Going Down Memory Lane: PAU 50KM

44 Teresa Ybanez 6:57:30

My race number 124 are my kids' birthdays... (photo courtesy of Daniel Callanta)

            How can I even start to chronicle what I went through last Sunday, 09 May 2010 when my legs are still sore and I am still trying to reconcile the fact that – indeed I conquered that grueling route?

            I used to dread all our road runs when I was a young Probationary Officer – what on earth has pushed me this far? I guess I can only go back to the last couple of years when I was left with nothing but my will to survive. Running has been my refuge during those dreadful times and I never looked back after my first fun run…

            The 1st PAU 50km was conducted exactly a week after our amazing Laguna de Bay 200KM Relay. The team and I had no other run except for the two (2) days recovery run that we did at ULTRA.  I didn’t have any strategy on how to do it except to finish within the cut-off time of eight (8) hours.

            I was about to retire for the night when I received a text from the amiable Margalicious telling me that all our needed supplies are ready and she’s asking me if I still have last minute “bilin”. Thanks so much Ate Luvs, you’re such an angel!

            My day started at 0200H on race day.  It was also about this time when my first blooper was committed. I was putting on my mandatory leukoplast when I discovered that I am running out of supply… I was only able to bandage my right foot. Crap! I can’t run without this stuff! Just the thought of blisters got me all wired… I texted some friends, God bless them I was told not worry because they have some.

            I arrived at the TRANSCOM building in Tiendesitas way before the meeting time of 0300H. I was busily chatting with Nam when Mark arrived. He then started to fix his stuff then I saw him holding a brown envelop… OMG! I forgot my race kit!!! How stupid of me… I can only imagine what BR will tell me if I call him now and tell him that I forgot my race kit… I didn’t like what I saw in my mind. I freaked out! I tried to call our duty driver giving him instructions on where to look for it.  I am about to give up when he told me that he found it. Relieved; I knocked my head and took note of that laxity.

            We left Tiendesitas shortly after I got my race kit. I need to be at the starting line before 0500 since I still have the race kit of Vic, Prince, and Roselle.

            The race started at exactly 0500H without fanfare. After the countdown, off we went! One hundred Sixteen “Crazy” runners.  

           I was full of energy when we started and was hoping that I will be able to maintain the pace as I was then running with Tin and Iah. I knew I have a TOUGH race ahead and the last thing I want to happen is for me to fade away and end up not finishing it.

That is definitely not Iah, Tin! (Photo courtesy of Tin)

            The first 20KM was very familiar… I remember all too well that on 06 April 1999, it was at the 2ID checkpoint when our then Tactical Officers asked us to disembark from the OCS bus so we can all have a hair cut under the huge mango tree… how they made us run from that area to Camp Capinpin, how I vomited even before we reached our destination, how lost and confused I was hearing all sort of commands.

           In the span of my one year Probationary Officer’s Training, I passed that route many times; had our bivouacs at Daranak Falls; and two weeks before we graduated, I collapsed in that very Shell station after finishing one of our long runs from Camp Capinpin.

         It was at KM12 when I felt I needed to pee… I lost five minutes because of that incident. I was huffing and puffing when I finally turned left to the direction of Sierra Madre Hotel because I had to make-up for the lost time.

           The sun is already up when we reached KM20 at Sierra Madre Hotel. My support team religiously attended to me and Tin and Iah’s support are also there ever so ready to extend a helping hand so the thought of dehydration never entered my mind. It was also very heartwarming to hear encouragement from all the support teams and fellow runners.

Thank you, Ate Luvs! (Photo courtesy of Daniel Callanta)

           I was still intermittently running with Tin, Iah, Nam, Earl, and Argo from KM 20 onwards. I can’t clearly remember what we talked about during the entire 50KM every time we have the chance but suffice to say that it eased some of my worries, pains, and so many other aches that I felt while climbing those HILLS…

I am covering their back from enemy fire hehehe (Photo courtesy of Tin)

           I tried to enjoy the view and the scenery which is a whole LOT! I had the time of my life running without the pollution of Metro Manila but I surely hated the sound of big bikes approaching! It could be cool to some people but I despised the way they looked in that road – sorry!

        I realized so many things during the entire duration of that 50KM race; when all you see are runners whom BR refers to as the “purist” – the “hardcore’s”. How nice it is to run amidst all these dedicated runners – makes me wonder again what I am doing here. In a regular race, all I aim for is to establish a new PR – here? All I wanted is to SURVIVE. 

           I don’t have a watch or a Garmin but I am sure that the water station is located every 10KM; I was so glad to see Frank at the 3rd water station. Thank you, guys! The cold water you doused on me was heaven! Service Deluxe, Ba! I suddenly missed Iah’s son 🙂

           I guess I was a couple of KMs away from the turn around when I again felt the urge to pee… I was looking for a place where to relieve myself, but unfortunately I can’t seem to find a “place”. Time also is one of my biggest consideration if I am going to stop in a house and pee – so I tried to manage it the best way I know how given my current situation.

