Thursday, July 2, 2009
Theft On Parking Areas During Races - Enough Is Enough
Last Tuesday 30th June 2009 I was invited by Jinoe Gavan of Takbo.ph to attend the Bloggers Conference for the KENNY’S OPEN 2009 URBANITE RUN.
I shall not deal on this blog the particulars of the run itself as most of those that were present then have already posted the details of the run in their respective blog. However, I shall deal on the subject matter that was touched with great importance during the said meeting. The subject is “THEFT ON PARKING AREAS DURING RACES”.
During the meeting BALD RUNNER (Jovie Narcise) brought on the table the ongoing issue and problem on thefts which were results of cars being forcibly opened during races. Subject matter was very much relevant in much that the “KO2009UR” will be conducted during night time and considering that the thieves have been very bold during daytime, what more can the participants expect for their security during night time.
VINCE MENDOZA and RIO DELA CRUZ were game enough to answer and accept the views and opinions of the people present during the meeting. On the other hand it was also pointed out to the organizers that such a problem can no longer be tolerated and disregarded even if such a problem has a limitation on the liabilities of the organizers. For the purpose of solving the problem, it was brought up by Bald Runner to invite/solicit running clubs, civic organization or group of concern runners for voluntary task of just making their presence visible on parking areas to deter possible cars being broken-in by these thieves.
I have the following observations on the subject;
- Thieves are getting bolder and bolder in making the runners as their prey during road races. It is worthwhile also to take note that they are now even I think part of the runners that register for a race! They could even be entered on short races to gain valid access to the venue and have more than enough time to do their thing before the longer distance races is completed.
- The incident in Men’s Health All Terrain Race at the Sta Elena is a good case study. Sta Elena is a very secured place, no loiters have easy access to the place, the parking area was nicely made and very visible. I could only but arrive at a conclusion that the thieves are posing as runners themselves or part of the service/organizing team with their own transport means. Otherwise, how in the world could they have entered the venue as you cannot enter Sta Elena from/to the main gate to the race venue WITHOUT YOUR OWN TRANSPORT MEANS.
- That maybe Finishline are being targeted by these thieves as on the races lately these incidents have been occurring. I told bought Vince and Rio that they have been providing good organization and actual conduction of road races, but, only to be spoiled by these thefts as such they need to address the situation as well.
- While it is fair to say that the organizers have their limitation with respect to liability of materials lost from these thefts, Bald Runner hit the nail in his statement that runners and organizers CANNOT JUST CLOSE THEIR EYES AND ACCEPT THE SITUATION.
- It is of course the runner’s main obligation to practice DUE DILIGENCE meaning to ensure that all important valuable items are not brought to the race venue and left in the vehicle EXPOSED FOR EVERYONE TO SEE which is inviting a situation to happen. It is best to leave all valuables at home and should you need to bring important things with you during race day, have them stored beyond vision or lock them at the car trunk. Of course park your vehicle on the designated race parking area.
- Of course even if due diligence is practice a situation will/might happen, IT IS THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY of the organizers to INVESTIGATE and most important to come up with the STATEMENT/FINDING/COMMENTS/RECOMMENDATION regarding the incident that has occurred. The organizer SHOULD NOT JUST KEEP QUITE and PRETEND AS IF NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. While the organizer may not be legally liable, they have the MORAL OBLIGATION to acknowledge a situation and find a possible solution for future implementation. Maturity and trustworthiness of an organizer can be determined by these actions.
- The problem is REAL and as in any problem has a SOLUTION. It will take a joint effort between runners and organizers to help one another and deal with the issue. One avenue I could think of is VOLUNTEERISM. The actual HOW and the MECHANICS can be discussed. But, it is time to face the problem instead of just ignoring it.
I am sure you have your own groups and circle of friends who love this sport of ours. Should you have any comments and or suggestions on the issue, gather them collectively and let us present them to organizers and/or the running community as a group. It is time to say ENOUGHT IS ENOUGHT.