Philippine Amateur Track & Field Association (PATAFA) conducted today July 1, 2012 the 2nd Leg of PATAFA Road Race Grand Prix.
I arrived at Quirino Grandstand in Luneta Park at around 5:10am and was worried on parking availability and safety at the venue. To my surprise I was able to enter and park just opposite of the Grandstand as there were only a handful of cars. Considering that the gun start for the 10k event was scheduled at 5:35am there were not so many crowd. A short while later, I found out that the 21k event has not yet been gun started so I was wondering how this event was going to transpire.
I was approached by a foreign participant and was asked if it was the norm locally that race scheduled are late as he was entered for the 21k event and it was already 5:30 and still awaiting for their start. I was embarassed to reply that it is not so and that local races do start on time and I just do not have any idea why this race was running late. Anyways, at about 5:45am the 21k event was gun started and to my surprised I saw that there were no more than thirty (30) participants all in all for the 21k event.
At 5:51am the 10k event was started and again there were no more than 30 participants in our group. About 2 km from the starting line, although I felt bad that there were so little participants, I could not complaint as the route was well supported by hydration, marshals and police force to ensure the safety of the route. From the Cultural Center of the Philippines all the way to the Japanese embassy (the turning point) marshals have strictly enforced that only registered runners are on the road. This was something new to me. I have no traffic and have the road all by myself. I could even close my eyes and not worry to trip or bump on something. No bad.
From the Cultural Center until back to Quirino Grandstand although the road was primarily for runners, non registered runners and bicyle enthusiasts were as well using the route. I do not mind sharing the road with them as the atmosphere was pleasant and encouraging.
01h23m47s I crossed the finished line on my race walk mode. It was a very pleasant workout with the route all by myself.
To PATAFA it was a good event, but, I hope they could have marketed the event more as they could have made more runners happy . Other than the late start things were well handled and managed. I shall support you again on the 3rd leg and hope that you will be able to generate a bigger crowd.