Bringing back the “FUN” in fun runs is a challenge in most Metro Manila races nowadays as it has become a big business/industry with exorbitant registration fees in the recent years.
So the how does one determine if a race is worthy of joining? How to determine if a race is a “Sulit Run” or a “Negosyo Run”?
“Negosyo Runs” are races with exorbitant registration fees, and with inclusions and races not meeting expectations.
For me, “Sulit Runs” (10K and up) should have all or most of the following criteria:
- Affordable registration fees
- Registration fee promo (i.e., group discount, flash sale)
- Nicely design and comfy fabric race singlet or shirt
- Nicely design and comfy fabric finisher shirt
- Nicely design finisher medal (or trophy). Non circular medal design is usually better and more expensive.
- Lots of sponsor freebies or sponsor freebies filled loot bags
- Good collection of raffle prizes
- Good race route/lanes
- Adequate number of support staff and hydration stations (determined during the event)
- Time chip or RFID shoe tag
- Nice posters/graphics
- Timely updates on social media
For the second quarter of 2019, though a couple of races seem to be Sulit Runs, SongkRUN! Water Fun Run Festival 2019 (aka Run4UrLife 2019) seems to be the Most Sulit Run as it meets all of my expectations.
Registration Fees and Inclusions
1 . PhP950 and PhP1,050 registration fees for 10K and 16K, respectively, with complete inclusions are very affordable. 16K even has an RFID shoe tag/time chip!
- Inclusions for 10K: Hoodie singlet, race bib, finisher medal, finisher shirt, towel, water gun, bubble tube, loot bag
- Inclusions for 16K: Hoodie singlet, race bib, finisher medal, finisher shirt, towel, water gun, bubble tube, loot bag, RFID shoe tag/time chip
Registration Fee Promos
2. SongkRUN has great registration fee promos: 5+1 group discount, May 1 Labor Day Sale PhP200 discount, PhP150 discount on May 4 and 5.
Hoodie Singlet – a collector’s item!
3. The Hoodie Singlet is a collector’s item. The white fabric is so comfortable to the skin. SongkRUN is the only race that has the hoodie singlet for all distances. The design is simple yet elegant and classy that one would be proud to wear it in most sports activities. This is also a beach and gym worthy item. (Similar hoodie singlet retails for a few hundred pesos in the market.)
4. The Finisher Shirt has the same quality as the Hoodie Singlet: comfy fabric, simple and elegant/classy design and subtly depicts that it is a water themed race. Not the usual “beachy” multicolour design, hence, this could be worn in other occasions.
5. The very uniquely design finisher medal clearly shows that this is a water themed event: The main icon is a water drop, “SongkRUN!” is at the center with water splashes on both sides, and “Finisher” at the bottom. This is blue medal is valuable addition to a runner’s medal collection.
Sponsors and Raffle Prizes
6. SongkRUN! has numerous sponsors and partners that would surely make this a must join race: Sharp, Casino Filipino, Dole, Fitness Gourmet, La Jeunesse, Fit ‘n Right, Plantronics, Perskindol, Scents Daily, Gold’s Gym, Garmin, Village Pipol, Sip. Aside from the towel, water gun, bubble tube, the loot bag would include a PhP500 bet stub/voucher from Casino Filipino, and a PhP500 gift certificate from Fitness Gourmet. I’m sure there would also be other loot bag items based on the list of sponsors/partners.
7. With Sharp Philippines providing the appliances as raffle prizes, everyone would be excited and anticipate/wait for this, and stay at the event venue for the post-race program/activities.
Starting Line/Finish Line
8. Based on the race routes announced, they are fairly good and manageable. I think this is the only Metro Manila race where the Starting Line is different from the Finish Line. It starts at the CCP Liwasang Ilalim and ends at the Casino Filipino Ermita (where the post-race activities would be held). This usually happens in ultra-marathons outside Metro Manila. So what happens to the personal items left at the baggage counter? Like in ultra-marathons, the baggage would be transported to the Finish Line area. Be sure to bring an extra shirt for those not receiving a Finisher Shirt (3K and 5K distances) if you’re joining the post-race activities.
9. Previously organized races by Red Entertainment/Red Sports proved to be successful with lots of support staff and hydration stations.
RFID Shoe Tag/Time Chip for 16K
10. Only the 16K category has the RFID shoe tag/time chip. At PhP1,050 registration fee with complete inclusions, this so worth it!
11. Posters and graphics are professionally done and very consistent with the theme: Water, Fun, Wet, Wild, Festival.
Social Media and Communications
12. Consistent regular updates are provided in social media (i.e., Facebook event page ). The organizer also responds to PMs, SMS and voice calls promptly and professionally.
SongkRUN was adapted from Thailand’s’ most famous festival, Songkran. Songkran is an important event on the Buddhist calendar, which marks the beginning of the traditional Thai New Year. Water is an important element of Songkran, especially in more recent times when the throwing of water has become a huge part of the annual celebrations. Foreigners and celebrities regularly attend this event and prepare to get splashed. Crowds of people roam around throwing buckets of water, using water pistols and just generally soaking anyone in the vicinity. Much like our very own San Juan Festival, eh?
As promoted by Red Sports in SongkRUN’s launch,
“Prepare that Sexylicious and Bootylicious bodies as we present the Wettest and Wildest FunRUN and Street Dance Party in the Philippines, Run4UrLife SongkRUN. SongkRUN is the epitome of fun. An adaptation of Thailand’s Songkran “Water Festival”, expect us to make our Thai brothers proud by providing a spectacular event! What to expect? Vast quantities of water are stored in whatever vessels take your fancy (squirt guns, buckets and water balloons are all acceptable), before being used to battle your nearest and dearest. It’s a welcome reprieve from the intense heat of Summer at the same time promoting Fitness and Camaraderie amongst the Filipino People.”
SongkRUN! 2019 is the anniversary of the Run4UrLife event held on May 27th 2018.