Posted by: HighAltitude | February 26, 2009

SURVIVED: Bataan 52k Test Run & ER Makati Hospital

52k-route-google-map1Bataan Death March Ultrarun – 52k test run route. Abucao, Bataan Km-50 to San Fernando, Pampanga Km-102.  February 22, 2009.

I decided to go to Bataan earlier and had an overnight together with Jonel and the rest of the ‘hardcore runners’ in Balanga City. To my surprise, when we arrived in Km-50 Abucau where the run will start, it looks like an actual race.

  • An Ambulance with a Medical Team that was available through the help of BaldRunner’s brother who is now the Commander of the Light Armor Division of the Philippines Army based in Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac.
  • A police mobile escort from Bataan PNP
  • A general support vehicle which served as mobile aid station which contain 100 bottles of Gatorade; 100 bottles of Propel Drinks; 100 pieces of Sponges/Foams; Cloud 9 Chocolates; lots of boiled sweet potatoes and bananas; hard-boiled eggs, and packs of Sky Flakes.
  • Runner-participants Arman Fernando & Jonel aka Bugobugo85 donated 500 bottles of bottled water and some sweet potatoes and bananas as well.
  • Added to this, there were more vehicles support from each runners that helps us throughout the run.

It was so professional and that was just a glimpse of what is going to happen on the actual race. Mind this, this is just a test run, or fun run or runabout! My gratefull to BaldRunner!!!

That morning before the run start, it was like a family [of runners] gathering. The participants as well as the their friends and families were there together to give their full support. It was a lovely crowds!

dsc03180Before the starts begin, Maj. Gen. Jovenal D. Narcise (Ret.) AFP aka BaldRunner gave us a final briefing. He shared to us his mission of this ultra marathon, a brief history of the Bataan Death March that was happened in april 1942, and his passion to promote ultra running in the Philippines.

dsc03182dsc03185dsc03186The runners during a short briefing from BaldRunner

dsc03201Group picture with the logo of Bataan102


dsc03206Stretching exercises and prayer led by Coach Salazar from the Team BaldRunner

dsc03210… and the test begin. The cars beside us were the few of many vehicles support we had that sunday.


Water in


Banana/egg/sweet potato stop

dsc03225dsc03227skin hydration


dsc03234water out

dsc03237Halo-halo stop. Up to this point, we already completed 91k. We are grateful to BaldRunner for the halo-halo gift before the final 11k. By this time, it was 01:04:06pm and you know how hot is the sun.

Before reaching this point, i was running with Jeff from Camanava Runners for about 10k without support. The vehicle support was far behind us. It was a tough part. We run 1k and then walk and we do this repeatedly. Jeff decided to stop at one store to buy mineral water just to find out that they have only one mineral water left. He bought it and shared it to me. Thanks a lot Jeff, that was the best water ever.

After the halo-halo stop, i consumed only two bottles of mineral water up to the finish line, km post #102, and that was a big mistake for me. On the last two kms, i was running together with Ralph to the finish line. 


52k-test-run-22feb2009-071This is my sunburned legs after 52k run for 5hours54minutes run.

…and this is the last part of my story.

30minutes after i reached km post #102, i felt something wrong with my body. I didn’t feel exhausted, slight muscle pain but i feel weak. I laid down on the floor for two times… and feel like vomiting.

I went back to manila with Jonel and his two sons, Ralph and Nathan. We had a stop at the gas station to have our lunch with other runners. Unfortunately, the other runners got lost their way so Jonel and his sons had their own late lunch while i was just lying down outside. I felt really weak by this time and tried to vomit many times but nothing came out. By this time, i start to feel muscle tight on my face…

The second stop we had was the beginning of the horrible things that afternoon. I severely vomit all the food i eat from the halo-halo stop and at the finish line. After that, Jonel force me to eat some food at the nearby jolybee and was able to eat half of the soup only. I was feeling a little bit better after this knowing that i already vomit. I was thinking that probably the food was the cause of the problem. Now, my both hands starts to cramps and my face too. Later on, cramps invaded my abdomen as well. I told to Jonel that i think i need dextrose because i got dehydrated already. I asked him to take me to MAMC (Manila Adventist Medical Center) but we were not able to locate it. By this time, my both hands and face were literally cramps. I had problem on breathing and talking since my face was so thight. I was thinking that if we could not able to find any nearest hospital, i would be a history. I would be the first casualty of Bataan Death Run.

Knowing that we could not locate that hospital, i asked Jonel to take me to any hospital. They decided to bring me to Makati Hospital. From Buendia, they make a u-turn and driving against traffic. Jonel was navigating while Ralph repeatedly push the horn, driving against the trafic. At the back sit, i was struggling to breath, i saw Nathan was kinda panic as well as he looking at my situation. I now had a hard time to open my eyes. I tried to talk that i badly need dextrose, but my talk was not complete anymore. I remember Jonel get off from the car and try to clear the way by telling other drivers that this is emergency. Ralph was almost bump to other cars for several times i guess. “Bilisan mo!” was the last words i heard before Jonel carry me to the emergency room of Makati Hospital.

Inside the ER, a nurse gaves injection and a small bag to cover my nose and mouth in order to help me breathing. They also took my blood sample. I was half unconcious. Jonel and his sons went back to their home and promise me to be back after two hours, the approximate time when the laboratory test would be finish.

