Limpag: Readers’ take on Cebu Marathon fees-A A +A
Saturday, January 5, 2013
I GOT a couple of reactions from my previous column on the Cebu Marathon. One highlighted the drop in numbers, while the other offered suggestions on how to keep the registration fee down, to entice more participants.
Bobby Lozada compared this year’s list of participants to the number of finishers from last year and noticed a drastic drop. He wrote, “Per Cebu Marathon website figures, in 5K there were 908 (2012 finishers) vs. 495 (2013 registered runners) (-45 percent).
The 21K division had 940 finishers last year vs. 650 registrants this year (-31 percent). The 42K fared better with 1,194 2012 finishers compared to 968 registrants this year (-19 percent). Perhaps it’s the registration cost. What do you think?”
(Bobby said he also looked for my name among the 21K and 42K runners but it’s a long story, one that would be written someday.)
I think the registration fee is one of the factors in the drop, but I don’t think it’s the factor. Perhaps some of those who would have signed up for the marathon are no longer into running or are into more challenging things like the Cobra Ironman, Xterra or even the ultra marathons.
As for the drop in the 5K numbers, I think that can be explained by the move of the organizers not to tap students.
Another reader who didn’t give his or her name e-mailed,” Each participant who registered has the right to complain to the organizers (CERC) on the account to where there money goes. It is the burden, responsibility and duty of the organizers to source out funds from other sponsors and donors and not from each participant’s pockets. To sacrifice for costly registration fees would mean fewer participants and thus it would not add excitement and participation from all those who are not elite runners and are just running enthusiasts.
Organizers must think again that the rule of thumb is it’s better to have more participants with lower registration fees because it generates more participants, visitors and tourists and thus generates more revenues and income.”
I don’t think that by signing up, participants automatically get the right to demand where their registration fees go. They are paying for a running event, not their taxes. However, the reactions on the registration fee should prod organizers to review the move or to perhaps, come up with novel ideas that would be beneficial to those who can’t afford it—say stratified registration fees?
The writer also offered a few suggestions on how to cut the registration fee. (Edited for brevity.)
1. ) Singlets is an option but not the race track numbers, 2.) Freebies is an option (finishers may opt to have a massage, snacks, pictures and etc.) but not the certificates, medals and the water stations, 3.) Lessen the road shows that showcase dancing and singers (divert it to have additional water supplies, have additional bananas or chocolates/candies supplies specially near the end of the race, 4.) Lessen the use of firetrucks (divert it to deploy traffic personal even after the cut-off time traffic - usually at 9 a.m.—since most runners are running after the cut-off time).
I think the organizers set about to hold a running event that could be considered the country’s best, that’s why they have all the hoopla surrounding the event. Cutting on that would defeat their purpose and make the Cebu Marathon just your ordinary weekend run.
However, by raising the fees, the organizers may have set the bar high for themselves and the participants would be gauging their experience in the run whether it was worth it.
Also, I think the fees this year should be the ceiling, raising it by P200 again next year might not be a good move, or with the reactions this year, they might decide to bring it back to the 2012 level.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 05, 2013.