“Don’t Waste Your Strength “Whining”, Just Finish The Race”

6:00 AM 15 February 2009/Power Run 15K/10K/5K @ SM Mall of Asia & PICC Grounds

Yesterday, I posted my predictions about today’s road race. Actually, I forgot to mention the lack of kilometer markings for the said race and instead posted a corrected version of my post in my blogger site (www.baldrunner.blogspot.com). I made those predictions to warn other runners to expect that this race will not be as perfect as they wanted to be. Except for the “perfect weather” for the race which I did not specifically stated, although I was expecting a hot, sunny and humid on the last half of the race, all the things I’ve predicted about the road race came true!

The Good

1) Simple Program & Punctual Start—This is what I like with road races managed by MX Sports. The Emcee just simply announced the remaining minutes before the race starts and repeatedly informed the runners that the race starts at exactly 6:00AM. The race started at exactly 6:00AM as registered in my GF 305 watch with a simple countdown from the Emcee and a simple “fire” sound from a track pistol.

2) No Problems & Hassles During Registration—I registered last Saturday and it was so easy. I observed also that the race organizer was accepting the registration of participants minutes before the start of the race within the assembly area. However, I was not able to get a hard copy of the road race route which I expected to be a part of my race packet. I depended much on the race route published by runner-bloggers and takbo.ph download copy of Jinoe. By looking at the race route, I was already expecting some “chaos & confusion” during the said race.

3) Nice Emcee & Sound System—So far, I like the way the Emcee delivered his message in order to inform the runners about the start of the 10K & 15K races. The sound system was also pleasing to my ears and the background music made me sway and stretch my body and legs.

4) Fast Course—This is a flat and fast course and I predicted a PR best time to the students (“speed” training) and members of the Team Bald Runner in their respective road race.

The Bad

All my predictions were true! There was “chaos, confusion and lots of whining” along the road from the runners. Running two loops at the PICC Complex created the first confusion among the runners. When the runners were back to the MOA Grounds after coming from the PICC Complex and Macapagal Highway, another confusion occurred where I saw two top contenders for the 15K were lost. Instead of being ahead of us, they were actually going opposite to our direction. It was too late when they realized that they were on the wrong road as they joined us. On the last stretch of the race, all the runners were complaining about the extra distance they had to run.

Some of the runners were confused as most of the roads at the MOA Grounds did not have road marshalls. One runner who was mad about the situation, when he saw me coming, shouted and requested me to write a very long critique for this race. Another runner even shouted, “we just follow Bald Runner and for sure we’ll not get lost to the finish line”. Hehehe! I really like that!  Another runner would always shout to every Security Guard and Road Marshall manning in some of the intersections that their race was confusing and he was complaining of the high cost for the registration fee. A lady runner (who was running third overall in the women’s category) ran beside me and she was also loudly cursing for the confusion and lots of turns along the way. I spoke to her in a nice manner and said, “Don’t Waste Your Energy Complaining, Focus Your Mind On Finishing the Race With More Strength”. Another runner who ran beside me even suggested for me to organize a road race and bring back those road races I had conducted when I was the Chairman of the DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Half-Marathon Road Races. Thanks, dude! You can experience how the Bald Runner conducts a road race if you join the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race this coming 05 April 2009.

Since I’ve predicted those things that will go wrong on the day of the race, I just concentrated my mind in finishing the race. Just when I’ve expected to have a dash on the last 700 meters before the Finish Line as my GF 305 registered a distance covered at 14.3 kilometers, a road marshall directed us to turn right to a road where the 15K runners had to get their 3rd and last straw at the end of this road and then back to the road that leads us to the Finish Line. I was sorry to frustrate the lady runner beside me when I told her that we still have 700 meters left to go before the Finish Line.

No pictures of me (running along the route) taken by my staff. Even my staff who had been taking my pictures during road races was also confused about the route of the race. Because of those so many turns and roads we had to go through inside the MOA Grounds, my staff was not able to locate me and decided to just wait for me at the Fnish Line.

The Ugly

1)  Longer Distance—I predicted that these race would lack a hundred meters for the supposed 15K distance or at least, accurate to the nearest 50-100 meters, plus or minus. However, my GF 305 registered a distance of  16.8 kilometers! We ran an extra distance of 1.8 kilometers.

