Europe-PH News

Integrity Run Has Integrity

May 06, 2012

Anthony E. Servinio

Europe-PH News

TAGUIG CITY -- Around this time last year, I was a bit busy working with the committee in-charge of the Philippine’s hosting of the 22nd FIBA-Asia Champions Cup that I had to forego a couple of interesting runs.  The second staging of "I Run For Integrity" last May 6 at the Bonifacio Global City made me regret not joining last year’s race.

Organized by the Integrity Initiative, a collaboration of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Makati Business Club, the run was a show of force and demonstrated that integrity is a way to a better tomorrow.  Before the run, all participants were made to take an oath for integrity.

A much bigger field in the centerpiece 15-kilometer category loomed as more runners opted for the longer distance and the prospect of a finishers’ medal due to the reasonable PHP 600.00 entry fee, a 50-peso difference compared to the 10, five and three-kilometer categories pegged at PHP 550.00.

Race Director Rudy Biscocho designed a simple course characterized by minimal intersections and a lot of straight lines starting at BGC then to Buendia all the way to just before the PNR tracks and then back to BGC.  The runners were made climb the Buendia Flyover early on thus tackling it at full strength.

Hydration was plentiful and there was no crowding at the stations.  It was observed that in races over the last two weeks, runners in general have made a conscious effort to properly dispose their trash after a critical social media photograph went viral.  This time, the organizers provided ample bins to catch the cups and sponges.

Runners have to be prepared.  Since water was the only item served at the aid stations, it was a good thing to always bring a small candy bar.  By the way, I still find these candy bars equally effective and far cheaper and than those gels which I have never tried.

Actually, it was advised by the coaches of my Tuesday-Thursday running group to defer any plans of racing that weekend.  Since I was already registered, the plan was just to run relaxed and simply finish.

Servssports' BlodStill, the competitive fire suddenly ignited upon the first ascent of the Buendia Flyover as I used long strides to pass several racers.  It was back to normal racing mode from then, hoping to atone for the slow start.

Buendia Avenue proved to be a breeze as the marshals did a good job of holding the traffic at the two crucial intersections of Makati and Ayala Avenues until the runners passed by.  It was also a good thing that the weather was very conducive for running with the rains of the past week taking a respite.

Upon returning to BGC, the group circled Bonifacio High Street and made a final u-turn near the Manila Japanese School.  With BHS back in sight, it was time for the final sprint to finish.

I submitted an official time 1:35:34, good for 155th place among 692 finishers.  It seems those twice a week sessions with the coaches are paying off big time as it is well within the top 25% and a few notches off the top 20% of the field.

By the way, I am a big fan of having color-coded uniforms during races.  Seeing a yellow shirt in front of me really motivates me to overtake.  Yellow was the assigned color for 15K, blue for 10K, red for 5K and white for 3K.

INTEGRITY IN ACTION

However, the organizers must be commended for showing integrity after enforcing an order from the Bureau of Immigration of Deportation not to award monetary prizes to foreigners without the proper documents.  They were still acknowledged as the top finishers and received gift certificates and other items from sponsors.

It is submitted that these foreigners, mostly from Kenya, have been lording it over Philippine races over the last years, much to the chagrin of local runners.  In fact they even go to the extent of joining obscure fiesta races in the provinces as long as prize money is involved thus making running a relatively lucrative “profession”.

May is expected to be a busy month for sports as a lot of events are lined up as part of the last hurrah before classes resume this June.  For the participants in the Integrity Run, the physical effects of aching bodies may be felt immediately but the long term benefits awaits in the form of a culture change leading to a new Philippines wherein ethical and moral standards are high and corruption becomes a thing of the past.

Major event partners for the 2012 Integrity Run include Convergys which sent 1,000 employees to the run, Chris Sports, Aboitiz Power, Globaltronics, Smart Communications, DHL Express Philippines and Phinma Foundation.  Event supporters include Bellarocca Island Resort and Spa, Blue Cross Insurance, Electrolux Philippines, Kellogg’s Philippines, MAN Automotive Concessionaires Corporation, MSD Philippines, Planters Development Bank, Royal Cargo, Siemens, The Medical City and United Salvage and Towage Philippines.

We would like to thank Cay Castanos of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and Arleen Lindo of Chris Sports for making our participation in the 2012 I Run For Integrity possible.

 

Source:Servssports' Blog; 06 May 2012

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