Sunday, April 19, 2009

Greenfield City Run - Great Event, But Short After The "Finishline"

As expected, today’s Greenfield City Run was a very early day to most of the participants. On our part, Coach Saturnino Salazar, Christian Dalida, Milbert Mabuab and I left Paragon Plaza in Mandaluyong City at about 3:00am. With no traffic and with smooth driving experience at this time of the day, we arrived at Greenfield City Sta Rosa at 3:50am more than an hour before the scheduled start.

Given this opportunity and as it was also about the same time that cars/vans were arriving, time was spent at the parking area greeting friends and runners in the community that are a regular fixtures and also time to meet new friends. It was a very relaxed atmosphere of runners’ camaraderie in action. This observation was duplicated on clusters of groups all over the area as participants arrived continuously.

Last minute preparation was being done by the staff of “Finishline” the organizers which I think is the new trademark name of Runrio (please correct me if I am mistaken). With Coach Rio onboard, it is now more or less a STANDARD in the running community of how a race event should be organized. Runners have been used to expect only the BEST if Rio Dela Cruz is involved. Today as participants arrived in the venue, it was a no exemption for this event for you could easy notice that things are in order and how they are supposed to be prior a racing event. However, not to go ahead of the subject, this event will fell short of its promise just after crossing the finish line. A shortcoming and a big disappointment coming from an A-1 class race organizer. Further, I could not comprehend and would be glad to receive a clarification from the organizers on the issue at hand. However, let us not jump as we still have to start the race and other have so many great and wonderful things to mention.

05:00 am the 21k started on time as schedule and you have that feeling that this will be a great race event. Let me go through the important aspects of the event;

Route- This is the first time that Greenfield City was used in the local circuit and I have no doubt that there will be more races to follow on this venue. You have the best road to run, wide, very light to almost no traffic to contend with. The greatest plus factor of the event is the quality of AIR. Greenfield City can take pride in itself that there was no air pollutant within the vicinity. It was hot being summer, but, no question the air quality is very good for running. So much so that the ultra violet rays of the sun are not prevented by any smog or the kind. Check out the picture below wherein sunburn is very visible (8 runners have the same sunburn manifestation on the same area) after just being exposed to about an hour in sunlight. I have not experienced this sunburn in Metro Manila circuits. Maybe you have a better explanation.

The organizers did well in scheduling to start the race at 5am due to summer heat. Although the starting time was early, the roads used were well lit and on portions that there were absence of electrical posts and lighting, the organizers with the support of Greenfield City placed on strategic locations along the curve TORCHES. Wow, that was something I enjoyed looking at. To keep you energized along the route there where music inside the village and sound system playing dance music on two locations to keep you going. Great innovation.

Water Stations – there were more than sufficient numbers well placed along the route which were also providing cool sponges to keep you cool. Not only water was served but also RUSH. And what I liked about the water stations is that they are well manned and attendants were knowledgeable and efficient in what they were doing.

Distance and Markers – The distances markers are positions every kilometer and to my great astonishment is exactly the same as that being given to by my GARMIN Forerunner 405. On an comparative observation, I do not have an actual fact to support my DOUBTS but just to check if others also have the same observation, I believe that the distance provided on this 21K of Greenfield City Run is accurate and that the 21K distance of the CONDURA RUN 09 was shorter than the actual distance declared. If I am correct, a lot of runners who did both races would not be able to establish a better time for their Greenfield Run in comparison to their Condura Run 09. As I said, maybe I am mistaken, but, what is your individual observation guys? Let us compare observations. By the way my Condura Run 09 was 02h39m11s whilst my unofficial Greenfield City Run was 02h52m45s.

Portalets- Well provided and even on the 15Km there were two portalets positioned. My walking mates where joking along the route that this is the only race that men will never have a problem to find an available place to relieve their bladders as it was an open field all the way unlike on city running events that either you await for the portalets positioned or you need to make a pit stop on gasoline station along the way.

Security – Greenfield City did support the organizers to the fullest on the matter. You have so many securities along the ways to help out with the marshals either in their motor bikes, cars, vans or on foot. With the support given by Greenfield to the organizers, such action will but contribute to the success of the event.

Marshals – those deployed by the organizers were of great number, knowledgeable and knew what they were doing. Great performance guys! I would like to make special mention at this time to the girl marshal at the 20.5km mark where there was sound system playing dance music; she was dancing and pushing the participants for the last 500 meters. I wanted to stop and instead just dance with her. Nice work (who ever you are).

Finish Line – well manned and very orderly very ideal to finish a great race. Ops, but where is the shortcoming then? Did I not tell you earlier it was after the finish line?

The Shortcoming – On this matter, I hope that the organizers will be able to provide a clarification as the said shortcoming which I cannot be understand The issue is on “Finishing Medal”. With a making of a perfect event, after crossing the finish line I was looking for a representative of the event with respect to our group’s finishing medal. We were told that “sorry, we run out of medal and we will just provide them to you later”. How could you run out of finishing medal? The participants of 21K were known well ahead of time so there was no reason to run out. The participants in the 21K were not that many, so you could not run out. I would like to believe that the organizers did not intentionally produced less medal than the actual registered runners, otherwise, this is a very big let-down. On another angle, if the organizers produced more than enough finishing medals, but, due to whatever reason became short in number then somebody in their organization needs explaining. It is easy to audit, how many was produced as against how many were the participants.

Why the shortage. What was promised, must be delivered otherwise, the integrity of the organizer will be at stake. I hope further that if and ever the finishing medals for those that were not able to receive will be given, this shall be forwarded to their addresses and not for the participants to collect. The burden and trouble should be on the organizers.

As I have mentioned above, the Greenfield City Run was a GREAT EVENT, only to come SHORT AFTER THE FINISH LINE.


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