Speak out: 7th University Run had time limit-A A +A
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
ON behalf of the Run for Sight Foundation I would like to thank all who participated and joined the 7th University Run. It was, indeed, a success, despite some concerns that was brought out after the run.
More importantly, I would like to thank Bobby Lozada for bringing out his concern and sharing his experience in the event. As a veteran race director, I do understand what he, at 61, felt and experienced during the run. He finished the 25k run in four hours and 17 minutes (not a shade over four hours, which he mentioned) finishing 4th from the last, and did not receive a finisher’s medal. The cut-off time was set at 3 hours
30 minutes for the 25k as posted in our page. It was also learned that the last two runners arrived late at the starting line. It is our prerogative to give a finisher’s medal for every 25k runner after the cut-off time. Fortunately, we have even given the medals to those finished the race beyond those who were earlier than Bobby, who carried a race bib No. 2163. He mentioned that there were seven or eight runners behind him who did not get a medal and we got the results, but there were only three runners behind him.
If we had strictly made a cut-off time of 3 hours and 30 minutes for the 25k, 50 more runners would not have received a finisher’s medal. But we do understand how it feels to finish a long-distance race and rewarding them with a finisher’s medal is one of our ways in showing them their achievement and congratulating them. But as I mentioned before we have given the medals to those who finished earlier.
Another concern of Bobby was the marshals and the water stations on the three bridges when he arrived at 7 a.m. We knew that the tough part of the race was the three bridges, and it was a challenge for every runner to pass those bridges. As witnessed and mentioned by a lot of runners (see Run for Sight group page), there was an abundance of water stations (hydration galore) some even within 2 kms., 2 Pocari stations, a Powerade station and a power bar station. Some even commented that there was an abundance of police, traffic personnel and marshals along the intersections.
Unfortunately, the technical team has secured a permit of only three hours of bridge use, inclusive of the time to vacate the area, the reason why Bobby almost missed the water station at the bridge and wasn’t able to catch up with the succeeding water stations.
While we do salute runners like Bobby, we also have set a time limit. It would also be unfair to the traffic personnel, the marshals, the volunteers to wait indefinitely under the heat of the sun for all the runners to finish while some runners even take their time hanging out in convenience stores to cool off in the middle of the race. It would also be unfair to the motorists to be inconvenienced by the continued presence of marshals and tables on the road beyond the prescribed race time.
Because of Bobby’s complaint, we will institute stricter guidelines next year by possibly providing sweeper vehicles to pick up runners along the route (runners who cannot possibly make the cut-off time) If they refuse to board, just like Bobby, they will have to run on their own at the sidewalk without the aid of the marshals and water stations.
Bobby Lozada, at the end of his write-up said, “I had to write this before the Run for Flood Victims gets under way on Aug. 25, using the same technical team.” Regarding the coming night race, “I RAN MY PART FOR FLOOD VICTIMS,” the program will be from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., and the event is 3k and 6k. I don’t think someone will finish a 6k in two hours. Even when you walk with a pace of 10 minutes per kilometer, it will be over in an hour. Besides, it is a fund-raising race. So, Bobby (no frills), have a heart.--Joel Baring, SAFE
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 22, 2012.