Running Predictions For 2020
Based from what I have been reading on Social Media and other written articles about running for the past days since the start of the year 2020, I have the following personal predictions about running in the local setting in the country as well as in International Running Events:
- Running Events will steadily increase in numbers: With the positive results of the 30th ASEAN Games where the country became the Host and the Overall Champion in the Medal Tally Results, running as a basic sports will be embraced by the citizenry as a form of exercise; as an endurance sports; as a part of training for other sports discipline; and as a part of a healthy style of living. Almost all the weekends of the year will be filled with scheduled “fun runs”; long distance running events, such as half-marathon, marathon, and ultramarathon races. Short and Middle distance races like 5K and 10K races will always be there and it is predicted that more “newbies” will join such races.
- Trail Running Events will increase throughout the country: As per my observation with the scheduled races at the Facebook Group “Trail Running In The Philippines” (TRIP), trail running events, whether they are short in distance or ultras, have increased in numbers and I think for 2020, more events will be staged in almost all the regions/provinces in the country where there are mountain trails. However, trail runners will tend to choose which one to join due to financial constraints or depending on what would be their goal in this selected sports. Some competitive trail runners will be joining the Local Trail Running Events with ITRA points for them to qualify in International Trail Running Events. With more of trail running events for this year, the “old” trail running events will have a decrease in participants not unless the same people who have finished the event will continuously support the said event.
- MILO Marathon & MILO Regional Qualifying Races are still the Number ONE Running Events In The Country: Aside from its stature as the Most Prestigious Running Events In The Country, it rewards our Local Elite Runners with Cash Incentives and Travel Expenses support for the MILO Finals Marathon Race. MILO/NESTLE as a MultiNational/Foreign Corporation in the country had been promoting Running as a Sports for the longest time for the local populace. Nobody from our Local Business/Corporate Brands or Institutions had the courage to dig deep from their “pockets” to provide a constant and continuous goal to promote healthy lifestyle through running to the local populace. MILO Runners will also increase in number despite the fact that schools are required to bring their students to join the shorter races. For the competitive and average runners, there will be an increase in the number of runners who would like to qualify for the MILO Finals as it is becoming a symbol status for runners to be a part of the said event. Qualified for the MILO Finals had been a “bragging rights” for the average and competitive runners in the country.
- With more Running Events, Runners Will Remain With Slow Finish Times: With the advent of the Social Media, runners will be satisfied in joining and finishing the race event that they have joined. Pictures of runners with their Finisher’s Medal will be the usual post/status on Facebook without mentioning their Finish Time. Actually, this practice had been with us through the years and more “newbie” runners will follow this practice.
- Slow Finish Time Runners Will Compose Most Of The Runners In International Marathon Events: It is common in my observation that Slow Finish Runners (Sub-5-Hour & Sub-6-Hour Runners) in Marathon Races will consist most of our Runners who will be joining the World Marathon Majors Events. Their reason could be “Bragging Rights” to have joined these events as they would post their Finisher’s Medals on Facebook and other Social Media platforms. I could not understand why these average and slower runners are the luckiest persons in Race Lotteries in World Major Marathon Races. This prediction is the main reason why the Runners from the Philippines remain as one of the slowest finishers in Marathon Races as compared with other nations.
- But More Average and Competitive Runners Will Try To Qualify For The Boston Marathon: It can not be denied that the Most Prestigious Marathon Race In The World is the Boston Marathon and its qualifying times had been faster than before and there is a number of minutes as buffer time if a runner just qualified for his time, to make sure that he is in for the race. Hopefully, more of our Local Elite Runners will be able to qualify for the said race. For those slower runners who are active in the Social Media, they will take the window of opportunity to get in to the event as Charity Runner/s as they have the money and influence to raise for the funds needed.
- UTMB Races Will Remain As The Goal Of Local Trail Runners: Through the past years, the number of Pinoy Runner (Local and Foreign-based) Applicants for the UTMB Lotteries had been increasing and as a result, more Filipinos are joining the UTMB Races. The creation of Trail Running Events in the country with ITRA points had considerably increased the number of qualified Trail Runners for the UTMB. It is predicted that more Trail Running Organizers/Race Directors will advertise their races with ITRA Points as a “come-on” for those runners who plan to join the UTMB Races, as well, in other International Races. However, with financial and logistics constraints, there will still be qualified applicants to the UTMB Races who would not be able to join such events.
- More “Copycat” Ultramarathon Races Will Be Created: There is a tendency of Local Ultra Race Director/s to copy or outdo other RDs Routes for Road Ultramarathon Events. What is worse is when they do a “Reverse” version of what other RD had adopted as his route in his events. This bad practice will continue showing disrespect to the other Race Director/Organizer. Some RDs will also conduct farther distances for their Ultra Events with the purpose to outdo the performance of other ultra athletes. With the popularity of “Fake News”, there will also be “Fake RDs and Fake ROs” who will spend money for advertisement, send Personal Messages to invite their FB Friends, promise Prizes, Raffles, and other Incentives for the Podium Winners, attract runners with Commercial Sponsors and give “Free Kits” to Runner-Influencers.
- Ultramarathon Races and Popular Running “Trends” Will Continue To Be Copied By Local Race Organizers: I think I am the Race Director that started the famous “Beer Mile” in the country and since then, it was copied by others as a “fun run” and it did not prosper to come up with a some sort of National Course Record among the runners. A Fat Ass Road Run was introduced every January and it became popular for runners and I guess, there will no more of this event this year. I also introduced Fat Ass For Trail for a single edition and I was not able to get more participants that I have stop the concept. As the Backyard Ultra in the US is becoming popular, some Local Organizers had conducted their own version of this event. Hopefully, this event will thrive and grow within this year. As for the IAU concept of “loop runs” to establish Record Runs in 24 Hours and other Running Timed Events, these races are not palatable to the liking and taste of Local Runners as compared to other Asian Countries and if we have some races of this kind, I predict that we could not be able to compete and be at par with these countries.
- More Ultra Race Organizers and Race Directors Will Be Dreaming That Running Events Are Lucrative Business: This is “self-explanatory”.
- Lastly, there will always be a “Cheater” in Every Race!