On mistakes and apologies

Kids at a West Australian school making a giant human word sorry on their oval in preparation for the National Apology to the Stolen Generations by the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd.

(Photo coutesy of butupa)

A few days ago I posted about how many Run United runners were disappointed by the shortage of finisher items.  Runrio was quick to apologize, taking responsibility of the mishap, and promised that the aggrieved runners will receive the items.   A few runners have already reported that they have received their items.

I admire people who are quick to take ownership of mistakes made and who take the lead in rectifying it.  We are all human.  We do not have a crystal ball to foresee future events.  We make mistakes, fall prey to our emotions, misjudge people and events, and err in the choices we make.

Take Neil Etheridge’s statement, for example, following  the red card he received for for kicking Turkmenistan striker Gahryman Chonkayev:

“Obviously my lack of professionalism at the end of the game was unlike me,” said Etheridge, who remembers only one other red card while he was still playing at youth level.

“It was very unprofessional so I have to take responsibility for my actions. It was the heat of the moment and I probably deserved what I got.”

I contrast this with Arnold Clavio’s “apology” about his comment regarding the Azkals:

Mga igan, nakakalungkot na may negatibong reaksyon ang naging pahayag ko tungkol sa Philippine Azkals kaugnay ng sexual harassment complaint ni Ms. Cristy Ramos. Wala po akong ganoong intensyon. Ang isyu po rito ay sexual harassment at kung may nagamit man po akong mga salita na hindi angkop, nagpapakumbaba po ako at humihingi ng pang-unawa. Dun naman po sa mga kasama kong nanindigan laban sa sexual harassment, maraming salamat po. Seryoso pong isyu ito na dapat bantayan

To all my friends, I felt saddened with the negative reactions on my statement regarding the Philippine Azkals about the sexual harassment complaint by Ms. Cristy Ramos. I don’t have any intentions. The issue here is sexual harassment and if ever I have used words that were inappropriate, I apologized and please understand me. To those to who were with me who make a stand against sexual harassment, thank you very much. The issue is a serious one that needs our vigilance.

Was that an apology?  He must think we are idiots not to notice that this is a smokescreen devoid of any remorse or accountability of any wrong-doing.  Yes, there is a sexual harassment issue looming and yes if found guilty they should face the consequences.  But it doesn’t take away the gravity of Arnold Clavio’s irresponsible and ignorant opinion.


Why I joined the Yakult 10-mile run

There are a couple of reasons why I decided to signup for the 23rd Yakult 10-miler run. One is that it is one of the longest running (pun intended) run events in the Philippines.  They say that it’s the country’s second oldest running event How many running events can claim that they are 23 years old?

The second reason is the curiosity of discovering whether or not the organizers can pull off a run at just P450.  This is probably one the cheapest running events.  Many other organizers charge close to twice that amount!

So I’m wondering: Will they scrimp on hydration stations?  Will there be less marshals? No loot bags?  I hope they don’t be frugal on the essentials—hydration, safety, medical facilities, distance and time accuracy.  Reading the comments on last year’s Yakult run, I think the organizers opted to remove the non-running fluff—e.g., photovendo, party, band.

Anyway, for those running this event, good luck, stay safe, and have fun.


What is meant by being a Filipino?

This post is not related to running.  So feel free to skip if this bugs you.

But I was initially peeved by a rant by Arnold Clavio criticizing the ethnicity of the Azkals, who are just coming off a fantastic victory against Tajikistan to enter the semi-final round of the AFC Challenge Cup.  In case you are unaware of the controversy, check out this video:

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Run United Leg 1 results in Excel

I have converted I’m converting the Run United Leg 1 results to Excel format.  It should be useful for those who want to sort by the various columns like age group or chip time.  Click on the links below.  Knock yourself out.

2012 Run United Leg 1 21K results

2012 Run United Leg 1 10K results

2012 Run United Leg 1 5K results

2012 Run United Leg 1 3K results

2012 Run United Leg 1 500m results

Go Natural Run 2012 video

I got a mail from no less than the President of Nattural Quality Corporation, the company responsible for the successful Go Natural Run 2012, which was held on January 15, with a link to this video:

I have to say that it’s a nice video.  It did a good job of capturing the fun and the festive atmosphere of the event.  What I especially like is that it shows all types of runners—the elite as well as the average runner.  It truly shows that running is an event for everyone—young and old, famous and the not-so-famous, slim and rotund.   It shows what goes on in a running event—the warm up, the starting gun, the finish.  You get a glimpse of the hydration stations.  And you see the joy and satisfaction of people who finished the run.  When I viewed that video, it made me reminisce about the fun I had.

And, most important, it makes the viewer aware of diabetes and promotes the use of ampalaya as treatment against that dreaded condition.

And I contrast it with the video below, which seems to be more of a video of Riovana, Piolo Pascual, and Rio de la Cruz.  It’s a nice video of you want to claim that you ran with celebrities.

Bring your own water bottles?

One thing that has always dismayed me when I participate in running events is the amount of empty water cups strewn along the road. What’s ironic about this is that many of these running events are supposed to promote environmental awareness!

Some runners and environment advocates typically point fingers at the runners. There are trash bins, they say, so why can’t you runners throw the cups inside these trash bins?

I try as much as possible to throw the cups into the trash bins but I admit that there are occasions where I am guilty of throwing cups onto the road. You can’t really put the full onus on the runners—many runners are in these events to officially establish their own personal records, and they don’t want to slow down. And why not put trash bins further away from the hydration station?

To be fair to the organizers, I do see them sweep up the discarded cups. And in some runs I even see some of the “street urchins” collect these cups. I know that there are some places that “buy” these cups (e.g. dyaro-bote) and some money can be made from these cups. So they do eventually end up into a trash bin.

But whether or not these cups go into a trash bin is not really the issue. It’s the amount of plastic cups that eventually get thrown away. Now, I’m no environmental expert. I don’t know if plastic can be recycled and, if it can be recycled, how much of it can actually be recycled. All I know is that plastic equals bad and the less we consume the better for our environment.

So the question is: why do we use plastic cups in run events? Is there a better alternative?

For example, why not biodegradable cups? I’ve always wondered why don’t these running events advocate paper cups instead of plastic cups. Is it because paper is more expensive than plastic? In the old days, when running was not this popular, we were served in paper cups and, to facilitate drinking from these cups, I would pinch the rim to form a funnel.

And Run Philippines has an interesting idea:

What if, instead of hydration stations with pre-filled cups, runners bring along 500mL bottles that can be refilled at the station. On an average day, 3k runners will most likely not need a refill. 5k runners one refill? 10k runners 2-3 refills? After the run, you can still take the bottle home. If you feel this will affect your PR, perhaps you can help the environment by investing in those hydration packs or belts.

In fact, when you come to think of it, it’s the elite runners who really need the hydration stations. That’s because they have trained their minds and bodies into well-tuned running machines that mere grams of weight or anything that can alter their running form can spell the difference between victory and defeat. So they don’t bring water bottles. But for us mortals, what’s carrying a few extra grams? For the average runner, it’s training, hard work, and mental fortitude that gets us to the finish line. So why can’t we bring along our own water?

So while we shouldn’t hold runners for being fully accountable for the environment, we runners too can do our share of protecting Mother Earth. Bring your own bottle and being less reliant on hydration stations is one way—opt for your own personal bottle rather than swiping off the hydration station. If you’re not in it for the personal record, then stop and fill up your water bottle instead. More importantly don’t throw that water bottle away! And while you’re at, don’t have to throw your empty energy gel sachets onto the road. That energy gel must have come from somewhere—either your pocket or your hydration belt—so put it back where you got it.

Running Dead updates

Are you looking forward to the Running Dead?

Well, the organizers have released more information, particularly the registration details!

And no, I’m not connected in any way to this event. I am posting this because anything that has to do with zombies is cool.

Registration fee is P750 for a race kit which includes an RFID race bib (which means there’s a computerized timing system), race shirt, and entrance to The Running Dead afterparty and dinner buffet from the Palms Country Club… if the zombies don’t feast on your brains first.

Race: The Running Dead
Date: April 21, 2012
Assembly Time: 5:00pm at Filinvest, Alabang (Palms Country Club)
Reg Fee: P750
Registration: starts on March 16
Registration Sites: Primo Cycles (Burgos Circle, BGC); The Brick (McKinley Hill); Cycling Zone (Shell Alabang Zapote Road); The Starting Line (Westgate, Alabang); G-Stop (Alabang Town Center); New Balance (Alabang Town Center and Shangri-La Mall); Trinity Cycleshop (Commonwealth cor. Tandang Sora); Palms Country Club (Filinvest)
Minimum Age Requirement: 15 years old

For More Info: The Running Dead Facebook pageThe Running Dead on Twitter; therunningdead@ymail.com


Looted bags

(Photo credit: Anders Sandberg)

I first encountered this story from Pinoyfitness but it’s also available in Runrio’s Facebook page (but strangely not in Runrio’s webpage).  I don’t know the facts nor the full story.  All I have are anecdotes, comments and complaints of runners not getting their loot bags.  The story seems to be that some people made out with the loot bags.

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