Posts Tagged ‘Bests

30
Dec
10

The Bests of 2010

Drumrolls please… and the award goes to…

Welcome to my list of the year’s bests!  This year I’ve these categories picked:

  • Best Road Race
  • Best Trail Run
  • Best Marathon
  • Best Road Ultramarathon
  • Best Trail Ultramarathon
  • Best Marathon Route
  • Best Marathon Finisher’s Medal

And the award goes to…

04
Jan
10

2009: Year in Review (Part 2: The Bests and the Worsts)

Not all races are made equal and this is the time to give due credit to those that gave us great experiences.  Because of the ordeal many runners encountered during the period it was requested that penitent races also be mentioned (79% of respondents to my poll want bloggers to feature lowlights for the year).  As much as I want to satisfy this request, I would just like to focus on the faults:

The Worsts

Race organizers did a lot of morbid offense to runners in 2009, the worst I’ve seen since I started running in August, 2008.  When we signed up for a race there’s a mutual understanding between runners and organizers that both parties would act accordingly on their behalf.  In many races it seemed that only runners were fulfilling their end of the bargain.  Here are my list of the top five most neglected:

5. Fast and accurate race results. As much as we’d love real time race results (as seen abroad) we can settle for accurate ones at a reasonable time frame, meaning within the week.  Runrio was able to come up with same day race results while still using manual timing proving it can be done even without disposable timing chips.  Accuracy is the key word as we don’t need race results where we have our name, not our time.  It would be best if the date of release of race results be announced beforehand, or if there would be race results at all!  Of course it is common sense that tabular race results be sorted by ranking, not alphabetically.

4. Distance. No one can make a “perfect” course but it’s a different thing if it’s half a kilometer or more off.  Runners would know if the margin was notable because even PATAFA-certified courses get criticized (oftentimes inappropriately) particularly by GPS-equipped runners.  At this day and age there’s no reason for such huge inaccuracy especially in Metro areas nationwide because of the availability of free online maps with measuring tool (which is GPS-accurate).  A 1% margin of error is ideal (e.g. 100 meters for 10K, 400 meters for marathon) but anything beyond 2% should be avoided.

3. Punctuality. Runners do struggle to get up very early in the morning just to make it on time in a race.  It’s an utter disrespect of runners’ time if organizers delay the race just to let their sponsors talk about their product.  It’s the runners’ skins that get burned in the sun in the first place.

2. Protection. Runners aren’t demanding that the entire course be fenced (like those abroad) but they should have some protection when out on the street.  There were many that just let runners run on the street like there was no race.

1. Water. Basic need for life.  Basic arithmetic on how much you need.  If organizers don’t think they have enough for all they should mention it beforehand so that runners are aware.  Just attach the phrase, “runners are encouraged to be self-sufficient.”

The Bests

Finally here are my personal picks for the best local races for 2009:

Best Sub-Half Marathon: The Happy Run

At par with the best local races, this race was one of the most enjoyable while still having the low race fees of 2008.

Best Half-Marathon: Timex Run

One of the most organized and expensive local races of the year.  Excellent no frills course utilizing disposable timing chips with fun post-race area.  The huge heavy medal could’ve been more specific with the race though.

Best Marathon: 33rd Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations

The most hydrated marathon for 2009 beating all races for the year.  It was well organized but race marshals could have been more professional, typical for Milo races.

Best International Marathon: Quezon City International Marathon

It was far from being perfect but for this category it was easily the best.  If there would be a lone international marathon in the country, this would be my best pick.  Government and local community support goes a long way making this race one with the most potential of truly reaching international standards.

Best Ultramarathon: The North Face 100

It was my most expensive local race for the year, also the longest time-wise and distance-wise, and most difficult.  This was one race I was proud of finishing and the experience was well worth all the ordeals.  Combining trail runs and an ultramarathon proved to be the ultimate race.

Best Trail Run: The North Face Thrill of the Trail

There were very few races for this category but the natural and picturesque trails of Batulao were enough to make this my favorite trail run for the year.  It was my first and the reason I fell in love with trail runs.

Best Race Finisher’s Medal: Quezon City International Marathon

Personally I believe that a beautiful medal is one that needs no paint—it in itself is enough.  QCIM’s finisher’s medal is at par with those given abroad although the medal for 21K seemed to look better that for 42K.

QCIM Finisher’s Medal

Best Race Singlet: adidas King of the Road

For the second year in a row adidas gave runners the best race singlet that was the envy of runners and non-runners alike, and no other local race singlet even came close!

adidas KOTR 2009 singlets

Best Marathon Route: Quezon City International Marathon

There were so many marathons with excellent route in 2009 but the La Mesa Dam route was quite tough to beat.

