Cafe France Run: A Throwback Race

When I started joining runs 4-5 years ago, these races were quite a simple affair. Race packets just included a singlet, race bib and a map of the race route. Routes would have marshalls, and some water stations. Runs would start and end without much fanfare as programs would usually just be for awarding of the winners. However, after reading how foreign runs were being organized, I began to wish more of our runs would be like theirs.

I wished we would also have timing chips to accurately get our finishing times. I wished for a race expo, for loot bags… And many more.

Be careful for what you wish for… you might just get it.

And then it happened. With more people joining races, races became more sophisticated. Timing chips were now included in the race packets. Packets, which were to be claimed a few days before the race during a race expo. Loot bags became the norm, and all races were expected to have them.

Of course it was great to finally have all these perks. But with these perks came an inadvertent complication. Registration fees began to skyrocket. 10k runs which used to cost around 200-300 pesos (singlet already included), now cost at the minimum 500 pesos. Big-time races would of course charge more, sometimes costing the runner a cool 1000 pesos.

And because of this, the frequency of me joining races plummeted as the reg fees steadily climbed up. From someone who would join all available races, be it weekly… Sometimes even on back-to-back days… I became someone who hardly joined any races.

Return to racing

However, a few weeks ago, while going through facebook, I came across an ad. There would be a run and it would only cost 300 pesos! Seeing that my schedule was free that day. I immediately decided to go register and join the race. Registration was quite simple, I went to a nearby Cafe France branch, filled up a form. Paid my fee. And right there and then, they gave me my packet which contained… My bib, a race map, and a singlet. Simple, not much fanfare. Just like the old days.

For the race itself, will write a post about in the next few days.


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