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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..

April 25, 2012

2012 MAYON 360 ALBAY ULTRAMARATHON: No Go for the Bicolano Penguin but Five 83neans Finishing Strong

A few days before April 21, I received via email this cool poster from our classmate Bitoy, who works abroad.  It showed superimposed on the 2012 Mayon 360 poster five 83nean runners:  Bob Castilla, Ruben “Fards” Fajardo, Ernie Badong, Bicolano Penguin (me) and Ed Balcueva.

Mayon 360 poster revised by Bitoy

Sadly for me, it was not meant for the Bicolano Penguin to run the 2nd edition of the Mayon 360 AlbayUltramarathon (80 kms).  Given conflict of the schedule with family responsibilities this weekend of April 21-22, I had to inform my fellow 83nean ultra runners that I would not be able join them in my beloved Legaspi City for the premier ultramarathon event in Bicol.  I requested our Naga-based classmate Ric Lozano to take my place in the Mayon 360. 

One thing about my batchmates of the Ateneo de Naga High School Class of 1983, they are reliable and resilient.  So, after informing me that they would be missing me before, during and after the run, they buttoned down to work preparing for the living accommodations in Legaspi City  and the support vehicles provisions for the ultramarathon around Mayon Volcano. 

Fards, in particular, stepped up to be the team leader for the Mayon Ultra adventure. He gave the assurance  that all five 83neans would successfully finish.

So it was, come late afternoon of April 21,  I received the news from Fards that all 5 of the 83neans that started the race crossed the finish line safely and smiling in the confident knowledge that they finished within the cut off time of 15 hours.

The order of finish, among 83neans, is as follows:


(official time to follow)

The strong finish of Bob is of no surprise to us all, given that he is the most accomplished ultra runner among the 83neans.  It is Ed’s performance that is a revelation.  In his first ultramarathon, he finished in less than 13 hours , a few minutes back of Ernie, who is a strong runner.  Here are a few pictures, courtesy of Noel “Ghibz” Guevara. 

Ed and Ric at Km 40

Fards and Ernie at Km 42

Bob at Km 45

The feat of these 83neans was even more impressive considering that they ran the long and hot route of 80 kms around Mayon without support vehicles.  The race organizers, in an effort to curb cheating from the ultra proceedings, prohibited their use. Too bad, considering that the 83neans had at their disposal 2 support vehicles.  Thanks to the solidarity of our classmates Jobel Belarmino, Bodgie Importante, Lino Boncodin, Allen Tolledo and Ghibz. Jobel and Lino lent their vehicles :  Mitsubishi Pajero and Nissan X Trail.  Allen and Bodgie, who are both based in Bicol, and Ghibz, who came all the way from Manila, were the volunteer drivers.  

Noteworthy also was the generosity of Epok Dacudao who provided room  accommodations for the 83neans at the Sampaguita hotel in Legaspi City.

Congratulations to our 83nean runners in the 2012 Mayon 360 Albay Ultramarathon!  With Ed and Ric finishing their first-ever ultra event, Ateneo de Naga High School Class of 1983 has now 6 ultra runners.  

I can safely say that no other high school batch in Ateneo de Naga has more ultra runners.  Truly, we are the runningest batch of our alma mater.     

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