Too Many Road Races

1. Yes, there are too many road races on a Saturday and Sunday up to 4-5 running events for each day for this month of May. It is surprising that we have the most number of road races in a month which is considered as the hottest month of the year for us. On the other hand, this could be a sign that it is about time to declare the Month of May as the “Month For Running” or “Month For Runners” in the country. If any of the newly-elected Senators and/or Members of the House of the Representative would read this blog, at least, they have a proposal for a Bill that could be enacted into a Law. This will encourage more of our countrymen to be involved in an active healthy lifestyle through running. I hope the member of Congress who will propose this bill is also a runner!

2. Is it good or bad to have a lot of Running Events in one day or during the weekend? If there are Cash Prizes for the top runners, it will be good for the “visiting” Kenyans and to the local Elite Runners, to include my Elite Team Bald Runner! If there is none, it will be good for the competitive/average runners (to improve their PRs) and receive their “loot bags” and a “winner” to the corporate sponsors for their marketing exposures.

3. Too many road races means that there are also too many race directors & race event organizers around. It also means that almost all the corporate products are dipping their money to promote their products through the road races. I just wish that the Race Organizers will get a profit out of their running events even if they are competing with other road races being conducted on the same day. It is good to “spread” the economy, too.

4. If there are two or more road races in a weekend, what would be the most important factor to consider in selecting one? Is it the registration fee (lower or higher), the route, the reputation of the Race Organizer/Race Director, the singlet & the “loot bag” at the Finish Line, the brand or product being endorsed, or the popular personality who is endorsing the race and the product? Whatever your choice is, you are the one making the decision and above all, it’s your money!

5. There are more road races being conducted outside Metro Manila and I hope that there are more runners being developed and/or discovered as a result of these races. Aside from the MILO Elimination Runs in the Regions and key cities in the country, I hope more of the established companies/corporations would be able to sponsor local road races and fun runs. In addition, it is about time that the local government units should be in the forefront in encouraging their consituents to be involved in sports. Running would be the least expensive sports that they could plan & implement.

6. Last Sunday morning, I was at The Fort and I observed the Start & Finish of the Neutragena 15K/10K/5K/3K Road Races. I was an spectator of the event and I was surprised that there are only “few” runners (as compared with the previous races with 5-8 thousand runners!) It appears that there were less than 2,000 runners in the event based from the published results. This could be the effect of too many road races in one weekend where runners have a choice depending on the factors to be considered in a road race. On the other hand, this was the first time that I also observed the presence of “tall & muscular” security guys dressed in all black. “Bouncers” in a Road Race? What is their job description at the Start & Finish Line? If I may suggest, these “security guys” should be posted in key intersections along the route of the runners where they could “bully or intimidate” those undisciplined jeepney drivers/motorcycle riders and “angry-shouting & honking” taxi drivers! I wonder if they are “volunteers” or get paid by the Race Organizers/Sponsors?

7. With the new administration of government preparing to take over the reign of leadership for the whole nation, I’ve been reading a lot of news about the same personalities who brought our athletes in our past international sports competitions (2008 Beijing Olympics & 2009 Laos Southeast Asian Games) with dismal performance as the ones reportedly recommended to be leading again our government’s sports institutions. Politics & Sports will never mix in order to get the best from our athletes and win medals in International Sports Competitions.

8. Lastly, I am planning to tender my resignation as the PATAFA’s Chairman of the Road Race Committee. Nothing had been done to my recommendations on the conduct & protocol of road races to include the conduct of seminar among road race directors and organizers. I would rather concentrate my effort in promoting ultramarathon races through the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) as the President & Founder by bringing more of the ultra races outside Metro Manila.

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.

Invitation: To All Road Race Organizers

I just received a telephone call from the President of PATAFA, Mr Go Teng Kok, this morning. Being the PATAFA’s Director for Road Races, he relayed to me the need to meet all the Road Race Organizers in Metro Manila and in other parts of the country to discuss important matters related in the conduct of Road Races in the country.

