Suicidal: From Ironman 70.3 to AdU 100 Miles Ultramarathon

by Jonathan Dungog, a road and trail ultramarathoner, Ironman 70.3 Triathlete, Off-road Xterra Triathlete, and Sales Manager at Xlibris. And, he loves yellow!


SUICIDAL. That was term I’d been hearing when I finally decided to join the AdU 100 miles run.

I was all set up for this event until I got a slot for Ironman 2014. I had an asthma attack weeks before IM so I wasn’t able to have enough training but I decided to continue and finished the IM race. It took weeks of rest for me to recover from Cobra Ironman.

But when I finally felt I was ready for 100 miles, there was a conflict at work, which is I can only join if I hit my quota. I need to have an official leave in order for me to participate. I knew it was going to be difficult to get an approved leave so I set my mind that there will be no 100 miles for me.

Until August 16 came (just 8 days to AdU 100Miles), an email was sent informing us that the critical Saturday work was moved to the 30th. I was surprised and got excited because it means my leave will be approved since it’s no longer a very important day for us. Right after my shift I immediately ask Sir Tony and Sir Doy if I could still join. I got lucky and officially got registered.

August 17, I did 50kms for long run and the next day 10 km walk to prepare for the race. That was it, and I was all set for 100 miles. I knew it was going to be difficult. I knew it was not a joke. But I was up for the challenge.

August 22, after my 9am shift, I immediately went to north bus terminal and road a V-hire going to Tabuelan. I already set in my mind the pain that I would experience, the tears that will run through my eyes, the disappointments and the frustrations that will face me.

Race day came. I was clueless who I would run with. Or, should I do it alone or I should be with someone? I was afraid because there was a sign that I would have an asthma attack… or maybe a panic attack.

In my previous 100km race, I was able to run with Ate Grace on the last 20kms. She happened to be also joining the AdU 100 milers, so I thought of running with her. I approached her and she was okay with the idea. The tandem was amazing, when she wanted to rest or stop, I would say no but when I want to sleep or nap she would say no too. It was overall a nice run for me.

There are many times I almost cried because of the pain I felt on my foot. The chaffing on my groins and on my butt. I’d been complaining a lot, and many times I wanted to DNF specially when my garmin died at KM 118. We depended on my garmin for us to know how distribute our energy. We decided to move on without garmin until we reached the San Pedro, San Remigio area. We`d been trying to find that area, which is where the 140KM station.

We’d been pushing hard to reach that area but it seemed we’re going nowhere and it’s getting farther. We asked people we passed by, and they were giving us longer distance calculation.

So we decided instead to slow down, and preserved the remaining energy we had. We walked and played music. Until, we finally reached the KM 140. We vented out to the ladies who welcome us, we told them something was wrong on the distances. I think it’s common that when you are tired and you want to finish the game.

Last 20kms. We planned on how we would finish this. But, unfortunately we pushed at the wrong area. The last 20 Km was supposed to start kms away from the 140kms station.

Again, it was another frustration for both of us — sun was up, our caps and shades were in our Service vehicle, which was nowhere to be found.

And more frustrations: rolling roads, less water on our bottle, painful chaffing. We wanted to give up, I want to give up.

Until we realized things happened because we wanted to follow our plan. We settled, and calmed down. We spent our last money to buy bread and soda. We continued.

Ate Grace was in total pain she wanted me to go ahead, and just wait for her at the finish line. But I told her we started together, we should arrive at the finish line together.

I walked ahead of her, and pretended I was okay. But my groin was really sore. We both knew we were pretending to be okay. We’d been putting oil and petroleum, jelly on those areas that had been chaffing.

The last 10kms was a psychological game. Tired, sleepy and in pain, but we were determined to finish it.

The 100 miles (160 Kilometeres) was not a joke. It takes a lot of mental toughness, courage, patience and faith. When you believe that you can do it, it will definitely happen.

I am now ready for 260kms.

Photo by Reynan Opada

Photo by Reynan Opada

Featured Photos from Reynan Opada.

2 Responses to Suicidal: From Ironman 70.3 to AdU 100 Miles Ultramarathon

  1. DownFace 26 August, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    wow it;s really amazing how determination and persistence can push the boundaries of the human body to it’s full potential…i salute you Jonathan Dungog! go IGAT!


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