QCIM Marathon Route

Best Race: The North Face 100

An ultramarathon combined with crazily difficult trails traversing mountains and with countless river-crossings—it’s an experience of a lifetime! Of course only a proud few have bragging rights of conquering TNF100 Philippines 2009, completing it was an achievement.

I hope that this year we have enough examples of which races to emulate, and which ones to learn from.  I just hope that organizers start paying attention to details, not just profit.  2009 proved that if you provide a good quality event, fees aren’t much of a deterrent.  It also proved that fees are not relative to the quality of races as many “free” races were much better than the majority. We should all demand for quality, not quantity—a good resolution for the year, agree?

14
Nov
09

The Search for the Bests of 2009 is ON!

We’re practically midway with the month of November and it would be just another month before we close the year 2009, and with that I would like to start compiling the highlights (and lowlights?) of the year as far as running in the Philippines is concerned.  We’ve seen how running had evolved this year and at the same time also devolved.

For this year’s best races I have the following categories:

  • Best Race
  • Best International Marathon
  • Best Marathon
  • Best Half-Marathon
  • Best Sub-Half Marathon (below 21K)
  • Best Ultra-Marathon
  • Best Trail Run
  • Best Race Finisher’s Medal
  • Best Race Singlet
  • Best Marathon Route

I already have my secret nominees for all these categories and you too can participate by sending me your vote via comments (which would remain anonymous and unpublished) of your personal picks.  Results would be published on my year-end special recap.

With that I also have a poll that I hope you’d join:

Update: Poll is now closed.

Depending on the poll result I may even publish the lowlights for 2009 so aside from your best picks you may also include your “worst” picks with your comments (also will remain anonymous) and please mention why so we can inform the race directors and organizers.  I know the running community has a lot to say, good and bad, and now it’s your time to be heard.

22
Dec
08

The Bests of 2008

2008 was a pretty short year for me running-wise since I started on the third quarter already, but despite the relative short span I do have my favorites for the year:

Best 5K Race: Nokia Recycle your Phone and Run
First it was free, it had a very good cause, very well organized, and had more freebies.

Best 10K Race: adidas King of the Road
This was my first 10K and was very memorable because of its very nice race course, also was my first race over a fly-over.

Best Race Singlet: adidas King of the Road
The official KOTR singlet was so good I used it several times more on subsequent races; even my tan lines follow the singlet’s edges!

Best Race Course 5K: Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side
It was the most interesting 5K route I’ve seen so far and it even looked like 10K from the race map.

Best Race Course 10K: adidas King of the Road
This was a very tough choice to make but I picked adidas KOTR: running on Buendia fly-over over EDSA—that’s a feat that’s not easy to beat.

Best Race Organizer: Coach Rio (Runrio.com)
Anyone who’s ever joined races organized by Coach Rio would definitely agree on this: ample portalets, great race courses, punctual, good sets of freebies, quick and pretty accurate race results, consistent high quality races, and so on—not to mention that Coach Rio’s always very accommodating.  His races may not be the largest in terms of attendance but it’s always fun.  Keep it up Coach!

Most Organized Race: Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side
Except for parking issues with the venue, just about everything in this race was great: course, singlet, freebies, cause, etc.  As expected from Coach Rio of course.

Most Interesting Race: Isuzu Shake Rattle and Run
It was held on a Friday night, a Halloween, and even includes a “Best in Costume” category.  You’d hardly think you’re in a race but in a costume party!

I would’ve liked to pick a lone “Favorite Race” but it was very difficult to pick just one, so I just picked three of my favorite races for the year (in no particular order):

Favorite Races:

  • adidas King of the Road
    My pick for Best 10K Race, Best Race Course 10K, and Best Race Singlet, it was also my first 10K among others (see my blog on “Firsts”).
  • Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side
    My pick for Best Race Course 5K (runner-up for my Best Race Course 10K) and Most Organized Race, it was one of the most fun races I’ve had for 2008.
  • Nokia Recycle your Phone and Run
    My pick for Best 5K Race, I had fun joining this race: from collecting hazardous wastes for registration to the free items.  I strongly support any initiative for the environment so that’s another plus, and personally this was the first race I ran with a consistent pace of sub 5 minutes per kilometer.

The Best Thing About 2008
I was introduced to running this year so this one tops the list.  I’ve had so many experiences, both good and bad, and I’ve met so many people in the process.  It was also very educational and expanded my view on fitness in general: no longer am I stuck in the gym thinking it’s the only thing that can keep me fit.

It’s sad that 2008 is almost over, but I’m glad that 2008 was a year I could call, a great start.




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