The running community celebrated Earth Day for 2010 last Sunday 18Apr10 with two running events in Metro Manila. One was held at the Fort Bonifacio in Global City Taguig which was the “Earth Run 2010” sponsored by Solar Sports Entertainment and the other was at the Mall Of Asia (MOA) dubbed “Earth Day Run 2010” sponsored by National Geographic Channel.
While both running events were dedicated for Mother Earth, they provided alternative to runners when it comes to registration fee. “Earth Run” had a very reasonable registration fee of P250 for 3/5km and P350 for 16/21km. On the other hand, “Earth Day Run” had a tariff of 3km/P500, 5km/P600 and 10km/P700 more than double the cost of the other event. Given the situation, I was very much delighted for the running community as a whole as they now have two events to select depending on their needs, satisfaction and financial willingness.
Days before the race it was clear that both events have exceeded their expected crowd. It was but a testimony that the running community is Metro Manila is becoming bigger and bigger. It was then my wish that both events succeed and deliver the trill and promise of their individual events.
As I can only be in one place, on this occasion I decided to enter the “Earth Day Run 2010” sponsored by National Geographic Channel. In the past months I have specifically targeted and entered races that have the minimum registration fee. On these races that I have participated, I found that they were handle properly although they have the very basic extras, however, in the end what matters most is that the satisfaction in running was fully addressed. This time, I intentionally selected an expensive event and also the lure that the event was sponsored by National Geographic Channel who is known for their advocacy in saving Mother Nature.
Race day came and our starting gun was scheduled for 5:30am I told myself to come early based on my past experience that parking at the MOA is a hassle and that the expected crowd turnout is more than what was expected. At 5:00am I together with my son and daughter-in-law were already at the MOA grounds looking for a parking area and at 5:20 we were still looking and queued to enter the parking lot. It was then that I decided to let my son park the car and proceed on foot to the starting line; otherwise, I and my daughter-in-law will be late for the starting gun. True enough, we reached the holding pen with only a minute to spare. I found myself position almost at the end of the crowd that was huge and quite a number. When the starting gun sounded, it took me almost 45 seconds to cross the starting line. This will more or less provide you with an idea on how many were the participants and these were only for the 10km category as the 5km was started at 5:40am and the 3km at 6:00am.
From 0km to 4km marker it was like running on obstacle race as you need to navigate yourself on the sea of runners who were trying to settle on their own pace of running. I found these quite odd, but on this occasion I actually did not mind it as I considered this event a “Fun Run” and there were a lot of novice runners. On most part of the race I devoted myself on “people watching” and seeing the fun and excitement on the sea and runners.
By 4km post, more or less runners of 10km have settled on their own pace and you have now a regulated stream of runners, however, when we reached 5km mark we were back at the starting area and need to complete another loop of the circuit. By then the 3km category was just released and I found myself to an even bigger number of runners that you have to struggle for your piece of the road. The 3km category used 1/3 of the single loop for the 10km category so that by the time you have freed yourself from the 3km runners you have joined the tail enders of 5km runners with whom you have to struggle and share the same route until finish line.
As mentioned earlier, on this occasion although I find it odd and difficult, I am not complaining, however, on serious events I do not think it is wise and proper to have categories from different events share the same loop or circuit specially if overlapping will occur and that attendance will be to the maximum. One special thing I took note of the event was that on all water stations they were using PAPER CUPS instead of the usual plastic cups. At least it conforms to the advocacy of the run itself.
After 01h06m38s from gun start I crossed the finish line for 10km and had the following statistical figures for the record;
I have not read any feedback from the “Earth Run 2010” but wish that the event was also a success. In the end Mother Earth should be the beneficiary. Let us all not only be aware of the importance of nature and Mother Earth, but, contribute to the solution of the problems that we are now experiencing.
Happy Birthday Mother Earth!