this is about family and its ups and downs, living, and everything about life from a working mom's perspective.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Race to Serve or Race to Thirst? CSC, Answer Me!

Photo credit: Roy Pogi Calangian
Last September 8, I joined the R.A.C.E. To Serve II Fun Run organized by the Civil Service Commission as part of its anniversary celebration.  It was touted by websites on fitness/running  as better and bigger.  Bigger, maybe. Better? NOOOOO!!!!!

 Hubby and I were in front of Dr. Jose Rizal's Monument along Roxas Blvd at around 4 in the morning.  The starting point was teeming with civil servants all excited to hear the sound of the starting pistol for the 10k, 5k and 3k.

I joined the 3k race and finished it in 26 minutes and 21 seconds. Hahahahah! Oh I ran, till I was short of breath, but it still took me that long.  One reason is that, my rubber shoes, because of non-use for a long time, gave up on me and was snapping its jaws one kilometer into the race.  I had to stop from time to time and tell each pair to behave or else I'd run barefoot. Mercifully, it didn't disintegrate on me.

I join races just for the heck of it.  It's nice to see all those faces from different walks of life running for a cause: be it for fitness, charity, environment protection, for the free singlet and other freebies or just like me, for the heck of it.  But this was the worst race I've ever joined! To think the office paid P350 for those who ran the 3k race, and more, for the 5k and 10k.

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First:  The race started late.  The 10k should have started at 5:30, but I think they had to wait for Vice President Binay (who joined the 3k race) to arrive before the starting gun was fired.  So it started at 5:45 or 6 am. I don't think he was able to run though, what with his bodyguards surrounding  him and all those fans who clung to his side so that they'd have a picture with him.

Second:  The maps that they gave out did not identify where the water stations would be, except at line 0 (assembly point).

Third: Well, they didn't identify the water stations because there really were only TWO water stations for the entire race! One at line 0 and one at the finish line.

That's the water station at line 0.
Photo credit:  Roy Pogi Calangian
Fourth:  I swear I could have died if I tried the 5k because there was no water along the race route.  A lot of the runners were already complaining midway into the 3k race because there was no water station to be seen! Imagine the 10k runners who only saw Manila Bay as the only source of water in the race.

Fifth: What's worse than worst? At the end of the race, there was a big queue of runners begging for water at the water station in the Quirino Grandstand.  Imagine, the water was no even ready - cups filled on the table so that runners could just pick them up and go.  It was a nightmare! Runners had to fill their own cups, scrounge for empty cups, because the people manning the water station were just looking at the runners. I forgot the name of the sponsor for the water.  And their water is not even delish!!!!

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Sixth: When I got to the water station, got my plastic cup, there was very little water left in the containers.  The man behind me (there was no line, only chaos) cursed, because he was only able to get half a cup of water.

Seventh:  Before the start of the race, it was being announced that bags may be left at the bag station.  The bag station, it turned out, was an L-300 van.  Hubby and I were one of the early birds, so our bags were placed near the back of the driver's seat. After the race, I tried to claim my bag and I was told that only the bags on the top of the van are available.  They put the bags under a cordoned tent for easy pick-up.  The rest, or the earlier "worms'" bags were still inside the van.  According to the people manning the baggage station, they didn't anticipate that the runners would finish early so they did not take them out yet.  Geeez, I had to wait 30 minutes for my bag to be taken out of the van.   Imagine, I was dehydrated, tired and squished by all those people claiming for their  bags!

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Eighth: The hosts were already announcing the raffle winners when there were still people who have yet to claim their bags, get a drop of water or not yet even through with the race! I wonder if any one was able to hear that they one and claim their prize.

Ninth: I had an officemate who did not run, but was able to get a certificate for completing the 10k! Beat that!  A friend from another agency told me that the race ushers were giving out certificates by the bulk - like 1-inch thick certificates.  If it's any consolation, those people didn't sweat and I felt healthier that morning -the healthiest I have felt in months!

Hubby's race bib. I threw away mine out of extreme "asar."
Tenth: The organizers failed to organize the exact race route. While they identified the southbound lane of Roxas Blvd.  as the starting lane, some runners used the northbound lane as the starting lane because people couldn't run because there were THAT many runners - it's like we were on a procession and not a race.  So some runners counter-flowed, using the lane for those who have already made their designated turns, and on their way to the end of the race.  What's sadder is that for us, 3k runners, our turning slot was somewhere in Pedro Gil and they did not designate a proper turning slot. Instead, we were made to step on the island with those plants.  I bet a lot of the plants were destroyed because the runners had no choice but to trample on them since there was no way to take the turn.  

There should have been warm-up exercises before the start of the race instead of the useless info being announced from time to time.

The run was announced months before the race.  Why couldn't they have organized it properly! It was a Race to Thirst, not a Race to Serve. I don't think I would still join the race next year.

The tired, thirsty pissed off, but stil happy runners!
Photo credit:  Roy Pogi Calangian

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