What it means to be IAAF-certified

I am naturally a skeptic. If someone makes a hyped-up claim, accompanied by much hoopla, my tendency is to research such a claim to see if it is worth all the fanfare.

And I was curious about the claim that the Milo Marathon was AIMS and IAAF certified:

For the first time in more than three decades, the 35th National MILO Marathon this year will be certified by the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) and the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).”This will bring a new dimension in the country’s biggest and longest-running footrace,” said Rio dela Cruz, whose RunRio company will be managing all the 17 elimination races and the national finals set on December 11

This news item was reported by many news agencies. So why is this such a big thing?

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Did you pre-register for the Run United trilogy and marathon?

If you did, then you better check and you may have to register AGAIN .

Runrio posted the list of runners who had registered for Run United 2.  I checked the list and, as I suspected, my name wasn’t there.  So I travelled to Toby’s at SM Mall of Asia, showed them the card evidencing my pre-registration and payment, and proceeded to -re-enter my info.  It’s irritating to say the least—not irritating to approach Claudine level—but irritating still.   I asked the folks manning the Runrio station what had happened and they mentioned that the system got corrupted so customers have to re-input the information.

Sigh.

They were diligent to remind me to visit the Runrio expo on June 13, which is the exclusive date for the 21K runners, to get my race kit.  I asked what happens if I couldn’t make it.  They said that the expo runs from June 13 to 15 so I can drop by on any of those dates.  I still feel it’s hard-selling and manipulative, like we are rodents being led by the Pied Piper.  I wondered how the runners from outside Metro Manila feel, having the travel to fetch their race kit instead of it being delivered to their doorstep like before.

 

Why do I have to go to a fricking expo?

I really want to support Runrio.  I really do.  Amongst all the run organizers, Rio de la Cruz has the grandest vision—to put the Philippines in the list of renowned international running locales, in par probably with Boston, NY, London, Tokyo, and the like.  An ambitious and noble endeavour indeed, and my hat’s off to him.

But it’s getting harder and harder to like what he does.  There’s too much focus on celebrities,  too much focus on his other business ventures, too much focus on himself.  It is coming out that these Runrio-organized events are just a means to draw runners into his ventures.

And again my patience is being tested.  Now, for me to fetch my Run United 2 race kit, I have to go to a @$%&@! run expo.  And I have to go on June 13, a Wednesday, a work day, which means I have to travel all the way to Bonifacio Global City!  And for what?  To subject myself to the the sponsors’s barrage of sales promos, pamphlets, adverts.

This is supposed to be a runner’s event, not an event where runners are forcibly herded into an environment where companies can ply their wares.  I feel I am being manipulated here.  I paid for the kit.  Why can’t I claim my kit on the day of my choosing?  In the past, I had the option of having the run kit mailed to my home address.  I felt that the additional mailing fee was worth it as I would avoid the cost and effort to fetch the race kit.

Update:  From Runrio’s FB page:  Hello everyone. There is no final advise yet on how kits can be claimed if you were unable to make it to the EXPO. But surely, RunRio will be providing an option for this to ensure everyone who registered to participate in this race can claim their kits and be there on race day.

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.

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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Run United 1: My 21K experience

I joined Run United’s 21K expecting to garner a personal record. My last half-mary, which was at the Go Natural Run about a month and a half ago, saw me finish with plenty of gas under the hood, and I just shaved seconds off my PR, and I wasn’t even gunning for a PR then! Days leading up to the run, I had eaten well, stuffing myself with fruit and whole-wheat sandwiches. I drank plenty of water, stayed off any alcohol, slept well, and even logged some nap time on Saturday. So I was confident that I would beat my 21K record of 2 hours 18 minutes. Yeah, yeah, that time may be slow for some of you but heck I’m pushing fifty years of age!

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Shuttling between MOA and BGC for Run United

I was ready to go ballistic when I read this news:

We are also providing free shuttle service for all 21k finishers from MOA back to BGC starting 6:00AM until 9:30AM only. Shuttles will leave the designated pick-up point every 15 minutes.Designated pick-up point: OCEAN DRIVE (in between ECOM Bldg. and Blk 12) at the AM Mall of Asia complex. Drop-off point: In front of Riovana Store in Fort-BGC.Runners are recommended to plan their transportation in advance given that the 21k is a BGC to MOA route.

What?! Does this mean that there will be no transportation from MOA to BGC for the race start as promised? I was obviously pissed! Runrio is already getting a lot of flak about their rising registration costs (You can read the backlash here). I wanted to park at MOA where I can immediately drive home after a grueling 21K, not get crammed inside a bus with other tired runners!

Fortunately, as clarified via their hotline, there will be shuttles for the 21K runners from MOA to BGC but only from 230am to 330am. This means that you can still park your car at MOA and have the shuttle transport you to the starting line at BGC.

Update: Runrio’s site has been updated.

We are providing free shuttle services for all 21k runners from MOA to BGC starting at 230am. This service will be available at 15 minute intervals until the last trip scheduled at 330am. After 3:30am, the next shuttle service to BGC will only be available starting 630am, at 15 minute intervals, with last trip scheduled at 930am. No shuttle services will be provided after 930am.

 

Are running fees getting outrageous?

I went to Toby’s over a MOA to signup for the upcoming Run United 1. I learned that you could actually signup for the entire trilogy and the marathon and get a 10% discount.   I was more than surprised to find out that the cost of joining the marquee events—the Run United 1 21K, the Run United 2 21K, the Run United 3 32K, and the marathon—would cost P5,400, discount included!

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