Online Gamer, Basketball Player, Mountaineer, Recreational Runner, Blogger, Weekend Warrior

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Volunteer Duties at Color Manila Run 2013

The best way to start the running year is to begin with "flying" colors.

The first organized fun run for this year, Color Manila Run 2013, literally made this a possibility. Pigments of five different colors each stationed along the race route flying in the air is the highlight of this fun run for a cause.

Let's have a background review of the event shall we? Okay, here it goes. This event was organized by Proactive (Yes, Brooks Run Happy, Immuvit, Kellog's Run for a Healthy Filipina and Adidas King of the Road).

The beneficiaries of this run for a cause are Republikha (a non-stock, non-profit organization that reaches out to children through music. Sharing messages that teach them to build and not destroy. It is their goal to shape the nation using the power of music) and Hop-E (a foundation moving towards helping eradicate poverty through the four elements, Education, Empowerment, Employment, and Events. They are now giving free education to the children and parents mountains of Rizal amongst other things).

I got the chance to become a volunteer when someone from my Facebook friends shared a link to a blog entry of jhamjhamrunner that is looking for volunteers for the said event. I was one of the lucky ones who were chosen. Before I was chosen, I was also contemplating to sign up for this event as I was sold with the idea of running in clouds of different colors.

Going back, call time for volunteers is 3:00 AM. After almost everyone was at the meeting place, we immediately went together as a team (I was sneaking in and out of the group to shoot some photos) to the baggage counter area and was provided with what we needed. Color-coded uniforms, breakfast, and most importantly, the blower that we will use to create a "cloud effect". Group picture of volunteers can be seen here in my Tumblr post.

Team uniforms :)

One blower for each color station.

I was tasked to handle the blower for our team (I was with the blue team) and I can't wait to get my hands on the equipment. I know, but it was my first time so bear with me will you?

Audition for the movie SAW?

Breakfast done, it was a short briefing session with all teams before we got deployed along the race course. DOs and DONTs were discussed and after that, a short demo on how to start up and operate the blowers were shown.

Race briefing moments before we got deployed.

Demo time! I cant wait to try this one out for myself!

After the discussion, we were all set, teams got deployed one by one and when we were dropped off to our station, we immediately huddled up and prepared the necessary stuff. Plastic drums containing blue pigments were positioned strategically along the route (we had to cover two sides for the runners coming and going back) so we, as a team, had to manage our blue pigment supplies so that everyone has a chance to "be blue".

"Before" picture of the Blue Team

It was fun to be interactive this time. The two times I was a volunteer last year was manning a hydration station-turned a participant in Lace Up! For Anika and was taking pictures on the recently-concluded Rescue Run 2012. This time it was different, and this time interaction with runners will be top-priority. I was fortunate enough to be part of this and experience the event from a volunteer's perspective.

The race started. When runners started to come to our station, all hell broke loose! Clouds of blue pigments in the air, runners showered with blue colored powders (flour, actually) and I was busy trying to put as much blue to the runners using the blower with the assistance of another volunteer. It was tough to be consistently holding the blower while trying to direct the powder to the passing runners.

Some were okay with it, some tried to avoid the shower of blue (killjoy!), others were lying on the ground and trying to put more blue pigments onto their backs. After the smoke has settled and all runners passed by, it was time for us to clean up. But before doing our clean up chores, we had to pose for a quick photo to immortalize our activity together.

"After" picture of the Blue Team - we became the Smurfs!
Photo Credit: Cleodelia Armendez

Then after the photo-op, we went on and tried to sweep as much blue powder into a decent area on the street for the final clean up from the organizers. After doing some clean-up, we went back to the same assembly area for debriefing and breakfast.


Of course, I had to have a photo lying on the blue pigments before we did the sweeping and clean up.
 
Some observations:
  • The event attracted new runners, offering a rather shorter distance without limiting the amount of fun participants got
  • It was nice to play around while doing a morning run
  • It was a challenge to be a volunteer this time as we needed to be actively hurling the colored powders to the passing runners
  • Saw more families with their kids doing a morning run, a promising sight for all of us I should say
  • Huge activity area, with a local jeepney parked for photo-op
  • Overall, it was fun from beginning to end

It was an honor to be part of this and to be able to contribute to the success of this event. I have heard some positive feedback and minimal complaints. This should be a good foundation for future events of this type.

Now, how about Color Run takes a tour in the Philippines?

That would be awesome!

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Online Gamer, Basketball Player, Mountaineer, Recreational Runner, Blogger, Comedian, Weekend Warrior, part-time TriAthlete (Kain, Tulog, Gala)