“A run BY runners FOR runners”
The Condura Run is a run conceptualized by the Concepcion brothers (Ton and Pat)… two runners who are veterans of many local and foreign races. They used their experience, listened to the wishes of runners and partnered with one of the best race organizers in Rudy Biscocho, to come up with one superb race. The Condura Run has set a very high standard that would be hard to match (though I hope they do) by upcoming races.
When it was announced that this year’s version of the Condura Run would have the Skyway as part of the route, many runners, myself included, immediately wanted to sign up for the race. It was a major come-on as this opportunity to run on the elevated road may just be a once-in-a-lifetime event! But then, as the days to the run approached, and as I passed through this road many times, I began to think that running on top of the Skyway wasn’t really that special. The views were not exactly breath-taking and the undulating terrain didn’t seem that daunting. Its only allure is that it’s an elevated road, where pedestrians are not allowed to pass.
However, as I found myself running on the Skyway, I realized what made this run special.
- it gave me a taste of how a big city race should be –> wide expansive roads where all you do is run… without fear of being sideswept or run over by cars;
- the straight but undulating road allowed me to see how hundreds of people looked like running in unison… and it was such an amazing sight.
1. use of bottled water – the water stations served bottled water that were poured into cups, while other stations handed out water bottles (which I prefer). The water was cold and refreshing. There were so many water stations (with enough water I might add), that I don’t think I even got thirsty the whole run.
2. gloved water station servers – made them look more hygienic. I also liked the fact that they were serving the water to the runners rather than the runners picking them up from the table. I think this lessened the mess/spill and congestion in the stations.
3. use of sponges – a controlled way of cooling oneself… Hmmm…though, what happens to all those used sponges? (Di kaya puwedeng labhan at i-recycle? 😀 ) And was there 1 sponge kaya for each runner? Just wondering…
4. rain! – the water trucks spraying cool water both at the Skyway and the finish line area was a nice touch… though, that was sure a lot of water…
5. finsher’s medal
Things to improve on
- tight entry point – there were ~1300 half-marathoners trying to enter the coral, which filled up quickly, adding to the congestion. The race eventually started even though not all the runners were inside. Since if it didn’t, the race would have started late. And, the runners still outside couldn’t get in anyway unless those in the coral were already allowed to run. This could have been avoided if the runners for the shorter distances were not yet allowed to enter their side of the coral allowing more space for the half-marathoners. I was one of those runners still outside when the starting gun fired, and though I didn’t mind, I bet it sure sucked for those runners who were aiming to have their PR’s. I guess one solution for next time would be… if you want to have a PR, arrive earlier. 😀
- medical services – about 1 km from the finish line, one of the half-marathoners collapsed. He was disoriented…just literally out of it. Lucky for him, other runners who were in the area saw him and helped him out. The ambulance (though I think it was a Fort ambulance and not a Red Cross ambulance – who were the official medical team for the race -) did arrive early, but… the paramedics didn’t know squat what to do! (Though I don’t blame them since even doctors, here and abroad, sometimes have difficulty identifying and managing sports-related emergencies) From what I observed, the medical team was 1) not prepared for emergencies beyond the usual (sprains, etc); 2) there was a lack of essentials (IV fluids, a real working stretcher); and 3) no protocol on what to do if an emergency does happen (e.g. no coordination to which hospital to bring runners who would need help beyond first aid). Of course these are stuff that the medical provider should make sure they have, but I think it is still the responsibility of the race organizers to make sure of the adequacy of their services.
What can be done
- since having your own medical team is more expensive than just outsourcing for it during events, it would be nice if race organizers would conduct seminars/trainings for their “suki” team so that they would be able to manage sports-related emergencies better;
- race organizers should make sure needs are available;
- though this may be more expensive… water stations should also have sports/electrolyte drinks, not just water; and
- earlier starting times, especially during summer.
- know when to stop and call for help. Know your limits. There is no shame in a DNF if it means you surviving;
- train well;
- hydrate!; and
- bring identification with you at all times.
The Condura run was indeed a run that was by runners for runners. It sure is one tough act to follow. But I’m quite sure the Concepcion brothers will come up with something and suprise us all again next year!
To runner number 31 (21km), hope you’re ok. See you on the road!
A very well attended race:
For really great pics, I saw some in this site.