This year’s Condura Run went full throttle by finally having a full marathon route, a first in its short history and as with last year the Skyway route was its signature. This event was handled by Race Director Rudy Biscocho of RACE. Here are my afterthoughts of the overall race experience:
Condura Run had the most efficient race packet collection I’ve ever experienced in the country, fast and easy, although its perfect score for efficiency was tarnished by a minor flaw—they forgot to put barcodes in some of the race kits (including mine). Their personnel at the claiming area were friendly and knowledgeable so they were a real help.
The route was excellent highlighted by the Skyway giving runners an interesting and picturesque route, not to mention a very challenging one. The lowlights was having no lights! The race started promptly at 4AM and although it was an ideal time to start, some of the roads that the marathon took were unlit so it was like SIM all over again.
Hydration-wise I doubt that the promised 2.5K distance between water stations were strictly met, but each station had sufficient water for everyone. The sponsored sports drink was nice although many still don’t prefer carbonated ones, plus its supply en route was limited to only a few stations that weren’t evenly spaced. Bananas, boiled eggs, energy gels, or the like would’ve been highly appreciated, but it’s not promised so it can’t be demanded.
Distance markers were sadly inadequate. Without any measuring device you won’t be able to tell your pace as distance markers appear sporadically. There were also some route markers that should’ve been placed in some locations, but in fairness the route isn’t that complicated that would make it critical.
GPS-wise my GF405 registered a distance of 42.19K but other GPS devices registered more, and most likely it is more because of the terrain. In terms of difficulty this was definitely not a walk in the park but the date and start time of the race made it a bit easier in terms of the weather.
Every finisher is a winner—that’s what Condura Run emphasizes but unfortunately not all were given their well-deserved finisher’s medal. Some who stayed longer in the activity area eventually got theirs, but if you’re one of those not-so-lucky ones, e-mail the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org on details on how to get your medal. (Read this announcement from Condura Run 2010 website)
The activity area was excellent with free product samples from sponsors and food vendors were also conveniently placed in the area. As for the Asics Expo, their shoe lineup was excellent! Unlike most discount expos the shoes they offer are current and not outmoded and discounts vary depending on the model. I didn’t even know that there’s already a Kayano 16, and it’s on sale! If I was in the market for new shoes I may have gotten a pair or two (my Kayano 13 refuses to retire as my trainers).
To marathon runners, did you know that there were goodie bags? I didn’t know either until some of my friends who ran half marathon informed me. It appears that distribution was an issue so by the time the majority of marathon runners arrived, no goodie bags were left!
On the race results side, Condura Run could be proud that despite the absence of timing chips they were able to release an accurate set of race results within hours after the race. Excellent!
Hands down, Condura Run 2010 was one of the most organized races in recent history, although there were still some kinks that crawled its way. The flaws were quite minor as compared to the overall experience that the race delivered. It’s also the earliest marathon in the country by starting at 4AM, and I think that it’s better than the typical 4:30AM start. Hopefully this race would serve as an example to future marathons in the country. My verdict: Very Good! (My highest rating of a local race thus far)
Congratulations to the brothers Ton and Pat Concepcion for a very successful event, and thank you for exerting effort in delivering a quality race for runners by runners! Your dream of having your own marathon race in the country has come true, and you shared it with us with flying colors!