Sunday, January 31, 2010

Book Run 2010 - Are Paying Runners Not VIP/Celebrity?

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Time flies! Today is the end of January and unlike in previous years, this year there had been a good number of races already since the beginning of the year. Even for today, there were 3 races simultaneously being held in Metro Manila. Two races are at the MOA and one at the Fort. For reasons already blogged before, I have chosen to participate at the Book Run 2010 at the Fort.

I arrived at the usual parking grounds at the Fort at about 5:15am, expectedly I noticed that there were not as many cars as we have gotten use to on past races in the same venue resultant of the other events. As the race was only scheduled for 5:45am, I had ample time to mingled with the crowd and checked out the activity area.

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My first stop was to check the RFID timing sensors at the start/finish arc. I noticed that the people from who are the operators for the RFID have installed more sensors on the overhead arc compared to that during the “Fit and Right” when they first deployed the system. This time, I am not sure but considering the manner the sensors were installed, the operators I think will be using only the gun start time for the start of the race (not the actual crossing at the starting line) and when the RFID tag do cross the finish line as picked up by the sensor to determine the elapsed time. Straight forward, simplified, but, should be good enough for a timing mechanism. As I did move about, I took note that RFID tags ofrunners were noticeably stapled on the bibs of 10k and 5k runners. Result for the BookRun 2010 is still being awaited as of blog postin time, but, I hope that will be able to master the system soon as this will be good for the racing community as a whole. RFID comparatively do cost much less. This system will be the cheapest to deploy locally particularly for small race events. On the other hand, Championship Chip has been mastered by Finishline since they debut last year and have been used on various big events with great success. The only downer on this system is the cost. It is still quite expensive to use thus jacking-up in the same manner the cost for race registration.

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The starting gun was sounded at 5:55am. The race proper itself was handled and controlled satisfactorily. There were marshals manning the intersections who I think did better by not closing the road for traffic itself but allowing one lane to be used by both incoming and outgoing vehicles which made the flow of traffic reasonably good without antagonizing drivers and commuters. There were sufficient water stations along the route and the distance markers were prominently displayed. The finish line was well managed. As you exit the area you are provided with your “finishers’ medal”. There were also giveaways and banana for those patient enough to queue. I do not have the exact number of participants but my best guess estimate should be 2500 the most. Overall the race address all the basic needs of a paying runner considering the cost was only P450.00, for this, congratulatons to the organizers.

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Even if the event was handled with flying colours, I have a basic concern to place on the table for the organizers to probably address in the future. The event had 6 portalets as to about 3000 persons on the ground which gives a ratio of 1:500 I do not know what is the correct ratio, but, my concern is that I saw 2 portalets that was “guarded” by a person whose main job was to prevent people from using the said 2 portalets as they were supposedly for VIP ONLY. I wish to remind the organizers that the REAL “VIP” and “Celebrities” of a road race event are the PAYING RUNNERS. These runners have duly paid for the registration and participation so much so that they are not supposed to be discriminated of the facilities and/or logistical requirements. It was event sad to note that they have wasted manpower by assigning a person whose main job was to tell people that unless they are VIP/Celebrity they have to use only the 6 portalets on the other side of the field. Worst, during most of the time, practically the 2 portalets were empty and not being used by any VIP-CELEBRITY. Had they used the two portalets for all, then the ratio could have been 1:375 a better figure and avoided the discmation issue. Please address this matter in the future.

As for my performance for the 10k event I completed the event in 01h00m03s for a distance of 10.10k as registered with my Garmin 310xt.

We are still awaiting the race results to be posted at as of this posting.

UPDATE POSTING - as of 31Jan10 7:30pm

Received the following text message from +63 928 779 7696 on 31Jan10 6:04pm

Thank u Amado 4 Joining the Book Run
Event: 10km
Pace:06:00 m/km Team
(Unofficial results)

CONGRATUATIONS FOR A GOOD JOB.To will you be posting the complete race results in your website?


  1. lahat ay pantay-pantay pagdating sa takbuhan!

  2. That's a real case of discrimination. I don't think celebrities would use those portalets not just for sanitary reasons but also because there are nearby decent toilets in the area. Runningmate still has many lessons to learn and I hope they learn quick.