Deaths In Running Events


Those “one-liners” below were the supposed titles which I would choose for this post but I ended up with a General Statement of what is really happening in our Running Events. This is again a very long post which will compensate the long period of time that I was not able to post in this blog. So bear with me and hope that my post will somehow prevent “Mr Murphy” from creating a havoc to our well-planned or well-organized running event. Happy reading!

Why Runners Die In Running Events?

Things To Do If You Want To Die In A Running Event

Why Die Running When You Are Supposed To Be Having Fun?

How Can We Prevent Deaths In Running Events?

Phidippedes
Phidippedes (Picture From Google)

If you want to relive the origin and history of the Marathon Race, you are not Phidippedes, who was then a professional runner, messenger and one of the warriors of the Athenian Army before and after The Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. If you don’t know what went through with him, then I have to refresh you with what he did before and after the said battle. Phidippedes was sent by the Athenian Army Generals to ask help and for additional troops from Sparta to repel the impending attack by the Persian Army by running a distance of 140 miles in 36 hours. After getting a negative feedback from the Spartan government, he went back to Athens running the same distance delivering the message of the Spartans. Without the support from Sparta, the Athenians went to battle with the Persians at the Battle of Marathon and the Athenians won with the surviving Persian Army retreating through their ships and tried to make their way nearer to Athens. Phidippedes was sent to Athens to deliver the message that the Athenians won the battle and warned the remaining Greek Army to prepare for the impending attack of the retreating Persians. After delivering the message, Phidippedes died despite running a distance of 26 miles. Thus, this heroic deed of Phidippedes as a runner-messenger gave birth to our sports of Marathon Running. (Note: If you read closely to the history, Phidippedes’ deed also gave birth to Ultra Marathon events!)

Map Showing The Locations Of Athens & Sparta
Map Showing The Locations Of Athens & Sparta (Picture From Google)

In this modern time, you, as a runner is not Phidippedes! You are not a trained warrior or a soldier of an Army who dons a warrior’s armor and spear or sword, running on trails and mountains or hills and through vegetation on sandals or maybe, on barefoot! Organizers of Running Events are already well-equipped and prepared to prevent and respond to any contingencies, more so, on the safety and well-being of every runner-participant. Nobody would like to die in a running event and want himself/herself to be declared a hero! Every runner has the ultimate desire to finish the race and hope that his/her attendance to future running events will give him/her a better performance.

Then why do we have these deaths in Running Events when we should be joining them for fun and healthy reasons?

Who gives a SHIT on this topic when only few people or runners gave such information (death/casualty of the race) on the Social Media and everything stops there? And as in the same with the previous deaths, this incident was not published in any of our traditional media and our BroadShits/Daily Newspapers

Where is the Official Statement of the Race Organizer for us to know the details of the death so that those “experts” would know what to do to prevent this thing being repeated in the future? Remember, the same death occurred five (5) years ago in the same Running Event and the same distance. And other deaths in running events were not officially reported in the past and up to this time, no studies or conclusions were published.

Do you remember this post that I made? https://baldrunner.com/2010/07/14/death/. I guess, this blog right now is a repetition of what I’ve posted 5 years ago.

Is there any note/message/appeal from the family of the victim? Five years ago, the father of a runner came up with this article stating all the facts and his observations he gathered on the death of his son. It would be nice to refresh everybody’s mind on this. https://baldrunner.com/2010/07/16/r-i-p-remus-fuentes/

The father of the dead runner five years ago made a very well-written and well-researched article on the death of his son and asked some questions to be answered. However, his seven (7) questions to the Race Organizer remained to be unanswered up to this day. So far, I have never encountered published answers to these questions by the Race Organizer whether in Social Media/Traditional Media outlets or an information from the father of the victim if his questions were answered.

Whether such questions were answered by “other means”, I really don’t give a SHIT out of it. But the fact remains, there will be more deaths in running events in the future!

As they say, “History repeats itself!”

On the lighter side, I am coming out with a parody on the deaths of runners being organized by BIG Multinational Companies.

I might be senseless and insensitive or maybe, boastful but take these next statements as comical and non-serious in nature. I am just trying to express the possibilities of things to happen in the future on these deaths of runners.

—If you are depressed and wants to commit a suicide, join a running event without any training, run as hard as you can without hydration or food from start to finish. If nothing happens on your first attempt, do it again until you pass out. Hopefully, you will be considered as a hero and your bereaved family’s questions on your death will be answered by “other means” by the Race Organizer. Who knows your death would mean an educational scholarship on your younger brothers or sisters. Or maybe, your parents will have a capital to come up with a good investment or business to remember you!

