“Hi Rene. We were not allowed to execute
our route inside Heritage. There was a sudden
change of route inside. Instead of going past
the bridge, we were forced to make a left turn
before the turn-around. Bawal na daw dun
because of the squatters. Because of that, route
was shorter by 3k. It was our first time to set up.
Numerous meetings and planning we can manage
but setting up the route on the night of the race
requires a lot of energy and patience and to see it
all change at the last minute, it was very, very
disappointing. Grabe hirap, Rene. From putting
up the directional signs, setting up water stations,
orientation of 150 marshals to their deployment
and many more you need to personally do it.
Marshals did not arrive on time pa. Had to do
traffic myself at Upper McKinley. It was one hell
of an experience. I apologize to all runners who
joined. Thanks for your support and hope you
enjoyed your run, nonetheless.
This was the long text answer sent to me by Doc Lyndon that afternoon when i asked about the controversy surrounding the short race route for the 21k distance we ran earlier. The good doctor, who together with Jinoe of Takbo.ph took the cudgels from the former organizers of yesterday’s Rotarun in carrying on its shoulders the responsibility of directing the race itself. Expectedly, all odds were stacked up against them. Not even the expertise of the over-all race director, Ian Alacar (Botak Paatibayan) could salvage the breakdown that was to affect the Heritage route as these circumstances were beyond their control.
As many were surprised to check on their finishing times, i myself could not believe it when my watch clocked at 2:03 when i had a previous best of 2:21 and was just running cautiously all throughout (as preparation for my October marathon). Actually, it was when we entered back to McKinley Hills for the last 400 meter stretch that runners who already finished the race shouted that the course was short by about 3 kms and we could sprint to the finish if we wanted to already.
While others were surprised and muttering, “what?”, “huh?’, “really?”, “are you sure?” about the long discrepancy of the distance, i was skeptical that it was 3k, maybe a little short, but not 3k. When i glanced at my watch, time showed 2 hours only and counting! At that point, with 400 meters to go, i had mixed emotions (pardon the showbiz lingo) as i was a little disappointed and at the same time glad that it would be over soon as it was scorchingly hot already. Indeed, the Garmins validated my skepticism, it was short by 3k and would have wished i ran the full distance and fought the heat instead.
Setting aside this fiasco, i think the conduct of the race was more than satisfactory as water stations were adequate and marshals manning the checkpoints were present. Some minor drawbacks was when we were running alongside vehicles at Lawton Avenue (the fumes were terrible at times) and didn’t get any free drinks at the end of the finish line or was there any provided?
Still, our hats off to you Doc Lyndon for calling out this event and putting up a good race. We’ll see more of you and Jinoe as more races will be lined up for you in the future, i’m sure!