Dr. Ralph Emerson Hibbs had succumbed to malaria. The disease that he had seen a thousand times on
other thousands of cases of malaria that had run rampant through the U.S. Soldiers. Dr. Hibbs was serving as the 2nd Battalion of the 31st Infantry Regiment surgeon.
The attack on the the Philippines began the same day as the Pearl Harbor attack, December 8, 1941…due to the international date line the calendar shows them to be on different days. By Christmas 1942, Washington had already deemed Bataan as a lost cause and soon President Roosevelt demanded that the Supreme Commander Douglas MacArthur to withdraw…and he did…to Australia. Feeling the neglect, the soldiers would chant:
We’re the battling bastards of
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam
No aunts, no uncles, no nephews,no nieces,
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces,
…and nobody gives a damn.
For 4 months the battle raged on
It’s hard to fathom a tropical, humid, disease ridden jungle when it’s 11 degrees outside. Yet at 0615 on this past Saturday, that’s what the most recent cold front offered
Last week after putting in a total of 11.5 miles with pack, I weighed it Sunday evening. The scale responded that I was freaking crazy right after it indicated that the pack weight was 40 lbs….5 lbs over the required limit for the Bataan Memorial Marathon. I have left it at 40 lbs. My body feels good so let’s train heavy!
The pack seemed to be less cumbersome than the previous week. Running with it is a complete adjustment. All my core work of the past 2 months has completely paid off and only the shoulders are a bit sore after a back to back days running weekend. It’s hard for me to commence with any speed with all that mass on my back. I feel nimble of foot…but a 14 minute mile is about as best I can muster on a fairly benign surface. The heart rate never gets to high. I continue with core work at least 4 days a week and continue with speed work as well.
(Historical accounts derived from the book Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides)