Since I started running from way, way back the late 90's, I have always loved the simplicity of how the running events were being held. The small number of participants, manual timers, race bibs on a muslin-like fabric (katsa?), race results on manila paper that you will only see at the finish line - never gets published online nor in any social networks (only big events such as Milo Marathon gets published on newspaper), pail water for the hydration (purified/bottled water are still unknown then), a small box as elevation and stage for the Announcer, his mega-phone for a long-enduring announcement and motivational message and prayer, Marshals whom you will only see at the far-intervaled water stations, the absence of photographers, and a free-sized cotton finisher's shirt (race singlets are seldom).
Runners were also all simply racing, they don't have a hydration belt, a music player, a cap/visor, shades, compressions nor tights, etc. All they are, are just simple runners aiming to finish the race with no other expectations at the end but to cross the finish line with a triumph they can call their own, whether they're already limping or crawling, 'coz that's how they define a strong finish!
Then came the year 2009 - 2010, I was already a regular bud on Metro Manila and some nearby provincial races after more than eight years of hiatus from running. It was during these years when I always got struck of the awesome and grandness of some races being held that gives a different kind of adrenaline push and excitement just before the race starts. There were fireworks, colorful race-bibs with detachable claim tags for giveaways, medals, extra hydration and discounts from sponsors, the race singlets (now I don't have to wear the same cotton sando on my races), and being on the field of IT, I loved those technologically-advanced timing system, online photos, and online results with race analysis. It has really caught my heart and attention, and I admit that these gave an add-on motivation more specially to my non-runner officemates and friends to indulge theirselves into a healthy lifestyle of running.
And today, the running scene has not escaped the continuous development of technology. Running apparels and gears are getting improved, logistics are being re-defined, and debates about what's the best and what's effective encircles the global web. For runners, more people are participating and getting into an active lifestyle, more elites (and even non-elites) are rising at the podium, more beginners improving on their own PRs (Personal Record/Best), more mileage covered, and ultra-runners were born and still continuously growing, and also... more runners with different purpose abounds and rampage each event. It has become a competition not just about running, but also with their own kinds of "frolics".
|Image credit from CyberNation|