The Story of the 102 Kilometre Journey: Let’s Hit the Road!

Participants of the 5th BDM 102 at the start line. Photo Credit: Chi Cem Runners

Participants of the 5th BDM 102 at the start line (Km 0).
Photo Credit: Chi Cem Runners

At the start line, participants of the 5th BDM 102 have converged for the last minute instructions from the race director, Ret. Maj. Gen. Jovie “Bald Runner” Narcise. Cameras were flashing everywhere reflecting on the vests worn by the runners.

By 10pm, at the gun start, the participants set off and took the left side of the road. Support vehicles have left off their parking spaces.  There was so much hype going on. Runners were talking to each other; you can hear the laughters; exchanging goodlucks and well – wishes. Headlamps, reflectors, and LEDs looked like fireflies swarming the night road.

The route started with a flat road. It then stretched to about 7 kilometres of uphill climb. After the 7 kilometre ascent, we did our first stop over for a quick refill. The first 30 kilometres or so went pretty well, our support crew on stand by at agreed stop over locations. Soon, Otek had run ahead of me and I had to catch up. It was already past midnight and I was running on my own. Stress was building up.  And I was doing my best to keep my cool. It asked Jim for my IPod and it took him a while to find it. Bert was telling me that they’ll look for it and I’ll have it on our next stop. I became a little stubborn. Jim got hold of it and gave it to me. And then I went on my way.

The night air was chilly. Everything around me was a silhouette, except for occasional support cars that drove past me, the reflectors and the headlights. I played the IPod with the speaker on as headsets were a big no – no. I’ve been on the road for more than 4 hours or so, and my leg muscles had already started to feel tired. At one point, I had to ask for something sugary from Don Ancheta’s support team, who gave me a bar of Mars Almond chocolate. I received the energy boost that I so needed from my all my friends who rendered their most valuable time supporting my fellow racers.

I bumped into She Quimosing along the route, who was also feeling exhausted, but still power – walking. I gave her a warm hug which somehow made her feel better, and we had a nice little catching up.

The night is over. The world has come into view – the road, the locals doing their normal Sunday morning chores, support teams, people travelling looking at us as they sat comfortably in buses or jeeps.

Somewhere around the 50th kilometre, I felt a sharp pain in both of my quads. My quads stiffened and I could hardly move an inch. I stopped where I stood and massaged my cramped muscles. Having severe muscle cramps halfway through the race was my biggest fear at that time. I can’t afford to declare a DNF status at that point. As they say, the race has not even started yet.


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