Water shortage, actual distance shortage, incompetent race event marshals, finish line buildup, delayed or (worse) inability to produce race results, poor overall organizing event, inaccessible parking lots, singlet comfort-ability and availability, cheating runners…the list goes on and on…these are some of the runners’ including myself rant about running events afterward.
We often compare one running event to another. Because there are running organizers that are already established and known to be more organized and there are some that are new, therefore inexperienced.
“Fun Runs” is at its peak of its popularity in the country with the number of participants joining in the weekly events. Happening mostly on Sunday dawn, running enthusiasts are most of the time divided, depending on the marketing and promotional strategies of the events, these take place either at The Fort or the Mall Of Asia (MOA) Grounds.
Some participants opt for an event that has a beneficiary. To name a few, the Globe Run for Home in 2009 and 2010 made Habitat for Humanity; an organization that helps build decent, affordable and durable houses, its recipient. 34th MILO Marathon gave away 400 pairs (and still counting) of shoes to less privileged children. Run to Read was organized to help build libraries for public schools, and many more running organizers use this style as marketing strategy that we often bite on.
Whoever the organizers or whatever the motive (even the absence of beneficiary), runners keep on registering or participating for Fun runs. Each one has his/her own reason; achieving and/or beating personal goals/records, personal growth, camaraderie, basically these reasons are geared towards a healthy lifestyle.
But why are we complaining about those things aforesaid, if what we are doing have great benefits? It all goes back to what we paid and what are these? The DISTANCE; an honest and exact kilometer measure, HYDRATION; amount of stations and brand, and basically the whole event itself.
When the registration fees are high, we definitely put our expectations high, we expect great looking and good quality singlets, great hydration sponsors and adequate stations and amount, accurate and sometimes new route, presence of celebrity personalities to grace the program and of course some goodies to take home with. On the other hand, when the registration asks for low fees, we tend to expect the opposite, that most of the time ironically speaking gives positive outcome.
With the hype of running events and the price hike these days, we really cant help but find the value of the registration fees we paid for. In forums like Takbo.Ph there are PRE-Event threads/discussion where members share details, registration walkthroughs and expectations about an upcoming running event. Sometimes through here, possible registrants gauge themselves whether they will join or not based on personal experiences of those who registered already. There are times when the registration is ‘chaotic’ it is pre-concluded that the event could possibly be chaotic as well.
One classic example of chaotic registration is when you are asked to register to an event with fairly low fee, pay but you only get a stub perforated from the reg forms or only the race BIB then will ask you to go back on a certain date for the rest of the kits. Worse scenario, the registration sites are not able to meet the date they stated, then will ask you to go back again and again until the crunch time … time, gasoline, and efforts are wasted. That when you sum it up, you actually paid so much. Others, who learned from experience, including myself would only register when the race kits are all ready when you pay for the event. Thanks to the ‘excited‘ forum members who register first.
Frugal Runner is the twin of Practical runner. Its not everyday we have the luxury of joining each and every running event every weekend. That is why we try scrutinize every event there is months before the event itself. Good thing many running bloggers post calendar of events for us to plan ahead, and create alternatives to run for if we chose not to register for any.
Example of this practical options are Long Slow Distance (LSD) runs. Individuals, coaches and various teams schedule LSDs for personal purposes, they set their own routes, sometimes simulates future running event distances. They announce the distance on a specific date schedule then fellow runners would sign up. It is actually a fun way to get to know fellow running individual from all walks and different places. In fact I would personally like to experience this in the soonest time even with friends nearby.
This activity is actually practical because its in fact FREE. All they spend is for personal needs; hydration during pitstops and breakfast after each run, according to Ryan Salcedo, a running acquaintance who experienced joining LSDs.
Part of being a practical runner is to gain mileage and continue weekly routines during weekends without emptying your pockets because of high priced runs and or weekly schedule of events. If you’re a person who can run long distances alone, you can create your own route, use Dailymile to guide you in planning the course and measuring your preferred distance based on an actual map, then RUN. If you enjoy running with the company of friends, sign up for LSDs. Check out some threads from Takbo.ph FORUM for schedules of various groups.
As for me I will continue to run for events with a practical mind and hopefully be able to join in one of the Long Slow Distance run with my forum friends. Respect all the Point of View (POV) of my fellow runners and would just SEIZE THE DAY!!!
Happy Running! *wink