Haide Acuña finishes 2nd among women, 30th overall, in Bataan Death March Memorial ultra

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Monday, January 30, 2012


ONE sweet redemption will seal her second stint in a grueling 160-kiloemeter race.

Not only did Atty. Haide Acuña make it within the cutoff time, she also crossed the finish line as the second female finisher in the Bataan Death March Memorial Run 160K, which started from Mariveles, Bataan and ended in Capas, Tarlac.

The lone Cebuana runner finished the race in 28 hours and 42 minutes and was second out of the six female starters. She was also 30th overall from more than 70 brave hearts in the ultra run.

“It was a sweet redemption. I never expected to be on the podium,” said Acuña, who took a leave from her work at ABS-CBN to train for the ultramarathon.

She beat her previous time of 31 hours and 8 minutes and also made a personal best in the 102K in 16 hours and 52 minutes from 17 hours and 22 minutes.

And to help her on target, Acuña kept recalling the Bible verse, “Those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.”

At kilometer 36-40, she was the last in the pack of runners until she reached 50K, where she slowly overtook some runners.

“It’s the secret. Once you go to the peak of 160K, dili gyud muhunat sa primero,” said Acuña.

She was running third among women at kilometer 84 until the female runner who was in the lead dropped out from the race. There were only three female finishers.

“Wala koy major injuries. Training works gyud. I was ready,” she said.

Acuña said she started her training for the race in March last year.

She also credited the support of her crew, husband Major Eugene Cabusao and pacer Ken Alonte, for helping her finish the race.

Alonte was supposed to be one of the participants but decided to withdraw and instead volunteered to be her pacer from kilometer 102 until the end of the race.

“It played a part that I am well-trained. We were unbeatable from kilometer 102 to 160K,” she said.

A proud member of the Cebu Ultra Runners Club, she said she wore the team’s shirt after reaching the finish line.

“In a way, I also owe this victory to the Cebu running community for the prayers and well-wishes sent to me for this race,” she said.

Other Cebuano finishers were Meljohn Tezon and Paolo Osmeña.

Brother Carlo Bacalla did not finish and stopped at kilometer 118 with nine hours to go before the 30-hour cutoff.

“I overdid it from kilometer 94 to 102 and burnt out,” said Bacalla.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 30, 2012.

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