Posts Tagged ‘KOUR

02
Jan
10

2009: Year in Review (Part 1: Expense)

2009 was the year running went mainstream—a lot of people are doing it, even celebrities are endorsing it.  With its popularity explosion a lot of events were staged jumping into the bandwagon.  As with the law of supply and demand running became “in-demand” so naturally mean race fees skyrocketed to all-time highs.  Here are some of the net least and most expensive races for the year:

Most Expensive

3. Timex Run (21K)
Location: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Overhead: Standard
Race Fee: Expensive

The most expensive race of 2009 (only entry #1 was more expensive in terms of registration fee) in terms of value for money.  It set the bar higher, not in terms of innovation, but in terms of prices.

Value for money: Acceptable

2. The North Face Thrill of the Trail (Trail Run)
Location: Batulao, Batangas
Overhead: Travel to Batangas
Race Fee: Standard

Trail runs normally are second liners in terms of expense since it’s normally held out of town and target participants are normally limited.

Value for money: Excellent

1. The North Face 100 (100K Ultramarathon)
Location: Sacobia, Clark
Overhead: Accommodations (optional), Travel to Clark, In-Race Supplies
Race Fee: Expensive

This comes as a no surprise as ultra-marathons are naturally the most expensive among running events, particularly if it’s multi-day (more than 24 hours cutoff).  The fact that you need to have food, first aid, night gears, etc. adds to the normally out of town costs.

Value for money: Excellent

Least Expensive

3. Kenny’s Open Urbanite Run (Night Run)
Location: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Overhead: Standard
Race Fee: Expensive

Its price tag was one of the most expensive overall at P600 but P200 of which goes to charity, another P200 as food stub, netting just P200 for the race which utilized a disposable timing chip.

Value for money: Excellent

2. Mommy Milkshake (Fun Run)
Location: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Overhead: Standard
Race Fee: Free

The lone free race for 2009, it can’t get any cheaper than that!  The generous goodie bag adds more value to this race.

Value for money: Excellent

1. Globe Run for Home (21K)
Location: Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Overhead: Standard
Race Fee: Standard

Standard race fees but in the form of prepaid mobile credits made this race practically free!  Disposable timing chips were also first introduced with this race making this the most value-packed race for the year!

Value for money: Excellent

28
Dec
09

runningpinoy’s 2009 Second Half Report

Before we look back at the year in its entirety let us first review the Philippine running scene for the last six months.  This period saw highs and lows as far as races were concerned.  Races reached all-time high in terms of participants while inversely its quality fell to all-time lows (since August 2008 when I started joining races).  We’ve also seen race fees skyrocket to outrageous levels but there were still great races from good organizers that gave free races.

July

July marked my marathon debut on one of the best organized race of the year with the 33rd Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations. It was at a caliber unseen before locally and although it fell a little short it served as an epitome on how races should be organized.  Globe’s Run for Home was also a milestone as it introduced disposable timing chips while being virtually a free race when prepaid loads served as registration fees.

Personal achievement: First marathon and half-marathon PR

Disposable timing chip used in Run for Home

August

Kenny’s Open Urbanite Run introduced the first organized night race in the Metro with disposable timing chips to boot.  It could also be credited with starting the steep rise of race fees that would ensue throughout the year.

Personal achievement: 10-mile PR

Scene from KOUR

September

Mommy Milkshake was one of the most organized fun run of the year and the only one to be really free!  It puts in question organizers’ “reasons” for putting up expensive registration fees with races.  It was also during this month when race distance accuracy became a serious issue when RotaRun’s 21K was 3K short.

Personal achievement: First provincial Milo race

Pink Power at Mommy Milkshake Fun Run!

October

International Marathon (IM) season has begun with Quezon City International Marathon (QCIM) followed the following weekend with Subic International Marathon (SIM).  The use of the words “international” and “prestigious” became in question when races that used these didn’t live up to their promises. This month also started the “Kenyan invasion.”

Personal achievement: First marathon pacer duty; first back-to-back marathon (second and third)

World-class competition at the QCIM

November

The Philippine International Marathon (PIM) ended the “IM” season and was also highly criticized for not rewarding marathon finishers with a medal (the only one to do so thus far). It was a month plagued with poorly organized races!  The month seemed to turn for the better when Timex Run came but was derailed when Fit ‘n Right Fun Run didn’t turn out to be fit or fun for many disappointed runners.  Fortunately Run Ahead in Laoag, Ilocos Norte reminded everyone of how races should be with a well-organized, fun, generous, and charitable race making Metro Manila-based organizers look very greedy.

Personal achievement: Fourth marathon; 5K PR

Team Logan during PIM

December

Corregidor was a breather for many local runners and although it wasn’t trouble-free it was definitely unique.  There were still plenty of races for the month but personally I’ve had my dose of preposterous registration fees with mediocre races so I decided to be in abstentia for the month.

Personal achievement: Fifth marathon and new PR (via Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon)

Takbo.ph in Singapore!

Lessons and Tips

There were a lot of lessons both runners and organizers can learn with these period.  As long as these points were taken we have no reason not to improve next year.  Personally here are some tips I can give to fellow runners especially those that are just beginning to join races here in the Philippines:

  • Time yourself. Not all races we join are “reliable” and if you intend to monitor your progress get a watch.  You don’t even need one with a stopwatch, you just you’re your common sense.  Buy an über cheap children’s digital watch for P20 (from sidewalk vendors; no reason not to have a budget), remember your time when you start and look at it when you cross the finish.  You should get a rough approximate of your time which not accurate but it’s much better than nothing (what do you expect for P20?). You may validate it later when the race results come out.  If you have some dough buy a stopwatch, but if you have some serious dough get a GPS watch!
  • Bring your own water/sports drink. You need not buy a hydration belt; just bring a small flask or bottle of water or your preferred sports drink in case the organizer didn’t fulfill his obligation.  Consider investing in one though but ask around fellow runners first before purchasing.
  • Don’t be a distance freak! A few meters off the mentioned distance doesn’t mean you’ve been ripped off by the organizers.  Here’s my point: try to make an accurate 1K route using any GPS device.  Run that same route at least twice and see if you can get an accurate 1K every single time.  If you do try to make routes in 5K, 10K, 21K, and 42K and do the same.   If you still have an accurate distance every time you can make yourself a race route director.

I hope that newbies don’t get intimidated by bad experiences from previous races and continue joining reputable races, especially those with a “real” cause.  Before signing up for a race, don’t just join because everyone else does—ask fellow runners about the reputation of the organizers or the conduct of its past races.  Even the “pros” have “bad days” while on the other hand everyone deserves a second chance.  Best of all follow your heart—regardless of what everyone says it’s up to you to decide where you’re investing your hard earned cash.  Remember that we are not only paying for our right to join their race, we are also paying for the experience.

Summary

It was a “one step forward, two steps back” half for the year.  Disposable timing chips definitely placed Philippine races forward at par with races abroad but the proliferation of unbelievably disorganized races with outlandish registration fees were really traumatizing especially to newcomers to the sport.  Even race results became optional as we saw some races with no official race results, and those that do have inaccurate, very much delayed, or alphabetically-sorted race results!  Common sense wasn’t very commonly applied as far as this half was concerned!

18
Aug
09

Kenny’s Open ’09 Urbanite Run Race Results

The results are finally out.  You may view the race result at http://www.kennys.com.ph/kour_result.php.

Here’s my result:

Click to zoom

Click to zoom

Overall this was one of the nicest race results I’ve got. It’s not the best place I’ve had in a race but knowing that only 3% of runners are ahead of me in the entire field and I placed 13th in my division (Male 20-29) already makes me proud to brag about this non-PR race result.

