Posted by: HighAltitude | April 11, 2009

Confession of the 1st Bataan Death March Ultramarathon 102k Survivor!

I just came back from a two-day mountain climbing in Mt. Batulao, Nasugbu yesterday. My companions kept on asking me why I’m not talking that much. I told them that I’m still in Bataan102 mode. Last Sunday, I ran 102km from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga. Mouth-open, they shook their head and told that I’m crazy and stupid. They just couldn’t fathom what i just did…


Last Saturday, about 12 noon we left Silang bound to Mariveles. Henry Sitanggang, Josel Opena, Aimee and Aldwin Tapeceria were my supporters for this event. We arrived in Mariveles about 6pm. On our way from Silang to Mariveles, I’ve been trying so hard to sleep for even just a few minutes but i couldn’t. My friends kept on reminding me to sleep, still I failed. In Mariveles, the same thing happened. I was already inside the car, I tried to force my body to shift into sleeping mode but I ended up reading texts from friends wishing me and the rest of the participants for a successful run. The tension was so high that evening, especially approaching 11.30pm.

After a brief speech from BaldRunner and photo session, at the sound of the sirene, we were off…

img_0002img_0010KM 00-07 : Just after we came out from the park and hit the road, I was running with Ellen, who later became my running buddy until KM88. We didn’t have any plan or agreement to run together actually. I repeatedly told her that if she wants to speed up, she can go ahead. She told me the same thing too 🙂 so, finally, we decided to stick together. The first 3km was really a warm up for us. When we reach the uphills, we maintained 5.50 pace. I told the vehicle support to go to KM10 and wait for me there.

KM 08-20 : When we hit the KM08, we felt so good because the route started to descend gradually and realized that we are in 4.10-4.50. It was pretty fast that we even caught up with Mari and the two Singaporeans, Lucas and Baldwin. I told Ellen that I think we are too fast by now and she just smiled at me. From that point, we ran together with them until we reached the first aid station.

img_0016img_0031Gene at KM50

KM20-50:We stopped for a few seconds at the first aid station. While taking some food, Coach Salazar kept reminding us not to “literally” stop. Not far from that first aid station, we reached a junction where a marshall guided us to turn right to a small road. We were still in good shape by this time. Our pace was still 5.50. However, after 15minutes of running in that small road from the highway, a marshall riding a motorbike asked us to come back to the highway. According to him, we shouldn’t turn right in this small and narrow road. A little bit upset and confused, we ran back to the highway. We told him that there were more runners in front of us who took the same route (Mari, Lucas and Baldwin). On our way back to the highway, we met few runners and asked them to run back with us. Reaching the highway, the same marshall asked us to run back again to the small route which we took before. Arghhh…! I told him that Ellen and I just lost 30minutes already. Nothing more we can do, so, we ran back to the highway.


KM50-63: We reached km50 around 6.30 to 7am. I was able to finish one bowl of aruzcaldo in here. I asked Josel to bring the weighing scale to check If I maintained my body weight or not. If not, that means I’m dehydrated. Thank God, my body weight was still the same. We spent about 10-15minutes in this point and continued running. I asked the vehicle support to wait for the other runners (Gene, Ralf and the other two) until they reached KM50 for their bags were in our car. I, then, instructed Aldwin to be our roving support with his bike. After few minutes of running, I started to feel the heat of the sun. Thanks to Aldwin for he knew it already that I’ll be needing my cap and my shades. So, when I told him that I needed those things, he immediately handed it to me.

Before reaching KM50, I told the vehicle support to wait for us in every 5k. However, after KM50, I asked them to wait for us in every 2km or 3km.

