The recently completed Botak Paa-tibayan at UP Diliman could be described as an offshoot race from Botak 100 last June 28, 2009 when it was originally set but was deferred due to the Influenza A scare. A lot of schools suspended classes then which were some of the “target audience” of the race. Botak was aiming to discover “grassroots” talents particularly with this race so in order to accommodate participants from schools the race was rescheduled.
As expected the changes with this race was not limited to the schedule—the routes also changed. The original 10-mile route was supposed to go through Commonwealth Ave. along with Botak 100’s route but since that route would be a management nightmare and impractical it was re-routed to the confines of UP Diliman—three loops of a more than 5K course.
Initially I was very disappointed with the route changes as I was excited to run along Commonwealth Ave. in a race. It was the foremost reason why I joined the race originally and picked the distance. I was basically running a totally different race than what I signed up for—different date, different route—only the name and time remained the same. I only started feeling better when I saw how well the race was handled.
One of the most common concerns I have on races were “clueless” race marshals, and thankfully that was not the case with this race—the marshals know what they were doing so they knew how to properly guide the runners and not are not just fillers.
The hydration solution was excellent and I could say easily one of the best. Since the race route was a loop each station would be passed several times but for the duration of the race I never saw the cups, sports drinks, or water run out.
As for the route it was just a little short of 10 miles (linear GPS measurement) but considering the terrain the difference would be negligible. Considering the difficulty of having an exact distance within UP, it was as close as it get.
- Very well organized
- Helpful and knowledgeable race marshals
- Good route difficulty
- For the rehabilitation of UP oval track
- Excellent post-race amenities with plenty of giveaways
- Race ended up being a totally different one because of the number changes
- Route was a little dull because of the many loops
Overall I ended up contented with the way the race turned out. Although it wasn’t the race I originally expected, the way it was organized made it worthwhile. I started running feeling a little “obliged” since I’m running a totally different race but because I had no issues during the race that probably pushed me unconsciously to a new 10-mile PR (with this race being only my second 10-miler). With an unexpectedly good race and just a handful issues that were reasonable I can say that it was a Very Good race. Truly Botak continued the good streak they re-started from Botak 100, and I hope they continue coming up with good races like this.