In view thereof, all Road Race Organizers are invited to a meeting at the PATAFA Office, Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on March 2, 2010. The meeting starts at 8:30 AM and it will be presided by the PATAFA President himself. Trail Race Organizers are also invited to join this meeting.

If you think you are a road race organizer and had never applied for accreditation with PATAFA, you are highly encouraged to join this meeting.

See you at the meeting/conference.

“I need the money…I need to buy vitamins”

“Yes, I’m a candidate for ejection from the Philippine team,” said the four-time champion Martes, the youngest Milo winner at 21 years old in 1999. “I’ll just talk to them and explain. I need the money. I’m having laser therapy for my old injuries and I need to buy vitamins.” (Note: Copied from news report at

These were the exact words from the mouth of Christabel Martes, Lady Champion of the 33rd MILO Marathon FINALS held last Sunday, for her reason why she ran and finished the race despite an strict memorandum from PATAFA (Philippine Amateur Track & Field Assosiation) that National Pool Athletes are restricted from running more than a distance of 10K competitive Road Races at least 3 months before an International Games/Competition Meet. The reason for this memo is to make sure that our National Athletes do not divert themselves to their training program in order for them to “peak” during the competition period/date and at the same time, prevent them from becoming injured.

In the reaction of the PATAFA officials, as published in the news, Martes will be definitely removed from the list of National Athletes slated to be included in this coming Southeast Asian Games which will be held on the first week of December 2009 in Laos. For winning a cash prize of Seventy-Five Thousand Pesos (P 75,000)  or equivalent to $ 1,595.00 in the MILO Marathon FINALS, her chance of winning the Gold Medal in Marathon in the ASEAN Games is gone!

 Money versus Pride For the Country? Present Reality of our Athletes versus Present Situation of our Sports Excellence Program?

Now, let us try to discuss the present condition of our National Athletes basing from the title of this post/comments from Christabel Martes.

It appears that our National Athletes are not properly or adequately supported by our Sports Federation or the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). As per PSC’s guidance, for an Athlete who won Medal/s (Gold, Silver, or Bronze) in the previous ASEAN Games and other International Competition Events and presently training to compete in an International Games, he/she receives a monthly support of   Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P 15,000)  or $ 320.00 inclusive of food, vitamins, training needs, and stipend. While on training, with the guidance of their coach, they are left on their own and stay/live in Sports Facilities being managed by PSC. It is also concluded that the athletes had to deal with their own injuries and have to get the services of professionals to cure them for a considerable fee. Which means that our Sports Support Services (Sports Medicine, Nutrition, Sports Psychology, etc) are lacking! In short, 15K Pesos is nothing if we want our athletes to be “world-class”. The same amount of money is equivalent to a ONE-DAY MEAL for Michael Phelps, I guess!

For a potential medal placer and a “newbie” in the National Pool of Athletes, he/she receives a monthly stipend of Six Thousand Pesos (P 6,000) or $ 128.00. This is translated to P 200.00 per day meal for the athlete and he/she could not even buy vitamins and sports drinks for his hydration & electrolyte resplenishment needs during his training. And if he/she wants to compete in weekend road races, he/she is selective as to where he/she will compete because the registration fee will be deducted from this amount of money. But our athletes are “brave warriors” because they have to risk in investing their training money to weekend road races that have Cash as Major Prizes for the Top Finishers! If they loss and don’t get any cash prize, the more that they will train harder but their training money is now draining and they are forced to spend their money to their barest needs. In essence, our athletes are on “survival” mode!

This situation is not only applicable to our runners but to all our athletes in other sports!

Now, you know already why our runners in our National Pool of Athletes are only good for our local Road Races with Cash Prizes, not for the ASEAN Games, not for the ASIAN Games, and never for the OLYMPIC Games!

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)—-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!”

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!


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.