—Since most of the greater bulk of runners lives below the poverty line, these people could just join any running event so that “others in their family may live”. Make sure they should join BIG Running Events sponsored by BIG Companies! Training & Race Strategy? NONE! Just go with the flow, stupid!

—Come up with a Facebook account, get as many Friends as you can get and fake yourself as a Runner. Develop your “fake identity as a runner” with lots of “selfies on running attire” and “photoshopped” running pictures. When the timing is perfect, join a running event without any training and no hydration. If you pass out and will be able to survive it, you will be more popular. Repeat the process until you die. Who knows, one of your siblings will be able to win the Presidential Race in the next elections!

OK, I will stop this non-sense! Anyway, these are just jokes playing in my mind. Back to being serious again.

Pictures Taken Where The Victim Was Carried To The Ambulance
Pictures Taken Where The Victim Was Carried To The Ambulance (Pictures From Facebook)

What are the things that we should do to prevent these deaths from happening in the future? I think there is no need for a Congressional Investigation on this matter as we know nothing would result in these investigations. Such investigation will put a great SHAME on our law-makers as they are ignorant of what a long distance runner is going through. In the first place, these people do not exercise as you can see in their body forms. They are ONLY good in RUNNING for an Elective Position! Right? Do we need Laws to be obeyed for us to organize and participate in Running Events? Who need Laws when they are not fully implemented and most of us would violate them after all? However, as I said, there are basic things that we should do to prevent these deaths from happening again.

The following are my suggestions:

1. Make it mandatory to state/print a BOLD Footnote in all advertisement of running events that “RUNNING WITHOUT TRAINING & HYDRATION IS DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH. IT CAN KILL YOU”. Period! It is like buying a pack of cigarette where a word of caution/warning from the General Surgeon is written on the pack stating that “Smoking Can Cause Deaths & Other Forms of Disability” (some sort of that kind of message). This warning footnote should be printed in bold letters in every Registration Form of a Running Event.

2. If the advertisement is on TV, emphasize that “Running Without Proper Training Is Dangerous To One’s Life” with the pictures of dead runners of past events flashed on the screen of the TV.

3. Do not “force” or make the Running Event as “mandatory” to students of High Schools and Colleges/Universities through their Physical Education Departments. More so, making it mandatory to the young pupils in the Elementary Schools. By the way, who gives a SHIT if you have these “thousands or millions” of runners featured as a front page picture of the most popular daily newspaper/broadSHIT of the country? In the first place, such coverage of the event was paid by the Race Organizer from the registration fees of the runners! If you think you are attracting or inspiring more “soon-to-be” runners to join the event, then it is directly proportional that we will have more deaths in future running events. However, if you think you have more profits to rake with a lot of runners, then that is called GREED.

4. FREE Running Clinics should be conducted continuously during the year in order to educate the citizenry on the benefits of running, how to train for it, and the importance of hydration during ones training, and during the running events or races. Make these clinics or lectures in the local dialect so that the simple instructions on training will be absorbed easily in the minds of the runners. Simplicity is the KEY. The goal is to transform a person to an endurance athlete through graduated progression and preparation. This goal brings me to the next item.

5. It is the responsibility of the runner to transform himself to a long distance/endurance runner through graduated or calibrated progression. It is a basic step to start from walking for about 30 minutes and then jogging for 30 minutes after a period of time if one is bored with walking. From there, the 30 minutes jogging becomes one hour and so on. And the worse thing happens, you want some more time to run and you now try to find out how far you can run in one hour. And then the worst thing to happen is when you try to find out where you can register for a 5K race. Through these races, a runner is now addicted to the sports, most specially when he/she learns a lot of mistakes/lessons and be able to correct them as he/she progresses to longer distances, making this runner as a smart, strong, and fast “beast”. Simply said, there are NO shortcuts in training for a running event. “Everybody starts in the Kindergarten!” (Note: Every runner should be able to read and understand the Waiver Of Liability from the Race Organizer/Sponsors before writing his/her signature on the Registration Form)

6. More of the responsibility rests on the shoulders of the Race Organizer. The safety of the runners is the outmost goal of the Race Organizer in order to make it a successful event. This is the reason why 5K, 10K, 21K and Marathon (42K) races have its routes as closed from vehicular traffic. The runners are the Kings & Queens of the Roads for the duration of the race and that is why they paid so much for their registration fees. There are lots of Aid Stations which offer Water, Electrolyte Drinks and Bite Foods. There are lots of Medical Response Teams along the route ready to act on emergency cases involving the runners. But despite of these planning and preparations, something happens wrong. Mr Murphy is always there to test on how we prepared for such an event and most of the time, it is Mr Murphy the one who is laughing on us. And when Mr Murphy had done his damage on us, we try to look for somebody to blame to, pointing everybody around us, rationalizing that the Race Organizer had provided all the safety nets for the event. Through “other means” of solving the situation, the incident is buried in the memory of every runner until another victim comes along. And the cycle continues and this is very true in many running events around the world.

7. It is easier said than done. There is a need to establish a Race Management Regulatory Board which could be under the National Government (maybe, in the Local Government, too) or on the level or part of the National Sports Federation that would impose fines, penalties, and suspension of licenses to operate as Race Director and/or Race Organizer. This is the body that investigates incidents of deaths or casualties in running events. It also screens Race Organizers and even controls the “sprouting” of Running Coaches in the country. Every coach should have a license from this Regulatory Board in order to do their business. More functions and mission could be on the responsibility of this office/establishment for the benefit of the safety of the runners. Maybe, this is the reason that we should have a Department of Sports Excellence.

8. This is another “out of the box” suggestion. Every runner-participant in these BIG Races should belong to a Running Club or a Running Team which has an established organization, meaning, it has its elected officers with established protocols (training, etiquette, and others) for each member to follow. If there is a death among its members related to running in races, its officers and coaches should be held liable and appropriate criminal charges should be filed against them by the family of the victim or by the government. Having said this, each runner must submit a Certification from the Running Club/Team that he is fit and duly trained by the group as an additional requirement in the registration process. Most of the time, it is the “peer pressure” among Running Team Members that would force a seemingly not prepared and not well-trained runner within the group to join a running event.

9. How about those Medical/Health Practitioners who issue Medical Clearances and Certifications to every Runner, should they be liable also if their names appear in the submitted requirement? Of course, Yes! This should put a pressure on those issuing authorities of Medical Requirements to be thorough in their examination and tests to the runners before giving them the appropriate certificate. This process could be very expensive on the part of the runner but what is ones money’s worth when ones life is at stake in doing this process properly. Staying alive after a running a race is the best prize one could get in joining running events.

10. Just maybe the Government would come into the picture for the youth to be mandatory involved in Boy Scouting & Girl Scouting in Elementary Grades; Preparatory Military Training (PMT) for High Schools; and ROTC in the Colleges and Universities. Or maybe, come up with a Physical Fitness Test for High Schools and College Levels. Such programs would make our youths physically active instead of sitting their asses in front of their Laptops, iPads, or IPhones playing Internet Games or posting their status on Facebook.

11. Lastly, I could be wrong but in my opinion, the Emergency Response Teams are not capable in dealing with heatstroke and more so, if the runner had a heart failure/attack. Please correct me if I am wrong on this assessment to this group. I have only this word for them——Over Acting (OA)! I have the impression that the Emergency Response Team has the primary job to determine if the casualty needs to be transported to the hospital or not. If the personnel of this Team do not know what to do or on a panic mode, their best bet is to simply call for the Ambulance. This leads me to the next issue to ask—if the personnel in the Ambulance that transports the casualty have the capability to make first -aid procedure en route to the hospital.

For whatever is worth in this post, I wish this post would reach to all the runners, soon-to-be runners, Race Organizers, Race Directors, Sponsors, Volunteers, Race Marshals, members of the Race Management Staff, and the family/friends of runners with the hope that we should learn something from these deaths in running events.

Lastly, let me remind again that in endurance sports, always remember to “listen to your body”.

Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” In Running


When I was in the military service, this was my “Bible” and had read this book for a hundred times. This compilation of essays written by Sun Tzu (a Chinese General & Philosopher) was translated by Samuel B Griffith in 1960 and they were written more than 2,400 years ago. It is considered as the oldest writings on the conduct of warfare. In all my military trainings, from a young officer to the generalship, the treatise in this book had been repeatedly discussed and explained to us. Being a former Commander of different units in the Philippine Army, from the squad-level (leading 9-men team) up to a Division-size Command (with almost 10,000 soldiers under me), the “treatise” of this book had been very effective in leadership; winning the “hearts & minds” of the people and at the same time in subduing the enemy.

The Book: Sun Tzu: The Art Of War

Lately, there had been books that were published in adopting the different treatise of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”  in relation to Business and Politics but I have yet to read these books.

I have the assumption that some selected “treatise” of the book, “Sun Tzu: The Art Of War” are very useful to all the runners. My favorite passage in this book is the following:

“Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.

When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal.

If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”

Translating these passages into running, it would be like this:

“Know the race route and train yourself properly; in a hundred races you will always finish the race.

