Bataan 102: Mari’s Race

Just like most of the folks who repeatedly visited BR’s blog yesterday, I was eager to read about the Bataan 102 Ultramarathon. Those who couldn’t join, read the blogs, right. 


So after reading BR‘s and RFC’s partial posts, I had my fix. 


I went out for a run with my friend Grethel at BHS. While I was convincing my legs to do speed repeats, I saw a runner who looked familiar.


I shook my head, laughed and called out, “Mari?!?” He ran 102kms yesterday and like a diligent TmBR student he was doing his 30min recovery run! Bot!  


I was really glad I saw him because that meant that I would get additional Bataan 102 fix. So I kept pace with him and got his story.


Here is Mari’s story …


First of all, having slept only 2 hours Friday night – made me wonder about the energy I would have for the ultra, I left for Mariveles around 7:30am in Charlie’s X-Trail together with Mark and Roel (Ano). We slept along the way but fitfully, met up with Jonel, Jay, Rico, Armand, Des, Kevin, Boyet etc at McDO Dau as Jonel had to pick up Lucas and Baldwin (Singapore runners) from Clark airport. We arrived at Mariveles around 12noon, checked-in and had lunch at Jollibee, went back to the inn and slept for about 2 hrs, woke up around 5pm, took a shower then left for dinner at Jollibee (again) around 7pm, went back to the Inn around 7:30pm the plan was to rest up even more, get up at 10pm and get ready. Next thing I know, Mark (or was it Charlie) is shaking me up and I saw my watch, IT WAS 11PM and Mark, Charlie, Roel were still mixing their hammer drinks. We finally made it out at 11:55pm arriving at KM0 at 12:05am and rushed our waivers, registration etc. (I only found out before the start that we were the last to arrive and BR couldn’t start without us), after the inaugural speech and photo-ops, the race started at 12:33am.


(if you can notice my Splits is only 100km, because I turned on my Garmin seconds before the start (to CONSERVE BATTERY) it actually took 2KMs before it caught a GPS feed and that was when I started it. Before the race, I never turned on my Garmin as my plan was to be able to capture my Splits for the duration of the race, having read that the GF305 can last approximately 10hrs on a full charge, I made it one of my personal goals to meet that time. Another to make this possible would be to pace with Roel who had some bike support for the race (we were actually discussing our strategy to run around 6 to 6:30/km. However once the horn sounded, Roel jackrabbited at 4:30 to 4:45, having run the 52km test run last Feb. 22 and knowing my pace and the heat involved, NO WAY was I pacing with him =).


I maintained a steady pace of 5:15/km for the first 3kms, it was by luck and good fortune, that Lucas and Baldwin who I saw running behind me at my speed became my group pacers for the entire length of the race, these are strong runners, no doubt about it (and I don’t say that lightly) as they already completed the 2008 Singapore Sundown 84K Ultramarathon race. We quickly settled into a rhythm (as it was all 20 to 30 degree uphill from the 3rd km until the 7thkm) which was why we only settled into our stride 5:20 to 5:50/km pace for the first 50kms (the 48km split of 20mins/km is actually the halfway 50km marker aid station, where we changed gear – running vest (out), socks (new), shirt (new), cap (new), running shades from our drop bags – hydrated, ate boiled bananas, boiled eggs and GU gels) I also forgot my sunblock in Charlies vehicle aaargghh in my haste at waking 11pm. Due to the rubbing and sweat up to this point, I started feeling abrasions on my inner thighs and I immediately looked for Body Glide (none), luckily I found Petroleum Jelly and used it (although it did help not much) will prompt me to buy it next time without fail, including the CWX long running tights which I saw Mark and Charlie use. Will not show you the state of the abrasions although I thank the petroleum jelly as it did its best and I shudder to think what may have been without it.


Btw, we arrived at the 50km marker around 5:30 to 6am.



Maintained a steady pace of 5:50/km. Aidstation 10:50/km.



Pace of 6:30 to 6:40/km, this was the start of the struggle, you know when you start to feel little things bugging you, muscle, knee, ankle, hehe – I was expecting an aid station on the 70th marker but forgot that it would be stationed every 20 which means the 80km marker (NOT LISTENING to INSTRUCTIONs and I didn’t bring any hydration belt or water with me).




Upon realizing this and the pounding that we were subjecting our whole bodies too, we slowed down to approximately 7:10 to 7:30/km … here is about the time Baldwin and Lucas who were starting to struggle a bit asked me to continue my pace while they would try to catch up, this was also about 10am when the HEAT was starting to become the FACTOR (which I already knew from the previous 52K test run last Feb)



Decided to walk …. at an 11:14km pace, was I surprised when I saw an Aid Station on the 78thkm – water, hydration SWEET. Also about this time, Delos Reyes and Lucas caught up with me while I was getting juiced. Delos Reyes, sat down amid the shade while we (Lucas) shouldered on. (Lucas said Baldwin was walking and would try to catch up)



7:25/km (run again, ouch)



Had enough? Of running that’s for sure, this was the start of the painful fast walk of shame (never thought I’d see the day), hehe – alternating between fartleks (walk/run), sad state of events – there was more walking obviously.