16
Aug
09

The Kenny’s Urbanite Run Experience

Last night at the Bonifacio Global City the first ever Kenny’s Open ’09 Urbanite Run was held, organized by Finishline.ph.  It was one of only a handful night races to be held and it was well attended by thousands of runners redefining the definition of a Saturday night out (and what a healthy night out this was).  The race had a 5K, 10K, and 15K leg with 5K being the most popular but the rest were not so far behind.  The race was kicked off with the 15K that started later than originally announced (8:20PM Garmin time) but the rest were on time.

Race Kit Claiming

Due to unforeseen circumstances Finishline had another “hiccup” with releasing of the race kits.  The first was the unexpected relocation of the claiming area from the furnished location (in front of Nike Park BHS) to the empty area behind NBC Tent causing much confusion especially during the first day.  Then came the “missing” kits: many runners were unable to claim their kits on day one despite registering early thus the reason for extending the claiming until before the race.  But on the other hand once your kit is there claiming is quick and surprisingly there weren’t much people claiming their kits on day two.

The Race: From a 5K Perspective

Runners can be predictable at times, but this time around that’s hardly the case.  Ironically, “veteran” runners only took the 5K leg of the race (myself included) while the relatively newcomers braved the much longer 15K.  It was a very nice change of pace compensated by the nice change of day and time.  If it weren’t for the high humidity last night everything was just about perfect for running.

The Start/Finish line

The Start/Finish line

The 5K leg actually started early at around 8:55PM (again Garmin time).  It was the longest time I had to wait before I crossed the Start line due to the number of participants.  Thank goodness that timing chips are used to compensate, but of course the official time would still be based on race time (regardless of what time you started) so being late is still not an option.

The 15K runners

The 15K runners

The 5K route was a real challenge, come to think of it all routes of the race were challenging, because of the fact that it passes through McKinley Hill.  That made this race particularly exciting but of course not very conducive to setting your new PR (personal record).  The darkness of night didn’t make it any easier but the absence of the sun did help a little—no more sunburns!

For the 5K route the placement of the in-race sensor was excellent at just after the 2.5K U-turn.  As for the hydration stations plenty were placed en route and even during the later period of the race supplies were adequate although I can’t tell if it’s only water or if sports drinks were served as well as I have my own hydration supply.  There were also plenty of Marshals along the route so runners are guided.  It was a very well executed race from my perspective.

Have you seen these knee-high socks?

Have you seen these knee-high socks?

After crossing the finish line runners receive a loot bag with products from sponsors and those who were early enough even had t-shirts or towels with their freebies.  It was one of the nicest after race areas I’ve seen matching those from Runrio days so there was no reason to hurry home after.  Runners even had the option to use their “Eat” stub to avail of their Urbanite meal right after the race—all these while a program was held on the stage in the area.

Discipline Please

Unfortunately the issue of undisciplined motorists arises: cones were placed to prevent vehicles from entering the runners’ area but a bunch of motorists (those in motorbikes) still enter this area making it dangerous for runners especially that they are coming from behind.  And even on intersections the Marshalls were pressured by these motorists for not letting them through.  A race was in progress and of course the safety of runners comes first so it was natural that they be stuck while runners are coming through.  Again those in motorbikes still insist on crossing despite the number of runners passing so it was fortunate that there was no reported accident.  Those in motorbikes keep complaining that they don’t get “respect” from other motorists on the road but based on my experience they are the foremost that don’t respect pedestrians and this race proves just that.  I didn’t mean to point fingers at anyone, I just want everyone to be aware of the problem and hope we all be part in solving this.

Conclusion

Honestly I love the setting of this race.  From being a Saturday night run to the McKinley route to the timing chip and to the sponsor support.  In fact the only demerits I can give this race were the confusion at the kit claiming and the slightly longer wait for the race results (which was announced beforehand).  I am so eager to see my race result (for setting a reasonable race time I can live with) that’s why I see the latter as a demerit.  Given all the pros and cons I’m glad to give a rating of Very Good (4/5) for this race, the highest rating I’ve given so far for the year.  Thank you Kenny Rogers and Vince of Finishline for the pleasant experience I got from this race and congratulations for a successful event!

