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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My BDM 102 story

I cried. First time I cried in front of many people. Out of the difficult route and the thought of how I was able to cross the finish line after running 102 kms. in one piece. This is how I ended the race. Let me tell you the whole story (why the hell should I be crying in the finish line!)

Before D-Day

Weeks before the race, I had trainings of some sort. Long runs, speed works, heat runs, you name it I did it. I even joined the test runs to familiarize myself with the route. I was guilty that I trimmed down my mileage towards D-day (which was one of my biggest mistakes...). Bought some new gears as well: Esmeralda, my green silence, camelback which I forgot on the raceday itself and new tights for recovery.

Last minute support plan was also pulled off when I decided to have my own set of support crew and vehicle. This was a very serious event that I want to finish within my plan. I learned from my previous ultras how difficult it is to have a shared support crew and I'm willing to fund my own to survive this race.

My support crew: Totoy (6th place from the previous BDM 160/driver), Ultramaan (ultimate support crew starting from the TPPB days) and Allan (Running Free Manila/blogger which wrote my story). We used my dad's car, the black vios as the support vehicle knowing that it will save me some money for the gas. I did my groceries and patterned my nutrition plan to Totoy's 160. Good thing I did support him on the previous week so I have an idea what to drink and eat during the race. :)

D-day: Prologue

We left Manila at around 11 am. Had a few stop over were we had lunch and bought some ice. We did a recon of the route and still I can't believe that a few hours from that point I will start the story of my journey. Sobrang layo niya!!!

We arrived at the same inn were we stayed for 160 the week before at around 3 pm. Beeps was already there, so as RD (running diva). The crew already put some ice in the ice box before getting some shuteye. I was anxious and probably had only 30 minutes of sleep before we woke up for dinner.

We had a chance to talk with Beeps, Nick and Millet during dinner. It feels like this is our "last supper" before we go on our little adventure later. We're all excited and nervous of this fun run (we were even blessed by a slight rain as we went back to get dressed).

To the Starting Line

For the first half, I decided to wear the orange technical shirt I got from the runfest and the short I got from ANR. I should have worn Esmeralda but Totoy advised me to wear something with more cushioning so I wore Milo (Adizero) instead. It was still raining and we all hoped that this will last till tomorrow when we reach the finish line. After some last minute check, we went to the starting line.

We were at the starting line at around 8:45 pm. I met a few familiar faces with their respective support groups eagerly awaiting for the run to start. I was still looking for Doc Art and DocT for my medical certificate, got them just in time before the program started. I asked my support crew to go ahead already and meet me at km 7 so they can get a good spot.

After a few snapshots and chat with fellow runners, we were summoned to gather at the starting line. A prayer, the national anthem of Japan, US and then the Philippines before some final reminders were given. At exactly 10:10 pm, the longest race in my life has started...

KM 00 - 32

We did this route last Feb and our strategy was to cover as much distance as we can before the sun rises. Beep beep was my pacemate for the entire race and this was our strategy during the test runs. We were doing quite ok from Km 00 until the start of the ascend route towards KM 7.

As soon as we hit the uphill part, we jogged. We want to save as much time as we can without burning out all our energy so we decided to jog the dreaded uphill. This part was dark but once you reach the upper area you will see the beautiful lights of Mariveles. Thanks to the slight rain and cold temperature we reached the end of the uphill still strong.

We bumped across a fairview running club member earlier during the race. He said that he has 6+ teammates and they only have 1 van to support them. We decided to have him stick with us as he will have problems with the support later on. So it will be a trio of us until we reached the finish line!

Same strategy, run the downhills and walk the uphills. I decided to have my support done every 3 km. There were parts of this route which have inaccurate distance such as the long run from km 16 to km 24. In my garmin, it was 1 km longer but that didn't matter. All I wanted was to finish the race based on the strategy we made.

I brought along a couple of gel already for emergency purposes. I planned to take them every 20 km (or in-case I'm drained and tired already).

As we paced thru the dark road, we remained alert with our environment. Raging trucks and buses were avoided (damn, they are fast!) while we move away from cracks along the road. I stepped on some but thankfully I didn't experience any problem. There were "landmines" as well (poopoo) but we're glad we didn't stepped on any of them.

Dogs, drunk, bargirls, etc. Not your typical run were even gays who pimp them are chasing after you. We refer them to KB (this man has ABUNDANT support; ewan ko na lang talaga kung di niya matapos pa yumg race). We lost him at km 24 when mother nature called him (he dumped in a gasoline station after km 24).

After 4 hours, we were able to reach the fork at km 32. At this point, we have to change our strategy...

KM 33-50

From this point on, the roads are practically flat. We are about to enter the town of Pilar and here we started our galloway method. I dictated the pace and timing; 5 minutes run - 2 minutes walk. This will help us conserve our energy until the later part of the race.

From km 32, we passed by Pilar. My support crew brought some pandesals already (I only ate one as I don't feel hungry yet). I asked them to prepare some coke already as I'm getting bored with the water and energy drink routine.

Farmlands, small buildings, trikes and jeepneys; those were abundant during this part of the race. But since it's night time, they were like ghost towns, it's like we own the road for ourselves. I was still strong at this point as we follow our galloway method.

When we reached Balanga, we crossed path again with a familiar soul. KB has reached us already from the time he answered mayor's call at the gasoline station. We made an agreement that all of us will cross the finish line together and stay loyal to the strategy that we set.

