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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bataan Death March Marathon Recap

This is my 7th marathon this year and 80th marathon overall!!

I still cant believe that I have ran 80 marathons!!! I picked this race as my 80th marathon because I needed a new state to complete my a marathon in all 50 States journey, so far I have completed  16 states. Plus I heard this one is a very memorable and challenging event that a lot of people go back every year just to participate in this event.

Thursday - 3-24-11

After I arrived at the El Paso Airport, I went to pick up my rental car, BUT I found out that I did not bring my temporary driver's license, because I lost my wallet a few weeks ago and I only brought my citizenship certificate to get on my flight. So without my DL, I couldnt rent a car and I was stranded at the airport!!  I didnt want to take the taxi to my hotel room because I know it would cost a fortune!! So I figured out from my iPhone that I could take the bus from the airport to my hotel, with one transfer, which took only an hour and a half total and $3, WAY cheaper than taking a tax. The bus stop was about 1/4 mile from my HoJo so I didnt mind the walk, at least I got to my hotel finally.

Friday - 3-25-11

Since I dont have a car to get me around town and my friend wont get into town until Saturday afternoon, I just decided to take a walk down to Downtown El Paso, which was about 6 miles from my hotel, I carried my camo backpack with my laptop inside, cuz I wanted to get used the heavy weight on my back, and make my way down there to do some sightseeing on foot. Once I got to the El Paso/Mexico border, I decided to walk to Juarez, Mexico with ONLY my citizenship certificate with no passport or driver's license, call me crazy!! And YES, I was able to get back to the US after walking there for an hour, but I probably wont be back there again, it's definately not a vacational spot. So after all day of walking and sightseeing, I walked back to my hotel and crashed after I stopped by a restaurant for some delicious hotdogs.

At the Mexico/Texas border.

Saturday - 3-26-11

So my friend Brent, who was also doing the race, picked me up from my hotel room and we drove to the White Sand Missile Range in New Mexico to pick up our bib and everything. He did that race the previous year so he knows how to get there better than I do.

Once we got inside the military base, we made our way to the gymnasium where most of the runners/marchers stayed for the night before the race, FOR FREE!! They have showers and lockers and everything, but you will have to bring your own sleepbag, or you could get one of their cots offer to runners on a first come first serve basis. But Brent and I decided to sleep in the car for the night,  cuz that's how we roll!!! =-) But it was REALLY windy outside our car, we could feel our car move!!

Pasta Dinner

The pasta dinner that they prepared for us at their cafateria was awesome!! Nice warm pasta with a few sauces, dinner rolls, salad, brownies and cookies, totally got my money worth!! We also got to meet a few World War II Veterans also.

me, Brent and Nina got to me one of the WWII veteran.

After the dinner, we went to watch this free movie :"The Great Raid" they offered at the nearby theater, this movie was about how the
 6th Rangers Batallion rescue more than 500 American prisoners of war back in the days from the notorious Cabanatuan Japanese POW camp. Great movie!!

Race Day - 3-27-11

This is the FIRST time I ever wore hiking shoes, long pants and carry a 10lbs backpack in a race!! My original plan was to march the challenging course with a 35lbs backpack, but because I dont think I could handle 35lbs bag, so I just changed my mind and dropped it to 10lbs instead, I just wanted to have a good time and just enjoy the experience without worry about the time.

Before the race begins, they had a ceremony honoring those veterans who had fought for our country, there were hundreds of soldiers dressed in army uniform who were also carrying 35lbs backpack on their back and ready to march the course. 

Here is our timing chip that we get to keep!!
Nina and I met one of the veterans at the start.

Runner/marchers getting ready hr before the start.
 Part of the course are on these sandy trails for miles.

Mile 13 marker, halfway done!!!
One of the aid station on the course.
 A long stretch of dirt trail.
There are many marchers with a full on militiary unform with heavy pack on their back.

Another aid station on the course.
Here is one of few marchers who carried a flag for the entire 26.2 miles

Here are 3 marchers carried their Philipine's Flag duing this long windy uphill stretch.

1 Mile to go!!!
Almost done!!!
I finished in 5:51.51!!
Got to meet of the veterans at the Finish Line.

Overall, Bataan Death March is a must do for ANYONE, runners or walker because you get to experience what the soldiers have gone thru back in the war days, once you have ran this race, you will never ever forget the experience.

After the race, a bunch of us went downt to the White Sands National Monument to watch the sunset, this was one of the most beautiful place I have ever been to, it's so peaceful, it's a great place to relax after the race.

I had an unforgetable trip in New Mexico, El Paso and Jurazes, Mexico. Bataan Death March is definately a race I will run again in the near future.

Next Race............................Labor of Love 50 Miler - 4-9-11