KM63-88: At KM63, about 9am, I ate banana and somehow, it stucked on my throat and i vomitted severely. I could see that I threw off much liquid and food already. After that, I felt okay and started to run again. However, I discovered that everytime I ate solid food, I vomit again. From that point, I realized that I could no longer eat any solid food anymore. Disaster! Having experienced the heat stroke in Bataan52 test run, I was kinda apprehensive of what is happening to me. I forced myself to keep on drinking water and gatorade, eat tablets of sodium chloride and candy and those were my food until I reached the finish line. This episode of vomitting really slowed me down. I asked Ellen to run ahead of me but she insisted to run and finish together. She would wait for me if I vomit, ask me if I’m ok or if I want to walk or do some strecthing.


KM88-97: When I started vomitting at KM63, I gave my hydration belt to Aldwin. Those episodes started to take huge toll. I was sitting and drinking at KM88 and saw BaldRunner approaching us. Ellen was so surprised to know that so I asked her to continue running and I would just catch her up later. After a few minutes, I started to run again and was able to overtake BaldRunner again. Ellen and I were back together again, however, I knew that we were not in the same pace anymore, so, I asked her to run and speed up. She was a little bit hesitant to leave me alone but now, I was the one who insisted to let her go ahead. It was sad tho’ because we knew we still have few kms left. We predicted that we could finish the race at about 1pm. From this point, I asked the vehicle support to stick with me. I told them that I’m not in good shape anymore. When I left KM88, I kept on running in 6.50 although I’m not feeling good anymore. I was so hungry but I couldn’t eat any food. I asked for water/gatorade every 5minutes. I would say that candy helped me a lot during that time. It gave me energy to continue running. I also changed the way I breathe and it helped me alot. It was just a long inhale and exhale. Everytime I felt that I was about to vomit, I did this and it prevented me from vomitting.


KM97-102: My body system was about to shut down. I just stopped and laid down in a bamboo chair. Aldwin, Aimee and Josel were panicking and were confused why I suddenly laid down. I didn’t say anything because whenI opened my mouth and started to talk, it triggered me to vomit. Henry got off from the car and started to give me massage and it really helped me a lot. Of course, the pressure to finish the race was one of the issues knowing that I still have 5k to go. After a few minutes, I felt better and started to jog again. However, Idon’t have any fuel in my body anymore. I could only jog for 5 steps, so, I decided to walk the entire 5k until the finish line. And this is the most critical part in that race last Sunday. My vision became blurred but i didn’t feel dizzy. From this point, I didn’t introduce any new movement to my body. I focused on a single spot-2 meter in front of me because once I lift up my face I will surely vomit. The same thing with the form of running. Once I change the form, I would vomit again. When I needed something, I just gave a signal to the vehicle support to give me water or gatorade or salt. Sometimes, Aimee covered my head with a cold towel… As a matter of fact, Aimee decided to walk with me up to the finish line.


When I reached KM100, I know that I would finish the race. KM101, I asked Aldwin to go to the finish line to record the moment I reach the finish line. As I turned left to the finish line, tears started falling down… 20meters before the finish line, I got enough strenght to sprint and shout loudly until the finish line. I did it… I survived!


I finish 15hours14minutes05seconds+ (unofficial time) and placed 29th from 63 finishers


I did it, I survived… Bataan102 and Mt. Batulao three days after the race

First of all, my gratitude to God who allowed me to endure and finish the race. It was 102 prayers. I prayed in each KM. Especially, after KM88, I prayed that He could give me enough power to go to the next km marker. Everytime I felt pain during the first stages of the run, I prayed that the pain will just disappear. And He answered all my prayers. I didn’t feel any muscle pain at all when I reached the finish line. No blister at all. Two days after the race, I went for a two-day mountain climbing in Mt. Batulao.

Second, I want to thank my supporters. Henry ‘pak cik’ Sitanggang, you are an ultra driver for us. You drove 20hours nonstop. Josel and Aimee, you are my ultra supporters. You knew what I needed during the entire race. To Aldwin, you are an ultra biker. You don’t care if you’ll gonna get sunburn also, helping me throughout the run, biking back and forth to give us food and drinks. Without you guys, I definitely wouldn’t make it. My respect to you guys…

img_0140The only group picture I have with my support team  😦

To my coach and friend… Angelo Padua, I made it! Thanks for dragging me into this kind of sport. You’ve just created a hardcore ultramarathoner! I missed you at the finish line. I dedicate my medal and trophy to you, pare!

