Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.
These are my thoughts in the recently held Bataan Death March. A 102 Km race to commemorate the unsung heroes of World War II.
First few Km of the race was just typical. It was trouble-free and the fun is just right… but it was humid. Really humid; so I decided to remove my top so that I won’t get intimidated by it. I was an eye candy that time. People were kind of puzzled seeing me like that. I know! Call me crazy but I don’t care; I just need to be comfortable because I still have a long way to go. Ellen’s gang is messing on me at that time and another all girls support group that I don’t know. I just put a new shirt on after Km 27, where I feel I can already be comfortable with my shirt on. Kilometers had passed until I suddenly felt something on my right foot. “PAIN!!!” I really have no idea where I got it but I had to pursue. My team has been trying to save it by massage and putting liniments but it’s not working. Even Gail (Abby’s Support) tried to check me and realized that it’s swollen. At that point I could really almost give up for every step is pain. I tried walking as fast as I could at that point until I reached Km 50.
I immediately moved and did not try staying long when I reached the Km 50 pitstop. I need to move for time is indeed of essence to me and for I am just walking as much and as fast as i could wondring if it will take me to the cut-off… Oh boy, I’m so frustrated and scared. My support group would try to cheer me up everytime I reached them and it really breaks me apart for my moral is already down and it gives me pain if I failing them. I told them not to bother massaging me for I think it will no longer work. Lorie gave a painkiller and accepted it thinking it would be mylast resort.
I had brunch at 10AM at KM 64 or so… Corned beef, Rice and Egg. I was unable to walk fast at that time and told myself to just take it easy for a while until I’m good to go. Briskwalk… Briskwalk… Right after the meal. Jog… Jog… a couple of minutes or so… Run! That’s when I felt I’m doing good already. The second wind was already within me, I felt so strong and i took the opportunity. I can’t believe I am passing a couple of runners! I felt really awesome. I informed Julie that I’m not stopping until I reach KM 80 and ask her to provide water everytime to freshen me up. It was extremely hot and my buff that I put on my head keeps on drying up every minute. It was really crazy!
Km 80, 90 (I did my #2)… I was really tired like I don’t want to go on… Blisters were as big as a coin, Knees were wasted and the whole body was exhausted. I kept talking to myself… telling stuff about my dad… telling him that this for him… that I am not giving up because I will not let him down. I prayed to God to give me more courage to finish and to survive…
Km 98. I decided to remove my shoes and used slippers. Km 99. Km 100… Kilometer markers seemed to be like forever… Km 101… Heart pounding… 500m, 400… Where’s that damn marker!?? That was until I realized that I need to turn left… Oh no! everyone was there… My friends who all believed in me and supported me… They were all cheering and waiting in the finish line. Either it was Cherry or Lorie handed me my father’s picture. I ran as fast as I could for the finish line until I sat on the Km102- marker and cried…
I had a picture with Baldrunner himself and sat in the corner… I was tired and could not almost walk. Everything flashes within my eyes as I sat. My hardships, and my friends hardships too. I was so overwhelmed about the love and full support they gave to me. It was cheesy but I couldn’t thank them more enough. They also had a hard time as much as I had but still patient to provide all my needs. I was indeed grateful and will be forever grateful about this.
Going back home, I tried looking at the miniature of the Kilometer Marker, the insgnia of my achievement, of my triumph… This i solely dedicate to my dad who died 9 days before the race and this, I share to people who believed and supported me… to people who think I’m crazy and yet there were all by my side… to people who never stop supporing my ideals and dreams… to people who waited for me to the finish line and to people I admired and loved.
Special thanks to Brando Losaria, Let Guieb and Gail Consolacion for the pictures.