When I entered my first running event back in 2000, things were much simpler. I could not complete the race, but it was still an achievement for me as I never thought I could run from Tampines to Bishan.
Fast forward to today and I am now a triathlete and triathlon coach. I am coaching a talented runner cum triathlete, who is a regular podium finisher at local running events.
There has been a surge in the number of such events over the past few years.
One of the things that have changed since the early 2000s is that the full result lists for local commercial running events are no longer released online.
As a coach, one of my responsibilities is to record my trainees' progress, while checking out other competitors' race times. This data helps coaches and athletes to set goals and execute the training needed to find some level of success.
As local commercial running events are not sanctioned or overseen by any governing body, runners have no avenue to voice their grievances.
I have tried writing to the various event organisers, to no avail. Some organisers cited privacy issues.
I called up a race hotline this week, and the customer officer said: "Some runners do not wish for others to check out their results and compare."
Public running events need public results, which are part of the race experience.
A runner summed it up best: "The whole point of a race is to compare, then you can improve. A race that hides results is not a race."
Jonathan Leonard Pereira
This article was published on May 3 in The Straits Times.
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