20 December 2010


Remember these words during BDM102/160 or any ultra 100k and beyond for that matter:

"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." - Kahlil Gibran

Bataan Death March (BDM) 160km will be one of my goal races for 2011 aside from UTMB. We might as well run/race while we are still relatively young (My golly I will be 41 by 06 January 2011). FAT ASS though will always hold a special place in my heart. It is not because I am one of the organizers but because it is the only running event where it is so relaxing to log in ultra distance and NOT feel drained or exhausted afterwards. The camaraderie is top notch as well. Unbelievable bonding and yet there was the subtle competition among the participants. My main concern now is the same which can be found in this post. To quote the pertinent portion:

"Our dilemma now (at least mine in the meantime) is how to maintain that camaraderie and uniqueness of Fat Ass assuming more runners will participate in 2011. The better query is: is it even possible to achieve the same in a large number of participants?"

But given my limited exposure both here and abroad, ultrarunners seem to gravitate naturally towards camaraderie and empathy none like I have seen in other races. So in that context, I am confident FAT ASS runners will have a unique experience with each other. 

Just the other day, I was thinking that if the 100-miler version of BDM would not push through, I would run again BDM102 and probably "try" to come in 10 hours or less. Is it even probable to break the course record of 9:09 set in 2008 by Ed? Someone somehow will break it under the most favorable conditions. Needless to say, it will be a feat of huge proportion. This has been my burning desire for the past 2 years. I could only imagine the training it will entail and the pain and suffering involved for someone like me of average talent. The only person who can easily do this is Jessie Ano - winner of BOTAK 100k wherein he clocked in 8 hours something in 2009. It was a road race also. By the way, he holds the Philippine fastest time for 100k when he ran Botak. Funny that this BOTAK race was never followed by another edition. Is it a case of "now it's here, now it's gone"?

In the meantime, all focus is geared towards BDM160. As of this writing, there are only 10 weeks to go and 10 weeks are certainly not enough to train sufficiently for it. After GNW 100 miles (as Rick Gaston commented, it should have been 108 because the actual distance is 175K not counted the extra distance covered after getting lost), I focused more on recovery. Strange that the day after GNW100, I was able to walk (more like hobble) and sightsee Sydney with my wife and friends. Walking was slow but it was a better option than staying indoor. I was thinking that time need not be wasted by sitting on my butt. This sightseeing was followed by another four (4) consecutive days of walking for several hours. My leg muscles and feet seemed to have loosened up eventually and recovery was hastened. In hindsight, the effort was like doing a multiday run with sightseeing as the main diversion for lingering soreness. Not bad actually. Recovery and sightseeing do complement each other after all :)

The only worthwhile training I did 3 weeks after GNW100 was when I decided to pace a teammate (Team Clark) and a friend (Ricky) for their another 42.2k during QCIM last 05 December. It was a yoyo pacing - meaning going back and forth during the race while carrying their hydration belts. Tough to do but I love to help. Both finished with a new PR. This was followed by Milo Finals 1 week after QCIM. That week before Milo, I had like zero (0) mileage. Nada. My body seemed to require complete rest. After the Milo race, my left foot seemed to complain which revealed the need for more rest. I am now taking this seriously. Doing a fast (just a term of relative significance) 16K in lieu of supposed 32K slow run (more like dragging) yesterday made my left foot tight again. Could it be plantar fascitis? I have not had one. Definitely overuse syndrome. Perhaps, running GNW100 followed by 2 full marathons is not any coach's good idea of full recovery.

Maybe, this is the best time to relax in line with the Holiday Season. The only fear I have is the obvious consumption of extra calories because of parties left and right. Ok beer also. It seems moderation is the key without feeling deprived. Good thing there is FAT ASS in January :)

Last week during the party (again!) of Clark Road Runners where I was invited to speak and promote FAT ASS, I was talking with Jeff with wife Imee and friend Tess, Abet and Isko (CAMANAVA runners) about BDM160. I intimated my concern on the probable pace of the lead pack during the first few kilometers of the race. I hope it will not be a suicidal pace where all of us will hopefully hang on but risk being burned beyond recovery. Short race-pace will not work for a long race such as this. The hills, a good 5-7K in stretch,  after the start will probably stop any foolish attempt at the suicidal pace. Hopefully.

Recently, I have taken time to review my notes (log) while training for 2010 BDM102. The training worked for me and I will most likely repeat them. You know the cliche - If it works for you, do not change it. This successful training coupled with the profound experience I learned during GNW100, I hope it will make a substantial contribution to a "decent" finish. But then again, there are so many variables during an ultra. So basically anything can happen. If one (1)  week after BDM160 and there is no injury or I am not maimed yet :), I will attempt to run BDM102. The operative words are "no injury" and "attempt". Probably, BR might have been suprised when he saw my double registrations. So this is an "attempt" to set the record for the first BDM double runs. My apology for this too forthright a plan or hype. I am just daydreaming again :)

Right now, I have been asking myself what kind of training I should do with a mere 10 weeks before BDM160 to allow a "decent" finish and later on, the BDM102. Folks, your guess is as good as mine.

Jon (feeling fat and sluggish while hating and loving holiday food at the same time :)


  1. Hey Jon
    Sounds like an exciting schedule ahead of you. All I can say is don't underestimate the value of rest to allow proper recovery.

    If you do both, I'd suggest going super slow in the first event and then sprint the second!!

    Enjoy the fruits of the holiday season!
    Have a great one

  2. aha!you got me there! i thought you downgraded to BDM 102 and skip the BDM 160 when i saw your application lately. hahaha! good luck on your training and hope that you are not setting an example for the BDM 160 finishers to join you in the BDM 102.

  3. i am inclined to believe that the 2009 bdm 102 "record" time of ed villanueva does not hold water.

    for one, the 2009 results are unofficial for many reasons one of which is the fact, as intimated to me by the organizer, that during the wee hours of that april 2009 morning, the lead pack(that included ed) got lost and missed a few turns go. villanuevaing into the old bdm route. not by intention of course. thus, that time, as recorded, is not good for all of 102 kilometers.

    so as it is, it's the 2010 bdm 102 time of alvin canada that stands as the current course record (10h something).

    so what do i mean now? doable for you my friend.

    i am tempted no end to do 102 as well. maybe we can act as sweepers if we are not maimed.


  4. Hi Andy. You are right. Rest is very important but 1 week is not enough though. More like the other way around for me, I am afraid. Race then run to finish for the second. Let us see. I think it will still be very hard to race the second even if I run the 1st race super slow. Anyway, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Enjoy the holiday too mate!

    BR - my apology for the confusion. It is wait and see after BDM160. The double run is just a wish. If runners follow the trend, then the merrier. Hey BR, which is which then? Ed's or Alvin's. Sorry but the course record for BDM102 has to be cleared up for the information of both local and foreign runners to guide them on how to aim for the new course record.

    Jonel - that is quite a revelation. Hmm. However until the race organizer confirms that Alvin's time is the OFFICIAL course record, I am inclined to subscribe to Ed's. That way, the runner who breaks Ed's time will seal himself as to new record holder and erase any doubt as to his capacity to do so. Yes, sweepers if we are not maimed yet. Man, the things we do for our other women (ahem), i.e, running! :) (This is a real joke among married male ultrarunners)

    Cheers, everyone!