The first time that I attended a “media launching” of a running event was when I was personally invited by Jinoe of takbo.ph for the Kenny Roger’s Urbanite Run. I really enjoyed that scheduled meeting as it was done in the evening at the KR’s branch at SM Megamall and the fact that most of the invited guests were the “runner-bloggers” and not one from the media sports reporters in daily broadsheets and tabloids. Although I was not impressed with the punctuality of the presentation or briefing, I had a good time talking and exchanging ideas with the other “runner-bloggers”. It was in this event that I personally reminded the Race Organizers to “beef-up” the security services during the race as preventive measure for car thefts or “breaking-in” of parked cars of the runners. The reasoning that I presented was the fact that we had incidents of thefts during daytime races and there is a greater possibility of “bad things” to happen during nighttime. I am glad that the Race Organizers heeded to my “reminder” and so far, there were no reports of thefts or “break-ins” in parked cars during and after the race.
Two weeks ago, I received an e-mail inviting me to attend the media launching of the 1st Quezon City International Marathon. I fondly recalled that this was informally known by runners to be conducted on the first few months of this year. To be exact, it was supposed to be conducted for the month of February but for reasons I don’t know, it was rescheduled indefinitely. It was only when Rene Villarta aka JAZZRUNNER made a post in his blog that this race will push through in October of this year.
The media launching was scheduled at 8:00 AM of 18 August at Max’s Restaurant inside the Quezon City Circle Park and I was at the venue at 7:55 AM. I was the first registered “runner-blogger” and the first one to take a seat in a row of tables prepared for a lunch! Finally, the event started at 9:35 AM which was the time I was scheduled to meet another person within the vicinity of the venue. I was glad the person whom I was supposed to meet joined the event and was seated in my table. So, while I was listening to the speakers of the event, I was also talking to a writer and author of a book who wrote a history of the Bataan Death March. I guess, this is what they call “multi-tasking”.
So, what are the things that I have observed during the launching of the 1st QC International Marathon? To mention a few, the following were my observations:
1) Why do you have to set a “media launching” at 8:00 AM when most of the guests will arrive late and the food prepared was for a lunch? When will we ever learn to be punctual to a scheduled event?
2) This time, there were more media sports reporters than the “runner-bloggers” who attended the event. I can only count, at least, five (5) runner-bloggers as compared to almost 20 reporters & photographers. I think most of the “runner-bloggers” were in their offices or respective work.
3) It is my observation that these media sports reporters have “negative” impression on the capability of the Race Organizer to conduct a Marathon Event as big as this, based from the questions they presented during the Open Forum.
4) Most of the media sports reporters/photographers and other attendees were asking for “freebies” or pack of “freebies” to advertise the event from the Race Event Sponsors. It was nice to see those “personnel & staff” during the event who were wearing those “blue & yellow” 1st QC International Marathon T-shirts as they look to be the Route Marshals for the race. I did not intend to ask “freebies” for this event as I immediately left the place for another meeting after it was adjourned.
In the afternoon of this day (Tuesday), I received a txt message and an e-mail from the people of SMART inviting me to attend the “media launching” of the 2nd SMART Subic International Marathon (SIM) on the following day at 10:30 AM at Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati City.
I brought the two (2) coaches of the Elite Team Bald Runner with me for the said “media launching”. I was impressed! Arriving at the venue at exactly 10:30 AM, the Boardroom was already filled with lots of media reporters & guests and it seemed I was the one already late for the said event. In a few seconds, the program started and presentations were made about the conduct of the SMART Subic International Marathon.
What were the salient points and my observations during the “media launching” of the SMART Subic International Marathon? Many! And they are the following:
1) Most important, it was my first time to meet Tanya Lara of Philippine Star in person as I was seated next to her!
2) I finally met Chuck Crisanto and his wife, Joyce of Joy Rojas’ Takbong Pangarap’s Run Across America. Although, Chuck Crisanto sent me a very long Comment on this blog about his answer on the allegations from Mat Macabe about his actuations during the early part of Joy’s run, we discussed more about the condition of Joy Rojas during the run. How I wish I could post the Comment of Mr Chuck Crisanto on this blog but I will let him settle everything in the presence of Joy Rojas & Mat Macabe about their respective allegations to one another. I was surprised to see him and his wife here in the country as I know Joy Rojas and Mat Macabe are still running towards New York City. In the end, I had a nice time talking to the couple during our lunch.
3) It was an “eye-opener” for me when Mr Patrick “Pato” Gregorio of SMART SPORTS delivered his message on their Corporate’s “vision & mission” to help in realizing our country’s “first Gold Olympic” Medal and it is through this Marathon Event and other running events that SMART could be a great “catalyzer” and supporter in our Sports Excellence Program. I did not leave the hall not until I was personally introduced to Mr “Pato”. I hope SMART would also involve themselves in a “mass-based” running events just like what MILO is presently doing in order to discover “new talents” in Athletics.
4) The conduct of the SMART SIM is a partnership with the Philippine National Police in their advocacy to reform the police “scalawags” through running. I really appreciate the contributions made by Chief Superintendent Samuel Tucay, who is also a passionate runner, and considered as the driving force in this worthy advocacy of the PNP while he was in the active service, specifically when he was the Chief of the PNP’s Training Command.
5) I was able to meet the people behind the E-ventologists, Inc which is the Race Event Manager/Director of the Marathon Race. I have yet to find out a significant road race event that these people had handled in the past. As I left the Boardroom, one of the personnel of the Race Manager gave me 2 pieces of hand towel as part of the “freebies”.
Since I was not invited during the “media launching” of the Philippine International Marathon for Pasig River, I could not tell what really happened but based from posts I read among bloggers, I’ve gathered some negative feedbacks already like the route of the race (instead of a schematic drawing of the streets, the route was simply a list of streets where the runners will take) and others.
In these media launching or media lunch events as part in the marketing of Marathon or Road Races, the foods were great with lots of “freebies”. But sorry to say, I was not able to eat much and get as many “freebies” I would want. I just hope that such expenses or costs for these PR events will be charged to the different sponsors and not from the runners!
So, starting on the 11th of October up to 8th of November, a span of 4 weeks, our runners have a choice of four (4) Marathon Races, 3 Marathon Races in Metro Manila and 1 Marathon Race in Pampanga to Olongapo/Subic Freeport.
I will post a separate assessment and comparison of these Marathon Races in my future blog entry.
To all the runners, good luck and train well!