By PNA and U.S. News Agency / Asian
Some 16,000 runners are expected to join the Milo Marathon Cebu eliminations on Sunday.
Organizers said they have tapped Rio dela Cruz in the technical team to provide state-of-the art timing chips that will ensure a more precise time recording for all categories.
The organizers’ main concern is the safety, especially in the 5K, which attracted the most number of runners.
With 16,000 runners, chances of a stampede are high because of the jostling and pushing.
Organizer Ricky Ballesteros said they have more than 1,000 volunteers from the Philippine National Police, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, medical groups, Visayan Electric Company and other civic groups to help out in keeping the safety of the runners.
But the timing devices that will be used in the race will also greatly help the organizers.
“With the technology we have now, we can do the waving,” said Angelo Yaneza, manager of Runrio. By waving, he meant they will release the runners by batch.
“Instead of releasing all 5K runners at the same time, we will release 3,000 by batch to avoid a stampede,” said Yaneza.
Another innovation this year is the early start of the race so they could clear out the streets by the time traffic peaks.
“By 7:30 a.m., those who are still running will be fetched by our marshals because it only means they can no longer make it to the cut-off. This way, we can reopen the roads to normal traffic,” said Andrew Neri of Nestle Philippines.
Neri added that they could not impose this before when some runners refused to ride the official vehicles.
This year, however, it is stipulated in the waivers that if they refuse to take the transport, they will be on their own.
Neri said the race will also start earlier than usual so the event will finish early.
The 21K will start at 5 a.m. and will have a cut-off time of two and a half hours after the start of the race.
The 21K runners who make the required time set by Milo will qualify for the 42K National Finals.
Those who make the qualifying time for the men’s division at one hour and 15 minutes and 1:35 in the women’s side will get an all-expense paid trip to the National Finals.
Racers who also make the qualifying time in their respective age brackets will also qualify for the Nationals but will have to shoulder their expenses.