The recently concluded adidas King of the Road 2012 is probably the most “international” race in the Philippines so far this year with runners coming from all over the world, one of the most colorful, and has one of the best finisher’s medals. Here’s the story of my first 16.8K race.
This year’s adidas KOTR was my first “uneventful” KOTR race since I first joined it back in 2008. It was also the first time this year that I wore an event singlet during the race (who could resist not wearing that nice KOTR singlet?). And aside from that, this year’s KOTR was also where I had my first 16.8K race! The 21K leg was scrapped to I had to default to the event’s signature distance.
Because another huge race was being held in my city along the roads I pass through, I arrived pretty early in Bonifacio Global City. As usual, I walked from Guadalupe as warm-up but I didn’t realize that it’s more than 2K so my legs were pretty much worked up when I arrived in BGC. Unfortunately being early doesn’t really have much value with this year’s adidas KOTR as the 16.8K event started 10 minutes off schedule.
The 16.8K crowd was big and it took a while before I was able to run my way out of the bulk of the crowd. What’s really nice is that most participants wore the event singlet, and since it came in various colors, the race was very colorful. More than the singlet, this race was one of the few races in the country that you get a chance to run with runners of all skin tones from all over the world.
I really loved that this race had a lot of enthusiastic supporters along the route! There were even some mascots but I was unfortunate not to come across Jollibee. It may not seem obvious, but cheers from the crowd actually help runners boost morale, and this race has got the best “cheerers” so far this year. Thank you guys! I loved your water guns and spray! 😀
The race was quite pleasant, but here are some positive and negative points based on my observations. To start with, here are some issues that I think could be improved:
- “Invisible” Cones
I’m not so fond of those dark blue cones that were used which are practically invisible in the dark. I actually almost stumbled from these cones a few times.
- Carbonated Sports Drinks
While I always appreciate sports drinks in every race, carbonated ones are dreadful because of gas. Maybe next time they can decarbonize those drinks first.
This is the first race I attended this year that started late which would not happen had the “show” been planned well. It’s not that of a big deal, but if you have runners from abroad, it’s embarrassing.
- Finisher’s Kit
There were some delays with the distribution of the finisher’s kit leading to some long queues. Also the paper bag used was a bad idea as paper and water don’t mix (runners’ bodies are wet coming off the race) and it’s not environmentally friendly (if this is the intention, a reusable bag would’ve been a more sensible alternative).
The route was the usual BGC to Makati via Kalayaan flyover and back route so it’s neither bad nor good.
But on the good side, here are some of the best aspects of the race:
I just love those dedicated “cheerers” en route, with matching mascots. The people manning the hydration stations were quite friendly too.
The bananas in some stations was a big and pleasant surprise. This is probably one of the shortest races that offered bananas.
- Event Singlet
The adidas KOTR singlet is definitely one of the best event singlets in any local race. Definitely not your “cheap” singlet.
- Finisher’s Medal
The best motivation to finishing adidas KOTR is the really, really nice finisher’s medal which is also one of the best ones so far this year!
- Race Results
Race results were furnished the day after the race—one of the fastest for a big race!
There were also lots of freebies (including food) from sponsors in the activity area which I really appreciate.
adidas King of the Road 2012 was not a perfect race and it still had room for improvement, but it was a good race overall. I missed the 21K, but am thankful that 16.8K was long enough to satisfy me and be a good gauge for those planning for their first half marathon. I still find the distance weird though.
To adidas, thank you for continuing the legacy of the King of the Road! KOTR will always be special for me as it was my second race ever, my first 10K, and the race that really started my enthusiasm with running. And of course, thank you from bringing back those nice event singlets that we always look forward to, and the excellent finisher’s medals.
To all the finishers, Congratulations! 😀