Simply Wilnar, Simply Amazing!

When Wilnar Iglesia crossed the finish line, coming in First at yesterday’s inaugural Bataan Death March Ultramarathon 100 Miles (160 kms) Race, he reportedly apologized to Race Director Gen. Jovie Narcise (BR), “Sir, i slowed down during the last 15 kms so i came late in crossing the finish line. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting!” I can just imagine BR scratching his head and smiling to the heavens in amazement and wonder. Such is the humility and modesty of Wilnar.

It was typical of Wilnar to utter those words, a very humble and unassuming guy whose unpretentiousness  precedes his talent. He knew that BR was waiting for him at the finish line knowing that Wilnar was way ahead, leading the race and was at the vicinity of Camp O’Donnel, a few kilometers from victory. The only thing that could prevent him from winning was if he suffered from a traumatic injury and had to suddenly drop-out.

Wilnar (Bib 630) during the early part of the race

He reached the 102 kilometer mark (the benchmark distance of the previously longest ultramarathon race, the BDM 102) in a mind-boggling ten (10) hours which translates to a sub-6 mins/km pace and would have put him in the top 3 had this been the BDM 102 Ultra-Race which coincidentally starts this Sunday.

But this is a 160 km run, 58 kilometers more and to maintain the pace he did and finish in 17 hours and 35 minutes (17:35) is sort of amazing–the time would have been enough to beat the cut-off time for the BDM 102 race.

After the race, i caught him resting inside a van with his teammates, Team CB and approached and congratulated him on his victory. With his unbelievable finish, i asked him if he ever walked at any time during the race and he said, “many times, specially during the last 15 kms at Capas (Tarlac) when i had to literally crawl up those hills and resume running on the downhills.”

So, Wilnar is “human” after all. Not he himself thought of leading and winning the race handily. Neither did anyone else. His closest pursuer finished 3 hours later.

But anyone who tracked Wilnar’s progress these last 2 years could see that, like a “monster” in the making, the soft spoken resident of Pasig was gathering enough strength and speed to cause heavy damage by the time he hit the Bataan Death March 160k route.

Those soldiers, who died in the original Bataan Death March during WWII must have been roused from their graves and wondered who the guy running like an emperor on their sacred grounds was!

Simply…Wilnar!

(Thanks to Bave/Rodel for the photo)

19 responses to “Simply Wilnar, Simply Amazing!

  1. I’m just in awe with amazement with this guy… he’s just… amazing! He’s a good person to look up to for us mere mortal runners 😀

    Congrats Wilnar and all the other finishers!

    • Dhentz, we all saw him improve thru the years and the trip we had in Ilocos made me know him better as a person and runner.

  2. Sir rene, correction lang po. “i caught him resting inside a van with his teammates, Team Boring” Team CB po hindi Team Boring. 🙂

  3. Awesome article, JazzRunner! We were dumbfounded every time we received news on where Wilnar was at any point. Grabe! Ang bilis talaga! His cross training really worked for him. 🙂

    • Marge, i was one of those getting updates from your facebook tweets and i felt i was listening to a boxing match, round for round, km for km. Thanks!

  4. wonderful blog sir rene! didn’t know you were there are the BDM and i’m really glad you were able to capture in this post the moment of wilnar making history 🙂
    we’re incredibly proud of him and his support crew. 🙂

    • Hi DocA– We were there from km 102 up to the finish but Wilnar finished too soon while we were still pacing our boys at the back of the pack. We are all proud of those who attempted this distance and to those who finished well. See you soon!

  5. Really amazing… even if I don’t know the rest of the stories of the past BDMs, I know that Wilnar’s Finish is such a great legend that will forever linger already on the succeeding BDMs.

    Awesome Wilnar!

  6. Nice entry and account Sir Rene! And it was nice seeing you at the 102 pit-stop. Thanks for the coffee too and that encouraging smile, lifted our runner’s (Rodel) spirit. 🙂

    • Hi Drunner! Nahh..did the pacing chores only but will seriously consider joining some short ultra runs this year!

      Thanks for dropping by and good luck on your quest!:-)

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