(Warning: This is an offensive post to those who are concerned. Please don’t proceed if you feel you are one of the persons being described here)
This is a Race Director’s Report on the past three (3) running events that the PAU and Bald Runner’s Events had organized and directed. These road races consist of the following: PAU’s Fort Magsaysay 60K Run; 1st Bald Runner’s Barefoot Run; and the newly-concluded PAU’s Western Pangasinan 65K Run.
Taklang Damulag is a word from the local dialect of the people from the province of Pampanga. It is a Kapampangan word which means literally as a water buffalo crap or shit or bowel. If used figuratively, it means a person who is a pretender, a “bullshitter”, or somebody who tells stories that are exaggerated, or simply a “liar”. In this post, it would mean as somebody who is not honest or one who does not have a “word of honor”.
In the past, I have conveniently announced the schedule of our PAU Races and other BR’s Events through the Facebook as most of the runners had been accepted as my “friends”. It is very easy to create an Event Page on my Wall and it is from there that I receive persons and names of applicants for each of the event I have posted. I usually announce the limited slots for each event as we want a simple and personalized attention to each of the runners.
On the other hand, it is very easy also for the runners to reserve slot for them and for their friends. Comments are easily posted under each Event Page where most of them are requests and intentions of joining the event. From these comments and a click on the Box “Attend”, it is assumed that the person is ready and well-trained to join the event.
From the number of participants listed on each event, we prepare for the number of medals/trophies and Finisher’s Shirts. This is done by ordering them from our “suppliers and manufacturers” and we pay them in cash using our own money as most of our registrations are accepted through bank deposits and “onsite registration”.
The last 3 Road Races had been very “painful” to us in terms of logistics and financial matters. Each runner knows for a fact that our running events are not being backed up by any corporate sponsor. We simply want to spread the love to running and promote the sports of ultra marathon, whether in road and/or in trails, and this had been our advocacy since we started organizing and directing running events. Our efforts are not geared to earn money but simply, to sustain our efforts in our passion to let every runner “test their personal limits of endurance”.
In the PAU’s Fort Magsaysay 60K Run, 230 runners signified their intention to join the said event and we prepared the logistics (shirts and medals) good for the said number of applicants. On Race Day, only 116 runners joined the race. We smiled and did not complain. In the 1st BR’s Barefoot Run, another 220 runners signified to join the 3.2K Barefoot Run but only 89 runners joined the event. This was not a painful one in terms of finances as we asked P 50.00 as a registration fee, enough to pay for the order of Race Bibs. In the newly-concluded PAU’s Western Pangasinan 65K (“COCOS to SUAL”) Run, 147 runners signified their intention to join but only 76 runners finally showed up at the starting area. We have lots of ordered extra medals and shirts which we have decided as part of our losses. It’s a “strike 3” for us and we could no longer smile and keep our silence.
The financial portion hurts but the “passion” for our love to promote ultra marathon will be sustained. This the gravest ” negative stressor” that I experienced for the past weeks and for me to get a relief from it, I have to express this concern to my readers.
The numbers and data would show that one-half of the applicants for reservation of slots in our PAU Races and BR’s Events are “bullshitters or taklang damulags”.
We have a master list of the names of applicants of each of the events listed above and we have determined already the list of the so-called “Taklang Damulags” in PAU Races and BR’s Events.
From this trend, we are getting “wiser but mean” to all the applicants in our future races. We only prepare one-half of the number of applicants as posted in our Events Page in terms of their simple “loot & evidence” given after the race. If Finishers would exceed more than the logistics we have prepared for the event, then we could always re-order the items from our “suppliers and manufacturers” and award them to you as fast as possible. We have also decided NOT to accept On Site registration to some of our races.
This post is not complete if I don’t try to make an attempt to analyze this trend among the runner-applicants at Facebook.
Why do runners apply for a running event on Facebook and then later, don’t join the event?
Is it impulsively done without thinking one’s schedule in the future days, weeks and months to come?
Does a runner want to impress or “brag” to his friends that he is joining an ultra marathon event organized by the PAU?
Do you want to “brag” to the whole world that you will be a future Ultra marathon runner?
Does a runner want to join the list of Pinoy Ultra Marathon Group at Facebook?
Does a runner want to be a part in the history of running in the country by listing his name as one of the applicants?
There are so many questions to answer as there are so many “reasons” why a runner would include his name in the list where he/she is not fully committed to join the event. It baffles my mind. Maybe, this is a sign of immaturity or recklessness of runners. It could be that “bragging” is the “new” past time or hobby on Facebook. Joining these events is not a joke but it should be treated with serious thoughts and actions. In the same manner that running is NOT a joke, too! Moreso, in ultra marathon running events! If you want to “brag” on Facebook, do it after you have finished the event! You can post your pictures, excitement, medal, trophy, and “loot” to your heart’s content after the event.
I really appreciate those runners who would go out their way to send me SMS or send e-mail to me telling their inability to join the race few days before the race. However, I could only count 3-5 people who have done this effort to inform me. Most of the bulk of the “absentees” could not even have the decency to send me a message on my Wall at FB to explain their side on their inability to join the race after the event.
For those who have consistently supported our races, thank you very much! Most of you are getting stronger, faster and “smarter” ultra runners and I hope you will be able to improve some more and expose yourselves to international ultra running events. Whether you are preparing for the BDM Races and for the 1st 100-Mile Trail Endurance Run, the future PAU events will be nice training grounds for your fitness evaluation, race strategy, hydration and nutrition, and the efficiency of your support system. Be consistent on your training be able to listen to your body.
Our scheduled events will still be posted at Facebook and please refrain from making impulsive decisions by “clicking” the “Attending” button. However, we will not be serious in considering you if your name is listed in the “Taklang Damulags” list. You have to personally convince us that you are matured enough and fitted to be as an ultra marathon runner.
See you on the next PAU Race!