To my running buddy, Ellen Tolentino… thanks for your passion! Thanks for those wonderful 88km that we ran together. You could have finished earlier and got your best time but you decided to stick with me. I really appreciate it.

To all vehicle supports who gave me the necessary aid, including Lester and Margaret, thank you guys…

To all my friends who texted and emailed me… Vener+Christi, Jinoe+Que, Ben Gaetos my ultramarathon guru, Jaymie aka TheBullRunner, Bards aka BananaRunning, Bong Ortiz and to my ‘hardcore group’ thank you so much for your support. To Kang Mamay, Adi Seno, Rio Kornel, Tedi Ixdiana, Denny Engka+ Marlita from Indonesia, thanks for the prayers, MERAH PUTIH TELAH BERHASIL BERKIBAR DIGARIS FINISH!!!

img_0086Picture with the race director/finisher of Bataan102

img_00871With Singaporean runners, Baldwin and Lucas.


  1. Whoaaa! Congrats bro. Great finish even though you’ve almost faced your wall! Running and vomiting at the same time? That was the hardest thing I could imagine during the race. I’m glad you survived that ordeal, and you did it in just 14 hours…
    Congrats to us! We deserved a rest!

  2. Great Success! Congratulations migs!
    Mayo nalang buhi ka pa 🙂

  3. batulao after 102… nice! congratulations on finishing the race. it must have really been a test of will. and you triumphed! congratulations to your ultra support team also.

  4. Congratulations! Wow that’s amazing, Batulao after a 102K… you must really be inspired hehe.

  5. @Ronnie: the last 39km was really tough, because pratically i could no longer eat solid food anymore. we made it!

    @nath: buhi gihapon. dason tuig pa hehehe salamat guid ha.

    @bards: batulao hiking was my active recovery hehehe thank you so much, bards… i think of you when i run the 102k distance.

    @dhenz: thanks a lot! you should give a try to bataan102 next time and you’ll be inspired too…

  6. WOW! Congratulations! That was a race… I can’t imagine how you were able to make a final push after Razon. I’m feeling very tired at that point plus my feet burning. When I remember your ordeal on our practice run I’m scared and it seems that you are not and you’re the tougher warrior. Recover well my friend. Hope to see you on upcoming races.

  7. CONGRATULATIONS! As I posted on my blog all of the participants/finishers should be saluted for surviving the Bataan 102, you are all heroes. Through all of your experiences during the run you finished as a survivor, job well done. Congratulations again and I salute you. 🙂

  8. @Gene: Somehow i was running on my second wind when i overtook you in Razon. When i saw you crossing the road to Razon, i thought there was a water station there. Well, Bataan102 is history, Gene. Can’t wait to see you guys this coming thursday.

    @Let: You are an ultra support to us!

  9. Greetings to all the heroes, a salute to a hero. You made it pare, my congratulations.

  10. Congratulations, what you all accomplished was beyond words!

  11. @Vener: Thank you very much! Get ready for 2ndt Bataan102 🙂

    @Dindo: My gratitude to you!

  12. Hi Jerry,

    Apa kabar? Congratulations on surviving and completing the Bataan Death March Ultramarathon! That’s one amazing feat. Some people might call it stupid, but for me that’s pure will and determination.

    Saw the link to your blog from your Facebook account. Glad to see another friend who blogs.

    All the best and God bless!

    Jaypee Habaradas

  13. Hi jaypee,

    Thanks a lot. Indeed, it is not all about physical ability to complete the distance but it’s all about mind.

    Blogging while earn money, sounds cool. I wish i could do that :p

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: