CARAA's barefoot runners go home with blistered toes and soles
By Jeremy M. Gawongna
Lamut, Ifugao (13 February) -- Track runners in the just concluded Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) Athletic Meet went home with blistered toes and wounded soles as majority of them run barefoot at the new athletic oval of the Ifugao State University (IFSU).
Though some claimed that Cordillerans are not used to run with shoes, spectators of the regional track events who witnessed athletes struggling in pain with their blistered toes and wounded soles maintained that wearing of shoes in such event is indeed advisable.
On the other hand, the athletes from Baguio City didn't suffer the same fate since majority of them wore shoes.
IFSU employee Vicky Madangeng who joined provincial and regional athletic meet since childhood expressed her disappointment upon seeing athletes in track events still not wearing spiked shoes.
"Since then, as if no one initiated to address the needs of athletes especially in track events," Madangeng said.
"In the national and international level, wearing of spiked shoes in track events is required so our athletes must be trained running with spiked shoes. Organizers should make the wearing of shoes in track events mandatory even in the district, provincial, and regional level," she explained.
Furthermore, IFSU Architect Dexter Gullon affirmed that the use of IFSU's new athletic oval is possible but wearing of shoes is advisable as protection since the track is covered with sand.
"We covered the track with thick sand so that comes October when we have the intramural, the sand is already well-mixed and hard-pressed with the soil making its surface suitable for track events," Gullon said.
"When the Department of Education (Dep - Ed) proposed to use the athletic oval during the CARAA since it met the measurement standards, I did not expect that the athletes would not be wearing shoes," he added.
Gullon asserted further that though they remedied to lessen the thickness of the sand, it would still negatively affect the running time of the athletes.
In support to the sports program of Dep-Ed and the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) of Ifugao that hosted the CARAA, IFSU granted the request to use its new athletic oval for the track and field events. (PIA) [top]