KOUR 5K Route

KOUR 5K Route

But Wait! There’s More!

What I love about doing 5Ks are the fact that you finish early (especially if you ran it well) and you’ve got plenty of energy to spare afterwards.  After finishing my 5K race and claiming my loot bag some of my friends decided to head back to the race to pace some of our comrades.  If you saw some runners just heading out during the late hours of the race with some wearing knee-high socks, that’s us.  I headed out twice to pace two different runner friends to the finish (with other runner friends also doing the same) doing 15K so in the end I was able to double my run during that night—an extra 5K for helping some friends—a doubly rewarding experience indeed.  Like with what the statement on the finisher’s certificate:

Victory is not finishing first,
but rather, meeting a challenge
and beating the odds at the finish line.

No matter what distance you ran or how long it took you just by merely meeting the challenge already makes you victorious!  Congratulations everyone for a great race!

29
Jul
09

Get Ready for the Kenny’s Open ’09 Urbanite Run

The next race to feature a disposable timing chip is due to arrive on August 15, 2009 via the Kenny’s Open ’09 Urbanite Run.  This is another race organized by Finishline so expectations are naturally high, especially with the timing chips and the interesting results it generates.

This race is set apart from the norm by being the held on a Saturday night.  It is also a fund raising run for the benefit of Hands On Manila Foundation, Inc. and 57:75 Movement so you know that it’s worthwhile.

Easy and Fast Registration

If all registration processes were like this one’s it would be a delight!  By far registration for this race is one of the most convenient with numerous Kenny Rogers branch to choose from and virtually no lines!  I registered on KR Megamall branch and it was pretty quick—a banner was placed for quick recognition and the staff manning the process was really helpful and informed so it was a hassle-free experience.

Registration costs P600 which would make this the costliest “typical” race so far in the Philippines but as stated earlier part of it goes to charity.  For the P600, P200 goes to the aforementioned institutions, P200 goes to the race dues, and the remaining P200 returns to you as a food stub so when you think about it, it’s not that expensive.  You get to enjoy a night run, eat good food, and be able to help the fund-raising—I’d say a pretty good combo.

Notes and Reminders

The “Eat” stub can be used from July 15 to October 15, 2009 so there’s no need to rush in using it.  It’s accepted at all Kenny Rogers Roasters branch including the Kenny’s Roast & Grill restaurant at the Powerplant Mall in Rockwell.

The “Donate” stub should be brought on the night of the race where it should be dropped at designated drop-boxes.  What happens if bearers fail to do so is unspecified but I think this process would just be for visual representation of how much funds we would generate.

Make sure to arrive at the assembly area by 7:00PM especially if you have vehicles to park (since it’s on a Saturday night).  Gun start for the races are as follows:

15K: 8:00PM
10K: 8:45PM
5K: 9:00PM

Don’t lose your claim stub as it contains your registration information needed for a quick claiming process.  Race kits may be claimed in front of Nike Park in Bonifacio High Street on August 13 to 14, 2009, from 3:30PM to 11:00PM.  The race kit includes the following:

  • Official race number
  • Route map
  • Singlet
  • Disposable timing chip

Baggage deposit service is available from 7:00PM to 2:00AM.

If you plan on joining this race register now to avoid the “last minute crowd.”  It would also be better for both the runners and organizers if we all have time to spare and not wait for the deadline, especially that the race kits are not immediately distributed.  You may download the registration form here courtesy of Kenny Rogers Roasters Online.

All I can say it that all things are going smoothly so far with this race, and if everything goes as the organizers planned, this may be one of the best races of the year.  If you have further enquiries about this race you may contact Vince Mendoza at (+63 2) 703 1736.




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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham
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