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Schools Run for School Rooms

About three (3) years ago in November 2009, Stradcom Corp. supported the very first McHappy Day fun run with the aim to raise funds for McDonald's two educational flagship programs. Our company was able to represent a number of 23 other office-mates that led to a fun and enjoyable race aside from the fact that it was well organized and a successful fund-raising running event.

Last Saturday (7th July 2012), Stradcom Corp. was once again present and have been a part of a good-cause for the event Schools Run for School Rooms, under the program of Athletes in Action as co-presented by FILA Philippines. The event aims to rebuild the still devastated school buildings brought by Typhoon Sendong more than half a year ago, particularly in Iligan and Cagayan De Oro wherein most of the elementary pupils are still trying to gain their schooling through the make-shift classrooms.

Race day, the event was well-attended by a lot of students from the different College, Universities, Rowing Teams, PNP, and other private organizations such as Stradcom which registered more than 100 participants (though was only attended by more or less 60%).

Having been "self-bound" to focus more attention this time not to my own race, but to my colleagues/office-mates, I opted to run under the 3K category so that I would have time to take their photos before the 10K and 5K gun-start, and as well as to capture their own moment while crossing the finish line. Although, with the almost 15,000 participants of the event, mostly students, I only saw less than what I expected to see among my colleagues before and after the race.

Georgina about to fire the 3k gunstart
On the 3 distances, I think the 3K category was the most chaotic at the starting line and also the most participated category. Before the countdown, the runners in front assembled themselves a few steps ahead off the starting line, and while Georgina was still counting down with 4 seconds still remaining, these runners have already started to run, and some at the back began pushing those in front of them, like a domino effect, everybody started moving and running even while the gun-start has not yet fired. I don't know if Georgina was still able to run after that since it was like a stampede the moment everyone started the chase.

After about 13 minutes on my last stretch to the finish, there were still a lot of 3K participants who have just took their way out from the starting line (about 200 meters away). That's how big the 3K crowd was.

I rested for a few minutes, then I was about to take photos at the receiving end of the finish line, but many of those who have just crossed are already lumped in the area that the marshals can no longer control the crowd, closing the space for incoming runners. Anticipating that the crowd will grow larger, I just waited at some 20-30 meters ahead of the starting line. And there I thought I would have a good view and easily see my colleagues, but it was much harder to find them as I am not used to seeing most of them either without their eyeglass, or not in a corporate/office attire, sweating early in the morning, add to it that they are all wearing the same singlet design, and most of them still looks like one of the Student participants, lol!

Still, I had fun taking photos of them, and I even saw some of my runner-friends who also participated on this event like Sir Rene who tickled me on his way out from the starting line and on his way in to the finish line.

She looks familiar, all eyes on her
As for the race, here's my review and observations:
  1. Lack of crowd control at the starting line, runners already sprinted their way out even if there was still 3 or 4 more seconds left before the gun-start.
  2. The planned hydration stations was not followed, and the available water stations have ran out of hydrations.
  3. No turning markers at the intersections aside from the marshals doing some "patintero" to point the runners where they should turn.
  4. Here's a hulabaloo between a group of the leading runners and two marshals:
    Marshall 1 & 2 (holding 5K and 10K tarps): "5K diretso, 10K kakanan" 3K Lead Runners: "Saan ang 3K?" Marshall 1 & 2: "5K diretso lang, 10K kakanan" 3K Lead Runners: "Yung 3K saan?" Marshall 1 & 2: "5K po diretso lang" 3K Lead Runners: "Puro kayo 5K at 10K eh, kami saan?"
    They were never answered back, so they just opted to go straight where the 5K runners were pointed to.
  5. Lack of crowd control at the finish line.
  6. The 3K category turned out 50m short, while 10K runners complained that the distance was 1.7km short
  7. No proper timing for every runner
Anyway, in my own opinion though, and in contrast, the race was still fun and successful. At this race, what mattered to me was the spirit of camaraderie, the success of the fund-raising for our waiting young generations, and the enthusiasm that I saw from the students and the first-time runners who are innocent about the shortcomings of the race but are still very very glad and happy that they have finished their first official race. The fallback is, they might never have an official race result of their debut run.

Well, back in the '90s, I never had official results also of some of my races but it never made a big deal to me. Let's just take into account that not all races are meant as a "PR" race, so learn when to get serious by joining those races organized by well-known race directors who give great races, and when to just have fun (taper mode) and just run for the good cause -- not just your own cause!

Enjoy some of our photos below:

Thanks to Faith for lending me your camera. More photos may be found from my facebook album.

Race Profile:
Distance: 3K (50m short)
Personal Time: 00:13:38

Race Info:
When: July 7, 2012.
Where: BGC, Taguig
Event: Athletes in Actions' Schools Run for School Rooms


  1. Pedz, nice account and observations! True, this race should just be treated as a fun run as there was no semblance of planning made by the RDs. Thanks too for blocking my path at the finish line. You just ruined my attempt in establishing a PR for my first ever distance of 8.9km!:-)

  2. Lol, Sir Rene, I actually haven't noticed you until you tickled my very sensitive armpit =D

    It's your 1st ever 5.56 mile run so it is still a PR. Oh btw, please Sir Rene, don't tickle me again next time, it giggles me =D


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