BDM Stories: Second Chance, Second Wind

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I was undecided till the last minute:  Do I use my paid-for kit for RunUnited, or do I hie off to Pampanga to watch friends cross the BDM finish line? At about 5:30am my left calf strain complained it had not yet fully healed and decided to ditch the 10K race and loot bag. I have had enough freebies anyway. At 8am my overworked, undertrained body made a deal with my altruistic mind: transport the bike to Pampanga, bike the dusty road, and cheer your friends in the process. 

I have a swarm of friends and acquaintances doing BDM, but foremost on my cheer list is my Endure Multisports teammate, Melvin. I know my other friends are ably supported by their running teams. Of the sputtering of acquaintances I have on that road, little did I know I would end up actively cheering for Julius. Here are their BDM stories.

Second Chance

Melvin Pangan is a fast endurance runner and triathlete. He has several sub-4hrs marathons under his belt, and 6hrs++ finish in Ironman 70.3 and  WhiteRock Triathlon. Among the triathlon disciplines, he is strongest on the run. Sadly, in the 2010 edition of Bataan Death March Ultramarathon, he had to stop somewhere between km70 and 80 if I am not mistaken. Bad luck or miscalculation, I do not know really know, but he did not finish that edition, and today March 6 he had mission to complete.

I arrived at km 102 at around 10:30am. I wasted no time and took out my mountain bike to trace back the route. I tried to cheer every BDM participant I met by saying "Go, go, go, sir (ma'am)" or smiling, nodding and doing the thumbs up. Many reciprocated, a few are simply too tired to respond. No worries. Maybe once I do an ultamarathon myself I would know what is a better and meaningful thing to say or do.

I met man-on-a-mission Melvin at km93 steadily running like it was just another marathon. I was prepared to support Melvin all the way to the finish line, to make sure his dream materializes this time, but Melvin disappointed me. He did not need me! Haha. The guy was still strong as a bull. Ok well, maybe a bull who has pastured through 94kms of hot grassland already. I biked alongside Melvin for a while chatting and clandestinely checking his physical and mental state. He was running, he was tired but in good spirits, with humor still showing.

After several meters it dawned on me to ask: "Wait, pwede ba ako bike along? Allowed ba ang bike pacer?" Melvin sheepishly answered, "Actually pare, hindi. Haha. BR is BR and he is strict." With that I moved ahead, but Melvin, admonished me to wait by his support vehicle ahead and meet his wife and brother-in-law. Among the many things I realized biking the route was that: Ang ultra, di lang pang sports, pampamilya pa. So many families and friends out there on the road it looked like barrio fiest!

I met Melvin's family and crew, snapped a few shots, and in less than 5 minutes man-on-the-run was off running again. After ensuring that he has no running issues aside from the given heat and fatigue, I bid him good-bye. "Takbo na, nasa top 20-something ka so just go for it."  I made a mental note to try to go back for his finish, but it turned out I had to check on more friends till km80, I could not be as fast on an MTB as on a roadie (duh!?), and at one point I had to stop on a carinderia at baka ako pa ang mag-collapse sa gutom.

Melvin was greeted instead by teammates Carina and Marga at the finish line. The buzz I heard was that he finished #25 out of 159 or so participants. You did yourself, your family and friends proud, bro. Take a bow!

Second Wind

Now the BDM run of this second athlete was not as relaxed and self-assured as that of Melvin. Julius came into BDM just recovering from shin splints. I saw him the first time somewhere in km 84. I would meet him again somewhere between km 94 and 93. I really like Julius's BDM story, and frankly, I am raring to write it down and share it.  But I am really just an impromptu support crew. Julius is the main man who ran those excruciating 102kms. The spotlight should be on him.

Julius, rest well, recover, and pamper yourself. After that we will await your story. Maybe then I can share the supporters' point of view during the last 8kms we trodded together. Eto lang ang parting words ko for now, "Hindi kasama ang pag-kanta ng Rocky team song sa support duties."   LOL!



argonaut March 13, 2011 at 4:28 PM  

Nice to see you on the road Rico!

tin March 18, 2011 at 1:54 PM  

Hi! Nice to see you. I was one of those you greeted on the road. Salamat for supporting us.

Anonymous April 30, 2011 at 5:53 PM  

Sir Rico,

thanks for the hopia !

ingat po



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