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“Before you Register, Know the Race Organizer”

12 05 2009

After reading the comments of my readers on my previous posts, I am suggesting the following recommendations to guide our runners before they register to join a particular road or trail race:

1. Every runner has the right to know the name of the outfit or the name of the race organizer/race director before he/she files or registers to a particular race. Henceforth, all registration/application form in every road race must carry the name of the Race Organizer for the information of the runner.

2. Groups and/or corporate offices and their marketing outfits must be able to state in their “flyers”, advertisement notices, and PR/media releases as to who and what outfit will be the race organizer. These corporate offices and groups must be able to ask runners or make some research/referrals on the background of race organizers trying to apply as race organizer.

3. Takbo.Ph and other bloggers must be requested to identify as to who is the race organizer every time they post a notice of invitation or information about an incoming race. (Note: This blog/site has never been used to announce or invite runners to join in a particular race. Sorry, guys, your e-mails and comments requesting me to post your invitation in this blog had never been posted because of this personal policy. I don’t advertise.)

4. Every runnner must remember that companies and groups who would like to conduct a road race usually conduct a bidding/selection process where every race organizer is invited to compete. It is the responsibility of the Bids & Awards Committe of the company or group to find out if these Race Organizers have a license from DTI and the necessary documentation of a business entity. We should always remember that the lowest bidder gets the award to be the race organizer of a race. So, if the race organizer and/or the company needs to maximize its profit, he/she has to get sponsors for the prizes and “giveaways” and other support needs for the runners like water supply, water cups, energy drinks, and other “gimmicks”. The race organizer now allocates some money from your registration fee for your medal, certificate, race bib, race shirt, measurement of the route, payment for the marshals/security, medical support and rent for the timing devices and computer system.  If the race organizer intends to allow commercial stalls at the start/finish, he has the power to collect fees at his discretion for the rent of the tents/space and they add up to his income/profit. Race Organizing is a “big” business. I am just wondering if they are paying their dues/taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

5. If you experienced some “lapses” in the conduct of a race you participated and you find out that the same race organizer is the one who will administer the race you are applying, then, I suggest you save your money and wait for road races to be conducted by the better and well-organized race organizers.

6. For the “newbies” in road races, make a research on the past posts of runner-bloggers about how these race organizers were rated in their respective races or ask from the more experienced runners about these race organizers before joining a road race. I will give you an example. As far as I can recall, for this year, the race organizer of the PSE Bull Run and Men’s Health Run at UP Diliman was the same and in those runs, runners complained of the lack of water and water cups.

7. This is an “eye-opener” to all the runners. Aside from the support system for the runners during the race, we have to consider also the security services to our cars and our personal belongings while we are running. Let me ask you, “Who should be responsible for the security of our cars/vehicles and personal belongings during the race”? In my opinion, it should be the Race Organizer. Kahit gaano kagaling & fully-prepared and isang race organizer kung nananakawan naman ang kanyang customers, ay dapat isang daguk sa kakayahan ang isang race organizer itong pangyayari ng nakawan. New Balance 25K Powerace at Clark Freeport was a very organized race but in the end many runners complained that their personal belongings in their parked vehicles were stolen. The Greenfield City 21K Run was also an organized race few weeks ago but you heard of complaints from runners that they were victims of theft/robbery in their parked vehicles despite the presence of security guards in the parking areas. Road Races conducted at the Global City by well-known and better-equipped road organizers were not spared from these thieves and robbers. But if the Race Organizer will not accept responsibility for the security of our parked vehicles and our personal belongings, then we have to learn from these incidents also.

I admit there is a problem in regulating these race organizers once they are legitimate business outfits because there is lack of  policy and system of monitoring the said races by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) or from the Sports Federation (PATAFA) that supervises Road Races. Without rules and regulations, the violators will never get sanctioned or punished. Even if there are rules and regulations if there are no formal (written) complaints from the runners filed to DTI or PATAFA, the race organizer will be free to bid again for another race.

So, let us join hands in “punishing” these road organizers who are not improving their support and security systems by not registering to their races. Select the race you are going to participate. In the end, it is your money, decision and personal choice to join such road race and you must take responsibility for your action.

The decision is yours! See you this weekend!

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11 responses

12 05 2009
gingerbreadrunning

Agreed Sir Jovie. As you had broken down in your previous entry, it doesn’t really cost that much to ensure that there are enough water (and cups for the matter). If the slant is on blatant commercialism by these race organizers, then indeed we need to be more prudent in doing a thorough background check on these organizers and their credentials. Shoddy organization could cause serious ramifications in terms of our health and safety being seriously compromised. As you may or may not have heard, one of our Takbo.ph team members suffered from severe cramps and heat stroke during last Sunday’s race….. 500 m from the finish line. Ironically, my 305 registered the distance as 21.47. So imagine, he should have been finished already! And instead he was rushed to the hospital where he stayed for a couple of hours. This really struck a chord with me. That’s one of my friends right there. If they had started the 21k earlier, if only the distance had been more precise…. it wouldn’t have happened. What if serious complications arose right? Hence, I agree on your hypothesis that we should be more diligent and there should be greater transparency with these race organizers, if only to ensure our safety and the safety of our friends as well.

12 05 2009
therunningninja

You hit the nail right in the head!

I believe a network of pinoy runners regardless of their groups (e.g takbo.ph,fort striders,team baldrunner etc) should join together in order to inform runners, new runners of a race organizer’s past history. A help from the government should be available sane..

Sam

13 05 2009
lonerunner

Sir, I completely agree! This will be a good way to weed bad race organizers and good ones to improve.

If organizers will continue to make bad races there might be less runners in the future that will be interested to join.

13 05 2009
jinoe

“Takbo.Ph and other bloggers must be requested to identify as to who is the race organizer every time they post a notice of invitation or information about an incoming race.”

Your wish is my command. 😀 I have placed these info under CONTACTS in the race calendar. But not all races are transparent with their race organizers especially when it is the marketing team that informs me of the race and not the race organizers themselves. But I will do my best to find out.

And as always, visitors and members of the site can always discuss the upcoming race at the forums.

13 05 2009
runningshield

i totally agree with you. the most fustrating part for a runner is when you train for a particular race then the race is a total disaster. A marathon 42.195k is no joke it takes months of trainning and determination. if the organizer does not fullfill their part then i think he should get out of the business of organizing a race.
bald runner thank you for bringing this topic into light. You should be the head of the philippine olympic committee. you have a very good vision. thank you

13 05 2009
dhenztm

You’re right Sir. Eventually these races’ quality would fall on the race organizers themselves, regardless of what company initiated it, and I agree that we should give “bad” organizers a lesson. I’m noticing that while fees are getting higher, the race quality isn’t getting any better.

As bloggers, We should do our best to find out more about the races we promote for everybody’s sake, thank you for reminding us. Hopefully this would teach race organizers to build a good reputation and not not hide under a fancy race name. It’s probably better to have just a handful of “good” races than have four “bad” ones every weekend.

13 05 2009
elkyoshi

Thank you very much for doing what you’re doing. It definitely helps out runners like me who have just come to enjoy this sport.
Would you know when they will post the results? Or if they already have or ever will? Thanks

13 05 2009
miraclecello

Judging from your and other participants’ damning verdict, it seems to me that Botak had just committed brand suicide, ha ha.

By the way, TNF is not that far behind with those ill-fitting subcontracted singlets — or are they the TNF-standard? Why take a risk on loose change compared to the amounts they spend on building a brand?

13 05 2009
Let

sir jovie, i absolutely agree. I, together with my husband have been carefully selecting the races we’ll be joining. first thing that we consider is the race organizer, where and when, and it’s security(– that’s why i was a bit hesitant to join the Botak last Sunday because of our last experience with their race when we got robbed).

we are paying for our spot and we obey their rules, would it hurt them a bit if they respect our rights? i think that it should be a mutual endeavor with the runners and race organizer.

thank you so much sir for your eye-opening post.

14 05 2009
sfrunner

Jovie, well said. It saddens me about the New Balance race because we were parked right at the finish / start area. Obviously because the lot was filled, there were some outlying areas for parking that could have been a target.

A number of runners here that I run with in a weeknight group have advised some newbie runners about the pros and cons of races in the area. It helps a lot to have knowledge of the sport.

Take care and have a good weekend ahead!

14 05 2009
greaseboy

maybe it’s time for the PATAFA “chairman” to make his presence felt…

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