Critique—The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: 2009 PSE Bull Run Road Race
1) This is the first road race for the year 2009 and it took at least a month of rest for the runners (not for me!) to enjoy the Holidays and long vacation. Being the first road race for the year, it brought excitement to the regular and competitive runners to be back on the road again and try to assess their level of competency in running. For most of the runners, they want to shed off some calories and fats which they accumulated during the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.
2) The best thing that happened in this road race was a 100% “customer satisfaction” among the participants of the “speed training” at the ULTRA Oval Track who became automatically as members of the Team Bald Runner. Each of the runner/member attained their respective PR best times! Even runners who were exposed to only one to weeks of training had improved their finish times.
3) I am glad to find out, according to the data from my GF 305, that the distance of the 10K road race registered a very accurate reading of 10.0K. I think, this is the second best thing that happened in this race as it is the first 10K race that I have joined for the past one year to be the most accurate.
4) There were Lots of Water Stations along the route but I did not see a Water Station at the Start/Finish Line.
5) At last, it was nice to see the Generals of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with their Officers and Men led by no less than the Chief of Staff AFP, General Alexander Yano, who is also a runner and athlete, joined the said road race. It was nice also to see the Philippine Army’s Biking Club composed of the Officers and Enlisted Personnel which was revived by its Commanding General, Lt General Victor “Bong” Ibrado. This is the same Biking Club that I organized when I was the Commanding Officer of the Counter-Intelligence Unit of the Philippine Army during the early 90’s. Did anybody see any contingent from the Philippine National Police?
6) The taste of “hot pandesal” being distributed by Melvyn of the Fort Striders Club from one runner to another was really a “new thing” to me in a road race at the finish area.
7) The Project Donate A Shoe received a total of 28 pairs of slightly “used” shoes after the race. A separate post will be published on the details and pictures with the donors.
1) Lack of Road Marshalls—or the Absence of Road Marshalls. After running 50 meters from the Starting Line, I knew that there was something wrong! There were no road marshalls on the street intersections and vehicles would freely and abruptly cut into the runner’s way. It became worst when the runners were along Lawton Avenue and Bayani Road. Runners were seen running side by side with vehicles on these streets/roads.
2) Narrow Street For Starting/Finish Line—The race oganizer selected a street at The Fort which is very narrow for a lot of runners and walkers. The road where road races at The Fort usually starts and finish (last year) should had been an appropriate choice for a bigger crowd. The 3K Walkers almost filled the entire width of the Finish Line and that I had to shout at the walkers who suddenly crossed my path as I was sprinting towards the Finish Line.
3) No Digital Clock—I did not see any digital clock at the Starting/Finish Line. I have to rely on my GF 305 for my finish time.
4) Race Organizer/s Not Identified—It would be nice if the runners know the “faces” of the road organizers or at least, know the name of the outfit that organized this road race. It seems that this road organizer is already notorious for not being able to look for the safety and welfare of the “paying” runners and walkers. I have a suspicion that I know these people. I’ve seen the Director-General of PATAFA on the side of the starting line before the start of the 10K race but I just saw him there standing with his arms crossed on his chest. I just surmised that the race was sanctioned by PATAFA or the course distance was measured by PATAFA.
5) No Need For Entertainers—In road races, there is no need for singers and other entertainers after the race while waiting for the winners to be announced and awarded. The race organizers should have positioned these entertainers along the route of the race. Guys, this is not a concert, this is a road race!
1) Lack of Registration Efficiency—I’ve heard complaints of registered runners being promised of their race bibs to be picked up only to find out that their race bibs were not yet ready. These runners sent their respective drivers and staffs to get their race bibs for almost four times without getting positive results. The announced outlets for registration had been closed a week before the day of the race. The race numbers for the 10K race have so many color codings which may confuse the other runners if they are really in the right road race. In short, from the the race bib alone, it already showed how confused and inefficient the race organizers were in doing their jobs.
2) Prints of the Finisher’s Shirt—I dont’l like the quality of the print “PSE BULL RUN 2009” infront of the shirt. Anyway, I’ll donate this shirt.
3) No Philippine Flag, No Singing of the National Anthem—I suggest that if there is no Philippine Flag on the stage, we should not be singing the National Anthem.
4) EMCEE and Public Address System— I hate the EMCEE! There is no need for a loud Public Address System with all those powerful speakers directed towards the runners at the “corral” area. A “bullhorn” should have served its purpose. The PSE authorities should had simply “ring the bell” continouosly instead of the Emcee shouting “Ready, Set, Go” at the same time with the ringing of the bell. Seriously speaking, I did not hear the ringing of the bell!
5) No Certificate of Completion—I did not receive any. Did you receive one?
6) Nice Dining Tables inside Tents—Have you observed/seen those dining tables with white cloth covers inside those tents lined up at the sides of the Stage? I wonder who were invited to dine on those nicely prepared tables. In a road race, everybody is treated equally whether you are rich, VIP, or not. The race organizers should have simply spent for the road marshalls but not for those dining tables and foods to be served. Runners, after finishing a 10K race, would simply need a bottle of water and a Gatorade and their day is done. Guys, this is not a marathon (42K/26M) where you need to eat after the race! How I wished PSE should have served boiled bananas, boiled eggs, and “hot pandesal” for the runners and guests.
7) Presence of Walkers—There is always a problem on the race route when the race organizers allow walkers to be mixed with the runners on the same route. As soon as I reached Lawton Avenue after coming from Bayani Road, the route became clogged with a lot of walkers who almost occupied the lane for the race. I had to run in between these walkers and sometimes stayed at the edge of the lane while making sure that I am not being sideswept by a vehicle on the other lane. As I mentioned earlier, these walkers also clogged the finishing chutes/finishing line.
Overall Rating for this Race—-70%