1. Longer race events - Before it was just 10km with a few full Marathons (Pasig, Subic and Milo). Then Mizuno and La Salle put in a 15km and 16km event. Now, there's a lot of Half Marathons scheduled for the year. It seems runners aren't content with beating their own race times in 5km and 10km events. Now, they run for goals of finishing longer distance. With New Balance having 25km races every November, I'm sure there will be more 25km and 30km races soon too. (Milo just announced having a half marathon course this July and Botak will have both a full and half marathon race in May).
2. More race events - Last year, it was an average of about two race events a month. Prior to last year, it was just one race event a month.
Now, it's every week with 2-3 races on one Sunday alone, and let's not forget the arrival of Saturday races! Will there be Saturday or Sunday afternoon races in the future like that of other countries??
3. More Training Programs - Early last year, there was a Mizuno Run Clinic only. Now, there is a Mizuno Run Clinic at Fort, Nike Run Clinic at Fort and Ultra, and Team Baldrunner Clinic in Ultra. So many choices! So little Time!
4. Higher Entry Fees! - I think the average for a race now is at Php 300 vs Php 250 last year. Prices have gone up, probably to make up for the additional marshals to safeguard the increase in the number of people running. There are still some Php 150 races here and there but more often than not, the price range for joining a race is now between Php 350 -500!
5. Higher Standard in Race Quality - I remember a time when we don't expect race results to come out till two weeks after. Now, thanks to Coach Rio and other race organizers, results come out the day after ! Condura even posted results at the Philippine Star.
Runners expect there will be always be ample liquid at the water stations and safety is now an important aspect via road closures and security of vehicles. A big reason for this is due to rise in Running Blogs who give their comments/ opinions about races they joined. This serves as a feedback tool for race organizers. Another one is the race survey given out by Takbo.ph to runners.
6. Easy Registrations - Before when you wanted to do a race in U.P., you have to go to U.P. to register either on the day itself or a week before. It was a hassle to do and time consuming! I did it once only and promised myself never to do again as was stuck in traffic for 2 long hours! There was and still is a registration booth at Anapolis for the Milo, Yakult races.
Organizers improved on this inaccessibility by putting up small booths whenever there is a race event. They improved it some more by putting up registration booths in Nike stores and in R.O.X. How's that for convenience ???
7. WWW.TAKBO.PH! Everybody who is addicted to running knows about this website. It has the latest data info on race maps, race schedules, runners' blogs, and forum for all your questions. Everything you need to know about running in the Philippines can be found here. Kudos to Jinoe for a job well done.
Of course, let's not forget WWW.THEBULLRUNNER.COM, the website that made everybody interested and curious about this sport! Still my favorite running blog. Go Jaymie!
8. New things in Philippine running world:
a) Running magazine? CHECK! Via the Bull Runner magazine! Best of all, it's FREE!
b) Running Stores? One is being built in Serendra and another one (Second Wind) has just opened in Quezon City. Cool!
c) Running Pictures? CHECK! Via http://www.photovendo.ph/
Running has really grown in the Philippines, don't you think?
Which brings me to my first April 2009 race (and how the changes above affected this race):
GREENFIELD CITY RUN: A GREAT ESCAPE
1. Longer Race Event: This has a 21km event. Need I say more?
2. More race event: This is normal in that it is held on a Sunday but the venue is different: Greenfield Sta Rosa! And time is pretty early too at 5AM for a half-marathon! But that is good as organizers expect a hot summer day!
3. More Training Programs: This is organized by Coach Rio and Vince, both active at Nike Clinics (Rio is the one who heads it!). So this will be a test of your training done by them or by other coaches (Ige of Mizuno, Baldrunner via his own clinics) and see if you can get a new PR in a new race route.
4. Higher entry fee: Sadly, it is applicable here too. But it comes with the preparation needed for organizing a race outside Metro manila. Better register now for the Early Bird Rate or risk paying more!!
5. Higher standard in Race quality: It's done by Coach Rio so expect a lot of water, fast race results and some freebies too!
6. Easy Registration: They upped the standards here by having an online registration! You can now input your details and pay via credit card or ATM credit. A confirmation will be sent to your e-mail and your race pack can be picked up at a Nike store of your choice! How awesome is this ???????? Go to WWW.FINISHLINE.PH to register.
7. WWW.TAKBO.PH and WWW.THEBULLRUNNER.COM : both websites have information on this race including registration forms, route maps and pictures of Sta Rosa!
8. Running magazine - it might be distributed here as well... fingers crossed!
Running Pictures - I see PhotoVendo as a sponsor here. Yehey!
See you there!!!!!!