Sunday, August 16, 2009

Urbanite '09 - A New Meaning to "Saturday Family Night-Out"

Kenny’s Open09 Urbanite Run last Saturday 15Aug09 gave a new meaning to a Family Saturday Night Out.

While in the past a typical family Saturday night out will be more of “mall visits or shopping” or probably a night to watch a long awaited movie on one of the cinemas in Metro Manila, a much different concept of quality family time was established by the Urbanite ’09.

On this blog I will not be dealing on the manner how the race was conducted and faired as I leave these things to others to comment on the specifics. However, what has gotten much of my attention was the atmosphere of family and friends bonding prior and after the race. There was a festive mood in the night typical of carnival atmosphere. The crowd consisted of varied sectors of the community, a good mixture from A to D sectors of the community. Runners were from the elite, intermediate, beginners and just curious and accidental runners.

Prior and after the race proper you could see crowd seated in clusters on the dark open field south of the starting area and all over the different parking areas adjacent to BHS. The grounds were turned into an instant Luneta Park with each crowd cluster busy and excited of the things about the race. There were even entrepreneurs who took the advantage to set up their mobile running apparel stores. This scenario was further induced by a very cooperative weather condition although it was unusually humid and hot. Unlike on morning races that each runner participant comes practically on his own, on this occasion, the gallery crowd has tripled to that of normal as most runners had brought along with them either a family member(s) or a friend(s) as a support or just in their own simple way of sharing their passion for running with a wish/hope that these “alalays” will someday pick-up the running bug themselves.

Congratulations to Kenny Rogers and to Finishline for initiating this innovative concept of running in the local scene which has given a new meaning to a Saturday Night Out for the family. It was a well attended race event. My hope and wishes is that such a concept would be adopted/copied by other race sponsors and organizers to continuously open an alternative to a healthy way to spend a Saturday Night with the Family.


  1. Hi Mr. Castro,

    Congratulations for your nth race and another good post!

    I too, am noticing many are really becoming enthusiastic about the sport.

    Runners bringing friends, co-workers and family who eventually get hooked on the running bug. As a result, a "people power" atmosphere produced by the multitude of runners!

    I just hope the organizers look (and listen to reviews that matter) to make the races safe for the growing number of participants, over and above other interests. This will ultimately help the sport grow nationwide (not only in MetroManila)

    I hope to meet you in one of these future road races and tell you personally how I enjoy reading your blog.

    More power to you sir!

  2. This was truly one for the books!

    I dont know whether it was the absence of the early Sunday morning drag for the guys or the presence of Marc Nelson for the girls, but the "high" was there even before the gunstart!The concept and vibe of the Urbanite is really something we can look forward to again! Funny seing BHS with well dressed-up people along side puffing and sweating runners.

    Some notes on the route: Hell!!

    Id be amazed someone pr-ing this one with all the inclines, big crowds and darkness the whole way through..not to mention that darn garbage truck/ mobile convoy at Mckinely! But i sure would want to run that route again!

  3. Ah, it was ok, well good enough start for bringing in nite run for family and friends, except for the not so organized claiming of race kits, and the race hills, humidity was hard! added to that the motorists, the dark road, the smoke from cars (not a very nice route!), yes, the garbage truck!!! gosh! over-all it's just better next year!!

  4. Dear Anonymous - I note that you too noticed the festive atmosphere. I do also share your views that organizers look and listen to reviews that matter for sport improvement. Well said. Thanks for the regular visit looking forward to meet you on one of the races.

    Dear Runbug - I liked what you said "BHS with well dressed-up people alongside puffing and sweating runners". Yes indeed that "garbage truck" was a problem.

    Dear Anonymous - Same thing as you said the garbage truck and of course the angry motorists. I think a lot of motorist got annoyed with us runners for creating a traffic they did not expect on a Saturday night. This will be an ongoing problem with motorist who just could not appreciate the invasion of the streets by runners. Organizers still haveto find a solution to this delicate problem.