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.