, continues to push for wellness among First Balfour employees.

-       My editor, Mau Gines, for continuing to believe in my blog and running.

-     The ultra runners of BDM.  They shared a lot of camaraderie.

-      The Bald Runner and his team that handled the Bataan Death March ultramarathon, a  special and historic event.   A job well done because the effort is truly coming from the heart.      

Note:  Some of the pictures in this article and the next 2 were taken from the
         facebook account of J.Avellanosa Photography, the official photographer of the
          Bataan Death March ultramarathon.


  1. nice sir vic. congrats to all of us! most especially to you, our maestro! its an honor running with you guys. vic, fards and bob. im very happy we survived it. see you next year(BDM 160 and 102) 83nean "warriors"! yeeeeehaaaawww!

  2. Thanks Ernie. Our Batch 83 running is a clear example of the "students" surpassing the "maestro" in terms of running achievements. Bob, Fards and you are now running longer and faster than me. Pretty soon, Ghibz and Ed will be at it too. hahahaha.......I am happy and proud to see you guys do very well.