Subtitle: The 4th Auto Review Run
Before my recent run, I will always put the Davies-Ace Hardware Eco-friendly Run in MOA as my worst running experience with the Figaro Run coming next. In fairness to both events, they have a face-saver, a way of redemption or a consolation so to speak. The first one overwhelmed us with a lot of freebies that is worth almost the cost of our registration fee. The last one managed to provide a race result, aside from the delectable food giveaways. I could really forgive the two events and move on. But the running event yesterday easily stole the title of being worst.
I don’t intend to be a running event critic but when I don’t get my money’s worth or the fun I’m expecting, I would naturally vent it out. And this early, you should know that it will be full of faultfinding about the event I’ve joined yesterday.
I’ve only been in 5 runs and I’m still a neophyte by any gauge. But being expose to those different events, I think I’ve seen enough to say which one is good and which one is worth condemning. I may sound exaggerated but the 4th Auto Review Run qualifies on the latter… big time!
Disguise in their road safety advocacy, the event is considered one of the oldest and longest running event in the country for pulling off four races for their advocacy. Offering a singlet for the first time, they promised to give an improve event among other things. But there’s something with promises that all of us can’t seem to live up to. This event wasn’t an exception. Honestly, not all people joining the run are hoping to win the prize or for setting a personal record. Most would join for the fun that comes with it. And, organizers take note of this, fun includes the pre and post event, and importantly, the giveaways! This is where the 4th Auto Review Run falls really short. Let me start mentioning them.
Despite a large number of participants, there was only one baggage counter. Leaving the bags there was not really the problem, it’s the retrieving part. They don’t have a system. They should have properly separated the baggage area per race category so that it would be easy to determine where the 3k runners’ (or the 5k or 10k) bag are kept. Next, which I am so furious about so early before the race, is the number of portalets! Thousands will be joining the run and all of us are normal enough to hear the nature’s call (take a leak or pee in simple words). But despite the number again, there are only two portalets in the area. I would let it pass if there were trees or walls around where guys can pee. But even if there is, it is still frustrating that they did not consider the excitement some of us felt that we have to take a leak just before the race starts. In the sole male portalet, the line went as long as 30 guys waiting to be relieved. I wonder what the 10k runners in the line did when they left the queue just because the 10k race was about to start.
During the race itself, there were some slips too. The 10k run was late by around 5 or 10 minutes. The mayor of Taguig wasn’t even around to officially start the run. Water stations were not strategically positioned. We were asked to run on the right side of the road and yet the water stations are on the left side of the road. Moreover, they were some stations that are so near with each other and there are some areas where we are expecting some fueling up but there’s none around. Again, the issue of signage is always present. There were no directions where the 3k, 5k and 10k runners will go. There were only road marshals shouting to runners where they would turn. I saw a 3k runner got mad when he found out that he was running the 5k route and that he missed the turn where he’s supposed to get the 3k lace as a proof that he did not do a shortcut. Pretty frustrating for him ‘coz he obviously run more than 3km already only to find out that he’s on the wrong route. Another signage problem is that we can’t even keep track of our distance. We don’t know if we’re half through already. It’s important for us so that we’ll know how to save our energy and keep our pace. There were a lot of instances too during the run where we find ourselves running with cars on our side or where we had to take a stop to give way to vehicles crossing. And the advocacy of this event is for what again? Road safety? Ironic. Those were only few that I have notice during the course.
If the pre-event and the event itself are sub par, the after event or the program itself buried the whole event deeper. Aside from the singlet, pictures are the souvenirs or keepsakes for any event. But there were no photo booths or any partners to take our photos during and after the event. The gravest mistake, probably, the organizers commit was to put a “giveaway” claim stub in our bib number in spite of really having none. Thank God I didn’t bother lining up for the supposed “giveaway”, because when I checked out the booth, they were only handing a plastic with the certificate inside, nothing more! The served participants didn’t event count to half when their supplies of plastic run out. The people then were instructed to line up to the other booth for the bottled water, and another line for the sandwich and a hot chocolate drink. Annoying me further, the sandwich prepared was not enough for all the participants. Before the event, I believe the organizers have already estimated the number of runners in the event to prepare the “giveaways” that they promised. Maddening enough, they are not sufficient! Major disaster! A proof to their epic failure was the early dispersing of the crowd. The Bonifacio Global City complex was leased for 4 hours, 7am to 11am, for the program. But as early as 8am only a quarter were left and before 9am, the strip was almost empty. A friend who joined the run was bewildered why a lot has already left. I told him it’s because there’s nothing much to do here anymore. No photo booths where people would wait crazy enough to have a souvenir or other activities to do around. By the way, thanks to Resort World Manila for giving out free bags. It was worth queuing up than the line for the supposed “giveaway”.
The only consolation for the yesterday’s event was the the event was held on a Saturday and the exact distance of the course. But the latter should not even count ‘coz they should really make it accurate for the participants. Just release the results within the week so that I can move on and prepare for my next.
Golly, I should have really chosen my race carefully. Kudos to the organizers of the race for raking up money for yourselves and for the “Auto Review” program. I have never seen that show in its entirety and I don’t have any intentions of catching it. I wonder why I signed up for it. I bet they gained enough money to keep their program running, until the next run next year…maybe. For now, I would say I will not join the 5th edition in case there will be one. They should really improve everything, not just the singlets (which by the way, was given out late too).