I opened up my March running calendar with an easy 5k at the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Run held at the Quirino Grandstand, Manila. It was a packed event, and in my opinion highlighted why organizations wishing to organize a run - even a fund-raising one - should really try to get professional events organizers to handle their races.
|5k in 28:07, bib #2117|
The run only featured two distances, 3k and 5k. The route was very simple; a straight stretch along Roxas Boulevard, Manila from the Quirino Grandstand to V. Cruz, and back. The gun start for the 5k was supposedly at 5am but the event was delayed for an hour, with the late arrival of the City Mayor a factor, though this was not announced by the host. The warm-up could also have been a little better given that the runners were standing around for a good hour before we actually ran.
Organization-wise, a lot of the faster runners could not make it to the front of the start, as there were many people (many people) taking photographs at the starting line. I have nothing against personal souvenir shots of an event, especially in a fun run, but I think it's quite impolite and dangerous to still be taking photographs when people are running already.
My worst experience though was the short time in between the launch of the 5k and the 3k runners, respectively. What happened was that at the 3k turn-about (remember, both distances had a straight stretch), the 5k runners were going to pass through here as well. This 3k turn-about then became the too-oft seen human traffic of Manila. It was jam-packed, and it was crazy trying to navigate through walkers and bunches of people taking photographs. Not the best run, to be honest.
On a good note, the loot bag was pretty alright, but I'll be giving them away since I won't be using them (the shirt, paper bag, prayer leaflets, and an umbrella).
As for the dozens of people who were cutting queues just to get the loot bag, I suppose the "Bible Run" part of the race title just didn't register.