When you are ignorant of the race route but you trained yourself properly, your chances of finishing the race or DNF are equal.

If ignorant both of the race route and proper training, you are certain that in every race you are DNF.”

On a grand scale, of which could be directed and understood by our Sports leaders and authorities in our quest for Sports Excellence and our First Olympic Gold Medal, my favorite passage of Sun Tzu’s “The Art Of War” would be very relevant and appropriate. I guess, there is no need for further explanation on this.

It is no wonder that the Chinese today are on top of the Olympic Medal Standing in the latest 2008 Summer Olympic Games!

No More Laoag MILO Elimination Race


Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Mr Andrew Neri of MILO/Nestle Phils with the following message:

“Due to the recent change in the political environment, we’d like to inform everyone that we will be transferring the 34th National MILO® Marathon Laoag Elimination race to Dagupan slated on July 11, 2010.”

Being a native of Laoag City, I was surprised to receive such information. Although, I don’t have plans to join this MILO Elimination Race in Laoag City, I am “intrigued” with the reason stated why MILO had to transfer the race from Laoag City to Dagupan City.

As a result of the May 10 elections, former Senator Imee Marcos won over the incumbent Governor Michael Keon for the Governor of Ilocos Norte. I could only surmise that the change in the leadership of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte has made some changes in the “organizational” preparations for the said race. With the limited time between the assumption of the new provincial administration and the date of the event, the organizers of the race do not want to compromise the preparation and conduct of the race with another coordination with the new administration.

However, in my own experience in attending this Laoag Elimination Race two years ago, I found out that there was a dismal turnout on the number of runners for the 21K elimination race. Despite the fact that you have a Governor who was a former Director of the Project Gintong Alay, POC Chairman, and PATAFA President, I could only see few runners (less than 30) who competed for the half-marathon distance. I guess, this could be the actual reason why MILO has to transfer the venue to Dagupan City.

This is a good chance for the people of Pangasinan to shine in long distance running. 

Race Organizers Meeting @ PATAFA


In a short notice and invitation to all Road Race Organizers, the first official meeting with PATAFA was successfully held yesterday morning at the PATAFA Office from 8:30-10:30 AM.

The objective of the meeting was to discuss “concerns” that were brought to the attention to Mr Go Teng Kok on the conduct of Road Races in the country. The meeting started at exactly 8:30 AM even if only two of the representatives were present. However, in a few minutes and during my presentation/discussion, the meeting was attended by most of the Road Race Organizers. In the absence of the President of PATAFA, I presided the meeting and the following personalities were in attendance during the said meeting:

Vic Pielago III—-Race Organizer from Condura Durables, Inc

Froilan Carnay—Assistant Race Organizer from Condura Durables, Inc.

Jo-Ar Calvadores—Representative of Coach Rio De La Cruz of Finishline

Ben Alacar—-Father & Representative of Ian Alacar

Melvin Bolus—Owner of MLB Road Race Specialist

Tia De Guzman—Pep Squad Events & Marketing Co.

Marj Dayrit—Pep Squad Events & Marketing Co.

Gay Maddela—Argent Network

Joselito “Joey” Santos—PATAFA Staff on Road Race Measurement & Timer

Road Race Organizers' Meeting @ PATAFA

Out of these Road Race Organizers, the following were absent and were not represented during the meeting: Mr Rudy Biscocho of RACE; Mr Imperio of EXTRIBE; The North Face Race Organizer; Thumbie Remigio; Maryanne Ringor; and Mr Adi De Los Reyes of E-ventolists, Inc. However, I hope they will be able to attend the next meeting.

The following concerns of the President, PATAFA were presented to the attendees and each of them were discussed:

1) Increase in the Number of Road/Trail Races and Number of Runners in the past two years.

2) Increase in the Number of Road Race Organizers  

3) Corporate’s & Private Sector’s Involvement in the Conduct of Road Races

4) Foreign Runners in Local Races (Presence of the Kenyans in short distance road races)

5) “Standards” & Protocol In the Conduct of Road Races (Accurate Distance, Aid/Water Stations, Timing & Results of Races, Density & Volume of Runners vs. Width of our Roads; Safety; Traffic of Vehicles; and others)

6) Role of PATAFA in Road Races (Race Sanction and Accreditation of Race Organizers

7) Role of PATAFA in the Schedule of Road Races

8) Increase in the Amount of Registration Fees

Attendees Increased To 9 During The Meeting
As a result of the discussions, the following recommendations to the President of PATAFA were formulated for his approval:

1) PATAFA shall conduct a one-day seminar to all Road Race Organizers at the PATAFA Office with the objective of presenting the Guidelines  For The Conduct of Road Racing based from IAAF standards and protocol.

