Sometimes, its hard to imagine what running friends are getting into when they enter a 100 mile race (160kms) on a route where thousands of American and Filipino soldiers were forced-marched during WWII and died on their way to Camp McDonnel. This event, now etched as the infamous Bataan Death March is now going to be revisited by about a hundred runners thru the Bataan Death March 160km Ultramarathon.
From my circle of close running mates, Mel Severino and Chito Carreon will be up to the challenge and complete the race, by hook or by crook. But both are seasoned ultra-marathoners and have been nipping the heels of other ultra runners since they joined ultra events two years ago. This is essentially a test of humans against distance and yet from the beginning, these two are poised to finish the race in an unchartered distance of 160kms probably living out their strange dreams out of their near twisted minds!:-)
We have now been tasked to help these two in realizing their dreams so we are now officially their support crew and help them as Pacers from kilometer 102 up to km 160 at the finish in Capas, Tarlac. Not only will we act as pacers but our task will also include feeding, massage and tending to other needs of these two destitute runners on their last 12 hours of running and that will be some grand fete.
Last night, we gathered and organized our team to plot out our strategies to ensure that they reach the finish line alive! We shall have two vehicles loaded with supplies and some cold beer waiting for them, assuming that they arrive. For an event that celebrates individual determination in the face of a lonely struggle, we are sharing our endless support and boost their spirits and hope for their survival! By the time they reach the 102km mark, when they are in the throes of exhaustion, when their calf muscles turn into stone and when feet transforms to sponges, we shall start our pacing and perform CPR as need be..
Pacing is hardly the operative word as they would hardly be able to run when they reach the 102km mark on their way to the finish. What these guys need is “companionship”, somebody who can boost their moral and spirit, somebody they can lean on in time of collapse and a light that would guide them in their ordeal.
So to Mel, Chito and to my other running friends running this ultramarathon, good luck in your 30-hour journey!