Exclusive to the Filipino Reporter

Gerald Tabios (pictured above) of Elmhurst, Queens, N.Y. crossed the finish line at the 2014 Badwater Ultramarathon 135 Wednesday morning in California.

His official time was 44:40:40.

According to Wikipedia, the Badwater Ultramarathon describes itself as “the world’s toughest foot race.”

It is a 135-mile (217 km) course starting at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California’s Death Valley, and ending at an elevation of 8,360 feet (2,548 m) at Whitney Portal, the trailhead to Mount Whitney.

It takes place annually in mid-July, when the weather conditions are most extreme and temperatures over 120°F (49°C), even in the shade, are not uncommon.

Consequently, very few people — even among ultramarathoners — are capable of finishing this grueling race.

This year, runners came from 24 countries.

Two from Japan and one from India did not finish the race.

A total of 12 runners did not finish.

The Filipino Reporter was able to reach Tabios, 44, after the ultramarathon runner and his team had rested somewhere in California after the race on July 23.

A list of questions were e-mailed to Tabios.

The following are his answers:

FR: How do you feel now that you finished the race?

TABIOS: I feel elated despite of physical pain.

FR: What was the most difficult part of the race?

TABIOS: The most difficult part of the race when I reached Darwin at mile 91 and the temperature felt like more than a 100 degrees fahrenheit. My legs were already beaten up after scaling up Horseshoe Meadow and Cerro Gordo mountains.

FR: What is your message to other Filipinos who want to join a similar ultramarathon?

TABIOS: Start with short distance and your body will soon be adopting to longer distance then.

FR: I heard you ran for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. That’s very nice of you. How can people donate under your name?

TABIOS: You just have to visit

FR: Will you run in the New York City Marathon in November?

TABIOS: Yes. It will be my 11th New York City Marathon in a row.

FR: Other plans? Whom do you want to thank for your successful run?

TABIOS: Number one, my wife Donna who’s been my constant crew during my entire duration of the race. From pre-race planning and up to the last minute. Also, I would like to thank my brother Glen Tabios who purposely flew from the Philippines to crew for this race, and to our friend Kat Bermudez who volunteered to crewed and paced especially the climb to Cerro Gordo Mountain which is a steep and challenging route.

FR: Other plans?

TABIOS: Nothing extreme races for now but as always just keep on running.

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