Lester (my regular strong marathon pacer), whom together with Margaret I might add, were very willing volunteers (KUDOS to you both) were given the crucial responsibility of supporting the faster runners (I happened to fall into this group J) happened to pass and I was surprised to feel a cool sensation of rain on my upper body and legs – only to turn around and see Margaret spraying both me and Lucas with water. It sent a heavenly boost of energy into my legs that already felt like deadwood, I asked them who and how far was the nearest guy behind me and they mentioned it was the guy we left around KM78 who was around 2kms back. This was okay, considering that when I passed him, he was walking/sitting in a shade – I asked them if he was still walking and Lester said he started running after the spray of life, thanks Margaret =)


You know how every runner hates to be passed, well I am no exception to that fact, and that was the first Motivating factor (there were 3) that jumpstarted me into running again, thinking a runner is breathing down my neck. I immediately asked Lucas, if we could start running, he said he would try to keep up, I then ran at an 8 to 8:20/km average the rest of the way in a rhythm that had no bouncing at all with more arm movement involved (you know that run, hehe).


Motivation#2 – My Adidas cushions, is on its last days as a senior citizen in my running shoe cabinet and should be retiring very soon and what better way than for it to experience an ultra (or so I thought), one of its sole pads came loose around km96 and each time I did a turnover of my feet the sound of the foot strike would create an echo of a runner that was catching up behind me (which I didn’t realize for about 1km into my run). What better way than to go out with a bang, now on to my Supernovas, Tempos and Bostons.


Motivation#3 – The clincher was when, on km.97-98 I heard the dreaded Garmin lowbattery sound, this immediately psyched me out of the pain and kicked whatever I had left into overdrive, have to finish, had to finish before my GF305 gave out.


So I ran the last 6kms all the way to the finish with a time of 12hrs:30mins arriving at 1:03pm. Lucas came in around 1:12pm.


Finisher #9, not a bad way to finish with an average pace of 7:28/km.


Lucas during the race predicted that the 2nd 50kms would be all about survival, he was right. Lester after the race summed it up quite precisely – during the race you must either be dizzy from the heat and exhaustion or better yet you MUST HAVE BEEN REALLY DIZZY to have joined this race, which I believe is the more accurate assessment.


Congratulations to BR for organizing a very successful ultramarathon road race, won’t preempt but looking forward to the next … J


Now, what do I reward myself with … CWX and hmmmm


mari-at-happy-runJose Mari Javier finished 9th overall with a time of 12hours and 30mins, average pace 7:28min/km. *sabay sabay let’s take a bow and say Wow!*


Forget the fact that this guy did a 10K tune up run at 5:00min/km last Friday and that he was doing his recovery run on Monday (at my easy run pace!!!). The amazing thing about his story was that he was on race mode the whole time. At km96, he was still asking the support team what his lead was over the elite runner on his tail.



Mari did not just run 102km. He raced the 102km distance.  Note: I have his km splits will post it later.



After reading his story, I wondered … how did he do it? Gotta be a robot. So I fired a few more questions:



When did you start running?

Well I have a foundation from being part of the Philippine training pool in football (I started at that sport at Grade 5, LS Bacolod Varsity)


What was your first race, distance and finish time?

Officially started my serious running (when some friends invited me to run with them which became my first road race) last October 2008, the Adidas KOTR 21K (no training-nothing) finishing at 2hrs 15mins.


My current PRs:

21K Condura Run – 1:34


15K Happy Run – 1:08:10 (should have been the MOA Power Run) however due to marshall errors I finished the race at 1:12 covering a distance of 16.8K)


10K Mens Health Miracle Run (2009) last week – 39:31


5K (haven’t run one yet) … Note: Aha! A possible victim to my hataw 5K text invite.



Before Bataan 102, what was your longest race? Marathon??? How many?

Just the 52K Bataan test run from Abucay to SF, Pampanga. That was the longest aside from the regular BR Sunday runabouts averaging around 30K to 42K which I only started joining last January.


Apart from being crazy, what made you decide to run the ultra?

Easy question, the CHALLENGE and the FRIENDSHIPs.


How did you prepare/train for it?

It’s the attitude that always comes first, through highs or lows – the attitude will always pull you through, serious interval/speed training, then basically the long runs and races and more long runs which I almost always prefer to do as a group (I don’t seriously follow the taper rule although it might not work for some), just listen to what your body is telling you during races or runs, and always make it a point to set measurable goals and push yourself to break them everytime. AND LASTLY, HAVE SERIOUS FUN DOING IT.


