The Adidas King of the Road is one of the most anticipated road races in the Philippines as people like the great quality, fit and look of the singlets given out to race participants (up to now, I am still using the 2011 and 2012 Adidas KOTR singlets for training and for road races).
As this is the main highlight for registering for this race (I would think the finisher medal, regardless of how nice it is, would just be a bonus for running this event) and reason for the high registration fee (Php 1,300 for a 10-miler race IS expensive), this is something I should pay attention to.
There are good points and bad points to this year's King of the Road Singlets and this is based solely on my point of view and on my first hand experiences.
In terms of good points, there are separate Men and Women singlet sizes. This was done in previous KOTR editions too and it is nice that they kept up with this trend as body sizes of men and women are obviously different from each other.
There is also a variety in singlet colors (three different kinds for men and three different kinds for women) and that is good too vs the KOTR of four to five years ago when it is just one color for all runners (they released a yellow singlet, then a black singlet the year after). So choosing your singlet is now based on individual tastes and preferences.
The quality is up to par with Adidas singlets so that is a good thing too. Like in previous editions, my singlet is wearable and fits me well...
It took me FIVE tries to get the proper singlet size and color that I wanted! And that is a lot of effort for me (luckily, I often pass by BGC area).
The first time I got my race kit was when I read an announcement that they would have an early bird race kit claiming at BGC area. I went there on a Saturday morning but seeing the long (and unmoving) line, I decided to come back for it another time. Attempt No. 1 - FAIL!
Attempt No. 2 is the following day (Sunday) when I decided to run by myself and put the claiming stub in my pocket. There were no lines this time and I got the race kit that I wanted. For the singlet, I got the color (Blue) and size (XL) that I wished for. I even asked for XXL size but XL was the biggest they had for this year. They assured me that it was big enough for me even though I wasn't 100% confident on that as my two previous Adidas Singlets were XXL. So I was done with it....
Until I got home and tried it on! It was crazy huge!!! Per said it was unwearable and a waste if I didn't change it to a smaller size!
I agreed with her and I went back again for Attempt No. 3! This time the race kit claiming was moved to Adidas store in BGC and the single line was long!! There were a lot of unhappy people standing outside the store just waiting to go in (it was noon when I got there so you can imagine the heat!). Since I was just changing my shirt size, I showed the store guard my singlet and went right in. Unfortunately the blue singlet's biggest size was Medium (apparently a lot of guys dig this color) so I had no choice but to get the Salmon color and Large size.
I went back home again and tried the Large size and it fits me perfectly, which was good! But I really wanted the blue color (I already have the salmon one from 2011).
That afternoon I read in Facebook that the race organizers decided to move the race kit claiming area to one location only and to close the four areas for claiming race kits (including the Adidas store in BGC) as there were a lot of complaints with regards to lack of colors and sizes!
So I was hopeful that I would get the large blue singlet that I wanted. Alvin and I ran in BGC one afternoon and I asked if we could go to Adidas so I can reserve the blue singlet. We went there at the end of our run but there were no large Blue singlets to be found. Attempt No. 4 - FAIL!
I figured that was it but at least I had a wearable singlet!
One day before the actual race, I was in BGC area once again and just thought of passing by the race kit claiming area. Surprise, surprise there are a LOT of Large Blue Singlets! I had no idea where these new stocks came from as they weren't there when I tried to change my singlet (attempts no. 3 and 4). Were they shipped late? Did they misplace these things only to find it on the last day? In any case, I was happy in getting this "lost treasure" and excited for the race the following day.
I think there there were problems in singlet distributions (out of stock for the longest time and then AVAILABLE on last day of race kit claiming!!!) and also on singlet sizes (are these made for giants?). There were problems on logistics in claiming of race kits too (moving from different areas, long lines, etc). so these are definitely areas that need improvements!
On race day, I saw a lot of runners wearing the official Adidas singlet but have another shirt underneath it. These are people who paid P1,300 for their singlets but ended up getting bigger sizes and rather than throw these away, decided to wear them but with a shirt inside! There were runners who opted not to wear Adidas singlet anymore too (probably because of the same reason). I was lucky enough to get the correct size for myself but I hope the organizers understood this situation and allow runners to change their singlets (whether used or unused) to the correct size and if possible the color they wanted too even after the race. (I think this is a good solution especially since I saw there were a lot of stocks left last Saturday).
|example of guy wearing shirt and singlet behind me!|
As bad as the race kit and singlet claiming was, the race was perfect, and compensated a lot of angry runners by giving us a good race. There were a lot of marshals for this event to guide the 8,000 plus runners properly. The distance was pretty much accurate (my Garmin registered 16.95 km) and the water stations were plenty and were long enough that we it was easy to get a cup or two of water.
I like that there were a lot of cheerers in this race and it made the race more festive! It also made you run faster (unless you stopped to take pictures with them) as they would encourage you to run faster. There were mascots too in different places, from Elmo to Jollibee!
I enjoyed the route of this race and hope one day that they would return the half marathon distance! There was also a banana station at the U Turn area along Buendia Avenue.
It was good that the race started on time too so it allowed most of us to finish before it gets too hot (I was able to add 4km more after the race due to good weather).
At the finish line, we got our very nice medals and loot bags and there were various sponsors giving out free food, drinks and photos too. The lines were long but the ice-cream was the one that interested me the most and one that refreshed me. Race results came out quickly too and ranking based on chip time (which is best measurement for me).
There were a lot of photographers at different parts of the race too so you might get a nice photo of yourself.
One small complaint on the race was in terms of parking management. It was traffic everywhere, lines were long and a series of parking spaces weren't open to cars as they were used as the finisher area of Adidas. I ended up parking at Market Market and just jogged to the starting line (good thing I was early).
|16.8k finishers - she's a lot faster than me :)|
|near finish line|
Congrats to all the runners who joined this event and for organizers for a nice race (although I'm still hoping for some sort of remedy for wrong singlet size claiming of runners).