The Valencia City Fiesta Run held last August 28, 2011 in Valencia City, Bukidnon was a not-so-organized race that left many runners complaining. As I observed, the people behind this run were not that experienced in organizing races, probably because running events are not that popular yet in this city.
Together with a group of runners from Malaybalay City, we arrived at the Valencia City Gymnasium a little past 5 AM and on-site registration has not yet started. Afterwards, the runners were made to line up in their choice event as there are three categories, 3K (kiddie run), 5K and 10K.
As I sensed that this run will probably start late so I just lined up for the 5K event. A 50 pesos registration fee was collected per participant but to my surprise, there were no race bibs given. Instead, race numbers were written in our arms with a pentel pen (!)
After waiting a little longer, a hauling truck took the runners to their respective starting lines. Yes, there are different starting lines for each event. 3K started at the New Transport Terminal, 5K in Barangay Bagontaas and 10K started in Barangay Colunia. Finish line is across the San Augustine Cathedral in Valencia City proper.
The 5K run started at almost 7 AM amidst the heat of the morning sun. What made it worse is that there are no water stations along the way. I was really glad that I've opted to run 5K only as I would probably be dehydrated had I chosen the 10K event.
Race route is straight and generally flat all the way. I reached the finish line in 26 minutes (plus a few seconds) and I was happy that somehow I was finally able to finish 5K in less than 30 minutes. Prior to this run, my best 5K time is 30:50 during the 34th Milo National Marathon in Cagayan de Oro City last November 2010.
At the finish line, there are still no water handed out to the finishers (aarggh!!!). So we just walked back to the City Gym and bought our own water to rehydrate. At the gym almost all runners complained with the way the run was being organized.
I opted not to wait for the awarding ceremony as it took so long to start. A few days later I would learn from a friend that the prizes were not handed out to the winners immediately as the check was not yet encashed. I really felt sorry for the winners since most of them have to travel from other places just to join this run.