2) Road Race Organizers who will complete this Road Race Seminar will be automatically accredited by PATAFA and should adhere to its policies. It is therefore advisable that all Road Races shall be supervised by PATAFA from their planning stage to their execution.

3) Organize a formal group or association among Road Race Organizers in order to instill open communication and teamwork among its members. This group will elect their officers and the PATAFA will act as a supervisor/consultant/adviser of the group.

4) Maintain a Regular Monthly Meeting among the Road Race Organizers.

Discussions & Insights Were Fruitful

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 AM.

On a personal note, I think this first meeting of the Road Race Organizers was a success where the role of PATAFA in the conduct of any form of Athletics (track & field) and road races was emphasized. Let us support PATAFA so that running will sustain its impact in promoting an active lifestyle down to the “grassroots” level.

My sincerest thanks to all those who attended this first and significant meeting among the Road Race Organizers. Let us cooperate with one another and remember always to provide the best quality service to our paying runners in every road race.

PSC Plans For Sports Excellence


I am posting the following media releases of the Philippine Sports Commissions (PSC) in order to improve our Sports Excellence Program and ultimately, to motivate our National Pool of Athletes to win in the incoming ASEAN Games to be held on the 2nd week of December of this year.

How I wish the plans to fund the training of the athletes will push through; that there will be no more additional “sports officials” for the delegation as “free-loaders”; that there will be no more “midnight appointed athletes”; and that their promises for the cash rewards for the “medalists” will be realized.

I hope also that the different National Sports Federation will be accountable and transparent on how their financial support will be spent to our athletes.

I will keep the following “media releases” in my blog as future references in our overall results and standing in the 2009 ASEAN Games:

PSC plans P900M fund to sharpen up athletes 

By June Navarro, Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:36:00 10/12/2009

Filed Under: Sports Organisations

QUALITY TRAINING and more foreign exposures for deserving national athletes and coaches.

These benefits were guaranteed by Philippine Sports Commission chair Harry Angping Sunday as he announced a windfall of almost P1 billion for the national sports development fund (NSDF) starting next year.

Angping said about P900 million for the training and international competitions of athletes will go to the NSDF. The cash will come from the monthly take of the PSC from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Bureau of Customs and Philippine Racing Commission.

With its P180 million debt to Pagcor expected to be fully paid by December, Angping said Pagcor’s monthly NSDF contribution will increase from P30 million to P53 million.

Apart from the Pagcor subsidy, the PSC will get 15 percent from the gross sales of the PCSO’s Lotto Scratch It! Instant Tama! game cards following a deal between Angping and PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte.

“The bottom line is still performance,’’ said Angping. “If our athletes can prove that they deserve to be in the national pool, the PSC will give everything they need to perform well.”

The PSC had earlier announced that the national pool will be disbanded at the end of the year and a new pool will be formed through a series of competitions and tryouts to be conducted by the national sports associations.

Angping said the projected NSDF of P900 million would be spent mostly on the country’s preparation for the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. The amount is separate from the P250 million the PSC gets from the General Act Appropriations.

Meanwhile, Southeast Asian Games chief of mission Mario Tanchanco yesterday said his committee has managed to prune down the number of national athletes from 250 to 160.

Tanchangco, also the sepak takraw president, said the list comes close to the maximum number the Philippine Sports Commission plans to bankroll.

“Our duty is to make sure we come up with a delegation to Laos and also make sure they are trained and well prepared,” said Tanchangco, adding that the list has been turned over to POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. for approval.

Last Friday, Angping said the PSC will only fund about 130 athletes, who have the potential to win gold medals in the Dec. 9 to 18 Games.

PSC funding no more than 200 nat’l bets

By June Navarro, Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:38:00 10/16/2009

Filed Under: Sports Organisations

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Sports Commission will stick to the original list of 153 athletes and 47 officials approved by the Southeast Asian Games selection committee and will reject efforts by the Philippine Olympic Committee to add more members to the roster.

“There will be no changes in the number already approved,” said PSC chair Harry Angping yesterday, adding that any last-minute additions to the RP contingent will be ignored by the government agency.

Set to compete in 21 events, the Filipino medalists during the Dec. 9 to 18 competition in Vientiane will be rewarded with another set of bonuses after Angping promised to match the original incentives of P100,000, P50,000 and P10,000 for the gold, silver and bronze winners.

“They are going to war, they should be properly equipped,” said Angping. “I will give them food every day and make sure they won’t worry about anything. There will be no reason for them not to succeed.”

