What Do Runners Need During A Race?

26 07 2009

“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.” -Charlie Chaplain

As I am  receiving galore of comments in my previous post, I think it’s timely to share this topic. I firmly believe that we, as runners, have rights and privileges while running a certain race.  When Organizer violates those rights, then dissatisfied runners will emerge, some will just keep it to themselves but they will no longer join races; while some will air their sentiments and if not resolve immediately, will result to some misunderstanding and chaos.

My topic is: What do runners need… not  What do runners want!

Need and want are two different things.

People need the following….food, clothing and shelter.

And we want these things for our luxury… cars, vacation trips, gadgets etc.

While some will say that in joining races, just run and have some fun, forget about the system of that race and the way it’ s being organized – is missing my point.

For example, the Registration Fee is P500.00. For rich people, it’s nothing but a penny. But let’s admit it, not all runners are rich  and that amount is big enough for them.

For the rich and few, that amount is only a portion of their wealth. But for the many poor Filipinos, that amount is their wealth already.

For example, here comes a race. Those rich can afford not to stop at any aid stations even if there’s no water because they have their hydration belt with them or a  back up  van with  all their supports. But this poor boy from the province who ran just to experience his first ever race was caught in the middle, with no water at the aid stations, almost dying in dehydration. At the finish line, he was not given the freebies as stated in the flyer and to make things worst, his name was not included in the race result.

Do you think that poor guy will run again in the races?

Now, rich or poor, old and young, elites or just finishers, VIPs or not, top honchos or mere Juan dela Cruzes,  have the rights as a runner during races. We must protect our rights or our needs because if organizer cannot guarantee this, then why join them? What’s the use? Only To test our speed? To outrun  others? To beat PRs? To qualify? To have some fun? We can do that also in our comfort zones  without the hassle of joining races.

What do runners need during races?

1. safety in the route and in the parking area -our van was ransacked once and those robbers took away all our belongings including our food and underwear.

2. adequate and potable water in every  stations -what’s the use of having a water station without cup? Or a contaminated one?

3. Enough and knowledgeable marshals -they  must be runners too so they can really empathize with us, and please, instruct them strongly not to forget in giving out ‘arm band’ to all who will pass their station. They must know also how many more kms. are left from their designated posts.

4. First Aider just in case -in one of the Ultras I’ve joined, I whistled several times calling for help, I’m injured and dehydrated hoping for the First Aider to come. We were obliged to bring whistle and use it if in case but  no one came. I have to walk and literally crawl  very slowly for the next 8 kms to reach the Aid Station. Thank God I’m still alive today! What’s the use of that whistle?

5. Accuracy in publishing the race result – do you like to see your name with a different gender or age or misspelled? I pitied those runners who are computer illiterate or have no access to internet.  I know majority of them were not on the list.

6. Value for money -In that P500 I set as an example above, you will receive a singlet and  race packet. Part of that amount they say will go to charitable institution. The question now, Is that singlet made from cheap material? Would it fit the runner? For some, collecting singlets are their ‘joys’ already. Let not deprive them of this.

I will continue to run races. In fact, I’m preparing for Milo Baguio 21k this coming August 9, 2009,  the Mount Makiling Race comes September, the New Balance power race, Subic 42k and Adidas 21k.

God be Praised!

LIFE IN A NUTSHELL: The great composer doesn’t set to work because he is inspired, he becomes inspired because he’s working. Beethoven, Bach and Mozart wrote with a regularity  that an accountant uses with figures. They didn’t waste time waiting for inspiration. -Ernest Newman





12 responses

26 07 2009

Sir, Very nice post. Sana magkaron tlaga ng written law about this kaso lang wala namang batas na sumasaklaw sa ating mga takbuhan.

Thank you for posting.

26 07 2009
mentor abby

If there’s only written rules, those Organizer’s license can be revoked if they’ll fail to comply.

sana may ganto sa running community natin.

26 07 2009
bob reyes

Hi Ronnie…I saw your blogs while googling the topic about ultramarathon, and I would say, I’m enjoying reading all of your posts. Hindi nakakasawang basahin di tulad ng iba na puro takbuhan lang ang laman.

How I wish na may mga lisensya din dapat ang mga organizers para sa kapakanan na rin ng mga runners. I wish to see you here in Baguio, dito me nakatira.

God bless.

26 07 2009
rick gaston

Well from what you said, equality in the races. All should have the same level of support available to them. Really unfortunate that those who have less suffer more. However Ronnie, it seems like there are more and more races now and runners can afford to be picky. Those organizers who don’t do right by their runners will find their runs “unsupported” by the running community. Word travels fast these days with blogs and running groups. I have no doubt that you and other blogging runners will expose these events that are not worth running.

26 07 2009


the running running community is growing bigger and bigger. There are a lot of races being held all over the country especially in the d fort and UP premises (every sunday)

i think there should be a specific law that governs running and other similar sports activities. if there is none, why not write to a runner/lawmaker senator Pia Cayetano. i think she can promulgate laws that would protect the running community to avoid exploitation among us. poorly organized run can be avoided.

What are the rights and benefits of a registered runner in a certain race? Who are those qualified to organize a race?

26 07 2009

Hi shaded_gun… Let’s pray that time will come, this matter will be given ‘attention’ by the people in the Philippine Sports Commission or PATAFA or any governing bodies related to this field.

Thank you for visiting.

26 07 2009

Hi mentor abby… How I wish too! It’s also for our welfare. God bless.

26 07 2009

Hi bob Reyes…Thank you for a nice comment! And hoping to see you in Baguio. God bless.

26 07 2009

Hi Rick…That’s why I will only join races once or twice a month and I’ll choose wisely the Organizer. I have to consider also the Registration fee if it’s reasonable or not.

Thank you bro for the visit. God bless.

26 07 2009

Hi Gil…Your word ‘exploitation’ is really accurate! I can still remember when we ran in Patakbo sa Kabundukan in Rizal province last year, and it was the worst race ever! Upon knowing the Organizer, we promised ourselves not to run in their races again.

I will try my very best to get the attention of Sen. Pia and if its’ not possible, I’ll go to some lawmakers instead. Thanks for the visit po.

26 07 2009

ronnie, running in road races should be free if there are sponsors willing to support the activity. i am thinking of coming up with a running event without any registration fee and every participant will be responsible for his safety, support, and welfare for the entire event. do you have any comment on this?

28 07 2009

S’ BR…it’s but okay to have a registration fee as long as it’s reasonable and the ‘value for money’ is there. But if the sponsor is generous enough and willing to shoulder the registration fee, that’s another story. In our BDM Ultra, you have given us plenty of power gels, bars with still many back-up foods and drinks. Plus the trophy, medal and a lavish foods in the awarding ceremony. I would say, that our fee for your Ultra was well-managed and worth it….

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