The ban, introduced mostly in races handled by Joel Baring, started in the Integrity Run early this year and was also enforced in the Mapfre Run and this month’s the Sonshine Radio Half Marathon.
Race organizers who proposed this policy said they want to help the local runners who rely on running as a source of income.
“Wala may discrimination kay makajoin man sila pero dili sila entitled sa prizes kay we want to give chance to local runners. It’s only a fun run ra man sad. If dagko na runs kay we will put a separate category for them,” said Joel Baring.
But the Kenyans, some of who are already based in Cebu. believed otherwise and said it’s a form of discrimination.
“Yes we feel it, I can imagine if that also happens in Kenya (against Filipinos), they will feel bad. Everywhere, discrimination is not good at all,” he said.
He also denied the allegation that they can’t be beaten by local runners. In fact, he was beaten by Filipinos in the last Philippine National Games in Dumaguete. Kiptanui was beaten in the 10,000-meter run by Julius Sermona and by Eduardo Buenavista in the 5,000-meter run.
In February 13, 2012, veteran runner Dr. Yong Larrazabal III, who has organized races in Cebu City, said that limiting Kenyans from joining races is a form of discrimination.
“Lisod man gud mudiscriminate against them. I’ve been to different races in the world and it’s all open to everyone,” said Larrazabal, who organized the SM2SM Run last Sunday.
Instead of barring the foreigner runners, Larrazabal suggested that the best possible solution for this is to put up more categories and more prizes or to give incentives to the best Filipino finisher.
“I think there can be ways where we can find a solution to the problem even without discriminating these foreign runners,” said Larrazabal.
Do you think Kenyans should be banned from local runs? Or is this a form of discrimination?