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The Simple or the Grand - What 'Race' Are You?

Since I started running from way, way back the late 90's, I have always loved the simplicity of how the running events were being held. The small number of participants, manual timers, race bibs on a muslin-like fabric (katsa?), race results on manila paper that you will only see at the finish line - never gets published online nor in any social networks (only big events such as Milo Marathon gets published on newspaper), pail water for the hydration (purified/bottled water are still unknown then), a small box as elevation and stage for the Announcer, his mega-phone for a long-enduring announcement and motivational message and prayer, Marshals whom you will only see at the far-intervaled water stations, the absence of photographers, and a free-sized cotton finisher's shirt (race singlets are seldom).

Runners were also all simply racing, they don't have a hydration belt, a music player, a cap/visor, shades, compressions nor tights, etc. All they are, are just simple runners aiming to finish the race with no other expectations at the end but to cross the finish line with a triumph they can call their own, whether they're already limping or crawling, 'coz that's how they define a strong finish!

Then came the year 2009 - 2010, I was already a regular bud on Metro Manila and some nearby provincial races after more than eight years of hiatus from running. It was during these years when I always got struck of the awesome and grandness of some races being held that gives a different kind of adrenaline push and excitement just before the race starts. There were fireworks, colorful race-bibs with detachable claim tags for giveaways, medals, extra hydration and discounts from sponsors, the race singlets (now I don't have to wear the same cotton sando on my races), and being on the field of IT, I loved those technologically-advanced timing system, online photos, and online results with race analysis. It has really caught my heart and attention, and I admit that these gave an add-on motivation more specially to my non-runner officemates and friends to indulge theirselves into a healthy lifestyle of running.

And today, the running scene has not escaped the continuous development of technology. Running apparels and gears are getting improved, logistics are being re-defined, and debates about what's the best and what's effective encircles the global web. For runners, more people are participating and getting into an active lifestyle, more elites (and even non-elites) are rising at the podium, more beginners improving on their own PRs (Personal Record/Best), more mileage covered, and ultra-runners were born and still continuously growing, and also... more runners with different purpose abounds and rampage each event. It has become a competition not just about running, but also with their own kinds of "frolics".

Image credit from CyberNation
I came to know the running scene not from the time of it's conception nor it's birth, but I am glad that I'm part of both worlds - the simple and the grand. And what's better between these two? For me, they come hand-on-hand, as I learned to appreciate the simple things about running, and at the same time, the advances in technology that has benefited the running scene. It has both the incomparable joy and happiness that running gives. After all, what fulfills us in running is not the material value that we spend to it, but the value that we give to this passion!


  1. gusto ko nung katsa na race bib :)

  2. hindi ko binebenta eh, lol!
    Let's see some simple provincial and small races, baka maka-tyempo pa rin tayo :)


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