“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