Thursday, July 8, 2010

ACE Hardware Eco-Friendly Run aka Epic-Fail Run

One key learning that I had from joining the ACE Hardware Eco-Friendly Run is never participate in a running event for the wrong reasons (registering just to get a great-looking singlet and a lot of promised freebies). I feel bad for influencing my officemates to join this event too. The advertising was promising, with big brand names as sponsors, and JC Tiuseco and Reema Chanco as the event endorsers. To the organizers, what did go wrong?

June 27, 2010 - Race day. This is my second running event with my sister, and we both registered again for the 3k category. This time however, I decided not be her pacer. I wanted to attempt doing a faster pace, given this was just a short distance and I felt I already had enough recovery time from my previous injury. Here's me and my sister sporting the red, white and blue singlet.

The 3k runners were last to have their gun start. There were a number of 3k runners but we were fortunate enough to squeeze our way in front. The starting line arch was the narrowest of all race arches I've seen! There was an LED timer at the side, and the race marshall shouted we'd start once it hits 00:20:00. We heard the gun start signal when it hit 00:15:00! What the hell! I did not even have time to set my watch timer. Everyone was surprised and just started running.

During the first kilometer I knew I was in better shape now than my previous races. I was on my way to a new 3k PR! But there was something wrong with the race route which could potentially affect my time and others gunning for their PRs as well: poor traffic control! Runners were running beside moving vehicles. Where are the race marshalls? Talk about race safety.

There weren't ample water stations too! With only three short race categories - 3k, 5k and 10k (which is just a double loop of the 5k route), the organizers should have planned on putting more water stations. It was humid and runners would have wanted to rehydrate more often on that condition.

On my way to the finish line, I was confident I had a pretty fast time. I noticed the 5k finishers were already starting to queue up in handing out their barcode strips to the finish line race marshall (too bad for us, there are no timing chips and only manual recording of time will be done). The 3k area didn't have a queue yet; lucky me.

I met Mils a few minutes later and after collecting our loot bags, we walked around the village and were fortunate enough to have our pictures taken with JC and Reema.

We went back to the finish line arch and was shocked to see long queues on all race categories, specially the 5k. I could have sworn there were more than fifty people in line just to hand out their barcodes. I also heard one of the race marshalls dropped the barcode strips, picked them up and just arranged them in whatever order possible. How would the runners even get a bit of accuracy on their results?

But that doesn't end there. The real disaster was on the baggage counter, where there were literally mounds of bags placed on top of each other, and runners trying to claim their belongings, with no queue system whatsoever. It was just plain havoc.

We still managed to do the superposition though, amidst these race horrors. Here's Rap, Mils, Dada, Me, Nic, BA and Sharra. Most of them are new running companions.

We found out later in the race forums that the actual race distances of each category was nowhere near their supposed distance - the 10k route was just 8.4k and the 5k route was just 4.2k. The icing on the cake however, is that the 3k route was 3.9k in actuality. I estimate my time to be around 19 minutes, so that would mean I ran the course in a pace of less than 5 minutes per kilometer. Woohoo!

A week and four days have already passed as I write this blog entry. The race results are still not released. I am not expecting the organizers to release them anymore. My only plea is for ACE never to attempt organizing a running event ever again. Majority of the running community has the same sentiment.

1 comment:

  1. i loved your review. :P bcz i love this so much. I will share this blog