Last night at the Bonifacio Global City the first ever Kenny’s Open ’09 Urbanite Run was held, organized by Finishline.ph. It was one of only a handful night races to be held and it was well attended by thousands of runners redefining the definition of a Saturday night out (and what a healthy night out this was). The race had a 5K, 10K, and 15K leg with 5K being the most popular but the rest were not so far behind. The race was kicked off with the 15K that started later than originally announced (8:20PM Garmin time) but the rest were on time.
Race Kit Claiming
Due to unforeseen circumstances Finishline had another “hiccup” with releasing of the race kits. The first was the unexpected relocation of the claiming area from the furnished location (in front of Nike Park BHS) to the empty area behind NBC Tent causing much confusion especially during the first day. Then came the “missing” kits: many runners were unable to claim their kits on day one despite registering early thus the reason for extending the claiming until before the race. But on the other hand once your kit is there claiming is quick and surprisingly there weren’t much people claiming their kits on day two.
The Race: From a 5K Perspective
Runners can be predictable at times, but this time around that’s hardly the case. Ironically, “veteran” runners only took the 5K leg of the race (myself included) while the relatively newcomers braved the much longer 15K. It was a very nice change of pace compensated by the nice change of day and time. If it weren’t for the high humidity last night everything was just about perfect for running.
The 5K leg actually started early at around 8:55PM (again Garmin time). It was the longest time I had to wait before I crossed the Start line due to the number of participants. Thank goodness that timing chips are used to compensate, but of course the official time would still be based on race time (regardless of what time you started) so being late is still not an option.
The 5K route was a real challenge, come to think of it all routes of the race were challenging, because of the fact that it passes through McKinley Hill. That made this race particularly exciting but of course not very conducive to setting your new PR (personal record). The darkness of night didn’t make it any easier but the absence of the sun did help a little—no more sunburns!
For the 5K route the placement of the in-race sensor was excellent at just after the 2.5K U-turn. As for the hydration stations plenty were placed en route and even during the later period of the race supplies were adequate although I can’t tell if it’s only water or if sports drinks were served as well as I have my own hydration supply. There were also plenty of Marshals along the route so runners are guided. It was a very well executed race from my perspective.
After crossing the finish line runners receive a loot bag with products from sponsors and those who were early enough even had t-shirts or towels with their freebies. It was one of the nicest after race areas I’ve seen matching those from Runrio days so there was no reason to hurry home after. Runners even had the option to use their “Eat” stub to avail of their Urbanite meal right after the race—all these while a program was held on the stage in the area.
Unfortunately the issue of undisciplined motorists arises: cones were placed to prevent vehicles from entering the runners’ area but a bunch of motorists (those in motorbikes) still enter this area making it dangerous for runners especially that they are coming from behind. And even on intersections the Marshalls were pressured by these motorists for not letting them through. A race was in progress and of course the safety of runners comes first so it was natural that they be stuck while runners are coming through. Again those in motorbikes still insist on crossing despite the number of runners passing so it was fortunate that there was no reported accident. Those in motorbikes keep complaining that they don’t get “respect” from other motorists on the road but based on my experience they are the foremost that don’t respect pedestrians and this race proves just that. I didn’t mean to point fingers at anyone, I just want everyone to be aware of the problem and hope we all be part in solving this.
Honestly I love the setting of this race. From being a Saturday night run to the McKinley route to the timing chip and to the sponsor support. In fact the only demerits I can give this race were the confusion at the kit claiming and the slightly longer wait for the race results (which was announced beforehand). I am so eager to see my race result (for setting a reasonable race time I can live with) that’s why I see the latter as a demerit. Given all the pros and cons I’m glad to give a rating of Very Good (4/5) for this race, the highest rating I’ve given so far for the year. Thank you Kenny Rogers and Vince of Finishline for the pleasant experience I got from this race and congratulations for a successful event!
But Wait! There’s More!
What I love about doing 5Ks are the fact that you finish early (especially if you ran it well) and you’ve got plenty of energy to spare afterwards. After finishing my 5K race and claiming my loot bag some of my friends decided to head back to the race to pace some of our comrades. If you saw some runners just heading out during the late hours of the race with some wearing knee-high socks, that’s us. I headed out twice to pace two different runner friends to the finish (with other runner friends also doing the same) doing 15K so in the end I was able to double my run during that night—an extra 5K for helping some friends—a doubly rewarding experience indeed. Like with what the statement on the finisher’s certificate:
Victory is not finishing first,
but rather, meeting a challenge
and beating the odds at the finish line.
No matter what distance you ran or how long it took you just by merely meeting the challenge already makes you victorious! Congratulations everyone for a great race!