According to the doctor, the laboratory result was normal. They told me that i got anxiety attack. That was totally strange for me… I left the ER with puzzle in my mind. I couldn’t belive why i got this attack because i was thinking that this must be whether dehydrated or heat stroke. Jonel, his wife and Nathan then pick me and took me to pasay where i could get a bus going back to silang.

The following day, i decided to make appointment with another doctor for a second opinion. I still couldn’t accept that i got anxiety attack as what they told me. On Feb 24, i visited Dr. E. Almocera who is our campus physician at AIIAS where i’m studying and presented the laboratory result to her. I also explain that i had a long run that morning under extreme wheather in bataan for 52k. She knew very well that i love running so even before she saw the the laboratory result, she told me that i got heat injury. She affirmed it by showing that my sodium and potassium is below normal. The normal sodium in our body should be 136-145 and i was 132 whereas potassium 3.5-5.1 and i was 3.2. This result showed i got heat stroke which caused electrolite insuficiency. She then prescribe me to buy Sodium Chlorite tablet which i could use for Bataan102.

That was a horrible experience! A close call!!! Thank God for i am still alive [and running]…

Lessons learned [again]…

Friends, this could happen to everyone. Be carefull! April would be hotter. Drink… drink… drink… even if you donf feel thirsty. “Slip, Slop, Slap!” Slip on a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen, and Slap on a hat. Avoid wearing dark t-shirt. Water is not enough. Get sport drink such as gatorade or pocari sweat. Prepare salt in your pocket. Apply sunblock lotion.

In marathon we run until we hit the wall and we walk but in ultramarathon, we should avoid hitting the wall by walk, jog and run [got this from BaldRunner].

52k-test-run-22feb2009-064I love this obelix!

After all that had happened to me, there is no way to quit.

Big thanks to Jonel’s Family!

…yes, i survived from the bataan 52k test run and from the ER of Makati Hosptial.


  1. Whoa. That’s something Jerry. Thank God you’re ok. I hope it wont happen again.

    Yah, MAMC is a bit tricky to locate.

  2. Good to hear you are ok! Take care man!

  3. jerry, we’ll see to it that we’ll have more gatorade & propel on race day and more aid stations; mobile and permanent. actually, my staff forgot to bring salt for the boiled eggs. it would had been different if you ate those eggs with salt. anyway, we learned a lot because of the test run. take more time to recover & i know you can make it on d-day. remember, you are a “hardcore”!

  4. i heard about this while you were at the hospital. good to hear you are fine now. oh, you do need electrolyte replacement esp on the actual race. not just water. hope you recover well and fast!

  5. Surprising! But seriously, i hope nothing like this happens on the actual Bataan “Death” Run.. to anyone.. I’m sure Sir Jove has everything worked out.. not even space for Murphy’s Law..

  6. That was a scare!!! Good to hear that you’re well now! Take care man! see you around. – ian

  7. Thanks to everyone! I know that Jonel was so worried at that time and texting friends informing about my situation.

    God still give me a second chance, a chance to complete 102k 🙂

    Specially to BR, your staff did great job last sunday. Imagine runners like me who didn’t prepared such food and drink, what would happen to us.

  8. Hey Bro. Whats most important is your ok. it could have been worst. you could have even died. but God will always Guide you and your Crazy running Group. You guys are an inspiration to us mortals.

  9. wow! idol! you take care man!

    for future reference. MAMC is near LRT Taft/Buendia Station. If you’ll be coming from Buendia, Ayala. After you cross the Taft / Buendia intersection, you turn right. That is the street where MAMC is.

  10. Hey there Jerry, It’s good everyone didn’t panic at that point, take care on the real one – the 102..

  11. Hey, I hope you are feeling better, Java Man.

    If it’s any consolation to you, I suffered the same symptoms just doing the Runew 15K at the Fort in the morning sun on the same day! I became dizzy in the last 3K and started vomiting about an hour after I crossed the finish line and for about five hours after that, but at least I did not require medical treatment.

  12. Jerry–take it easy for now and let your body recover. I know you’ll be up and about very soon!

    take care, bro.

  13. I know you can survive…tough times never last, but tough people do!

    However, take extra care next time…not because your legs can do it, it doesn’t mean you can beat the sun! In the U.S…ultramarathon is in because of its cool climate. Here in the pHilippines, I don’t think it’s advisable especially in the month of April and May when the summer is at peak. Maybe December to January will be okay.

    God bless you always bro.

  14. That was tough. Rest easy, pare.

  15. jerry,
    Man that was scary! I thank God you made trough that close call. Please recover well and have some good rest. See you soon tough guy!

  16. Everyone… thank you, thank you very much! I’m doing a research on heat stroke now, I thank God that i still alive. I could have been die, literally die last sunday. But God still need me on earth, He knows that i still have quite many unfinished business here.

    I want to repeat this again, those of you who will join Bataan102, DRINK WATER ONLY IS NOT ENOUGH. We have to drink sport drinks which contain electrolyte, the food of the muscle. When you skip this, your muscle will shut down.

    During those dark moments, my urine is normal, that means i have enough water in my body but i don’t have enough electrolyte.

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