by Trodge Lorenzo and Persius Ruiz
Tukod.Ph – the amalgamation of unique and random characters bonded together by a common desire and passion for running, the outdoors, and overcoming challenges. The group was formed by three college friends after an arduous and dismal performance in their first KOTR 10km race on October of 2010. At first, the trio functioned as a running support system which later on developed into a running group with the inclusion of families, friends, and more members.
Our small group then started to join even more “fun runs” not because we got hooked with running right away, (not after our miserable KOTR 10k) but primarily because health-wise, we may have consciously felt the need to exert that extra effort to make good for our bodies due to our ever excessive and sometimes wild partying (which by the way, another trait Tukod.ph is known for). So there we were, out of shape runners with heavy vices to boot. We’re dead sure we would always make it to the top of the Race Medic’s “To Watch List” as if we would go into cardiac arrest anytime after the first Km. Honestly, the idea wasn’t really that far-fetched because we, of all people, knew that we would join races straight from drinking sessions and sleepless nights. Our friends even jokingly branded us “kamikaze runners” because of our “suicidal” tendencies (no pun intended). And yes, finishing a 10km race then was definitely a struggle and was filled with “tukod” moments hence the name TUKOD.PH.
Fueled by our desire to get better and stronger, we made a commitment and gradually minimized and others quit vices to perform better in races. We started making the races our vices. We ventured into long distance runs armed with pure guts and determination. What started out as a once-a-month 5 km “fun” run soon became a weekly affair increasing our mileage as we went along. Most of us had our 1st significant marathon during Condura Sky Marathon in 2011.
The founders of Tukod.Ph had their maiden ultra race during the 1st Valley Trail Challenge of Frontrunners Magazine in 2011. We thought of joining this race with the mindset of hitting two birds with one stone – our First Ultra and our First Trail Race ever. And fortunately, we got what we came for. It was a difficult battle for all of us, but it was a race we would definitely put on our personal record books as one of our memorable and inspiring races.
We are definitely not an elite team; we are just your average Joe doing our best to finish each race. We had our share of missing the cut-off time, but it did not break our spirit. Whenever injured, we rest and make sure we bounce back even stronger. We were never afraid to ask for tips and advise from elite and experienced runners because we learn a lot from them and it makes us grow more as a good runner, athlete, and as a person. We are constantly learning, just like in all of our races, we push on. We never stop. We never quit. Until we collapse. For a person dies when he ceases to learn just like a runner fails when he doesn’t finish his race.
One would easily think that we are a bunch of serious athletes because of our introvert nature during races, but do not be fooled by our seriousness, we are as crazy as any ultra runners out there and definitely we still know how to throw a party. Come race day, we are just as competitive as the next guy.
While most of the members are San Beda College Alumni, we are not an exclusive group; we have members from all walks of life coming from different sports background. That’s what makes us so unique. We are not just a group of runners, or bikers, or hikers, we are TUKOD.PH!
A lot has been written about Bataan Death March 102 Ultra Marathon Race. Accounts of personal struggles and triumphs, victories and defeats, and how it changed lives. Reading these articles and blogs made me drool in envy, as I wanted to feel what they felt, regardless whether I would end up in the hospital or worse, in a box.
When I started running, I wasn’t aware of the word “ultra marathon” nor did I ever think of participating a Marathon(42Km). Running was a social thing for me then, it was my way of easing boredom on a lazy Sunday and to meet old friends. And before I knew it, I was hooked; 5k 10k, 21k inside one year I found myself running my first 42k.
Runner’s High is addictive, the taste of victory at the finish line cannot be explained, one just cant describe it with words. Every time I cross the finish line, I would always crave for more. My cravings would eventually be served by my Tukod.Ph brethren and fellow Bedan, Atty. Mike Dauz. Mike is the “pusher”, “architect”, a fearless human being who would pick the most difficult races his four wheels can reach. I being the silent competitor would just oblige with his crazy dares and so does Marlon Saracho. After more than a year of running “fun runs”, we embraced Ultra Marathon, and what better way to feed our Ultra Spirits than to run the historic Bataan Death March 102km.