Laos SEA Games chef de mission Mario Tanchangco said the RP roster needs the final approval of the POC board, adding he merely acted as observer during a meeting with Angping and PSC commissioner Joey Mundo that approved the size of the national delegation.

“So he (Tanchangco) went to the meeting not as a representative of the POC? Is that what they are saying?” said Angping.

“The list that we reviewed and approved was a product of the work of Tanchangco and commissioner Mundo. And that list came from the national sport associations.”

Tanchangco, the POC second vice president, has been at the helm of the negotiations, together with Mundo, in preparing the list of the RP delegation based on recommendations from the NSAs.

POC president Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. had earlier announced that the Olympic body would look for sponsors to shoulder the participation of athletes who would not be supported by the PSC.

“Including athletes who failed to make the criteria will affect the morale of the team,” Angping said.

He said the agency saved P10 million by cutting the roster of athletes to the Games.

The decision to double the incentives for medalists came a day after Angping announced an extra training allowance of P7,500 for the Nationals on top of an extra $100 pocket money while they are in Laos.

SEAG champs to get more bonuses–Angping

By Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:23:00 10/18/2009
Sport

Filed Under:

MANILA, Philippines–There appears to be more bonuses coming for gold medalists in the Laos Southeast Asian Games.

Philippine Sports Commission chair Harry Angping hinted at providing more incentives, apart from earlier increases, to the 153 athletes slated to compete in Vientiane on Dec. 9 to 18.

“I tell you, I will really take good care of these athletes,” said Angping Friday after a pep rally with national coaches at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium. Last week, he shared lunch in a boodle fight with the RP national pool.

“I will shower them with love and affection, and financial assistance they have never seen and tasted before,” said the PSC chief. “Look, they are also human beings, you have to show them your concern, because we keep on pushing them to train so we must give proper consideration.”

In his talk with the national coaches, Angping also promised them the same training incentive he gave the athletes, amounting to P7,500 plus $100 additional allowances in the SEA Games.

He also doubled the reward for gold medal winner to P200,000 and promised to give P50,000 more to silver and P20,000 to bronze medalists. Under the law, gold medals win P100,000, silver P50,000 and bronze P10,000.

Angping also appealed for a “ceasefire” among national sports associations hounded by infighting, as well as the spat between the PSC and the Philippine Olympic Committee.

“I pity them (athletes) they become victims in this struggle when they don’t have anything to do with it,” added Angping.

“We can continue to disagree with each other after the SEA Games, but I hope during the duration of the Games, let’s just be fighting under one team, Team Philippines.”

He said the athletes must be spared of the intramurals, and instead be pampered.

“We can’t afford for them to compete in highest standard when the mother is sick, or if there’s problem with family,” he said. “All of these should disappear, at least in the next two months.”

(Note: All the abovementioned news reports were copied from www.inquirer.net)

PATAFA Records On Road Races


As the Chairman on the Committe on Road Races for PATAFA, my first act was to find out the PATAFA Registered List Of Road Races Organizers and List Of Registered Running Clubs.

The following is the list of Road Race Organizers (registered with PATAFA) and its respective President/Owner/Director/Coordinator:

1) Roadrunners Club of the Philipines (RACE)—-Mr Rudy Biscocho

2) Full Shot Advertising—Ms. Gay Maddela/Mr Pablo Cay

3) Events Capital—Atty. Axel B Aguirre

4) OlymPlus—Mr Franco Moreno Atienza, Jr

5) IntrASport Inc.—-Ms Sandra T Paredes

6) Runrio.com—-Rio Dela Cruz

7) Pinay In Action/Rene Cayetano Foundation—-Victoria Marubut

On the list of registered Running Clubs in the country, there are One Hundred Nine (109) running clubs.

In order to update the list of race organizers and the list of running clubs in the country (whether you are based in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao), please leave a comment to this post.

If you are a Road Organizer and have not officially registered with PATAFA, please state the name of your company, name of the owner/President/Project Director/Coordinator, Office/Business Address, and Contact Numbers & E-mail address.

If you are a member of a Running Club, please inform your Coordinator/President to register the name of your running club, name of the club’s contact person, Mailing Address, Contact Numbers & E-mail Address.

I have yet to find out what are the priviledges and benefits of being registered with PATAFA. However, I am sure of the fact that you will be asked if you are a member of PATAFA, if in the future you will be participating in international races which are sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

Registration is Free and Easy as all you have to do is to leave a comment on this post with the data I stated above. No need for you to prepare an official letter and for you to submit your letter to the Office of PATAFA.

