Sunday, July 31, 2011

Place limits on foreign pro runners

Jul 31, 2011

I refer to the article, 'Kenyan bags Shape Run 10k to make it two on the trot' (last Monday), which stated that Kenyan Eunice Muchiri (above) won all four races in Singapore in which she specifically came here for.

As much as she deserves to win, the reality is that a foreign professional runner has deprived worthy locals of a chance to shine, for they can in no way match the times of these professional runners.

It is meaningless to join these races when foreign professional runners arrive here with the sole aim of sweeping the top prizes, and then disappear from the local running scene.

While I understand the need for international events like the Standard Chartered Marathon to attract elite runners, the smaller local events - such as the Great Eastern Women 10K , Jurong Lake Run, Marina 21K Women's Open and Shape Run - are clearly to encourage local participation, so there is no real need to attract these foreign runners.

Organisers of such events should either limit the participation of these professionals - perhaps ruling that they can participate but not win prizes - or have a separate category of prizes for them.

Cindy Tan (Ms)

[To you it's a prize. To those runners it's a living. They are pros. This is what they do to make a living. Don't want to attract them, then the prize money should be reduced. For as long as the money is worth their while, they will come to make a living. Restrict to Singaporeans only? Then the prize will not be very much, and the prestige is not great either. The organisers want international recognition if they can get it.]

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