How did you hydrate/refuel? as in Gu lang ba talaga?

GU was a major part of it, drank as much Gatorade/water as I could until my stomach popped in every station or chance I got (from regular support vehicles passing by) and bringing along bottles with me. There was a time when I was all alone (70 something km) and had to ask a Sari-Sari store for a glass of water.


What was your favorite moment during the race?

There were a lot, it’s difficult to remember as the whole race itself was a flash of favorite moments – one highlight I will say that it was Ellen Tolentino/Jerry Kurendeng’s bike support (Aldz) who helped me around 2am to 3:30am when I had no water or hydration at all and with no aid station in site, he would regularly shuttle back and forth on his road bike to bring me water/Gatorade after we left Ellen/Jerry whom we paced with until the 20km aid station. Salamat Aldz (kept me strong and going).


Have you registered for the 2nd Bataan 102?

No, is it open? J Tomorrow …. Hehe



27 thoughts on “Bataan 102: Mari’s Race

  1. nice give and take here classmates.somehow,that km 61-70 stretch has something in it that starts to manifest itself in a runner’s physical and mental is good that mari overcame that phase.i did not so i chose to walk from km66 onwards.see you on the road people.

  2. bards/mari,

    what a nice, cute recap!! kainggit! grabe!! lakas mo mari. elite runner ka na din and in so short a time. congratulations to the BR and his coaches, he did an excellent job training and preparing all of you.

    see you on the road!

  3. Well now you can claim that you kept pace with Mari! 🙂 haha! Thanks for sharing his 102K story…Galing!

    By the way, isusumbong kita sa Belfast! 🙂 Gusto ko rin nun!

    1. oo nga, sobrang sayang that I missed it. hindi kasi pwede pa ang primera at segunda lang sa SCTEX and NLEX. hanggang dun pa lang ang powers ko.

  4. I only knew Mari was a fellow Ilonggo during the Carboloading party. We also graduated from the same school. Small world. Congrats Mari. Maro-maro ba.

  5. what can i say? he is being trained by the only 2 wise men in long distance running in the country + positive attitude + discipline and a well-established and accurately measured 102K ultramarathon route equals success! congrats mari..good job!

  6. Nice interview Bards, great recap Mari. I would have loved to mention the fact we ate chicken … and more chicken before the race. haha The no star lodge is a big factor in making everyone snore so loud I couldnt sleep.

    Next time, dont do this without hydration. It might have been a different story you know. You’re not just hard core but crazy as well. haha Its hard to believe that you actually did a 30 min recovery run last monday. Grabe, we cant even walk properly or drive the car the way we used to.

  7. Thank you bards for posting my journey-very nice take on the blog, as i mentioned earlier a good story needs to be told! Agree.


  8. Pappy:
    Your struggle was monumental so vividly described – guess you could call that your penance for the Holy Week 🙂 eh.

    Just try to get in a recovery run as soon as possible, only way to recover fast. See you around the races and more runabouts.

  9. Ting:
    Am not there yet as an elite – ano yun, probably semi pa lang, hehe :P. Need to break a few more running target milestones first.

    Lastly, congratulations on your subic tri-event and first open water swim. See you on the runs.

  10. Mesh:
    You should join Des for the 2nd edition of the Bataan 102 Ultra Marathon. It’s calling your name.

  11. Thanks Javy, actually the Subic Tri event crossed my mind during the 50km marker aid station stopover which was around 5:30 to 6am, i thought to myself hey … cool, they’re about to start.

  12. BR:
    Thanks, however i should emphasize that you and your coaches deserve the credit (it is due), the ultra track training is a testament to its effectiveness, now back down to business – on again to newer targets. Diba, see you on the track.

  13. Mark:
    Congratulations and kudos for the challenge, friendship and support.

    Hey … SC Singapore – naunahan na tayo ni Les.

    Am booking next week.

    See you around the track and runs.

  14. halimaw ka nga mari. di nga ako makatayo nung monday e. ngayon lang ulit ako medyo nakakalakad ng deretso hehehe congrats!

  15. Runners sighted! Lester and Mari running towards Libingan ng Bayani. Grabe ka Mari, hahaha I pretended to be support to them, shouted “Tubig!” and hanged my water jug from the side. Les, salamat sa support last Sunday.

  16. Congrats back to you Loony

    Register ulit sa 2nd, am sure we will be better prepared knowing what to expect this time.

  17. Bards:
    Recovery run lang naman but longer, 45mins this time. Was planning to recover again in Ultra that Wednesday however good that i ran with Lester instead as Ultra was closed in the afternoon (per Mesh, Sid and Coach Satur who we saw at BHS) after the run.

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