Friday, October 29, 2010

Adidas KOTR 21KM 2010 Edition

This Race was one of the most anticipated (and one of the priciest) road race in the Philippines. The big come on here were the Adidas singlets given out upon registering for this event. In just three short days after the opening of the registration areas, the 21km category was quickly sold out. Adidas responded by releasing an additional 1,200 pieces of 21km race packets in their various stores, which were quickly gobbled up by the running community. Wow!

Unlike last year’s fiasco over claiming of race kits, now it was much easier as it was done at the store you registered in. Unfortunately, the sizes of the singlets quickly ran out and it became a chase for the runner to register for the right singlet size AND preferred race category. After making a few calls, Per and I were able to get what we wanted at the Adidas Gateway Branch. Mission Accomplished!

Now comes the hard part: running the actual race!

Oh how easy it would have been to join the 10km event vs. the 21km event. It was literally a check away but I was drawn by the simple announcement made by Adidas: All 21km finishers shall receive a finisher medal (and none for the 10km, 5km or 3km distance runners). Prices were the same for all categories (at Php 850) so wouldn’t it be more value for money to run the longer distance (as there were more water stations, more fun on the road, and of course, the bonus medal)?

Come race day, little did I know that the water stations were about the same for the 21km runners as that of the 10km runners because from Buendia all the way to Fort Bonifacio, and all the way to the U turn at Lawton Avenue, there were no more water to be found. Zip, Zilch, Zero!

Correction: there weren’t any clean water to be found!

Sure, there were still the filthy water from the big blue containers (peering inside I saw dirt, grass and whatnots), half drank water bottles thrown away by other runners and the water puddles that came from thrown away plastic cups and melted ice. That’s about it! For 7kms! It was a survival for each runner in this race category.

Luckily for some of them, they brought along their own hydration packs. I didn’t as I figured that as big a sponsor as Adidas is, and with the expensive registration fees, there shouldn’t be a problem with regards to this. Boy, was I wrong!

So I would run, walk, and run again. I was looking out for water stations but all I saw were empty areas. I would run, walk, and run again towards the next water station but to no avail. Damn! This happened about 4-5 times.

But I survived it (thank God for that), got my hard earned finisher medal, and the water bottle, two bread buns and hotdog at the finish line. It was one of my hardest half marathons.

My final time was at 2:39, not bad considering I did a lot of walking. It helped that Alvin was there to push me in my last 1.5kms (although I was really really tired by then). The singlet was also good as I didn’t get chaffed by it. Race results came out quickly (on the day itself). But for me, the most important thing was really the hydration and for that, Adidas failed big time in this race!

Hopefully, they improve this aspect for next year’s event and do better quality races (as good as the products they are selling)!

There is a silver lining here: with what I faced in this race, it boosted my confidence level in terms of running another half marathon, so the day after this race, I found myself registering for another half marathon: UNILAB’s 21km! The finisher medal drew me in again! (Shiny shiny object… ooohhh!)

See you there!

Note: Per was in the picture above but in case you didn't see her, here she is again in top running form! Congrats!

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