Comment on commercial  of sports events                Oro Sunday Runners Club Inc.

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Running and the benefits

_On May 16 2011 I got surprised by an article in the Gold Star Daily about a report concerning an upcoming running event June 5 2011, accidentally the same date of our monthly first Sundays "Out of City Runs" organized by the Oro Sunday Runners Club, the most active running club in organizing running events for every running lover in CDO.
article handles about the second Freedom Run called the LimKetKai Freedom Run, obvious where the run will start and end,
(the first one was held in June last year).
It's about a memorandum of agreement between Circle Productions and LimKetKai Centre last May 11 2011.
I will duplicate the last half of this report:

"A major addition for this year's race will be the use of a fully automated timing system to efficiently record each runners time.
Another breakthrough is that 5 km runners will also have a timing chip fort the first time here in CDO.
All of this will be made possible because of a partnership between Circle Productions Inc. and RUNRIO.Inc the leading race organizer and timing system provider in the country headed by Coach Rio de la Cruz

_So far, nothing wrong with this all, we Oro Sunday Runners, and I think lots of (in some way) running Cagayanons like to run in a well organized running event.
As a representative, the vice president of the Oro Sunday Runners Club, I like to speak out my doubts because of the high entrance fee.
Lately, we were surprised with quit a lot of  'runs for a cause', starting in 2010, and they all generate a high entrance fee, including jerseys.
_Now we have a Fun Run and it will be even more costly because of the running chip, what is only useful for the few fastest and the more serious running athletes, still we do not know if the distance is correct measured!
A big well placed marathon clock is enough for runners to notice their finish time!

_This June 5 run is called Freedom Run or let’s say a 'Run for Freedom', but I do have the feeling that the meaning of an event like this is more a 'Run for the MONEY'.
_Don't get me wrong, I have no problems with organizations which try to earn money, we all need an income in a successful and satisfying way as much as possible.
Circle productions is just a business organization specialized in organizing big events, I wish them success!
RUNRIO.Inc is also a business company and of course I like them to be successful in the interest of their employees!

_BUT, we have a conflict here, because I noticed in many occasions how often good and fast runners of all ages will stay at the sideline because they cannot afford themselves such an entrance fee like 400 pesos!
A lot of them have a hard time to find the pesos in these economically hard times for food and education for children who will soon enroll again for the next school year.
Even these runners have no money enough to buy good running shoes.
_So, what kind of sportsmen and women will show up in running events like this?
Correct, not the less wealthy or poor ones, but the ones who like to show themselves with nice good looking running shoes and other running outfit, even when they are not well trained or good runners.

_I doubt the motives of the organizers, are they in favor of the ordinary well running Cagayanons with a small income, let’s say the running sport in general, or do they favor indeed their own pocket more?

_To take notice what the Oro Sunday Runners Club is doing for their members and also all the running Cagayanons in an every month run (until November 2011), have a look at the rest of this website.

_To give an example how much the money is involved these days, I remember the Mayors run, organized by the city government (the last one on August 2005) for an affordable entrance fee, so many athletes were able to join, including a Mayor Runs T shirt, I do still have as an remembrance.
Many volunteers from City Hall and some people related to City Hall were helping to make the runs (Saturday evening and Sunday morning) a success, it was all from the cities Fiesta budget.
Times have changed, because now City Hall is hiring an organizer of events and such an organization has to make profit.
Result is a too much high entrance fee for the ordinary run enthusiastic!

_A second example is the facelift and renewal of the Pelaez Sports Centre in this city.
Before the rubberizing of the oval took place, all kinds of runners and other sports lovers were free to enter the oval and do their training, or exercise.
For runners especially, it was the main meeting place, to see each other, to train together and share information about everything concerning running in general.
After reopening the Sport centre, everyone has to pay for entering the sport facilities, it is not abnormal and justifiable.
And even 30 pesos is probably not so much money when you are having a good income and not too many expenses, but for ordinary citizens with few income, it is too much.
_That was the reason I requested the Provincial Governor Oscar Moreno to offer us, a running club, a special arrangement to help our club members in entering the oval for less or whatever arrangement and stimulate the running sport in general.
The Governor forwarded the request to the manager of the Pelaez Sports centre.
The manager could not decide and played it back to the Governor.
_Then I had the chance during another run for a cause in 2010 to speak shortly to Governor Moreno and he was aware of the request but was too much concerned about the effect it will cause to other people, they would also like to have the same benefits?
BUT he promised that it has his attention, soooo………. nothing happened so far.
_What I like to suggest to the Provincial Governor Moreno:
"If you are truly sports minded (I heard you are!) and aware of the benefits for the sportsmen and women who are serious enough to join a running club, why not give these clubs a few times of the week the oval for free at some less convenient time, or think of something yourself?"

_About what is this all going?
About the money of course, the benefits!
But not for the ordinary (poor) sportsmen and runners, how sad!

_For the record:
It is for the athletes and the running clubs much better when THEY get sponsored and not only the running events as one time events organized by money making companies.
A strong running club can do much more for their members and other contestants in their events, because they do not truly need to make money, just keep their costs as low as possible to make an affordable entrance fee!
Running club members are sporting and running for their hobby, they need and will find volunteers to help in organizing, so they will make their events as cheap as possible for the interest of all sports and running enthusiasts in and around Cagayan de Oro.

Redactie: C.S. Rijskamp
Cagayan de Oro, May 18, 2011