Finally, after 6:00 hours we reached km 50 (PR plus we reached the halfway mark on our target time!). Halfway to go!

KM 50 -68

The original plan was to reach km 70 before daybreak and had a change of outfit. Since we still have some time to spare, I change my wet shirt already with something comfortable. I decided to wear my TPPB shirt and dropped the headtorch already. I ate an egg and drank some soda before I joined the group again. Felt energized, we continued on with our journey.

We remain loyal to our strategy as we traverse the road from abucay to hermosa. Daybreak was near already and we estimated to reach the 70 km marker by around 8 am. My support crew are still strong and we continue to share the resources with my group. When we get bored, we try to entertain ourselves. I can feel fatigue already at km 55 but we need to move forward!

At km 62, we were given a surprise treat from KB's crew. His pom-pom girls had arrived! The UP ANR folks were in full-support of him even throwing this! We had some pictures taken before we ran again. At this point, a puppy was following us. I thought it would follow us until we reached San Fernando.

Km 67,  we're back at the main road. It was past 7 am already so we hurried along the busy road. At km. 68, we had our support crew wait for us as we will be resting for a while and have some breakfast. I'll have my foot massaged as well plus change into my Condura technical shirt + the "Japanese" cap to welcome the new day!

KM 68-80 

The long agonizing final 34 km has begun. I switched my gear to "Esmeralda" my green silence and started our run towards the town of Dinalupihan. This is freakin challenging as the roads here are not shoe friendly; they have a lot of gravels and sharp rocks which I felt as I inch my way to the next town.

Reaching the "Halo-halo" point, we met up with manager Jj and Joen which gave us a bunch of food and water. I'm actually feeling some soreness already (who wouldn't after running 70++ kms?) and tired but I know I still have a few more kms to conquer. We're stuck with the 4-2 run/walk strategy and it will stay until we reach the finish line.

Around km 75, I felt some pain on my left knee wall. Crap, I think I'm starting to have ITBS! I've had it massaged and gulped a painkiller to slow down the pain but I know it will never stop. So I have to slow down and increase the frequency of walking. KB already left us as I can't keep up with a faster pace. At this point, it was me, Beep-beep and the fairview running guy left in the small group

KM 80 - 90

As time passed by, the pain became more intense. The heat was already increasing and I can't run any faster. Darn it, why now?! But I swore to finish all my races regardless of what happen. So I continued the journey, frequently walking rather than running. Thank God for Beep-beep in accompanying me in this race!

We passed by the town of Gua-gua under the tense heat of the sun. There were slight jogs every once in a while but I really can't hold a decent pace. This will be a long walk towards the end.

Last 12 km

 After passing through the town of Guagua and towards km 90, I really want to end everything. I'm tired and in-pain. I'm psyching myself to never give up, I've already invested a lot of time and resources for this race.

I don't care if runners are passing by me as I'm not here to race. I'm here to finish the race! (Beep-beep even had a last second banyo break in km 92). Igol had reached me already and we paced for a km before he speed off. I guess it's really up to me and beep beep now to finish this.

The sun was already up and beating us up with the heat. Beep beep was encouraging me to run but I really can't do it anymore. It hurts like hell. I told him to go ahead but he never left me. We will finish this together and with style.

At last, the final km. Beep-beep told me that I should go ahead before them towards the finish line. I planned to sprint the last few meters to have a fantastic photofinish. But what if it alleviates the pain in my knees? What if I suddenly fell down before I reach the line. Amp, bawal ume-emo. Bahala na si batman...

With last ounce of strength, I poured water over my head and began to build up my pace. I don't care anymore. I wanted to finish the race. I feel a nth-wind passing thru me again and it was a sign. I felt my feet getting lighter as I ran the small road. People were already there, finishers cheered as I pass them by. One more step and finally, I accomplished finishing the longest race in my entire life...

Finish line Moment

Sir BR gave me his traditional hug. I can't help but cry and told him it was really difficult. I can't believe that I was crying! Syempre, nung may camera na I have to smile as if I didn't cry. Mahirap na masira ang image nyahahahaha!

Everyone was congratulating me but I cried again when Maan told me that I finally finished. It was very akward moment but a warrior can burst into tears as we are humans too. I was so tired and swore that I can eat whatever food was available. A few picture moment then I rested at the sidewalk waiting for the rest of the runners to cross the line.

This is my BDM 102 story. It might be late but I want to have it documented so I can share it with other people the crazy race I did in March 2011. Now, let me tell you my BDM 160 story...


  1. na iyak ako pre! pero hndi ako umiyak sa finishline kase umiyak ako bago mag finish binuhos ko na dun lahat hahahahahahaha.nice nice!!!-ambow-

  2. marunong ka palang umiyak? hahah

    congrats UNGAS! heheh

    next year malamang IIYAK tayo lahat sa 160! hahah

  3. nakaka inspire naman. . =) CONGRATS!

  4. nakaka.... nakaka... tuwa na nakakaluha :)
    Di ko pa rin ma-imagine kung ano itsura mo pag umiiyak. Sana masaksihan ko sa susunod :p

  5. Congrats hehehehe :) batchmate!
    dinalupihan bro ata yun not dalahican :)
    ngyon ko lang nakita blog mo bro !
    Goodluck sa 160 !

    God Bless



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