Tukod.Ph fielded five (5) runners in this race.Spearheaded by Simon Pavel Miranda who was sporting a “mohawk” haircut, with ultra wing-men; Mike Dauz, Marlon Saracho, Andrew Alcedo, and this writer- Trodge Lorenzo. With us, is our respective support crew playing a significant role in finishing this ultra marathon race.
On March 3 2012, all roads led to Mariveles Bataan where the KM0 is located. Support vehicles were loaded and equipped with “Ammunition” (hydration and nutrition) ready for the road war that was about to happen. Running gears were customized based on comfort and protection. Strategies were laid according to strengths and advantages. And lastly, just before the gun start, Prayers were said to survive and finish this ordeal. In this 4th edition of BDM102, 186 out of 203 registered runners checked in.
KM0 Ready, Aim , Fire
Mar 3 2012, 22:15 the gun was fired. It was the signal that the road war has begun. The feeling was surreal, my mind was having difficulty processing what has just transpired, I was jumpy at first but was able to gather my self and yes, I was running.
Simon “icon” Miranda was among the pack leaders. I was pacing with the wing-men from Km0 to Km 3, we were in the last pack. We were mumbling, asking one’s strategy, pace etc., but no one was sharing, from there, I knew the friendly competition is ON.
This is the start of the treacherous uphill climb of about 4 kilometers; at this point, Andrew “anwang” Alcedo asked me, “what is your plan?” and I replied, “I’ve got no plans buddy”, I grinned and off I started to step-up my pace while laughing my ass off. I knew and saw how strong he is in uphills, so I put a little distance between my friendly competitors just so I will not be left behind in rolling hills.
KM7 Hill Top
All support crew were instructed to wait at this point and may start supporting onwards. Runners were greeted with cheers upon reaching the hilltop as if the first battle has just been won. Hydration bottles were refilled. I was elated to see my support crew headed by my brother- Tryone Lorenzo, and reliable assistant Henry, with hydration in tow, and ready for my next instruction. I told them to meet me up at KM 12. Headlights were on, crewmen were all ready and excited.
KM8-14 The Rolling Hills
So many stories has been published from previous edition of this race regarding the drunk drivers, drunken masters, stray dogs, hookers etc. Yes, all of them are true. I was almost hit by a drunk ‘riding in tandem”, got barked by stray dogs. Marlon Saracho being the “artistahin” among the tukod.ph runners was mobbed by the Midnight Ladies, luckily he escaped with no lipstick marks on his cheeks.
At this point, you would see the distance between runners. To conserve energy, some would walk the ascending portions. Flashes of cameras reminded us to smile and not worry too much of the impending pain.
KM 14-20 Loneliness
I was on a 3km support mode. My brother Tryone and Henry would meet up every 3km from here on. The distance between runners are so evident at this point. I was pacing with two other road warriors, three ahead of us and about four behind us, separated by at least 300 meters. It was around midnight at this stretch. It was lonely and a bit creepy. Having a third eye made it even worst or maybe I started hallucinating already. Too soon.
KM 21-43 Surprise
Relatively flat. We entered some barangays and the town proper of Orion. I missed my MP3 so bad(not allowed), that I ended up humming my favorite pump-up songs(weird). I was running alone most of this stretch, maintaining a pace of 9min/km. Some runners would pass me and I would sometimes try to pick up my pace to keep them in sight. I came across a familiar SUV, parked along the road. It was Andrew’s support crew headed by Jojie Tejada, the great “anwang” of Aklan was just 500 meters behind me. Then 2 other familar vehicles passed me, it was Marlon’s and Mike’s support Team. So, the boys are chasing me. I could smell them, I could read Mike’s thoughts,I could hear Andrew’s breath. It was time to Run. As soon as my crewmen handed my refilled botlle at KM43, I told them to meet me up at KM50. I ran the next 7km at 6min/km without looking back.
KM50 Pit Stop
The KM50 marker is located at Abucay, Bataan. Most, if not all support vehicles, were parked with the crewmen waiting for their runners. At this stop, we ate our breakfast. I had sandwich and a banana, while some had full meals. Carlo and Kat Mallari, the ever supportive couple met us with Hot Pandesal and some words of encouragement. After 15mins of resting, Andrew checked in, followed by Marlon and Mike. The Mallari couple told us that Simon already left the place about an hour ago. More runners came, some changed shoes and apparels. I stuck with my Bedan singlet and would just change my shoes when the need arises.
