The onset of Typhoon Egay/Linfa in Baguio City did not stop the eliminations leg of the 39th Milo national marathon here. The early morning temperature (races started 430 through 535 AM) was typical of stormy days in the City: ice cold, visibility down to zero, winds hard at work to knock you down. But who cares? Not serious runners. These are the moments they live for, a test of ability, focus, and stamina.
- I’ve to say though that the children and elderly who registered for the fun runs didn’t show up, understandably, because of the storm. Was it the first time this happened in the history of the event? Regardless, Milo should’ve rescheduled these groups on a better day if only to deliver on it’s mission of minding the health of it’s product consumers. Children and the elderly are naturally and especially vulnerable to health risks, in this case exposure to extreme weather elements. Unlike the athletes and race enthusiasts, they joined the event for a bit of exercise but largely for fun, which begs the question what makes a race fun? A hurricane definitely takes away the fun out of a race. In fact, a hurricane is an obstacle, an unusual and extreme one, to use a metaphor, the Himalayas during a blizzard to a mountain climber. Amateur climbers going up that mountain do so at their own risk. The race organizers may argue that a clause was provided – the race will push through ‘rain or shine’ – but in the absence of a clear definition of what ‘rain’ exactly means on race day, it could be taken to mean everything on the weather scale, from drizzle to shower to hurricane. This is not ethical marketing practice nor a fair sports rule. The test is, no parent or caregiver would register those in their care knowing that ‘rain or shine’ includes ‘hurricane’. On the other hand, they would’ve gone ahead and registered provided that Milo restructure it’s clause: either there’d be a refund or a rescheduling. At the same time, it is the DTI who signs off on event permits and the agency’s responsibilities should include checking for and following through on organizer responsibility and consumer protection. If the agency had done it’s job at that stage, the issue should’ve been resolved there and then and end customers need not have been affected.