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Marathons, or fun runs as people would usually call it, have recently become a trend in the bustling Cebu metropolis. Last year alone, fun runs were being conducted in the city almost every week. And so far, most Cebuanos have gone with the “fun run” bandwagon, and the population of avid runners has steadily risen.
Admittedly, I consider myself an avid runner, and I have participated in numerous marathons. Recently though, I had a change of heart, and I decided to participate as a Race Marshall in a fun run conducted by the world-class University I am enrolled in, along with a “prophetic” friend of mine. We volunteered because we wanted to experience being race marshalls (and mainly because there was free breakfast served).
There I realized that fun runs only cater to a limited group of people, and these were people who were avid runners or people who were forced by their friends to join.
And that is probably a problem for the organizers. For some people, fun runs aren’t appealing at all, especially those of the “couch potato” and the “cyberlife” type. They think fun runs are just for people who want their faces on newspapers and for super quick Kenyans wanting the cash prize. How do you make fun runs, “fun” for people like them? How do you entice them to run?
What if race organizers made some tweaks to fun runs so that they can cater to a wider audience? Surely they can bag in greater revenues if they did.
Being the critical thinker that I am, I decided to list down what could be done in order to make fun runs more appealing to the mainstream.
1) Invite some hot female models to join the marathon. First guy to catch any of those models gets to bring her home. That way, men (especially those of the “pervert” type) would be motivated to run their guts out.
2) SLURPEE should be served on all water stations. Social climbers would be enticed to join if it would happen. Your fun run could also get some free publicity using social media due to the number of people posting their photos on Instagram or Facebook holding a cup of slurpee during the run. Organizers should limit the runner’s slurpee intake or he/she might get a brain freeze during the run
3) An air-conditioned shuttle bus should run throughout the whole route of the fun run. That way, those who are tired and want to surrender would be tempted to ride on the bus and relax. There should be a fee for riding the bus though, considering the number of people who would give up on a fun run is huge. They would at least earn more $$$$$$$
4) The organizers could also create a category for those who don’t want to run. Inspired by London 2012, there should be a “Fun Walk” also known as competitive walking. A 21k walk would fit the job nicely. It may take longer than running, but it puts less pressure on the person compared to running (however, those who would still be worn out by competitive walking could ride the bus, which means more $$$$ for the organizers)
5) Put a P 1 Million cash prize for anyone who can cross the finish line first. However, while they are running, they will be chased by numerous Azkals (not the football team, stray dogs I mean) armed with deadly rabies. Now that’s what you call, “running for your life.” Of course, there would also be some people more interested in eating those dogs. (This idea was inspired by the genius minds behind “Outbreak Manila,” credits to them)
I hope race organizers will take note of my innovative ideas. They could be swimming in more cash if they do. The world would be a better place too.
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