KM 51 to 67 Sunrise
Morning has broken, the road is starting to get busy. More traffic as church goers and early birds do their usual Sunday affairs. I was on a 2km support mode. I would catch up with Torii Akimitsu, the sole Japanese runner in this race who happens to be my office mate. He told me that he was on a 10km support. I told him that whenever you need anything just let my crew know. On this stretch, I started to feel cramps on both thighs. Luckily, Henry was there to massage my legs. He was so good that I thought I just had the best massage of my life. Salonpas ointment helped but as the sun’s heat rises, my exposed legs started to burn like hell. It was so painful that I would always splash cold water on it. Andrew was just a Kilometer behind as his support crew caught up with mine.
KM68- 83 Bermuda Triangle
The Dinalupihan-Guagua stretch dubbed as the Bermuda Triangle by Jonel Mendoza because according to the past editions, this is where most DNF’s(did not finish) happened. By the time runners reach this stretch, the sun is already up and the busy traffic makes it even more difficult for runners. This is where the Body is starting to weaken and doubt start to sink in. Safety also becomes an issue. Since we are running against the traffic, these mighty buses would not yield and runners are left with no choice but to use the unpaved part of the road. I started complaining of blisters on my left foot. At Km83, I switched to my old New Balance shoes.
KM83-92 Johnny Walker
The blisters continued to bother me. Switching to New Balance was a bad idea too. I thought wearing a wider shoe will make my feet comfortable, but it continued to swell. More runners passed me, I took a quick look at my watch and started to calculate. If I walk the remaining kilometers I’d still be able to finish within the 18hrs cut off, so I continued walking. My brother was a bit worried, he would always ask me and look into my eyes if I was still fit to continue. My brother, who is hypertensive, was the one I was worried about and would ask him the same question. More massage, cold towels, extra cold water and I continue with my walk. A dragging 16min/km.
KM92-101 10th wind
As more runners pass me, I started to be impatient. At the Km92 stop, I switched to my Nike Racer, though it doesn’t allow much room and breathing space for my tired feet, it’s light and has a soft cushion. I pity my support crew, who sacrifice their weekend not to be with their respective families, endure a sleepless night and suffer a long and tiring day; I told them that I will run the remaining kilometers and might not be needing additional stops. So, off I went running. I would pass every kilometer mark with my crew cheering me up. My brother would tell me how many runners are ahead of me and I would pass them one by one. I was rejuvenated, recharged and energized!
KM102 Finish Line
The sweet victory. I was running the last Kilometer. The Pampanga provicial capitol was already in sight. I knew then that I made it. I was just one left turn away from the Old Train station where Gen. Narcise aka Bald Runner waiting at the finish line. I was smiling, shouting praises to the Lord as I entered the narrow road. I heard the bell rang, signalling that a runner is approaching. I gave a high five to my brother, crossed the finish line and hugged the Race director.. Wohooo!!! Its done!! I made it. Official time: 16hrs 2 mins and finisher #69 out of the 160 eventual finishers.
All runners fielded by Tukod.Ph finished the race. Simon Miranda, the strongest among the “tukoderos” registered a new Personal Best despite the “3 calls of nature” ‘ incident and landed at 16th spot. Marlon Saracho, tukod’s poster boy had a great showing – no more cramps for him. Mike Dauz did not have problem finishing within cut off. Thanks to Maristela Dauz,-his supportive wife who would lift his spirit whenever his morale is down.
Among tukod.ph runners, it was Andrew Alcedo who did shine the brightest. He showed firmness of character and an indomitable spirit. At the 70Km mark, his right ankle started to swell. He decided to take off his shoes and wear the most comfortable footwear, slippers. He was literally dragging his injured foot. He could barely run and every step brought more grimaces of pain. DNF was never an option. I knew, no one can stop him, not even his support crew who was composed of great friends. The King Anwang of Aklan would eventually finished the race well within cut off.
