One of the most anticipated races of the year is adidas King of the Road (KOTR) and having one of the most expensive race fees in the country, expectations were really high. Did adidas KOTR Philippines 2013 deliver?
Adidas KOTR is one of the premiere races in the country and as such, the race fees are also at a premium. With such premium rates, everyone who registers also expect to get a premium race, from registration to race kit claiming to the actual race and finisher’s token.
Race Kit Claiming
Unlike last year where race kits were delivered to registrants’ preferred address, this year race kits were claimed at registration sites—as initially promised that is. Nothing wrong with that, but it was a step back for those coming from outside Metro Manila.
Despite the hassle of personal claiming, many runners went to their respective claim sites on the first day. Surprisingly, it seemed like adidas didn’t know how many claimants they had. I witnessed first-hand the situation in adidas Trinoma where I was supposed to claim my race kit: there was a very long line, and there was only one (1) person manning the claiming. There was no way that lone person can accommodate us before the mall closes so I decided to just come the following day.
The following morning I received the following message:
It was later followed by this message:
I had to wait until Wednesday before I was able to claim my kit. I didn’t expect to go all the way to Bonifacio Global City just to claim my kit as it was stated during registration that claiming would be on adidas branches. And of course the trouble didn’t end there: as expected, they ran out of XS and S sized men’s singlets. You can’t expect me to get a men’s medium as their sizing is non-Asian (are there KOTR races outside Asia?) so with a very disappointed heart I opted for the smallest one that can fit me—a small sized women’s singlet. I have been running since 2008, but this is the first time I encountered a race that doesn’t give you your race kit outright after registration, yet still doesn’t guarantee you your size, and won’t even tell you that sizing wasn’t guaranteed! At that point I was really, really ashamed to face my “recruit” as he paid more than a thousand pesos to join this race and he can’t even get a singlet of his size.
Because of the huge disappointment adidas KOTR brought to every runner that didn’t get the singlet they wanted, they’d better put up one heck of a race to save face. And fortunately at this aspect, adidas KOTR delivered. Depositing your bags in the baggage counters were quick (at least for the 16.8K); there were plenty of portalets in the activity area (attendance was quite high so queues were still long); kilometer markers were present where expected; hydration were sufficient; and there were bananas after the 16.8K turnaround.
The race itself pretty much met high expectations, but I do have some comments:
- Some hydration stations use styropor cups which “contaminates” the taste of the water
- There were no portalets outside the activity area
One notable feature of this year’s adidas KOTR is the presence of highly energetic supporters. Their energy is just contagious! Thank you very much for all your cheers! With these guys around, you’d really be ashamed to walk. 🙂
As I earlier mentioned, adidas KOTR is one of the most anticipated races of the year in the Philippines because people expect it to be great, just as you get a different satisfaction when you buy an adidas shoe over a “generic” one. You’re not just “buying” the brand, you’re also seeking quality. Whereas the race itself delivered, the overall experience was tainted. It’s like ordering that shoe you wanted, only to be given a shoe that’s not only of the wrong size but also design—disappointing! And there will always be those first timers. How do you convince more people to join races when they shelled out more than a thousand pesos only to be given a singlet that they didn’t want? And what do runners from abroad think of races in the Philippines? I know for a fact that races here had become at par with the best of the region, but if we can’t even provide them a systematic race kit claiming, how do we encourage them to return?
Overall, I’ll give this year’s adidas KOTR Philippines a neutral rating. The race is great, from the route, support, and the medal, but the last minute changes in claiming and the non-guaranteed singlets were such a huge letdown. I sure hope this does not shy away those first timers and those runners from abroad. Oh well, better luck next year!
If the singlets were not guaranteed, that should’ve been explained when we registered so that we could’ve expected less. What was the purpose of us specifying the singlet size that we wanted if you would just ignore it, right? Perhaps it would’ve been best if adidas had just made the race free after a certain amount of purchase (e.g. with a single receipt worth ₱2,000, etc.) or at least made that an option. That way runners would get the products that they wanted, and adidas won’t have to import singlets from Indonesia.
To all the finishers, Congratulations!