Thursday, May 16, 2013

Worst Race for 2013!

This seems a bit early especially since we are just 5 months into 2013 so there's a lot of months to go but I was really disappointed by this race that I needed to write about it.  Yes, we are just 5 months into 2013 and there is a HIGH Chance that this won't retain its title for worst race for 2013, but for now, out of the (lucky number) 13 races I joined so far, this gets the title. 

I have written some bad races I joined too in previous years such as:

The North Face (TNF) Baguio 22km

Springboard 16km - Epic Fail!

RotaRUN (Sept 20, 2009)

And all of them have one common denominator as to why I was let down by them.  That denominator that is applied in this race as well!

You would think that with all the road races our country has been having, the organizers already know the proper things to do that would keep each runner safe and make him/her happy for joining these races.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the case here.

This race was interesting enough and it was the first time I joined it although I have heard about it before.  It was one of the rare night runs in the country and that was always something nice to do as you don't have to wake up early in the morning to race and the experience is different too when the city is awake and noisy!  Sure, expect more cars and more angry motorists but that comes with the territory.

It was also a reasonable race as it comes with a night lamp amounting to Php 500 (according to the race posters) and allowed for some creativity as runners can design their own singlets with the Marker that was included in the race kit.  The singlet wasn't a good fit for me though as it caused some serious chaffing in my armpits at 2km and all the way to the finish line!  But that wasn't the reason I considered this race to be bad, as this was the one of the rare times that I wore the official race singlet so part of it was my fault too.  I usually have my own singlet or shirt for the race, which have been tested and proven to work for me best.

Alvin and I joined the 10km category for this event.  There was also a 5km category. 

By now, you would know that this was ENERGIZER NIGHT RACE 2013 so it was a big event from a large corporation and even had GMA 7 as its major sponsor!  What could go wrong here?

For one thing, the water stations weren't that ample for the runners as it involved only one to two water containers per station and cups were being filled up as we lined up to get them.  Not very efficient on their part.  I decided to skip a lot of water stations as they were just too congested with runners so time would be wasted waiting for your turn at the water.  People manning water stations could have at least filled the cups with water PRIOR  to the race! 

Then, there was some confusion on the actual route.  As we ran in the dark with our headlamps on (which was an awesome sight), I saw some kilometer signs that read 6km and 7km but my Garmin was just 4km.  Then I remembered looking at the race map a few days ago and realized that we need to do two loops in this area so said signs should be for the runners on their second loop.  Marshals were directing us to run on sidewalks (which was okay) and on concrete "island" in the middle of the road (Huh? Was that safe?).

The chaffing was hurting me so I wanted to finish this race as quickly as possible.  Wish granted! 

But not in the way I or any of the 10km runners wanted as we made a turn somewhere in BGC and next thing we know it was already the finish line!  Was this right?  Maybe we should cross it and keep on running?  But there was no other place to go to. 

I stopped running at the finish line, paused my Garmin and was in a state of confusion.  Runners were talking to themselves and having the same bewildered look as I did.  Did I miss a turn somewhere that would take me to the second loop?  But as I looked at the runners heading to the finish line, I realize I wasn't the only one to "miss" this.  At that time, it was just 45 minutes into the race, and there was no chance I could run that fast for that distance.  And neither were the people crossing the line.

I looked at my Garmin to see the distance reflected there - 6.65km!  That was insane!  Runners were talking among themselves complaining about this race.  Why were we here?  Why were we not directed properly in the race!  That was a 30% shortage from the race distance.  If we had known about this, we would have just joined the 5km category and paid for the lower registration fees. 

I waited for Alvin at the finish line, thinking that maybe he was directed properly and he did the second loop.  There was no way I would finish ahead of him so that was the only logical solution. 

He came a few minutes later but with an angry look on his face too.  He finished the "10km" race at 35 minutes or so, and ran the 3.35km on his own to get the total distance of 10km.  Boo!

I still don't know who the organizers for this race are but I sincerely hope they learn from this mistake!  It was embarrassing especially since it was backed by major sponsors.

At the finish line, there were no loot bags given out but we did receive a finisher certificate, which I just threw away as found it to be useless for this "shortened" race.

Oh well, at least I can use the head lamp! 

Energizer Battery is only one happy about this race! Haha!

It's going to take some seriously bad races to get the title from ENERGIZER NIGHT RUN 2013, but anything can happen! For now, it holds the title for Worst Race for 2013, and joins the three races mentioned above! 

Congratulations!  Please give yourselves a slap in the face.


Thirdy Lopez said...

Palpak nga! less than 7km na distance...

Andami dami pang marshalls duon na nakatayo eh wala namang alam sa route...

deemenrunner said...

i think the organizer is "Runtertainment". the problem with gimmicky race events such as this is they don't focus on the race essentials but rather on the add-ons which runners really don't need.