There are so many things to LOVE from the recently concluded Run United 2 21km race that I am going to enumerate them here. Having missed the first leg of the Run United Trilogy (and losing the chance to complete the trilogy yet again), I was curious as to how this race fared versus the other local races.
My #1 reason for loving this race hands down has got to be the awesome point to point route. Most races have the same starting and finishing points as it is more practical that way for the race organizers and the runners themselves. For the organizers, it's better to have only one big area for race start and finish so all their resources will be devoted there. That means maximizing the manpower, the materials and the resources/ costs associated with staging a big road race. For the runners, it is also practical in that they will just leave their cars or bags in that one area and just come back for it after the race. So 99% of the road races have the same start/finish area.
I appreciated how wonderful it was to do a point to point race when I did my first one via the 2012 Hong Kong Marathon. Commuting there was quite easy so it didn't pose any problem for me post-race.
In doing a point to point race, it really felt like a race in that you won't end up right where you started from but in a totally different location. It's there I gave more regard to the distance I just ran rather than do a 10km run and make a U turn back to the starting line. It's purely mental but it sure felt good post-race when I told my wife, "We just ran from Bonifacio Global City to Buendia Avenue to Roxas Blvd to Mall of Asia! Can you believe it?" as opposed to telling people, "We ran a 21km race in BGC". BOORIIINGGG!
Which brings me to my reason #2: Running with my wife. This was her first half marathon post pregnancy and it was nice running with her again after doing it solo most of the time. I get to fetch her water, guide her and be her running target as we inched slowly to the finish line. Although she was sorely disappointed with not reaching her time goal, I was still proud that she was able to complete the task at hand (and with only less than a month of serious training).
Reason #3: Air-con Shuttle buses for all 21km runners. Right after finishing the race and getting our loot bag, we wanted to head back to BGC as it was getting hot already. It was easy to find the bus area and once we boarded it, it took just about 5 minutes or so before the bus was filled up and we were on our way to BGC. It was the perfect way to relax (Johnny English was being shown on the bus' TV as well). Fast and quick access to the bus was a definite plus point for RunRio for thinking about the runners first and how to bring them back to BGC. There was virtually no waiting time for us! (Right after our bus left, I saw a bus pull up on our spot and opened its doors to the other 21km runners).
Reason #4: HUGE Medal! To be honest, I didn't expect the finisher medal to be this big so I was very much pleasantly surprised by it (what more for people who completed the trilogy). It was a really nice reward from the long run we just finished!
Just curious though, is there a way to attach the three medals together to make it into one Godzilla-sized one? Some sort of clip ons?
Reason #5: Taking care of the runners! There were ice cold water and Powerade drinks (in Orange and in Blue) for you to choose from. A large supply of bananas to devour on (Per and I got one banana each) and a few roving ambulances. There were also medical people massaging runners' legs (Per was one of these runners and admitted that she felt better after they massaged it).
Reason #6: Perfect Weather. I know RunRio had nothing to do with this but the weather was just perfect! Slight drizzle, no sun and generally cool, windy weather! Can't have a better weather forecast than that Sunday morning!
Reason #7: Race Waves. Which was quite good so it won't get too congested (there were 5,000 runners after all for the 21km runners) and able to give us ample space not only on the roads but on the water stations too.
My minor gripe is on the race results as it was based on the gun time and not on the Wave Time or better yet, on the chip time. So even though Per and I were there on time, we were part of the last wave and basically "lost" 15 minutes from the gun time and from the Runpx analysis of the race (and making our performance slower).
RunRio has definitely reached international standards with this race and I can't wait to do the 32km race!