After reading the comments of my readers on my previous posts, I am suggesting the following recommendations to guide our runners before they register to join a particular road or trail race:
1. Every runner has the right to know the name of the outfit or the name of the race organizer/race director before he/she files or registers to a particular race. Henceforth, all registration/application form in every road race must carry the name of the Race Organizer for the information of the runner.
2. Groups and/or corporate offices and their marketing outfits must be able to state in their “flyers”, advertisement notices, and PR/media releases as to who and what outfit will be the race organizer. These corporate offices and groups must be able to ask runners or make some research/referrals on the background of race organizers trying to apply as race organizer.
3. Takbo.Ph and other bloggers must be requested to identify as to who is the race organizer every time they post a notice of invitation or information about an incoming race. (Note: This blog/site has never been used to announce or invite runners to join in a particular race. Sorry, guys, your e-mails and comments requesting me to post your invitation in this blog had never been posted because of this personal policy. I don’t advertise.)
4. Every runnner must remember that companies and groups who would like to conduct a road race usually conduct a bidding/selection process where every race organizer is invited to compete. It is the responsibility of the Bids & Awards Committe of the company or group to find out if these Race Organizers have a license from DTI and the necessary documentation of a business entity. We should always remember that the lowest bidder gets the award to be the race organizer of a race. So, if the race organizer and/or the company needs to maximize its profit, he/she has to get sponsors for the prizes and “giveaways” and other support needs for the runners like water supply, water cups, energy drinks, and other “gimmicks”. The race organizer now allocates some money from your registration fee for your medal, certificate, race bib, race shirt, measurement of the route, payment for the marshals/security, medical support and rent for the timing devices and computer system. If the race organizer intends to allow commercial stalls at the start/finish, he has the power to collect fees at his discretion for the rent of the tents/space and they add up to his income/profit. Race Organizing is a “big” business. I am just wondering if they are paying their dues/taxes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
5. If you experienced some “lapses” in the conduct of a race you participated and you find out that the same race organizer is the one who will administer the race you are applying, then, I suggest you save your money and wait for road races to be conducted by the better and well-organized race organizers.
6. For the “newbies” in road races, make a research on the past posts of runner-bloggers about how these race organizers were rated in their respective races or ask from the more experienced runners about these race organizers before joining a road race. I will give you an example. As far as I can recall, for this year, the race organizer of the PSE Bull Run and Men’s Health Run at UP Diliman was the same and in those runs, runners complained of the lack of water and water cups.
7. This is an “eye-opener” to all the runners. Aside from the support system for the runners during the race, we have to consider also the security services to our cars and our personal belongings while we are running. Let me ask you, “Who should be responsible for the security of our cars/vehicles and personal belongings during the race”? In my opinion, it should be the Race Organizer. Kahit gaano kagaling & fully-prepared and isang race organizer kung nananakawan naman ang kanyang customers, ay dapat isang daguk sa kakayahan ang isang race organizer itong pangyayari ng nakawan. New Balance 25K Powerace at Clark Freeport was a very organized race but in the end many runners complained that their personal belongings in their parked vehicles were stolen. The Greenfield City 21K Run was also an organized race few weeks ago but you heard of complaints from runners that they were victims of theft/robbery in their parked vehicles despite the presence of security guards in the parking areas. Road Races conducted at the Global City by well-known and better-equipped road organizers were not spared from these thieves and robbers. But if the Race Organizer will not accept responsibility for the security of our parked vehicles and our personal belongings, then we have to learn from these incidents also.
I admit there is a problem in regulating these race organizers once they are legitimate business outfits because there is lack of policy and system of monitoring the said races by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) or from the Sports Federation (PATAFA) that supervises Road Races. Without rules and regulations, the violators will never get sanctioned or punished. Even if there are rules and regulations if there are no formal (written) complaints from the runners filed to DTI or PATAFA, the race organizer will be free to bid again for another race.
So, let us join hands in “punishing” these road organizers who are not improving their support and security systems by not registering to their races. Select the race you are going to participate. In the end, it is your money, decision and personal choice to join such road race and you must take responsibility for your action.
The decision is yours! See you this weekend!