Sprint to Bataan: 13 Days to Go!

This race is rushing in like a freight train! I guess that’s what happens when you sign up for races only a month apart. Bataan has been on my mind all week. I started off with so many questions and uncertainties, but I’m starting to feel like things are taking shape. I know that much of the race will be played by ear, but I at least have more of a plan now.

Photo snapped while on a run.

Photo snapped while on a run.

First, let’s talk about training this week:

  • My runs: 4 miler, sandy 6 miler
  • Cross-training: 2 hours of yoga, 140 minutes of walking

My original intent was to run more, but the week kind of got away from me. In order to fit in 3 runs, I would have had to run 3 days in a row. It probably would have been fine, but my joints felt iffy on the 6 miler. I made the executive decision that I’d do my body more good if I took it easy. Perhaps I’m overly cautious about overtraining, but I’ve already shelled out my $95; I don’t want an injury!

The Approach

Even though I feel like I have no idea what to expect, I know from my last race that winging it ain’t gonna cut it. I’ve got a rough idea of how I want to tackle the race, based mostly on the elevation chart.

bataan elevation

I plan to run as much of the first 7 miles as I can. I’m not going to worry about my pace at all. The focus will be on going “comfortably slow.” Think conversational pace or slower. I also think I’ll take walk breaks every other mile. I want to be conservative with my energy.

Miles 7-14, I will walk. Since the course goes up up up up, there’s no point in even attempting to run.

I’d like to run from the peak (mile 14ish) to mile 20 if I can. I would again aim for a  slow pace with walk breaks. From there, I want to do whatever is necessary to get to the finish. If that means only short spurts of running or walking entirely, that’s okay.

The Ensemble

Figuring out what to wear has been really hard! A quick image search of the race shows that most people wear military attire or hiking clothes. I was debating wearing hiking gear myself until I realized that I don’t really own much of it. Running clothes it is!


This is my vision right now. A white top to deflect the heat, my best shorts, old shoes, compression sleeves, a boonie hat, sunglasses (duh), my trusty SPIbelt (I’m considering wearing two!). What am I missing? This feels like not enough.

The Remaining Unknowns

Fueling and hydration: I’m expecting the race to take me a long time (7, 8 hours? Maybe more.) That’s longer than I’ve ever gone before. I don’t think that gu and Swedish fish are going to cut it. I’m still planning to take my regular running fuel, but if the aid stations have other offerings, I will probably take a chance on something out of the ordinary. This is a big no-no for runners, but since I’m planning to walk half or more of the race, I am hoping that solid food won’t derail me as much as it might in a traditional race setting. I’m still going to take Nuun with me, and I’m going to load up on water at eat aid station.


Terrain: This is the biggest question mark. I’m making a big effort to run in dirt and sand and on hills during my training, but I can’t replicate the conditions at White Sands entirely. The best I can do is prepare as much as possible and be willing to switch from running to walking when it becomes to difficult.

13 days, people! That’s less than 2 weeks! It’s practically time to start carb-ing up already!

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12 thoughts on “Sprint to Bataan: 13 Days to Go!

  1. Wow, it’s getting close! I hope they will provide lots of provisions at the aid stations, but you might think about carrying a baggie of pretzels with you. The extra salt will come in handy and you can eat those near an aid station so you can get some water to wash them down. I don’t know about you, but after all that sugar in the form of gatorade and gu and chewy things, the salt is really appreciated. Of course, I’m the one who only wants french fries (and diet pepsi!) after half/full marathons.
    As far as your race day outfit, I can’t think of anything you’re missing, but if you haven’t already, you may think about having a tube of chapstick to keep in your belt. For some reason, running in the desert makes me think of dry lips. Ha!
    Here’s to another good week of training!

    • Pretzels = great suggestion! Yes yes yes! Also, chapstick, another good call. I just got some really good R&F sunscreen chapstick that will be prefect to take with me.

  2. LT will be there too! I would suggest high socks. I’ve never run it, but LT said there was sand everywhere and I think it would be miserable to have sand in my socks. Sunscreen and LOTS of water/Gatorade. Can’t wait to hear how it goes…I wish I could be down there with you all.

    • I hope he has a good time! I’m feeling underprepared, so I’m not sure what’s in the cards for me. My goal is to finish without passing out. Kidding! Sort of…

  3. Says the pasty redhead: sunscreen!

    Is there a golf cart rental option? haha :)

    This is SO exciting! WEEEE!!!

  4. They had hot dogs on the course the year I did it.

  5. You didn’t like my barefoot approach I see. Well, TORA TORA TORA!

    • I’m scared that if I go barefoot, I can’t un-go barefoot. My feet may start to hate me, and 26.2 may become impossible. My plan is to wear shoes and carry a change of socks. I can always call an audible and switch to barefoot if it looks like that’s the way to go.

  6. So excited for you to experience Bataan! It’s truly a race of a lifetime. The aid stations had oranges and bananas, and I totally appreciated the real food. I had no stomach issues with that. You can also refill your water bottle/Camelbak at the stations too. Not to mention the volunteers are amazing.

    I ran the first 7 miles and then also mile 16 and walked the rest and finished in about 7:30. You’re way more fit than I was though (my longest run going up to it was like 11-13 miles). I wore shorts, a singlet, and a long sleeve running top which I took off during the day. I also put on sunscreen at every aid station because I have a tendency to burn like a crisp.

    I didn’t have hiking stuff either, but I found that it wasn’t really needed. I could have used gaiters for the sand pit, but I could just stop and dump out the sand.

    You’re gonna have an amazing time. The opening ceremonies were almost more than I could handle. It was incredible.

    • Elizabeth, this is great information! Thanks for sharing! Last month, I was definitely in peak condition. Today, not so much. I really dropped the ball on running (I was out of town), so I’m not really sure how the day will go. I have no time goal. I just want to enjoy myself – if that’s possible at such a hardcore race.

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