A Hundred Kilometers in Busan

Challenges are beautiful!

At the starting line with my favorite Ironman Shirt

It was Dec 3, 2016.  I found myself among the 91 participants who registered the Busan Galmegi Ultramarathon.  I did 6 marathons this year (Yeouido, Ulsan, Seoul, Jeju, Gunsan and Changwon) a trail Ultramarathon (Jirisan 55K), a few Olympic triathlons and 3 Half Ironman races; those were great races but I really thought of running a 100K ultramarathon before the year end and luckily, I found this event.

To be honest, I found the cut off of this race quite… errr tight. The time I did the BDM 102K six years ago, I clocked 17:22 and then a year after in BDM 160, though my time was not recorded at km 102, I know I did at least 16hrs, so this was still quite a challenge for me, but thinking that I am a wiser (or probably not) runner now, I know, that I can so really damn do it!  Thanks to my friends Hyonshim and Jeongho for giving me moral support before the race! That add up to my confidence. Hah!

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People were surprised to see me as I was the only foreigner in the event.  They inquired where I am from and what races have I been doing.  I am surprised as well to see many of them myself as some of the participants are good enough to be considered my dad, but I have so much respect for them as I have seen their performances in races that I have joined.  Truly amazing!
It was probably 6oC that night.  I was wearing my favorite ironman shirt, that’s good for chilly weather. I started slow as I know it will be really a long race, though it was weird because I felt my legs were a bit heavy, and here I was analyzing, maybe I didn’t rest enough or maybe my legs were still tired due to my Changwon Marathon two weeks ago – but heck whatever, “I am already running and need to suck it up whatever the odds are.”

The race was a loop of 4 which I thought quite boring, there were pros and cons but I looked at it positively (it doesn’t matter). On first loop, 3hrs 20min; I will just be ok with this speed… while I thought everything fine, I was wrong… because my drama began at km 27 as I felt my stomach was knocking and telling me that something is wrong. I ignored… but I started having chills, I endured it until I reached the nearest place where I… and that took me more than 10 minutes…

It was dark and cold… I was tried my best finding motivation. Thankfully, I didn’t give up… I did it!  

After that stop, the cold wind pierced me, I needed to stop again to wear my wind breaker. At the 3rd checkpoint I told myself, that maybe it’s not bad to quit; however, I saw my friend JeongHo and gave me rice rolls and energy bars – I was already a bit disoriented that it took time for me to notice him – haha! Damn I can’t quit now.

Worried at Km 75.

At km 50 – I clocked 7hrs 20 min.  I think that is bad… It took me 4 hours to complete the second loop, I immediately had some food and left the check point, and I can really feel how sore I was.

Before the next checkpoint, quitting played again on my mind, yet to my surprise, my good friend JeongHo was still there. Damn, damn, damn… no quitting!

Km 75 – 11hrs 20min… I just have 3hrs40minutes to spare… At that time, I know that I will really have difficulty… Km 87.5 – 13hrs 10 min…  7:10AM. With less than 2 hours the remaining 12.5km is easy on fresh legs, but not with mine at that time… I keep telling myself to push, but my body would no longer respond to it.  I know I could finish but, not with the cutoff…

They waited for me… Even I was beyond the cut off by 11 minutes… sob. 

Km99. 15hrs… Suddenly I saw the organizers – they were shouting at me, Push!  Push!  They ran with me… Until I eventually reached the finish line.

To be honest, I felt a very slight emotional pain of not completing the race on time, although as I try to reflect, that was my best 100km time, and I should be content about it.  The organizers who walked with me were happy as well with my success; 61 out of 91 runners completed the event, JeongHo recounts that some of the marshals thought that I would quit soon, but I was so thankful I didn’t.

My good friend who supported me in the event.  Finisher of The Gobi Desert 250k Ultramarathon

Indeed, it was a great day. Will I do it again?  Yes!


Victory Dinner in Mabuhay Filipino Restaurant in Busan Station

3 thoughts on “A Hundred Kilometers in Busan

  1. spammer… lol proud of you.. kung wala k ksama dyan alam n this.. so hanap n pra every race sure n may nagiintay.. #emotional dw congratz.. idol..

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