2) Runners Competing With Vehicles On the Route—I thought I would not experience what other runners had experienced before in road intersections where pubilic utility jeeps would just cross your path and stop infront of you. I exactly experienced that kind of situation at the vicinity of the “Globe” fixture infront of MOA. There was no road marshall on that particular intersection and the driver of the jeep “competed and raced” with us to cross the intersection and made a quick U-turn. Instead of making a quick U-turn, the driver simply stopped and his jeep blocked our way few inches from us. It could had been a case of a “runner bumping a jeepney vehicle” and not the other way around if we did not stop! Sometimes, such case distracts one’s momentum and pace. 

3) No “Freebies” At The Finish Line—After finishing the race, I was trying to look for bottled water or sports drinks at the vicinity of the Finish Line but my staff informed me that there was no water or drinks available. I did not see any “Certificates” being given to the runners at they complete the race.

4) “Donate A Shoe” Booth Got Bumped-Off (Again!)—While I was busy distributing the donated shoes to those runners with “old and tattered” shoes, our “makeshift” booth was surrounded by Security Guards of DJA Security Agency of MOA for the simple reason that the race organizer was following/implementing a “policy” where my booth was not allowed to operate in the said area. I really did not understand why “these people” would question the presence of my booth even if our intentions/objectives are clear and  noble (to help other people) and that we don’t earn any income from this advocacy. Hey, guys, your actuations will not stop us from pursuing our advocacy (even without media exposure) as we have plans of going to the suburbs and provinces around Metro Manila in order to help other runners. To the Race Organizer, if we made some “lapses” or did not coordinate with you in our desire to distribute those donated shoes we received from our benefactors, we are sorry for not coordinating with you but a simple consideration for allowing us to distribute those shoes would had been a very positive points for you. Guys, my project had been around for the past one year and if you don’t know about this “Donate A Shoe”-thing, you probably do not read or visit this blog. Well, if you want to improve the way you conduct your races and know the “voice” and feedbacks of your paying runners, you better start visiting/reading this runner’s blog. 

5) Quality and Smell of Air—The quality and smell of the air each runner breath while running is very poor.

6) Lastly, very expensive registration fee—I usually hear this feedback from the runners beside me during the race. I really don’t mind the cost of the registration fee if the race organizer provides safety along the route, abundant clean drinking water, and for the benefit of a certain “cause” to help the less-fortunate ones or for some “noble” programs/projects. 

The Best

1) Thanks For the VIP Treatment—As I entered the Starting Area, runners came to me for “photo-ops” and I received more greetings from the other runners as we waited for the race to start. As I was running, more runners would greet me whether I was trying to overtake them or while the runners would pass on me or while these runners were staying/running beside me. Guys, thanks again for those greetings while we are on the road race. I hope my “hand wave” and simple words of “thanks”, “banat!” and “malapit na ang finish line” to you would be enough to acknowledge your greetings. As a matter of request though, please stop calling me “General”, just simply call me “BR”, “Bald Runner”, or “Sir Jovie”.

2) PR Best Time For 15K—My running friends would always ask me when will I stop registering a new PR every time I join a road race. I always answer them with a smile and tell them that I am doing my running workouts regularly and prepare for a marathon or an ultramarathon race to come. My last 15K road race best time was 1:14:43 hours during the VSO Bahaginan 15K Run held last November 2008 at The Fort. For this morning’s 15K Race, I finished with a time of 1:20:03 hours with a distance of 16.8 kilometers as registered in my GF 305. The average pace was 4:45 minutes per kilometer which was within my target goal for the race. By simply deducting my elapsed time for the excess of 1.8 kilometers, my unofficial finish time for the 15K race would had been 1:11:14 hours which is an improvement from my VSO run by almost 3:30 minutes.

Lessons Learned

1) “Speed” Training by Team Bald Runner works well and slowly adapting to my body capability.

2) There is a need to continue with my supplementary weight training and have my gym workouts at least twice a week.

