Here are the exact words from RG that he posted in one of the comments from my post about my Race Report in last Sunday’s NB Powerrace 25K Run:
Hello sir, I first ran into your blog in June. I decided to log my runs and try the 1000K challenge. I logged around 375km since June. The NB Powerace is my longest run ever 25K. I was a truly a challenge. The course layout and support (marshalls, signs, water stations) were great. It was a great feeling to make to the finish line. My wife also finished the 10K run.
Unfortunately, I was among 5 car owners whose vehicles were broken into sometime during the race. We parked at the end of street (cul-de-sac) behind the Clark Hostel and Clark Museum. I and my wife lost many valuable and important items. I reported this to the CDC police. They seemed to point the finger at the race organizer for not providing security. Another robbery victim at the police station said that he talked to a race organizer. The race organizer said that security is a police matter. Quite sad to see people pointing fingers at each other while washing their hands of responsibility.
I work at Clark and was able to borrow money from co-workers so that I could check my family out of a hotel, feed them, buy fuel and pay for toll back to Manila. The new theme/tag-line of New Balance is very appropriate for my feelings – Love-Hate running.
Hate to rain on the parade, but I think other runners should learn from this experience. Be careful where you park your car. Push organizers to improve lighting and security. There is always a better way to do things.
I’ve heard and read a lot of reports and incidents about thefts and robberies on parked cars at The Fort and other places where there were road races for the past months and these were discussed among runners in their respective e-forum and sometimes after the race.
I think I’ve heard of two separate incidents of robbery on things inside the cars parked at the Bonifacio High Street for the past few races and RG’s comment/predicament is the usual sitaution for the owners or victims—the race organizer and the Police/Security Personnel/Administrator of the place or venue of the race do not accept responsibility for your losses and they are not even liable to what had happened. Such incident ends up as part of the Police’s Statistics on Crimes Committed within the area and nothing is done about it.
What should we do to fight/catch these thieves and give a lesson to those who should be responsible for the safety of our car once we park in such places? The following are just my humble suggestions and you can add up by posting your comment/s:
1) Keep your car “clean” inside—Do not display your cellphone, digital camera, laptop, any bags, shoes, shirts/apparel, even sandals, and even towels inside you car. Place them in one bag and hide the bag inside your baggage compartment. Anything seen inside your car is a source of temptation to these thieves.
2) Keep it simple, stupid! (KISS)—Before you leave the house, wear already your “running kit” and your race bib and after the race you should go home, if possible, with the same attire most especially if you don’t expect to be at the podium. Leave your money and cellphone at home, however, bring your ID with you (just in case, you win in your age category) and hide it in your car.
3) Stay in a Hotel With Quality Service—For races outside Metro Manila, in case you want to rest overnight near the venue of the race, you should make your reservation to a hotel that speaks well of its quality service. You can leave your valuable things inside your room’s deposit box/security steel box and leave the room wearing your running kit. Put your car key inside the pocket of your running shorts.
4) Bring your “designated” driver/”security guard”—If you are running as a group, bring somebody who could be your driver and at the same time your “security guard” who will guard your vehicle.
5) Be vigilant and observant—Security is everybody’s business and we have to cooperate each other in order to arrest or catch these thieves in the act or when they are about to do their act. There is what we call “citizen’s arrest” and anybody could implement this. I believe that these thieves “pose” as legitimate runners with the proper bibs and running kits ( and that’s the reason why they are not being observed intently or suspected by the security guards) and they run the shorter distances. Once they are finished with their runs, they pretend to be going back to their cars but instead, proceed to their “targets” whose owners are still running the longer distance races. If you observe such “runner-thieves”, report to the security guards at once. If there is a term called “runner blogger”, there is also a word called ”runner thieves”, too!
6) Submit An Incident Report—Those victims of these acts must be able to file an incident report or complaint letter to the Race Organizer, Owner/Administrator of the Parking Areas, and Director-General, PNP (Attention: SAGSD-Security Agency & Guard Supervision Division, PNP) to complain on the inability of the Security Agency to provide security and protection to such installations. Such report and complaint on the inefficiency of the Security Agency will be a ground for the owner of the installation to terminate its contract with the security service provider. This will serve as a “lesson” to the security guards for them to do their job properly. You can also report the incident to the Police/PNP for documentation purposes, however, don’t expect that those stolen goods/equipment will be brought back to you.
7) Continuous Reminders and Announcements by Race Organizers Before, During & After The Race—Have you heard those continouos announcements at the airport through the Public Address System not to accept any baggage from strangers before you enter the airport or board the aircraft? In trying to imitate this, the race organizer could announce some security measures (repeatedly, too!) to warn every runner to be security concious with their belongings and be sure to double-check if their cars are locked and their things secured. The race organizer could also warn the Security Guards to do their jobs properly and efficiently during the race. Let me ask how much does a Race Organizer pay for the use of The Fort streets in every road race? So, if a Race Organizer is paying an specific amount to The Fort, the Security Provider is duty-bound to provide the best security services to each of the runners. From there, you know already who should be accountable to such incidents.
I hope such incidents of robbery in parking areas during road races will cease to exist in the near future. Remember, let us be vigilant always and cooperate with one another.
Have fun and run faster!