Tuesday, January 29

Support Crew for BDM160, Recon for BDM102 (2013)

BDM160 starts 4am, BDM102 is at 10pm.  Here are the notes along the way until KM102. (As recorded by Rica.)

0400  KM00  to KM02  - Flat city road. Pretty narrow for the first kilometer.
          KM02  to KM06  - Uphill with zigzags and passing buses and trucks.
          KM06                  - Landing/parking area
          KM14                  - Turn to the right upon reaching the road fork.
                                         Area's mostly residential.
0630  KM18                  - Merge with the highway. Terrain's rolling
0730  KM23                  - Turn to the right upon reaching the road fork.
                                        Sun was up & heat's on at this time.
         KM24  to KM27  - Flat road. Poblacion/market area.
0810  KM29                  - Zigzag uphill road with no shoulder/pit stop
         KM30                   - Rolling road and merging with the highway
0850  KM32                 - Turn to the right upon reaching the road fork.
        KM34        - Poblacion/market area again. Due to the road/bridge construction, the runners and vehicles had to turn right towards TESDA. Afterwhich, for the runners, turn left on the first corner.  For the vehicles, turn left on the succeeding corner or the next then turn left on the dead-end and turn right of the main road.
1000  KM38               - Ricefields/Residential
         KM42               - Residential
1100  KM44               - Merge with the highway. Rice fields
1200  KM49               - Lunch at an eatery. Area's got scarce eateries. 
         KM50               - Spacious, unshaded landing/parking area
1251  KM53               - Merge with the highway. Rice fields
         KM55               - Rest stop
1400  KM57               - Rest stop
1424  KM60               - Rest stop
1459  KM62               - Rest stop
1517  KM65               - Rest stop
         KM67               - Merge with the highway.
1607  KM68               - Dinalupihan. Keep left after the statue at the Rotonda.
                                     Rest stop at the Petron station across
1645  KM72               - Rest stop
1754  KM77               - Rest stop. Reflective vest on
1810  KM78               - Double Happiness/bus stop area with choices
                                      of eateries/pay rest room (P5)
         KM80                - Dusty road/under construction
1904  KM83               - Turn to the right upon reaching the road fork.
                                      Less-populated. Turn to the left upon reaching the road
         KM84+              - Merge with the highway. Poblacion/market area
1932  KM85+              - Rest stop
         KM89                 - Rest stop
2049  KM92 or 93       - Rest stop
2116  KM95               - Rest stop
2145  KM99               - Rest stop
2148  KM100             - Rest stop
2202  KM102             - Check-in for KM102 to KM160
2300  KM102             - After a meal and nap, off from KM102 to KM160

Profile map:

1. At all times run at the furthest left of the road facing the traffic but also be careful with cars overtaking other vehicles from the back.  If needed,  go down  the paved road and run on the shoulder of the road with gravel and stones.

2. Runners will share the road with all kinds of vehicles (trailer trucks, buses, cars, tricycles, motorbikes, bikes). Be extra careful and attentive at all times. In the evening it's a must to wear a reflective vest and headlamp. There are instances that tricycles and motorcycles do not have lights on while on the road, be very careful with this one as well.

3. Run in single line and take extra precaution when overtaking other runners.

4. Some parts of the road are dusty, be ready with it.

5. Bataan Death March (BDM) road kilometer markers are all at the right side of the road, this will serve as the only signage and markers of the race.

6. Support vehicle is only allowed to stop at the right side of the road. Be very careful when crossing the road to go to the support vehicle.

7. As of 10th of February, the weather in Metro Manila has gone up tremendously. Gone is the cool breeze and one can feel the start of the summer heat. I can imagine how much more come race day. So while on the race, take advantage of the coolness of the evening, cover as much kilometer as possible with extra care,  hydrate more often, have a ready ice cubes on the cooler and lots of cold drinks. An ice cream come day time will be a good treat probably.

The start of BDM102 is at KM00 near Mariveles Municipality Hall. There is a Jollibee fast food chain before reaching this office which I guess will serve as a final pit stop for the runners before the start of the race. For BDM160 since the race start 4:00am Jollibee is not open to serve food to the public yet.

Coming from Manila KM00 is at the right side of the road before reaching Jollibee and Mariveles Municipality Hall. A starting line banner will be placed on a small paved area near this signage.After the gun start, support vehicle can wait the runner either at the next 2nd kilometer distance before going up to the zigzag road or support vehicle and crew can wait at 6km mark at the landing/parking area at the top. No vehicle can wait and stop at the zigzag road for that part of the road is just too narrow.

KM19 is another rolling highway. At BDM102, this is still going to be dark and hopefully less vehicle.

After the KM23 mark as one can see at the right side of the picture above and the road after the car that is park on the left side of this picture is a right turn. For BDM102, this part will still be dark, a runner can most definitely notice this part as many support vehicles will be waiting before the right turn. But still a runner should also be mindful of this turn,  as one runner missed this turn at BDM160 even on a broad day light and even with support vehicles parked. Right after the right turn is a slow minor ascend.

Another stretch of the highway, runners will be sharing with all this vehicles on the race.

Dinalupihan area, KM68 mark of the race, one of the busiest part of the race route (based on my observation) and most of the runners that joined this race in the past said the heat of the sun starts on this area. Before reaching this part is a wide busy street until the road reach a bridge then into this busy intersection. As seen in the picture above, runners will be coming from the street behind the traffic lights. Just stay on the left side of the road, then cross on the road towards the first center island as one can see on the picture below then cross to the second center island with the green signage and the Death March 68KM marker.

Three road intersections on the left side, two center islands. After the second center island is the third  road that turns left, cross this street and run towards the Petron gasoline station. Be very careful with all kinds of vehicle that is crossing on this part of the road.

Right after the busy confusing intersections with two center islands will be this Petron gasoline station. This part can be a pit stop and support vehicle can wait on the left side (I hope it will be allowed) of this road as crossing to the right side to replenish supply is too dangerous, all kinds of cars really run fast. Be it the runner from the left crosses to the right side or  the crew from the right side of the road crosses to the left side of the road (either side) one should be very careful crossing the street.

One may see this street sign NO OVERTAKING  but promise drivers do not follow this. I see it right before my own eyes how all kinds of vehicles overtake each other if there is an opportunity. So runners should be very careful not just to in coming vehicles but also vehicles coming from behind. So  always follow the 'run to the furthest left' rule of the race director.

Double Happiness Restaurant on the left marks the 78km of the route. This is a bus stop terminal area with eateries and toilets inside. Crew can get food here but part of the race rule,  runners cannot get inside. At the right side of the road is a Shell Gasoline station.

Towards the last 10 kilometer stretch of the race route Death March markers are more frequent as compare to the earlier stretch of the race. This is just a flat straight road with some intersections but runners should just follow the straight road.
As the cut off finish of 18 hours is 4:00pm, this part is expected to be hot and sunny, this is an open area with tall bushes and grass on the side without any shade at all. Be prepared with it.

Last 3 kilometers of the race, the route is towards  the Municipality Hall of San Fernando, Pampanga, then a turn to the left to the old train station which is the finish line.

From the highway, a runner running on the left side of the road can see the Municipality building on the right side of the road, a big one with tall steel bar fence. Upon reaching a small street on the left with an arch turn left, enter this small road, that is few meters towards the finish line. A runner should not miss this part for all the support vehicles are only allowed to park on the main highway before entering this small street.

And this is the finish line of BDM102. A finisher's banner will be placed on the road near the old train station.

Writing this makes me feel so excited for all the runners doing this race.  (Ako ang na-excite para sa yo Rica Mendoza.)  I hope I was able to give a clearer picture of the race route and how important safety is at all times. I wish  a safe run to everyone on the race. This goes not just to the  runners but also to the support crew and the marshals. Good luck every one and happy running.

Some of the pictures are taken from the photo album of Rica Mendoza and Roger Villareal. Thank you to Rica Mendoza for the notes too.

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