I am starting to love (again!) the lighted roads of MOA since I am trying my best to build-up my mileage for my next marathon race (MILO Marathon Elimination on July 4). I started my run at 7:30 PM along the 5.5-Km loop which I expanded to 6.5-Km loop on my second lap around the MOA Complex. However, after running for 12 kilometers, I ended my workout to greet my elite runners who were registered to run in a road race which was scheduled to start at 9:00 PM. After talking to my elite athletes, I had the time to observe what was going on at the Start/Finish & Assembly Areas of this Fun Run.
The “fun run” which is sponsored by all the Call Centers has all the “works”—loud music from a sound system; lots of booths with free products for the runners; booths for pictorials; powerful lighting systems; a rock band; photograhers; big tarpaulins of sponsors; lots of race officials & marshals; start & finish arc; video camera team that goes from one group to another group of runners to conduct interviews; cash prizes for the top winners and above all, the presence of “newbie” runners and the Kenyans!
The fun started when the registration was conducted “on site” few hours before the scheduled start of the race. The second “funny” thing is that a runner has to pay Five Hundred Pesos for a 10K race; Three Hundred Pesos for the 3K Race; and Four Hundred For the 5K Race. The participants who are employees of Call Centers had lower rates, a difference of One Hundred Pesos from the Non-Call Center participants. Since I’ve finished my 12K run before the race started, I opted to save my money and instead be at the sidelines to cheer for my elite runners and at the same time observe the conduct of the event.
It was no longer funny when the start of the race was delayed from 9:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The reason was that more runners are still registering at the booths and the race organizer had to wait until everybody had registered. Finally, the 10K race started first at 10:15 PM and after 15 minutes, the 5K runners were released. After another 10 minutes, the 3K runners which consisted of the biggest bulk of runners were off on the road. In my estimate, there were less than a 100 runners in the 10K distance; 150+ in the 5K; and almost 300 for the 3K run.
After 10 minutes that the 3K runners were released, the fastest among the 3K runners started to approach the Finish Line. I was surprised to hear from the RACE Officials asking the approaching runner “what is the race distance is he competing with?” What? I said to myself, this Race Official does not know how to distinguish the color-coded bibs given by them to their runners? WTF??? Personally, I also could hardly distinguish the color dark-green from the dark-blue color during nighttime even if the streets are lighted. (Blue bibs were for the 10K runners while the green bibs were for the 3K runners)
Well, one thing leads to another. This is a fun run where the route was not fully explained. The runners were told by the Race Organizer just to follow the directional signs and get directions from the road marshals along the route. I am sorry to say that many of the leading runners of the 10K race were lost! In the end, I even acted as a “volunteer” in reminding the 10K finishers to enter their respective “chute” so that their time will be registered.
Due to some of the technical problems encountered during the race, the awarding of winners was delayed. It was already 12 midnight when the Race Organizers finally awarded the winners. My elite Team Bald Runner members were able to place #4 in the 10K race; 1st, 3rd & 4th in the 5K race; and 4th in the 3K distance. This was their second race for the day and 3rd race for the weekend!!!
For sure, I will be going back to MOA Complex for more of my endurance runs in the evenings!