It’s Official…


Early this month, I received my designation orders as the Chairman on the Committe on Road Races of PATAFA (Philippine Amateur Track & Field Association), the sports federation governing body in Athletics (track & field, road races, cross country, and race walking) in the country. I was appointed to such position by the newly-elected officials and regional directors for the year 2009-2012 led by its President, Mr Go Teng Kok in a General Assembly held on the 1st week of January 2009. I guess, I will be in this position up to the end of 2012, unless I resign from it. The PATAFA’s Committee on Road Races will serve its purpose as a forun where Race Organizers and Race Directors will coordinate and discuss among themselves on the conduct of road races in the country.

A week after I received my orders, I was also designated as a Member of the Training And Selection Committee of PATAFA for the Middle & Long Distance Running Events whose objective is to evaluate the performance of National Athletes and Coaches prior to their participation in International Athletic Meets or Games.

Guys, don’t congratulate me! This a “pro bono” service and the officials at the PATAFA do not receive any single cent or any compensation! This is all for the love of sports and love for the country. Wish me, “Good Luck!”

Tony Benson: The Man Behind Project “Gintong Alay”


If there is a man to be fully credited on the success of Philippine Sports, most especially in Athletics, it is Tony Benson of Australia. He was the National Coach of the Project “Gintong Alay”. The following is the excerpts taken from his website, www.benson.com.au. Readers are encouraged to visit his site and see its “Honour Roll”  page where he presented Ani De Leon, our woman qualifier and participant  in the 2008 Ford Kona IRONMAN and our past athletes in Athletiics as his athletes who were trained under him .

A 1972 Olympian and once the fifth ranked 5000m runner in the world, Tony was undefeated on tours of the USA and Europe between 1970 and 1972, is the last Australian distance runner to win at the prestigious Cologne, Stockholm and Oslo meets. In addition Tony is a sub “4” minute miler, a former Australian 2000m record holder and the 1969 Pacific Conference 1500m Gold Medalist. He has best times of 3:59.8 (mile), 7:50 (3000m) and 13:36 (5000m) as well as a road 10k time of 27:37 on a Ballarat course that, while uncertified, had seen only two other athletes, Wayne Bourke and Kevin Brady – both sub 14:05/5000m runners, break 30 minutes on the course in 40 years.

Tony began coaching in 1967 while teaching at St Patrick’s College in Ballarat. He moved to club coaching with Ballarat YCW on his retirement from international competition in 1973 and within two years had produced the first of what would be a long list of internationals. During this period a small skinny kid named Steve Moneghetti arrived at St. Patrick’s starting an association that would last through Steve’s foundation years. In 1979 Tony was offered, and accepted, the position of National Coach of the Philippines. At that time the Philippines ranked 29th in Asia. By the time Tony had left the Philippines they had reached 6th place, produced Asian champions and record holders as well as Olympians including a steeplechase semi finalist.

Tony first became involved in triathlon through Emma Carney while still the National T & F Coaching Director of Australia and assisted her with her running during 1993 and 1994 as she started to make her very successful transition from a national class runner to World Champion triathlete.

In June 1993 he left Athletics Australia and by the end of 1994 had a squad of 25 athletes. Since then the squad has grown to the point where there are usually between 70 and 80 athletes training at six to eight different locations around Melbourne as well as interstate and overseas.

Tony Benson has been the Head Coach of Olympic, Commonwealth, World Championship and Asian Games teams, lectured in Africa, Asia and the Pacific on behalf of the International Olympic Committee and International Association of Athletic Federation and put his theories into practice by producing Olympic athletes and World Championship level athletes, triathletes and duathletes.

In 1993, at the insistance of close friend Irv Ray, Tony and Irv produced a best selling coaching book called “Run With The Best”. The philosophies it contained were proven when Irv coached 17 year old Ryan Hall to a 3:42.7/1500m and No2 US high school miler of 2001 and Patrick Sang, a former standout Kenyan steelechaser, used the RWTB principles he adopted after meeting Tony in Nairobi at the 2002 IAAF All Africa Level 2 Coaches’ Course in his preparation of 18 year old 2003 World 5000m champion Elicud Kipchoge.

Finally he has also mixed with elite athletes and coaches from triathlon, cycling and swimming and acknowledges the influence of many of these highly respected and successful people in the construction of his training schedules and in the development of his computer programs. He is a Level 5 Track and Field coach and a Level 3 Triathlon Coach as well as National Track and Field Consultant (AFTCA).

Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association


Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA)

For the past months, the following questions had been playing in my mind whenever I have my running workouts and during my participation in weekend road races in Metro Manila and in other provinces:

1)      Why is it that there are so many road races every weekend up to the point that at least four road races are being conducted in one day? Is there an instituion or body who should be controlling all of these races?

