The Birth of the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU); Our National Sports Federation On Ultrarunning
Since I started this blogsite two years ago, I was wondering what PATAFA had been doing about the sports on running, most especially on road racing. It took me some time to observe and ask people who are connected with our Athletics Sports Federation on what could PATAFA do in order to have a “control and supervision” on the conduct of road races in the country. It was during the past two years that there were so many complaints from the runners about how road races were being conducted month after month with the same complaints.
Last year, I had the opportunity to pay a courtesy call to the President of PATAFA, Mr Go Teng Kok, who had been in this position for the past 18 years. I briefed him on my observations on the conduct of road races in the country and told him that PATAFA should come into the picture as Road Racing is one of the principal components of the Athletics Sports Federation. He did not forget our conversation.
On January of this year, Mr Go Teng Kok invited me to attend the Elections of Officers of the PATAFA. I was an observer of that elections but I was frustrated on how the process of elections was done. It was not an election but it was a simple designation of officers. Mr Go Teng Kok easily got the President’s position and he will be in that position up to the end of 2012. However, it was on that “designation” day that I was designated as the Director For Road Races which, in addition to my duties, has now the power to vote for the next group of officers for PATAFA after the 2012 London Olympics. Will it take me to wait this long to become the President of PATAFA?
I am not proud of being designated as the PATAFA’s Director For Road Races because I don’t have any powers to command & decide as I could only recommend to the President of the things that I would observe in the conduct of the road races. And my duty ends there! Through this blog I was able to observe and took note of the good and bad points of the different road races in Metro Manila. However, there should be stricter measures to follow so that PATAFA’s influence be felt in road races.
In the course of preparing for the conduct of the 1st Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race (BDM 102), I discovered that there is such an international sports federation on ultrarunning called the “International Association of Ultrarunners” (IAU) which is under the IAAF and I conceived a plan and course of action to undertake to come up with a National Sports Federation for the country in the Sports of Ultrarunning or Ultramarathon. This plan was laid and put to action after the conduct of the 1st BDM 102 last April of this year.
I created the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners, Inc (PAU) with some of the Finishers of the 1st BDM 102 and have this registered at the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and it was approved on May 18 of this year. Immediately, I sent a letter of application for membership to the IAU through the Asian Representative of the IAU’s Executive Council in the person of Mr Lee Yongsik of South Korea and he provided me with the procedure to follow and requirements to produce in order that the bid for membership of PAU will be elevated to the Executive Council of the IAU for Approval. Mr Lee gave me a positive note and encouragement that the Philippines will be the 6th country in ASIA to be a member federation in the IAU.
I have to get an endorsement and accreditation from PATAFA and fill-up some forms from the Executive Council of the IAU and they were sent to the IAU immediately. No less than the President of the IAU who was sending me things that need to be submitted for the country to be represented to the international body. PATAFA and I even wrote some letters to the Executive Director of IAAF, Mr Peter Weize to show that PAU is an accredited organization under the PATAFA.
After deliberations, I finally received a letter from the Executive Director of IAU, Hilary Walker, that the Philippines through the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) is now a voting member for the election of the incoming Asian Representative for the Executive Council of IAU and my vote should reach their Headquarters not later than November 22! In the said letter, I was informed that I should check on the latest E-publications of the IAU on its website on the announcement that the Philippines bid for membership to the IAU was accepted and approved. It showed that our membership to the IAU was approved last July this year and published in their October’s E-Publications (Welcome Members), the Philippines/PAU is the 47th member-federation/nation of the IAU and the 6th Asian member! As of the present, there are only 48 member-federations/nations of the IAU.
Ms Walker’s letter also gave me an advance information that the IAU will be sending a formal invitation for the Philippines/PAU to send our best ultrarunners to the 1st IAU Asian 100K Championship which will be held on March 2010. The place of competition might be in Japan or South Korea.
Since I created the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU), I am automatically designating myself as the President of this Sports Federation for Ultrarunning for the country. Are there any objections? I hope the sports of ultrarunning/ultramarathon will be developed and enhanced among the members of the running community through this Federation with the end-view of sending our best ultrarunners to international competitions sponsored and sanctioned by the International Association of Ultrarunners. With the plan to introduce the 50K or 100K Ultramarathon Race as “demonstration sports” in the 2012 London Olympic Games, I can positively say that the Philippines would be able to produce its Olympic Athletes to compete in this event in the next Olympic Games and later to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro’s Olympic Games.
There is no need to become the President of PATAFA afterall!!! However, in the end, I still need the support and unity of the runners for us to give pride to our country to be among the world’s best in ultrarunning/ultramarathon, if not, the best!
Now, for starters, I need somebody to design the Official Logo of the PAU. Whoever will submit the selected one, he/she will be awarded a 5-Year Free Membership to PAU. (Note: Please send your entries at my e-mail address at email@example.com)
PAU’s blogsite is at www.philippineassociationofultrarunners.blogspot.com.