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…
KM 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.
Gene 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…
The 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!!!
Picture with the race director/finisher of Bataan102
With Singaporean runners, Baldwin and Lucas.