2)      Why is it that there is no uniform registration fee for every road race? Who should be responsible in controlling the registration fee of every road race?

3)      Who are the registered and authorized “road organizers”? Who controls the prolifiration of road organizers in the country?

4)      Why is it that there are so many running “coaches”? Are these running “coaches” certified and have a permit/s to operate their coaching business? Who controls their “coaching fees”?

5)      What is the organization or institution that covers and governs everything about road races and running in the country?

6)      Who is going to inspect and determine the presence and quality of support system ( like water, security, medical & emergency needs) to be given to runners during road races?

7)      Who determines or certifies a road race if the distance is precise and accurate?

8)      Who gives sanctions to race organizers where there are reported cases of stealing  and other criminal acts committed during road races?

Through my research, I found out that the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF) is the international governing body for Athletics (track and field sports, to include road races) and in among member nations/countries, a National Athletics Federation is the governing body for Athletics. In the Philippines, IAAF’s national athletics federation is the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association which is simply called PATAFA. The PATAFA is so powerful that everything that happens in Athletics in the country should happen under the authority of the federation and nothing should be organized without the approval of the federation. It has a great power and at the same time has a great responsibility!

The roles of PATAFA are:

1)      To lead and serve the Federation

2)      To manage all aspects of Athletics

3)      To build on past successes

4)      To ensure a financial basis for present and future activities

5)      To act as guardian of the values of the sport and have the responsibility to set an example and promote these values to the benefit of Athletics.

The following are the functions and obligations of the PATAFA:

A)     On Governance

1)      To be responsible for all aspects of Athletics in the country.

2)      To promote the sport of Athletics and the development of an Athletics Culture.

3)      To provide an appropriate administrative structure and services for the functioning of the Federation and the sport.

4)      To maintain an official list of National Records.

5)      To undertake proceedings against athletes who have rendered themselves ineligible and to impose sanctions where appropriate.

6)      To undertake proceedings against any individual who may have violated the rules of the Federation and to impose sanctions.

B)      On Resources

1)      To obtain and manage the financial, human and technical resources required for the functioning of the Federation.

2)      To set budgets and maintain financial records.

3)      To control expenses.

4)      To arrange for an audit of financial statements.

C)      On Communications

1)      To maintain good relations with and appropriate information to athletes and members of the Federation.

2)      To maintain good relations with the government office responsible for sports and other organizations which have an interest in Athletics or may be of assistance to the Federation.

3)      To maintain good relations with the media in order to ensure the positive promotion of the sport and the Federation’s activities.

D)     On Competitions

1)      To promote the development of a program of competitions including national championships.

2)      To select and organize teams to participate in international competitions.

3)      To maintain a national calendar of Athletics competitions.

4)      To provide official sanctions for competitions including those organized by other parties.

E)      On Facilities and Equipment

1)      To ensure that competition venues and equipment meet the technical specifications mandated by national and international rules.

2)      To guarantee the accurate measurements of road courses used for running and race walking competitions.

F)      On Officials and Coaches

1)      To oversee the recruitment, training, certification, deployment and control of the athletic officials and coaches required to carry out the programs and activities of the sports.

G)     On Medical & Scientific

1)      To plan and coordinate the delivery od sports medicine services to athletes.

2)      To plan and coordinate the delivery of scientific services to coaches and athletes.

3)      To ensure that a doping control program is implemented in accordance with the rules of the IAAF and relevant national regulations.

To confirm all these items I’ve researched, I arranged for an appointment with our country’s President of the PATAFA, Mr Go Teng Kok and I was able to meet and talk to him lengthily about the prevailing situation of athletics and road racing in the country. He confirmed such powers of PATAFA and also admitted that he lacks the resources to implement the rules and regulations/proper administration of Road Races in the country. I presented to him the “projects/programs” that I’ve been doing since I was the Program Director of the DND-AFP Fintong Pangarap for Marathon two years ago and as the “Bald Runner” for the past year. He was surprised to know all these projects. After almost 1 ½ hours of conversation, he asked my assistance for the implementation of the rules and regulations in road racing, of which I accepted on a consultation basis, I think!

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Mr Go Teng Kok, Bald Runner & Coach Andaya of FEU at the PATAFA Office

So, to all the Road Organizers, Coaches & “coaches”, Race Sponsors, and the road racers, you know already that there is somebody “up there” who should be supervising us and putting some “sanity” to those numerous weekend races and who should be able to look for each runner’s welfare while participating in a road race.