BDM 102 2011: our test of patience

We started the post BDM 102 blogging with a rather emotional entry, and some photos.  And now here comes some kind of storytelling.  I'm sure there are a lot of other blogs out there already, so I'll try make this long read worthwhile :)


We got to Mariveles at around 7:30PM and unlike the first test run, there were already a LOT of people. So many support vehicles were lined up on the street.  This time, we were three in the support team.  We had a driver, so at least he and Cian could take turns resting.  

Given that we had already done the first 50k test run, we basically already knew what to expect for the first half.  But that really doesn't allay all your fears.  Something could still go wrong.  It was a new day. A different day.  It was raining, and I didn't know how that would affect things.  

Chips had a new race plan.  We reviewed it one last time, made some last minute changes and took our places.  Him at the starting line and us, ready to jump into our support vehicle once they're off and running.  

Up until the 50th kilometer, we were really making good time.  We even had a break at Burger Machine which was uber good.  It was looking on the up and up for the next stretch.

But then again, the universe will really test you.  There comes a point when it seems that a 5k interval would seem longer and longer.  And then you'd begin to question if you should've stopped 2 kilometers before, instead of really meeting him after 5 kilometers.  Maybe he won't notice.  I guess he wouldn't mind.  Better shorter than longer.

There was a part of me that wanted to stop earlier.  Especially when we were over 60 kilometers.  I feel bad for even doubting his capacity.  But as a wife, I would do anything to alleviate pain (I suppose this goes for all other support crews).  To make him feel better, to not have to wait and see if he'd make it.  Hard as it was, I shake this off and just really stop at our assigned marker.  Because you know, I just had to also believe that he really could do it.

The wait is AGONIZING to say the least.  And it gets much so when you're closer to the finish line.  The sun was scorching.  It's like it was screaming summer.  The memory of rain was totally erased from the night before.  It was so hot that we had to buy more ice for our cooler.  And we were even close to running out of his drinks and gels.  We'd park our van under a small shade and wait.  Every time, I would be too worried to even catch a nap.  I'd sit up even before my 10-minute alarm would ring.

Restless, I'd pop the back of the van and sit.  Looking on to see if the next runner would be him.  I don't know if those runners (those who turn out to be not him) would sense a hint of dismay in me.  I'd smile at them, say something like "just a bit more" or "___ kilometers to go".  And then it's back to waiting.  And then you really just think, it's so goddamn hard to be patient.

With less than 20 kilometers to go, it would also be a test of acceptance.  For Chips too, I suppose.  To already accept that the cramps would just not let him run.  We had to endure seeing him walk all that way, when we knew that he really, really wanted to run.  We'd say that it's going to be okay, you can do it.  Konti nalang, finish line na.

Amidst the whirlwind of juggling emotions, rationing what we had and the effort to put on a rainbow of positivity, we make it to the last stretch before the finish line.  We'd be spongeing Chips down with iced water every 1.5 to 2 kilometers just to help with the heat.  So for that last bend, I let Cian get off at the corner with the cooler and sponges.  Chips would like to still finish strong and he'll need that last bit of icy jolt.

I meet BR and other finishers and poise myself on the other side of the finish banner.  It is so relieving to see your runner finish.  So much that all the waiting, the worrying, the wild imagining of what-if scenarios... they all just poof.  Finally, you could really say to yourself that everything's okay.

Our BDM102 run is dedicated to our friend Patti's grandfather,
Dr. Norberto Samson, who survived the Bataan Death March of 1942.


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