I finally received an invite to the (in)famous Bataan Death March 102 KM Ultramarathon Race, more popularly known as BDM 102, on 5-6 March 2011. BDM 102 is definitely one of the most gruelling races this side of the running world, perhaps second only to the soon-to-be-staged BDM 151. As with other ultra runs, this race will separate the men from the boys. Let the cream rise to the top, they say.
As of this writing, I have yet to do even a single run spanning an ultra distance. A couple of ultra runs were held in the past couple of months under the auspices of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) (i.e., Tanay, P2P 65K), and a couple more are scheduled for the coming months (i.e., Pinatubo 50K Trail, Tagaytay to Nasugbu 50K). So many chances for me to finally experience my first ultra, but work has always kept me, and will continue to keep me, from finally graduating to ultra runs. And so, my longest runs to date have only been the two full marathons that I completed earlier this year.
For the more seasoned runners, my marathon finish times could be considered pedestrian at best - a 5:42 at Condura and a 5:19 at Milo. While stronger runners gun for sub-4 marathons, I am aiming for a very modest sub-5 (I still get two shots this year at CamSur and Singapore) --- while using the Galloway run-walk method.
My average weekly mileage ranges from about 50 to 60 kilometers only, and this already includes my weekend LSDs that typically span 20 to 32 kilometers only.
As of this writing, my base mileage stands at only 1,878.36 kilometers, accumulated over an observed period of approximately 14 months.
After I finish long runs that go for 30 kilometers or longer, my legs still hurt like a bitch and I spend the next day walking with a slight limp.
An average recreational runner applying for and getting invited to BDM 102. That, my friends, was the easy part. But showing up at the BDM 102 starting line, and then actually running and finishing BDM 102 within 18 hours? Now that's an entirely different story. There is a logical reason why only a very select few ever get to complete even just a single ultramarathon.
Given all these, what in the world was I thinking when I applied for a shot at experiencing - suffering - BDM 102? Do I honestly think I have even an ounce of what it takes to actually finish, or better yet, survive, a 102 kilometer run under the blistering inferno that is the scorching summer sun? Am I a fool for even entertaining the idea that I can actually pull it off?
There's only one way to find out. I did get invited by the good General, didn't I?