Medical findings confirmed what I have suspected. It was the old fracture that caused the swelling. My bestfriend has post traumatic arthritis and as per doctor’s advised, he can no longer join Ultra Marathon… so Yes to Triathlon?
The Great Tukoderos
Tukod.Ph Support Crew
To all our friends, families, katukods who prayed for our safety and success…..To all the running teams who helped us along the course of race…….To the photographers…….To Cristy Marie Flores……. Thank You Very Much!!!
Tukod.Ph fielded four (4) runners in this event. The team was spearheaded by BDM and PAU veteran Simon Miranda with wing men ultra marathoners Trodge Lorenzo and Myk Dauz and seasoned marathoner Marlon Saracho. T2N has a distance of 50km and a cut off time of nine (9) hours.
Pre Race Drama
Days before the race, the wing men were scrambling for support crew after two (2) tukod.ph supporters cancelled due to unforeseen conflicts in their respective schedules. Armed with sheer guts, the wing-men decided to go on, and drove their way to Tagaytay. Already aware that they will be on self support on race day, they had their Columbia hydration bag ready and filled it with hydration of their choice. And heres the “katangahan” , Myk Dauz didnt have the tube for his bladder. A bladder without a tube is like a bullet without a Gun. Either way, Its useless! (peace mike, pero laugh trip tlga yun)
Notwithstanding, they proceeded to the staging area, rendezvoused with Simon Miranda and his ever supportive family/support crew, claimed their Bib and posed for some photo ops. A Bedan brother offered his support/services, so Myk and Marlon put their bags and kit on his pick up truck, as for Trodge, he opted to carry all 2kg of treasure except for a bottle of Gatorade which was also placed in the truck.
There were lots of teams who graced the event, the famous Powerpuff boys, Team Boring , Team USB, Team Ungas, Team KTT, Team Kamote, Team UNO, Team HOB, Team CB, Fairview Running Club and their respective support crew, cheerers and supporters among others. It was a festive atmosphere. At 5 AM, Bald Runner fired the Gun.
The battle for the top spot started early as the front runners with Tukod.Ph’s Simon Miranda included, had an early breakaway. Trodge Lorenzo tried to keep pace with the front runners but had to hold back to conserve his energy, and just settled in the 2nd pack. Mike and Marlon ran side by side in the first 18km in the mid pack. The rolling hills were simply challenging. Tagaytay, being thousands of feet above sea level has a bit of thin air. Trodge was gasping heavily from 8km to 15km. Simon was nowhere to found in the long stretch as he was already kilometers away from the next pack.
Running self supported in an ultra marathon race is already a feat. Trodge had to make use of the number of “tindahan” along the route to refill his bottle, but it was a different case for Mike and Marlon. They had to run the remaining 30km begging for water from support vehicles of other teams parked in strategic locations. Apparently there was a miscommunication with our Bedan brother who offered to support.
The last 10km was relatively flat, but it’s a busier highway. The scorching heat made it even more difficult for runners. Luckily all runners fielded by Tukod.Ph finished the race without serious injury. Congratulations to Simon Miranda, Trodge Lorenzo, Marlon Saracho(now a certified ultra marathoner), the courageous Mike Dauz and to the rest of the finishers.
Kudos to the other teams who offered their water along the route. To the photographers , team USB, Team Hob, the Curious runner, and Mayor Alfaro ……Thank you very much.
Official Time and Ranking of Tukod.Ph runners out of the 202 who finished the race.
|8||Simon Pavel Miranda||4:54:37|
Nuvali, Laguna.—- Ang katatapos na karerang takbuhan na ginanap sa masukal na talahiban,bulubundukin, maputik, at mabatong daan ng Nuvali ay isang karera para sa mga “mutants”, “androids” at “undead”. Tama ang nababasa mo kapatid. Napakahirap para sa katawan ng isang pobreng tao ang takbuhin ang Cincuenta y Siete (57) Kilometro ng karerang ito dahil sa “uneven terrain”, talahiban na salasalabat ang landas, at parang alon na walang katapusang akyat baba. Ang “cut-off time” ay 10 oras at ayon sa resulta, ang average time ng mga nagtapos ay humigit kumulang 9 oras.
