I've been a fan of Adidas ever since I started to get serious in my running career back in 2008. My first set of running shoes was adidas which I retired this year. My 2nd and current race shoes were Adidas (Attune and Tempo). Lastly, I love the KOTR singlets which I always looked forward to every year.
|KOTR 2008: First timers! (I did 5K)|
My goal for this race was to beat my previous 21K KOTR PR of 1:52 last year. And I was so excited about it...
|My official KOTR PR last year: 1:52:00|
I arrived at the venue at around 4:15 am in the morning. It was really early but I don't mind as I want to get a good parking spot. I met with Sir Junrox and Alfred (TPPB teammates and running idols) at the parking lot before I went to the ANR BHS meeting spot. Mingling around runners I soon found myself stretching with the Milo APEX guys in BHS. Man, you've gotta attend their trainings! Stretching pa lang, kakaiba na!
|With Team boring!|
I went to the starting corral with a few ANR folks to do some pep talks and basically plan out how are we going to finish the race. Funny because I found out that almost all of us bought GF's to the same guy who sold Rej his unit at least a week before the race (malaki ang kickback mo Rej!). I chose to stay away from the frontline as I was still recovering from the previous week's race.
|Ang aming agimat!|
At exactly 5:30 am, the gun popped and the race has officially begun!
KM 0 - 10
I didn't plan to speed up for the first 10K of this race. Passing thru the British school route until the end near kalayaan avenue, it was all hover as I'm prepping up for the Buendia fly-over. As we were on the way back, the 10K participants were already released (saw Brando, Jixee and Mark Mulder) as I run to the fly-over.
Buendia Fly-over. I miss this route already. Luckily, I was part of the lead bunch because the bridge was not yet crowded. Cruising along Buendia avenue, I gulped some water to cool down and enjoyed the marching band play the pep music. It was the same old route, same traffic and same issues.
|On our way to the Buendia turn-around point|
I've reached the turn-around post (where's the RFID hot plate?) and traversed the way back to the Fort
KM 11 - 20
On the way back, I passed by a few fellow runners along the way. Cheering up and keeping the morale high, I increased my pace a bit until I reached the dreaded site. The fly-over was overcrowded with runners! :(. I have to skip, squeeze, duck and roll to get through the crowd. Luckily, I was able to pass thru without any issues and continued my way to the last 6 km.
|Waahhhhhh!!! Sea of runners :(|
I have a bad feeling about the hydration for the last few kms. so I grabbed a bottle of powerade before I proceeded to 5th ave. I also took my energy gel for luck! Darn, I was right about this decision because the water stations for the remaining route was really far away from each other. Poor noobs, they suffered because of this. Reached the turn-around point at bayani road then sped-up on the way back to the finish line!
|This saved me from dehydration!|
Finish line and Post Race Chuvaness
I really aimed for a strong finish in this race. I conserved my energy for the first few kms. to spend it on my last 200 meter sprint to the finish. I sprinted like no tomorrow. But alas, a few walking runners blocked our finish line chute and I have to sidestep to avoid them. It made my left leg cramp and collide with a fellow finisher! Damn it! (please if you're planning to block the way in the finish line, please do follow the chute where you are supposed to finish and avoid any injuries to your fellow runners).
But still, I've got what I aimed for! A new KOTR PR :D. And a finisher medal to partner with it! That's more than enough to cover the boo-boo I've had in the finish line.
|Kagat Medal Moment! :D|
After the race, I went back to the car to change as my nips were bleeding. "Kaskas-nips" due to the singlet rubbing through the surface of our nips. This can be prevented by putting lubes such as petroleum jelly or covering them with a band-aid before the start of the race. Unluckily, the petroleum jelly I applied was washed-off during the race.
I went back to the ANR booths and had some photo-sessions. Overwhelming support to the ANR BHS booth and the new sites, MOA and UP were outstanding. I guess we will be running a big crowd now during Thursdays :D
|Thanks Sir Raul of ARC Manila for the picture! :D|
As a post-race comment, I really love Adidas. The brand I do believe. The race, uhm, I don't know. Races were supposed to improve every year and one of way of checking it was to get the feedback from the participants. For the past 3 years, I've heard a lot of rants about the race but this year I think is the worst. From the registration process until the post-race logistics, countless number of rants were received. I won't deal into the details anymore as I'm already fed-up with the feedbacks and I will leave it to the organizers to respond.
Will I still join the race next year? Definitely. I'm a die-hard Adidas fan :D
More pictures here
Photo Credits: Topher Montaos, Sir Raul of ARC Manila, Greentennial Runner and various sources from the Internet