Like the old saying goes, “When one race ends, another race is coming up on the horizon.” That is how that goes, right? Stacking races so close together is not my usual M.O., but when I heard about Bataan (and let the craziness of it set in for a while), I knew it was a race I could not pass up.
- It’s a noble cause: The race honors soldiers who were marched across the Philippines during World War Two. Many of them were from nearby Dona Ana County and the NM National Guard. Sadly, many of them died in the march and in the POW camp afterward.
- The setting is one-of-a-kind: Not only is White Sands Missile Range a unique race location, it’s also really pretty.
- It’s hard as hell: When I was working at the gym, I saw some soldiers exercising in Bataan race shirts. They told me it took them 9 hours to finish. That’s a shirt you can wear with pride. I find the challenge appealing.
- The price: The half distance (14.2 miles for this race) costs the same as the full. I couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger on the half knowing that I could spend the same amount of money to participate in the full.
- The timing: I debated doing Bataan next year so I wouldn’t have two full marathons so close together, but this year is the 25th anniversary of the race. Besides, I’ve already got my eye on a race for next March. (This one!)
Bataan is not your typical race. I don’t even know if it should be called a race. A great many military personnel participate, and many of them opt to do the “heavy category” carrying 35+ pound ruck sacks. It’s lots of walkers/hikers/run-walkers, but from what I can tell, not a lot of “traditional” runners like you’d see in a road race. That makes sense since it’s not even entirely on road. Much of the course goes through straight up sand. And I do mean straight up.
Now you can see why I don’t have a time goal. The plan will be to go, pay homage to those who were at Bataan (in previous years, survivors were present to shake your hand at the finish!), and earn a badass shirt.
In terms of training, I’m loosely following a 4 week marathon-to-marathon training plan from Hal Higdon.
An old running buddy once used Higdon’s plan for 6-weeks between races with great success. Since my aim is to maintain my endurance and not much more. I’m confident this plan will do the trick.
How did this week measure up in terms of running? I ran 4 times.
- 1.25 miles the day after the El Paso Marathon
- A slightly sore 4 miler
- 5 miles (shaved off 1 mile because my knee felt wonky)
- 95 minutes of running yesterday (8.25 miles in hilly McKelligon Canyon)
Plus yoga and walking Geronimo.
I’m kind of liking that my big races are so close together this time around. It’s like 2-for-1 marathon training! The weather is already heating up here in El Paso, so I don’t foresee much long distance running after this. I guess that’s good timing since my body will be overdue for a break after Bataan anyway.