What destiny sends, bear! Whoever perseveres will be crowned. – Johann Gottfried Herder
From my own point of view, no one would ever describe what happened back then; it was an oxymoron. Bitter and sweet while traversing three provinces by foot. Hermes winged shoes was taken from me for he felt that I did not deserve it, I didn’t execute such speed training he requires for me to adapt it; however, I still owned Athena’s wisdom, Ares’ fighting prowess, Eros’ passion and Pan’s mirth to pursue my dream to do a 100 mile…
The fates told me I was ridiculous and ambitious; how come a mere argonaut can survive the distance if he was a fat ass they claimed… Yes, I doubted myself for awhile, maybe they were right, but suddenly upon sharing my dream to my friends, they believed. It’s a possibility! They even began sending all their good vibes to me… And so my quest began.
Fifty-nine runners all gathered at Km 0 in Mariveles, Bataan where the old Death March had started. Support crews of different runners were all excited to see their champions at Km 160. I was not on myself before the gunstart, I kept holding my hands together trying to make myself composed until the countdown.
The running gods were all mocking us as we start. It was an illusive dream they thought, but we dared them and that made them mad. Helios the sun-god was first sent and let his magnificent sunshine strike! It turned terribly hot as minutes and hours passed by, but I, the argonaut came prepared for I covered myself with a white iced deep plumage which made me totally comfortable except that it was a bit heavy. Donuts were my comfort food as well from the 10th and the 20th k of the race; felt like I have eaten an ambrosia… Helios wrath was so strong it made me feel like giving up, right from the start of the race, I began to wonder, can I?
Kilometer 50. It’s almost 8 hours when I reach it, changed outfit and ran. I decided to load myself with a decent rice meal that time… And that I think made me strong… I felt the 2nd wind and started to pick up the pace that I lost at the first 50. Zeus must have been missing his aim of thunderbolt on me! The mirth of the Demi-god Pan is what I currently possess! Optimistic, energetic, alive! Even my friends I felt that were giggling on my extra strength. I felt awesome until I reached 100th km. I was sore when I reached 102nd Km, and it was time again to freshen up.
The last stretch of the race. Just 58 more kilometers and it will be over. I can now get back to rest. Yan paced me, then Bave, Chris, Athan and Maridol. It was Terrible for I could no longer run at a good pace. The god of darkness made me fell like I was walking in the underworld. Gloomy, sad.. I felt that I could no longer pursue…
The thought of quiting is already playing in my mind, telling that my body has gone tired and any minute it would stop and malfunction. I was about to throw the white towel when I came to realize that my friends has not yet given up on me, not a single thought that they’d ask me if I can still go on, instead they tell me that I still look so strong… From there I believed for the thought of seeing my friends failure because of me is not an option.
I fought against the Morpheus, the god of slumber by eating what we have in stock, to keep me busy in the lame hours of the night… Chips, donuts, banana, balot, coffee, gummybears, hotdogs,eggs I took them all until twilight came.
Last 20k at 6am in the morning. I am still pushing… Last 15k and told myself I’m almost there. Last 10k and my team mates who supported Wilnar, (my team mate who finished first) were there already cheering for me. “Push!” how come I’m enter entertaining the thought. “Push” as my friends tell because someone is behind me. Last Kilomter, 9:30 am I ran and gave all I’ve got until I saw the finish line… More! I am almost there…. I finally hit the finis line I almost sob again for joy instead I scream at the top of my lungs! A battle cry claiming and bragging to the world that I am done! The god of love Eros never let my passion fall nor Athena’s wisdom it did not break! I am done! 100 miles of hardships and was earned after 21:41 (Official).
I ran, I walk the whole 160Km route, yet I strongly believes that the credit shouldn’t only belong to me but to the people who inspired me; to my friends who supported me on from morning to dusk to midnight to dawn until I get though my final step. Thank you… To my dad, to whom I dedicate this race, Thank you and to the Lord God who never stopped giving me the opportunity to become strong and corageuous.
Photo Credit: Bave, Cris Dela Cruz, Maridol Yabut, Marving Pangan and Boy Praning