3) There is no “secret formula” for runners to improve on their finish times as they grow older. As the famous Dr George Sheehan would say that running is an “experiment of one”, I am still on the process of  “experimenting” on how I could improve my finish times as I add more year/s to my age. Since I don’t follow any training program, a combination of speed, endurance and hardwork are the key ingredients to my preparations. Whether it is on the training, nutrition, medicine, supplementary weight training, Cross Fit, P90X, and mental positive attitude, what is important is to allow the body to adapt and recover from training and actual road race competitions. 

4) Stay Cool & Relaxed but Fast in Road Races. I have already an inkling on what to expect during the road race through my predictions. I have already conditioned myself that the things that I’ve experienced during the Resolution Challenge which was held last month would happen again because of my impression that the race will be managed by the same race organizer. After running for the first few kilometers, I already knew that my predictions were coming true and just maintained and focused my efforts in coming up with another best finish time for the 15K distance.

To the members of the Team Bald Runner, congratulations on your respective PR best time on the said race. Everybody is getting faster!!!


26 thoughts on ““Don’t Waste Your Strength “Whining”, Just Finish The Race”

  1. bugobugo

    thank you for your company and words of encouragement at today’s race sir.

    it is just too bad that my first official race at the moa grounds would be ruined by the confusion dealt by the race course.i was there listening when all the whiners were complaining about the distances,etc.tempted as i was to join the “complaint choir”, i deemed it wiser to use my energy instead for the extra kilometers of the race.with relatively satisfactory results fortunately.


  2. At the end of the day, its still a race. Forget the bad and the ugly. You’re title is SPOT ON! The only thing that should matter to us, runners, is if our training, sweat and hard work has paid off or not. Have we chipped off precious seconds, or even minutes off out PR’s. This is what a true warrior should always be on the lookout for.

    Congratulations for the PR! and all the guys doing their respective speed work as well!


    1. kingofpots

      lester, we missed you for the past races and speed training. we hope to see you soon. yup, just be cool and try to beat the clock at the finish line.


    1. kingofpots

      jonas & shiela, thanks for the VIP treatment..hehehe!..i know most of the other runners would also like to chat with me and i try my best to be friendly by just smiling and nodding at them. you have a nice blog, too!


  3. sfrunner

    Sir Jovie, sorry about some of the things that have happened with the runners at the said race. Over the last several years here in SF, I’ve weeded out what are good races and what aren’t. I’m glad that you, Sir Felipe on his blog and some others are doing this. I’ve started doing this on my blogs as well although I haven’t yet devised a system of doing it. I applaud you, Felipe and others for this.

    Because of the nasty weather we had in SF today, I didn’t run a scheduled race because of some flooded areas on the course that I was aware of about six hours before. Instead, I did an 8K workout and jumped in a local 5K race that cost $35 which is expensive for a 5K! I did get the workout needed.

    Hope all is well with you and Team Bald Runner. Take care and have a good week ahead.


    1. kingofpots

      wayne, thanks for those kind words. there is a need for a feedback mechanism most especially if customer satisfaction is the gauge of one’s services. all the runners are paying runners and they want what is worth for the money they spent. i hope that race management here will improve through our critique and feedbacks.


  4. sundaywarrior

    Hi Sir Jovie, it’s a different story naman for some of us, we were directed to turn left going to MOA instead of the U-turn as what you and the others did and we ended up running short by almost 1K, my GF 305 registered 14.14kms at the line, oh well, anyway thanks for your posts Sir..


  5. m8parco

    I was hoping the new race organizer would be , well organize. MOA would have been great since its a flat and hopefully fast race course.

    My one race for Feb will be next week at the Asian Hospital run. See you there!

    Regards Mark & Tiffin


    1. kingofpots

      mark & tiffin, managing a 10K or 5K run in that area is not a problem. however, adding another 5K in order to have a 15K race provided more problems to the runners. the bataan 102K participants will be joining the 52K “test run” this coming sunday and we’ll miss you, guys!


  6. nvllanora1975

    Hi Sir Jovie,

    Good to see you at the race. I completely agree with you not to whine about the confusions during the race. I even saw some runners who took a shortcut out in the open, claiming and whining they got lost and already ran longer anyway. What does it do them then??
    As for me, I focused on my pace, in spite of all the confusions, and I got a good result. Sir, I finished the race in 1:16:35 in my watch 🙂 And even though I ran a longer course, I know I got it pretty accurate because it’s the same as your route. Sir, I ran across you in those turnaround points. It’s the pace (time relative to distance) that would tell whether we improve or not anyway, and not the time alone.
    It’s always been helpful and useful to refer to your blog, Sir.
    Thank you.



    1. kingofpots

      nolan, you are right. whether the race distance is longer or not, what counts most is your average pace for the race. at present, i am glad i could maintain an average pace of 4:30 mins/km for 10K; 4:45 mins/km for the 15K to Half-Marathon; and hopefully, maintain a 5:30 mins/km pace for the marathon, so that I can finish my next marathon in less than 3:40 hours. thanks for reading this blog regularly.


  7. rayabe

    Hi BR!

    The takbo.ph Race Calendar-Details entry on the Power Run contains the ff: “PATAFA Sanctioned Event” and “Race Routes are also measured” What/where did things go wrong?

    Did you know that you have a gift of seeing into the future? Your predictions came true 😉

    Congrats on your PR and TmBR’s overall performance!


    1. kingofpots

      ray, i think the race organizer lacked the necessary number of road marshals which should had been deployed in key areas and there were parts of the route which were not supposed to be covered by the participants. an excess of 1.8 kilometers is too much for them to commit a mistake. if you really know the prevailing situation and history, more or less you can predict the outcome of a certain event. it is a matter of choosing “two sides”—black or white…true or false…yes or no…approved or disapproved…pro or anti..etc. thanks!


  8. jasondelarama

    Hi Sir Jovie,

    I had a great race since i got a 15km PR, I ran beside you and tailing from behind all the way to the finish. My goal was to ran beside you all the way to the finish, but finished tailing you. I was followed by a female runner. Enjoyed reading your blog. I’m hoping that MX sports would read your review of the race and also they would learn. I would also suggest that they would provide km markers that are color-coded for the 5, 10, 15km runners and turn around markers also color coded for 5, 10, 15km runners.

    This is Jason, avid blog reader of your blog


    1. kingofpots

      hey, jason, i remember you as the tall guy who was running beside me at the PICC Complex and before the finish line. you are a strong runner despite your height and built. however, i know you will improve on your running form, endurance, speed, and PR finish times because you are still young and full of enthusiasm. i am inviting you to join our speed training at the ULTRA Oval Track if you have the time. thanks for being a regular reader/visitor of this blog.


  9. mpp650

    Hi BR! I was trying to follow your pace as well. But at around km10, I gave up! You were just too strong and consistent for me, haha. I think I finished a good few minutes behind you. Means there is still a lot of work to do. But the good thing was that because I was trying to follow you, I ended up with a new PR which was around 3 minutes faster than my previous one!

    Keep running sir! You inspire a lot…



    1. kingofpots

      melvin, congratulations on your new PR for the 15K race. you can join our “speed” training at the ultra oval track and i guarantee that i’ll be the one trying to catch up with your pace in future road races. good luck & keep on running faster.


    1. kingofpots

      thanks, bards. sometimes, it is very tempting to run on weekend races even if you think that some “lapses” will happen during the race. but being a “hardcore” like us, it is already in our blood to compete with ourselves and bring out the “warrior” spirt in us during road races. see you at the ultra!


  10. greaseboy

    Hi BR, we’ve already had several “PATAFA sanctioned” races and from what I hear and read from your race reviews, they turned out to be disappointments. I think what matters most is a “good” race organizer to come up with a successful race.


    1. kingofpots

      gb, to tell you the truth, i’ve volunteered my services to PATAFA in order to correct the “complaints” i am getting from the runners but i could not understand why and how this sports federation on athletics could not act on my “inputs” in order to correct, if not, improve on the conduct of road races in Metro Manila and other places in the country. however, there are road organizers who are already “veterans & experts” in their field and these people positively reacts on complaints of the runners and they keep on improving. a race organizer only needs to provide the following for a 100% customer satisfaction—fast registration, safety for the runners, clean & potable water, and efficient watch/timer & fast results.


  11. witchkitty

    sorry to hear bout the bump off on your donate a shoe … 😦
    Social rules are sometimes stupid … its pure hypocrisy on some people

    Still hats off to you 🙂


  12. Pingback: Races I Joined This Year 2009 « Phil 4:13 runner

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