Bilang “first-timer” sa Trail Race, hindi ko man lang napanaginipan kung gaano siya kahirap, naiisip ko tuloy na sana noong miyerkules ay hinabaan ko pa ang tulog ko, baka sakaling napanaginipan ko pa(tawa) para nakapag handa. Sa kabila ng napakahirap na ‘trail”, hindi ko rin matatawaran ang makapigil hinigang tanawin. Merong isang parte na animoy nasa New Zealand ka dahil sa bulubunduking damuhan na may maraming baka na parang gusto kong katayin dahil sa gutom, at gatasan dahil sa uhaw. Nakakita din ako ng jumbo na mushrom na kasing laki ng payong ni aling Nena( or baka hallucination ko lang yun dahil sa pagod at hindi ko rin kilala si aling Nena). May lugar din na kung saan tatawid ka sa sapa at makapapag bitaw ka ng salitang, PUTIK! (literally and figuratively). Basta Maganda!!!!
1. “Pare, pwede bang paki tanggal ang sapatos ko? at pwedeng paki balik na rin?”
Isang runner na hindi na makapag tanggal ng sariling sapatos para alisin ang mga bato sa loob dahil sa pagod at cramps, itago na lng natin siya sa pangalang Andrew Alcedo (hindi tunay na pangalan).
2. “Lord!!! bakit ngayon pa Lord!, I dont need this now!!!”
“pare mauna ka na if Im holding you down.” (ANG SWEET NO?)
Isang runner na kulang sa dasal at inaatake ng cramps. Itago din natin sya sa pangalang Jonlee Magalit.
3. Tol, hindi ba tayo naliligaw? kasama ba sa bilang to?
Kuya? may yosi ka ba jan?
Yung Burger ko!!! yung burger ko!!!!!
(Maximus Aurelius moment sa talahiban) bhebe ikaw ba yan? multo na ba ako?
Isang runner na nawawalan ng burger at nakakaranas ng withdarwal syndrome. Sya si Mike Dauz (tunay na pangalan) O0 sya yun.
4. Ano tong pinasok mo???? dapat natutulog ka lng ngayon sa bahay o di kaya ay nag Fefesbuk!
Isang runner na kinakatok ang utak at nababaliw dahil sa pagod. Narinig ko to sa taong nagsulat nito.
Ang nagiisang katangian ng Tao na wala sa Mutant, Android at Undead ay PUSO. Kapag puro paltos na ang mga paa mo, maga na ang kasu-kasuan mo, naninigas na ang maskels mo, at wasak na ang katawan na para bang gusto nang makipag hiwalay sayo ng kaluluwa mo, PUSO lang ang magdadala sayo sa FINISH LINE.
Para sa mga nakapag tapos, sumasaludo ngayon sa inyo sila Wolverine, Android 17 at mga undead sa War craft. Isang pagpugay din sa Frontrunner Magazine at kay Sir Jonel Mendoza para sa mapang-hamon at hindi makakalimutang karera. Ang LV(loot Vag) na +7km na hindi nabibili sa Grocery at salamat sa pag “devirginized” sa katulad ko at mga kasama kong tukoderos na mga “ultra virgins” . Ang Sarap! BTS! (tawa ng malakas). Clap Clap.
Sa karerang pang takbuhan ng “Globe Run for Home” sa darating na Marso 27, 2011, isang matinding laban ang aabangan ng mga madlang mananakbo sa pagitan ng dalawang Pogi. Para matulungan kayo sa pag boto, eto ang konting kaalaman,
aka: Boy Tukod
Previous 21km Finish. 2:01
Training Method: Wala
aka: Atty. Tukod
Previous 21km Finish : 2:13
Training Method/s : Swimming, Karate, Boxing, MMA, Long Jump
Halina na at bomoto, just click on the link below;
Oo alam ko….. ang Condura Skyway Marathon ay para sa mga Dolphins
Buksan ang mga mata at pag masdan ang larawang ito.
Sabihin nyo nga sa akin… mali ba ang Pamagat ko?