Go catch up with the Bataan Freedom Run
We missed helping announce the takeoff of Bataan Freedom Run 2017, held on April 2. Thank God, it’s not really that late.
There’s still the Mariveles-San Fernando-Capas Freedom Trail on April 10 to 11, tracing the historic Bataan Death March route.
Both the Freedom Run and the Mariveles-San Fernando-Capas event have been slated for this year’s commemoration of the 75th year of the Bataan Death March and Philippine Veterans Week.
Now on its fourth year, the Bataan Freedom Run still has the marathon at 42 km for serious marathon runners, plus the 21km, 10km, 5km for the running enthusiasts, and the 1km run for kids, and for pets.
This year winners will receive cash prizes and medals, while finishers of the 42km marathon leg of the run will have a finisher’s medal and a Bataan Freedom Run Finisher shirt.
“It’s one of those few race events that caters to a wide spectrum of runners, from the serious marathoners, to the enthusiasts and even to the kids and the families’ pets. Our aim is to bring the whole family together in a meaningful event that remembers and honors our Filipino and American Heroes who fought for freedom during the Battle for Bataan,” said Mike Villa-Real, Head of Veterans Bank’s Corporate and Consumer Relations Division.
He added: “This year, on the occasion of the 75th year of the Death March, we now have the new 2017 Mariveles-San Fernando-Capas Freedom Trail, which traverses the actual Death March route that covers three provinces. This major event links the Bataan Freedom Run and the Capas Freedom March, organized by the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and AAP Travel—the organizer of the Capas Freedom March.”
The Freedom Trail has three major components: the 160km ultramarathon for individual and relay categories (8 or 16 person team), the bike or “Padyak para sa Kagitingan,” and the big motorbikes (400cc and up) or Freedom Ride. The Bike and Motorbike events are broken into 40-km legs with historical stops along the Death March route, where reenactors and historians would give the participants a taste of the historic events that occurred along the route.
“Both events are aimed at raising awareness about the Bataan Death March, that it is not and is more than a defeat. We were actually winning at the Battle of the Pockets in Abucay and the Battle of the Points in Mariveles; and among our Southeast Asian neighbors, we were the only people who resisted the invaders to the point that their invasion timetable wasn’t accomplished and they had to send reinforcements from abroad. Only in the Philippines!” Villa-Real explained.
Since 2014, the Bataan Freedom Run is held in honor of the thousands of Filipino and American World War II veterans who endured the Bataan Death March 74 years ago and will be one of the highlights of this year’s celebration of Philippine Veterans Week. The route for the various distances follows the historic route taken by Filipino and American prisoners-of-war in Bataan province in 1942 when they were forced to march by their Japanese captors after the fall of Bataan and Corregidor.
“These two massive events would not have been possible without the support of our partners. We are thankful to Bataan Governor Abet Garcia, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, the LGUs of Mariveles, Balanga; San Fernando, Capas; History Channel, and our sponsors.”
Proceeds from both events will be used to fund the restoration and maintenance of World War II Historical Markers including the Death March Kilometers along the route.
The Bataan Freedom Run and the Freedom Trail are presented by Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) and copresented by History Channel Asia, in coordination with the Provincial Government of Bataan and Pampanga, the City Government of Balanga and San Fernando, the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), and with Without Limits as race consultant.
For more information, please visit the Facebook pages of Bataan Freedom Run and Freedom Trail or contact (02) 2637768.