There’s a saying that goes, ‘If you don’t have nothing nice to say.. shut up.‘ But if it’s something to do with putting in danger the lives and my sport on the line, then let’s sit and talk about it. Coffee is on me.
I learned of the SLSU-Main Campus’ Color Fun Run a bit late like 5 days before the race. I was excited to hear it’s a color run and its going to be a first not just in the province but all throughout the Eastern Visayas region. It was a very cool idea and I wish it was promoted thoroughly so like in Aktib.ph and or an event page in Facebook. The event could have encouraged plenty of runners outside the campus to join.
SLSU-MC Color Fun Run is a 3k running event, it cost P50 or P190 if you want a souvenir shirt. And make no mistake, it was very successful that delivered the promises of fun and some colors. [One should not compare this event to our campus’ Dagan Pareng Tomas because they’re not the same although it’s the same University that hosts both. They’re different animals, Okay?]
BUT. There’s no such thing as a perfect event, despite how seemingly flawless an event look like. The Color Run is no exemption. There were major lapses I saw that really needs to be addressed on the next installment, since most of them are recurring sickness I mean lapses from last year’s. I hope the Main Campus not ban me from doing speedworks on their track oval but here they are ranked according to the magnitude of the offense:
1. Terrifying race start – I’ve run in a LOT of running events all over the country and, truth be told, I’ve never been terrified/mouth wide open at the start of a race. It was practically chaos in the making which could have been fatally dangerous. Here’s what the organizers did there: they lined up near the starting line like a battalion of guardia civils with color powders for guns in their hands ready to slaughter a thousand (runners). It was a good concept in the name of Fun, but if you’re talking about a short distance fun run with fat cash prizes and two thousand runners aiming for glory, it was downright misguided and stupid. Take note that the runners were not wearing sunglasses (a color run SOP) to protect their eyes from the powders. It was very dangerous scene that could have hurt a lot of kids. But thanks God nobody got hurt and the organizers were one tripped runner away from witnessing a stampede.
Here’s the footage (I had to step out at the start of the race start for safety purposes):
2. Delays – I know its none of my business on how the organizers planned the event but their timetable of the activities leading to the race lagged behind big time. When I registered I was fortunate to be entertained and get a receipt as proof that I registered. There were no race kits, bibs or shirt given. The event fell on a Monday so Friday would have been the deadliest line to give at least the bib and the event shirt. The bibs were given minutes before the race and they are….
3. Shitty bibs – for the second time they manage to give the runners stickers for race bibs. Not that I’m complaining but stickers got no business on a runner’s outfit. Yes, they stick well on walls but not on a sweat-drenched shirt. And the stickers were printed on inkjets so the whole design fades to memory as quick as the race ended. A good bib should be a cloth or a waterproof paper like the ones below which are available from race suppliers. One only need four ‘amperils’ to attach the bib to the shirt. It’s cheaper, hassle free and can last a way after the race. 🙂
4 No hydration – In organizing there’s a checklist to be filled up and they are long. The color run got most of them nicely like the Security, Marshals, arc, opening programs, emcees and stuffs. But, just like last year, there were no hydration stations on the whole course! No matter how short a 3k run could be, it is still a relatively long distance for beginners and non-runners which are probably 95% of the turnout. Running with no water is an agony. Water is an integral part of any race, and there’s no budgetary excuses for that. So I hope to see one water station next time.
5. ‘Marathon’ abuse – By the time you get here in #5 you can pretty much assess that this is a case of non-runners organizing a running event which is an admirable feat. But when you hear the word ‘marathon’ used every minute in a 3k, one has to lay low the logic in defining that ‘M’ word. To be clear a real ‘Marathon’ is 42.195 kilometers, and it’s a sacred Goal for every runner to at least achieve in their lifetime. It got rich history and it takes a serious amount of dedication, guts and determination to train for months and even years to achieve a Marathon Dream. A 3k marathon thing, is nothing less than a blasphemy. #justsaying.
So that’s it, my Top 5 Things To Be Improved for next year’s fun run. Look I’m not mad or angry around here since I enjoyed the race a lot. That day was a celebration of life and sports in the campus. I just don’t like bad races because it hurts the sport if you do them short-of-100%. Still its a big Kudos to the organizers for staging the event for the first time. Man it’s a great great accomplished for them, no one is taking it away from them. And for now, me, I’ll go back to training. Four marathons are coming before the year ends! God help.