March 6, 2010, 9AM, our team met in a parking ground in BHS for Bataan. Aside from the slow traffic that greeted us on our way to North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) everything was good and it had that “summer outing” feeling. It was somehow, especially when many of us met in the resort we were staying in in Bataan. Last time to familiarize everyone with the plan.
While we had several hours of time to rest I wasn’t able to get any despite being sleepy. Then I had a headache (due to lack of sleep?) which was a bit worrisome considering it was just hours before the race. Good thing our support was there to make sure everything was alright to the best they can, although I still had that headache until gunstart.
We arrived at +Km 00 in Mariveles quite early for pictures. So early in fact that we got a little bored (too much flash is quite straining on the eyes). Gradually the place got crowded with all the runners, their support crew, and vehicles. Then the national anthem of USA and the Philippines were sung… Bang! It was gunstart. This is it! The moment we have been waiting for for so long arrived in an instant. It was 11:28PM.
The first 3K was quite slow at more than 8 minutes per kilometer pace resulting in a much slower than our planned first 7K. It was pretty fine then but it lead to some “misunderstanding” within our group by +Km 15 (we were off by just a few minutes, based on my GF405) as our differences in pace separated us unintentionally. No one was intended to be left behind but as we all know things happen. (I think it was my fault since I made the plan to set the pace at 6:30 during the downhill portion which apparently was too fast in an ultra. For that I sincerely apologize to everyone concerned.)
Our journey towards +Km50 was anything but close to plan. Our pace went from as slow as 12 minutes to below 7 minutes per kilometer, even going as fast as 14.7 kilometers per hour at some point (just over 4 minute per kilometer). There goes the plan! At least it still holds true as far as support needs were concerned.
Humidity was a big surprise for us. During both our test runs it was always cool early morning but during race day it was quite the opposite—hot and humid. Along our route Sam (The Running Ninja) and I stumbled upon Rodel (The Argonaut) who was already running bare-chested. I was convinced that it would get cooler as dawn approached, but when it didn’t we got tired of waiting and “followed suit.” I’ll admit that running “half-naked” came across my mind before but was unable to because I get burned easily under the sun. Its absence plus the weather factor pushed me into doing a “boldrunner” from before +Km 34 all the way to +Km 50.
It was just barely halfway and we were already far-fetched from plan. For the record I was just six minutes ahead of projected earliest time of arrival at +Km 50, or about 35 minutes behind my test run record (which veterans say was too fast). The next 52K should be interesting as the sun rises and heat things up!
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2nd BDM Ultramarathon 102: