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“Volunteering” Is Service To Everbody

5 07 2009

MILO Marathon Elimination/July 5, 2009: Part I

After running the Los Angeles Marathon last May 25, my experience with the “volunteers” along the route were memorable and worth emulating. I know that Captain Amado Castro, Jr aka Reinier 6666, who participated in the said marathon, was also impressed by the cooperation of the people/residents along the route to help with the needs of the runners—by offering cups filled with water, sports drinks, and even beer; and some would offer massage and food to anybody running in the said marathon. I know that this was the reason why Mr Castro initiated a team-up with Jinoe Gavan and the takbo.ph people to put up an Aid Station as Volunteers to support the 100K and 50K runners of BOTAK 100K Paa-tibayan Race last weekend. Their Aid Station was open to every runner in that race.

In this morning’s MILO Marathon Elimination Race, I have observed a lot of Aid Stations along the way in addition to the usual Water & Gatorade Stations provided by the MILO Race Organizer. However, these Aid Stations were there solely to support the members of their respective running clubs or teams. There is no problem with that but I think, if we “volunteer” to support some runners, we better start supporting every runner in a marathon. Anyway, what is the worth of a small cup of water or sports drinks offered to a runner who is not a member of your running team?

Okey, I have this bad experience this morning during the race. Infront of the Southern Police District (PNP) Headquarters, there was this booth with ladies who were standing infront of a table with Salonpas Spray canisters. Since I have some of these Salonpas Sprays (bought for me by my son, John), I know them at a distance. And the fact that these Salonpas Sprays were used by “volunteers” during the Los Angeles Marathon to runners who were having some muscle cramps on their legs, I knew that these sprays are very effective. At this point (along Lawton Avenue), I was starting to have some cramps and at a distance, it was a relief for me to see these sprays at the said booth. As soon I got to the table, I got hold one of the canisters and while I was about to use it, one of the ladies grabbed the said spray from my hand. Another runner was also trying to get hold of the other canister but another lady grabbed the said spray away from the other runner. I said, “Why don’t you allow us to use your spray?” “Is the spray for every runner?” And one the ladies said that the sprays were reserved for the use of the “P & G” runners. Well, I saw a tarpualin signage on the back of the ladies with the markings, “P & G”. Is this translated to “Procter & Gamble”? The other runner who joined me to the said booth was very angry and I was trying to control my temper, too! The other runner suggested me to publish a post in my blog about the said incident. Well, that was already in my mind before the other runner uttered his suggestion.

So, if any of the “P & G” runners will be reading this post, I am already announcing in this blog that I will be putting up an Aid Station purposely to share my two canisters of Salonpas Spray to every runner in the next Marathon Race. As for the other “volunteers”, can you start offering your “goods” to other runners, too?

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43 responses

5 07 2009
miraclecello

That is sad. Did you know that Procter & Gamble is the world’s biggest advertiser? The consumer products multinational spent 674 million dollars on ads in the first three months of the current year to build up the brand name and image and here you have (presumably) local employees throwing everything away.

If I am not mistaken the company’s CEO for the Philippines is an avid runner too, why don’t you take this up with him. I wonder if the display of the corporate logo at that aid station bore his stamp of approval.

Another thing — if you want to put up an aid tent at a race venue you need a formal permit from the local authorities. Can’t we ask PATAFA to require these guys to offer all aid equally to all runners?

6 07 2009
kingofpots

lakay, i hope by this time this incident had reached already the CEO of the company and he is doing something about it. it was confirmed that a lot of the P&G employees ran the MILO Race yesterday. as far as i know, additional aid stations during a race should have an approval from the race organizer. however, with what i’ve observed during the LAM, the community just came out to the streets and “volunteered” to support the runners.

5 07 2009
runnerforchrist

Very bad behavior! Their image can be tarnished by that single act of selfishness. I noticed also that those race bibs of P&G runners has red markings on the right side area. Maybe P&G has special arrangement with Milo and since they built a booth as Aid Station, it’s but expedient for us runners to take refuge on them if untoward incident happened to us. I agree with Cecil, we can bring the matter to their CEO.
God bless you.

6 07 2009
kingofpots

you did a good job of finishing the race despite your ultra100K last weekend. it’s time to rest & recover for the next “battle”. we’ll see if we can meet the CEO although i don’t know him personally. btw, who is the CEO?

5 07 2009
jinoe

I really dont think that P&G intended that support station for everyone. We had our support station too but we are not funded to support all the runners. So it was just a private support as we gathered contributions from the group.

The difference with the Aid Station we set up with Sir Amado is that the station was designed to support all runners of Botak100K. I dont think similar find can support the hundreds of runners of Milo.

While I understand that P&G did not intend a support group of all, I just didn’t like the special treatment they got from the organizers today. They got station tents and a roving vehicle which we were denied by the organizers for our private support group. They even had an audience at the finish line who disrupts the runners crossing the chute. Etiquette please.

6 07 2009
kingofpots

we have a long way to go for us to have an international marathon if we have this kind of “atin-atin” atiitude in supporting our runners of each team. my point here is to start ourselves to “volunteer” in order to support every runner that passes our Aid Station. i could still remember vividly the smile of a 5-year old girl whom i got a cup of water from her hand during the LAM on the side of the street. do you know why she was happy? because she felt she was the most important kid in their group to have offered help out of the other 8-12 kids lined up offering cups of water on their hands at that particular time.

5 07 2009
runtintin

I agree BR, personal support teams should at least be generous enough to other runners too, not just to those in their group. Spread the love to your fellow runners! heehee. This was one of the things that was decided on when we had our support team meeting pre-race (secret na lang kung sino kami haha)….kahit konting tubig man lang, or ice, or saging…basta may maibibigay, ibigay sa mga nangangailangan. Hope our team was able to do our share of the support! I await your Salonpas Booth haha. Salamat BR! =)

6 07 2009
kingofpots

thanks for the nice comment. the salonpas spray booth is a done deal. we’ll see if i can introduce a “beer station”, too!

5 07 2009
bugobugo

this is sickening.

i hope all is not lost.good samaritans were abundant today.but somehow there were rotten apples in the basket.

paano nga uli iyun?isaksak niyo sa baga at ngala-ngala niyo ang salonpas niyo.

nagimot kayo metten apo.haan met maibos ti 2 nga pusitsit laeng dayta.di yo pay la kuma naiyapros ta mata yo dayta mist.

6 07 2009
kingofpots

maybe, we can start to volunteer for a “beer station” on the next marathon. para nakaka-iba naman!

5 07 2009
Tin

how can this lady be so mean and heartless? even if it’s exclusive for p&g runners, one wouldn’t obviously not get those canisters if not really needed. their behavior is obviously not helpful for the brand. and i agree. “what is the worth of a small cup of water…?”

6 07 2009
kingofpots

it is worth nothing but the spirit of helping others is worth more than millions…

5 07 2009
rickgaston

Wow thats just incredible unsportsmanlike conduct. I bet the ladies manning the booth are not runners. They have never experienced being in a race and being helped by volunteers. I’m with miraclecello about taking it up with the CEO. Being a runner he should understand. Too bad there is no picture of the offending aid station.

6 07 2009
kingofpots

rick, you are right. i always envy the way volunteers there treat the runners. my bulldog experience was so memorable that i would like to duplicate it here. anyway, i did it in the bdm102 and hopefully, i am trying my best to influence the thinking of the “volunteers” here. it takes a simple initiative to start the ball rolling. thanks for the comment

6 07 2009
leaj23

Hi, Sir Jovie.

What a shame. I did see those P&G runners. I actually chatted with a mother at the finish, as she was waiting for her daughter (a P&G employee, she said) to arrive. Ang dami nilang P&G runners…

I also saw many non-Milo aid stations, plus other vans/cars for certain runners. By having these aid stations, are they saying the aid stations of Milo are not enough? It was my first Milo 42k this morning (thus, no idea what to expect vis-a-vis aid stations), and it was a good thing I ran with my hydration belt.

Is it just me or by having these “special” aid stations servicing certain runners, these “runners” have a big advantage over the rest of us, Sir, who simply run 42k alone (just will and determination, with or without hydration paraphernalia)? Hm… It’s strange how in Singapore or HK – or even Oregon, you don’t have these “special” aid stations… Patas lahat pag start ng race. It was my first local 42k, and seeing those “special” aid stations was disturbing, to be honest.

Just wondering, did P&G and those other companies/clubs pay a hefty sum to Nestle for clearance to set up booths along the 42k route?

Maybe you should set up a Baldrunner Aid Station just for Baldrunner members? =/

6 07 2009
kingofpots

jael, nice observations during the race. at least, you have the authority to say all these things because you had the opportunity to join a marathon race in the USA which is totally different in terms of support & logistics to the runners. if ever i’ll put up a BR Aid Station, it will be for all the runners. i am thinking of a “beer station” in a marathon race in order to make it unique! hehehe!

6 07 2009
m8parco

This is in bad taste.

6 07 2009
kingofpots

yup! very sad, indeed!

6 07 2009
markfb

Salonpas spray works? Talaga ha… I can just imagine that tugging scene. Ano ba naman tumulong sila sa ilan na nangangailangan talaga. I remember the Fort Striders support vehicle giving me water and pouring a pitcher of cold water on top of my head last BDM. Ang init na nun, last 18km pa ata. Thanks again guys! Sana ganyan tayo sa mga kapwa runner. Kita naman natin kung sino yung kailangan ng tulong di ba?

6 07 2009
kingofpots

the tugging scene was very embarassing…yes, the salonpas spray works..do you like to join and volunteer for a “beer station” on the next marathon race?

7 07 2009
markfb

I committed via Jonel yesterday 🙂

7 07 2009
kingofpots

thanks! i hope it is not “Red Horse”! hehehe!

6 07 2009
reinier6666

Dear BR – You have again opened a “pandora’s box” on this issue. An AID station is only allowed if it is to assist ALL PARTICIPANTS to avoid UNDUE ADVANTAGE to any group or individual.

However, an athlete can provide his own refreshment/supply at his NOMINATED STATION (needs to identify). They shall be placed so that they are easily accessible to, or may be put by AUTHORIZED person into the hands of, the athletes. Refreshment provided by the athletes shall be KEPT UNDER THE SUPERVISION of officials designated by the Organizing Committee FROM THE TIME that the refreshment s are lodged by the athletes or their representative. This is IAAF Competion Rules Chapter (5) Rule 240 section (8) (d).

Further Rule 240 section (8)(e) An athlete who collects refreshment from a place other than the refreshment stations render himself liable to DISQUALIFICATION.

These are IAAF rules and Milo Marathon is a PATAFA approved Road Race and PATAFA being members of IAAF a bound to these rules and regulation.

When you call it AID STATION it has to serve ALL. If intention was for exclusive usage of a specific group then term used should be SUPPORT STATION (and organizing committee should have been made aware of that such station are for exclusive usage – mabe it was allowed by Milo organizers because it was not made clear to them in all fairness) and this can only be done in compliance to RULES wherein the goods should just be positioned on the table and marked as to who is top use the same.

We all have something to learn here.

6 07 2009
jonnifer

This is pathetic. It is just Salonpas! As the saying goes: you will know people what they are made of during trying times. This is just one them.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

atty., the CEO made a quick response about the incident. thanks

6 07 2009
highaltitude

I agree with Rick, that lady is not a runner. and to know that the CEO is an avid runner, i hope he can do something about this. Being helped by many runners and volunteers in the past races, it is so discouraging to know this issue.

BR, i’m willing to support if you are going to have a BaldRunner aid station for all runners in the future.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

jerry, the CEO of P&G made a quick response about the said incident. of course, the “beer station” will be there to serve all the other runners.

6 07 2009
thebullrunner

Hi BR, sad this had to happen. I was told that 205 P&G employees ran Milo, 104 of which were for the full marathon. I guess management wanted to provide full support for their employees.

I emailed a runner friend from P&G and informed her about this. I hope they can support all runners in the future.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

i hope that this incident will open the flood gates for more “volunteers” during races for the benefit of all the runners. thanks!

6 07 2009
bugobugo

mga hcs, roll call for the beer station.

can we put up one as a dry run for july 19 sir? isang case na ako.make it ice cold.

serious ito.mas masarap ang epekto ng beer kung salonpas din lamang ang itatapat.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

according to my daughter, drinking a cup of beer during the 2009 LAM made the pain on her legs disappeared. yes, i am serious when i said that we will put up a “beer station” along the route for all the runners. however, we have to ask permission from the race organizer. thanks for the 20 cases of beer! hehehe!

6 07 2009
jazzrunner

To think that this CEO is having a talk about running on July 11 & 25 for the Big Blue Run marathon clinic about Running Lifestyle, Strength Training, Nutrition, Attitude and Training Tips. i hope he talks about his staff/support group giving courtesy to other runners in need.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

pls read his response to the said incident in my next post. thanks

6 07 2009
pinoymafiosi

Magkano ba 20 kahon ng salonpas spray?, mapadala sa P&G office lang, para next run may maishare naman sila sa ibang runners na may cramps at kailangan ng medical aid or assitance. =) hehehhehehe.. sa beer station, game ako dyan BR.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

medyo mahal ang salonpas spray dahil “new” packaging yan..ok, go, go, go tayo sa “beer station”!

6 07 2009
gingerbreadrunning

That was reprehensible. I understand that it’ a “private” support group, but they should be aware of the fact that once they are out there, they are fair game. They have no idea how painful it is to run a marathon, and even on the simplistic level of human compassion they should have helped you out Sir Jovie.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

that’s my point. if a group is there to put up a support station, their services should be open to everybody in need of help.

6 07 2009
greaseboy

“As soon I got to the table, I got hold one of the canisters and while I was about to use it, one of the ladies grabbed the said spray from my hand. Another runner was also trying to get hold of the other canister but another lady grabbed the said spray away from the other runner.”

good day sir br, maybe if you and the other guy asked the ladies if u could use the sprays, i’m sure they would’ve let u and who knows, they might even assist you and give you a massage hehe. kidding aside, i’m sure p&g won’t allow their staff to assist runners in need, i guess these volunteers were just not properly briefed.

maybe you should try and organize one race in manila that would be the showcase of how a world class event should be organized.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

what i really wanted was a quick & fast spray on my left calves and at that time i was still within my plan to finish below 4 hours and that’s the reason why i didn’t stay long enough to argue or plead to the lady…i tried to implement my first step to showcase a world class running event at the BDM102 last april 5 but i admit that there are still rooms for improvement. it’s hard to perfect the conduct of a road or trail running event.

6 07 2009
calvinclimb

This is sad! They shouldn’t have done this… Who do they think they are?! I read the reply of Mr.CEO of PnG, well, I guess everybody can commit mistakes. But what concerned me the most is the fact that he is teacher at the Ateneo and just like all Ateneans (that includes me), we are taught to be “Men for Others.” I hope Mr. CEO practices what he preaches. Just my two cents.

Really a sad story.

7 07 2009
kingofpots

i have the impression that these ladies at the booth were not fully briefed on their supposed job by their mid-level bosses. anyway, we have learned a lot about this incident and i hope this will not happen again.

7 07 2009
dendu

hi br, im the angry runner you are talking about. we had a rather short conversation regarding our sad plight, i said that if a runner is asking for help,, why not give it to him, he is asking for it, di ba?… sabi ko pa nga sa yo.. sir hindi siguro avid runner yon kasi hindi ka kilala! hehehe! yeah, i am the one who told you that i am the one who was with you in the finishline photo during our greenfields city run. looking forward to see you at the races, sir. are you going to run the Subic Intl? i heard that it’s 4 pm of october 24 for 42K and 5:30 the next day for the 21K. i am planning to join both (cguro 10K walk na lang… whew! hirap kaya nun?) … how about you?

7 07 2009
loonyrunner

in fairness to them, i did see the p&g aid station in buendia provide drinks and bananas to those runners who asked for them… too bad though that you had that experience in their other booth.

congrats on the finish!

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