           Iah was uncontrollable when I told him what I did – it was our secret until he reached the finish line 🙂

           It seems unreal that I was still pretty strong nearing the turn-around. I felt good when most of the runner’s who are already going back tells me that “you are doing well, you are third”… Whoa! Third?! But I am pretty sure that Tina who is behind me could easily overtake me… I know her – I am aware of her achievements as a runner. I’m maybe strong at that point but I am pretty sure that with her experience she’ll come out stronger.

           I have already consumed a considerable amount of gatorade, pocari, and water when I reached KM35. I am also running out of Gerber so I replenished before I got my blue “tali”. I was a bit disoriented because I was thinking that I still have to go straight, yun pala iikot na ako! Salamat!!! AKYATAN NA!

            I was happy to caught up with my friends Iah, Nam, Tin, and Gerry after that. I am a bit hyper, was pushing myself but Gerry cautioned me several times to just take it easy lest I injure myself. I had fun with them during that time – it’s just so uplifting to be with friends; Laughing even if our bodies are already weary…

            I was with Iah for the next 6KM after passing the 3rd water station for the second time. I didn’t want to stop but I can’t refused Frank’s offer of cold water.

            I can’t clearly remember what Iah and I talked about in that span of 6KMs, i guess just about anything under the sun. He left me only when we saw three guys behind us – I told him to go ahead and not to worry – my Fourth Place finish is already sealed.

            I was on my own after that… I was getting really tired and after covering more that 45Kms I finally told Pepsi that I am really tired. Pepsi and Glenn had to force me to take something. That time I already don’t want to ingest anything, just too tired to even chew… Thanks Glenn and Pepsi for staying with me during that crucial moment – I know words are really not enough for me to express my gratitude… 

           It was also during that last 2KMs when memories from 11 years ago came back to me like a motion picture. I was so overwhelmed with emotions when i saw the Pagasa Tower. That tower was a silent witness to what I went through in one of our many exercises – i suddenly pictured myself collapsing in the sidelines – my classmates telling me over and over again that i was malingering… 

The tower that brought back all the memories... (Photo courtesy of Daniel Callanta)

           I saw Glenn and Pepsi again one last time before I reached the finish line… I was already too tired to even wave. When I saw the maroon roof of the Sierra Madre Hotel – I cried; I tried to control the sobs but I can’t. I was just too consumed with emotions…

yikes! hang panget!!! (photo courtesy of Tin)

The one and only Sir BR with the sobbing Captain (Photo courtesy of Tin)

             That was just about it, folks… MY ULTRADRAMATIC FINISH 🙂


             Anong klaseng emosyon kaya sa BDM?


1. THANK YOU SO MUCH to my awesome support crew : MARGA, PEPSI, BEA, and GLENN.

2. THANK YOU SO MUCH to Tin and Iah’s support

3. THANK YOU SO MUCH to all my friends from takbo.ph – I got a lot of ribbing from Iah because of your cheers 🙂 artistahin kaya ako hehehehe

4. THANK YOU SO MUCH to my BR-Professional friends

5. THANK YOU SO MUCH to Sir BR, Ma’am Rowena, Yan, and the Elites



14 comments on “Going Down Memory Lane: PAU 50KM

  1. I lost a good minute laughing hysterically to your blooper captain. I tried my best to keep it to myself but it was too good to not share 🙂 Haha! Congratulations once again! You’ve made us proud. You now carry the title Ms. Congeniality / Ultramarathoner!! Ilocos here we come!

  2. Ultracapt! Miss Congeniality! Most Dramatic Finish! Miss Sssshhhh (what happened in Sierra Madre stays in Sierra Madre)….

    Dami mong title sis…naiyak ako sa account mo, good we weren’t together at the last stretch (baka umiyak na lang tayo…)

    So, Ilocos?

  3. forgetting your race bib before you left manila? that’s nothing, one of the female runners approached me at the starting line telling me that she left her race bib at home! in all the BR Events races, there is always one or two runners who forget to bring their race bib at the starting line!..it’s the excitement and the thrill of the race that cause this thing to happen…nice recap of your experience on your 1st ultrarun..you did great in this race! see you again in ilocos norte!

  4. Congrats, Tere! Nice post. You did a good job! Tahan na, huwag ng umiyak! 😉 Thank you Tere for facilitating my registration for this race. I really appreciate it.

  5. sa inyong lahat: pasensya na po ngayon lang ako makapag pasalamat. SALAMAT po! inspirasyon ko kayong lahat, salamat salamat sa oras na iniukol nyo para mabasa ang aking mga isinulat.

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