I haven’t seen a route so crowded as was in yesterday’s Adidas King of the Road (KOTR) 2013 race and from my viewpoint, the runners resembled like an end-less MRT train that chugged in their footsteps along the streets of Bonifacio Global City, Kalayaan Flyover then on to Buendia Ave. and back.
To be somewhere in the middle of the pack is a great vantage point of experiencing the enormity of this mega race and for somebody who prefers small, simple but well-organized races like this, a KOTR race is simply hard to pass up.
I was amazed seeing the huge number in a mass start and what should one expect if all the 8,000 + runners, about half which ran the 16.8 distance that started 30 minutes earlier would merge with the 10k runners near the finish line? A mass finish which luckily did not result into chaos, and a flawless finish for all, thanks to the fine race organization of the Proactive race organizers.
This morning, i would be running with Chito Carreon, who i have been training with for the past several years together with the rest of Team 90% who for some reason have opted to sit this race out. Chito was just going to take it easy, having done a 32k LSD the day before, so he would be practically just keeping step with me being the slower runner that i am.
The first 2 kilometers was more of a dash than i would have expected, as runners were trying to avoid bumping each other, so Chito and i got away as soon as we could and settled into a more relaxed pace. While settling into our groove, we couldn’t help noticing the awesome cheering groups that the organizers have assembled and it was great to see the Fabulous Running Divas in their tutu outfits and the Ponkan Group cheering their lungs out to the appreciation of the runners.
Running up the Kalayaan flyover towards Buendia, i noticed the long line of runners as far as the eyes can see and that seem like an endless line . It was at this point that the leading Kenyan runners were on their way back and saw top Pinoy runner, Vertek Buenavista running in 4th position.
I had placed a bottle of Cobra Energy drink into my water belt but after just a few sips during the early part of the race, i noticed that it was missing when i tried to retrieve it at the 8th kilometer mark along Buendia. It might have slipped out of the small opening at the bottom of the holster’s pocket. Anyways, i still had my Booster Energy Shot as back-up.
Now approaching the uphill part of the Kalayaan flyover, we made it up without much ado as we had tackled even more arduous ones during training runs at White Plains in Q.C. I could see a lot of runners now walking at this part probably preserving their strength for the last 3.8 kilometers or those who just ran out of gas.
Took the Booster Energy shot when i reached the crest.
I noticed that Chito was trying to rev up the pace during the last 3 kms and egged me on to do the same so i was like hanging-on to him for dear life and felt relieved every time we slowed down during water station breaks.
At the last 2 kms, we glanced down at our watches and still had a full 20 minutes to clock-in in sub-2 hours time so we made a go for it. We paced at about 6 mins/km and relished reeling-in a lot of runners who were also making their move to finish in under 2 hours.
We crossed together at the finish line in an unofficial time of 1:56 flat! Not a great finish time, but I was just satisfied with the outcome knowing that we could have done better had we not eased our pace somewhere along the 10th to 11th km.
We did a high-five at the finish, got medal’d (is there such a word?) and proceeded immediately to the loot bag counters and got some freebies! We lined-up for some bread, hot dogs, ice cream and other goodies which were being offered in the tents!
Got to meet some old friends too at the aNR tent and took some pictures with them..
This is definitely one of the best race for 2013! Organization is tops with lots of ice-cold water, bananas, well-controlled traffic, cheering groups plus the medal was awesome!
T’was a great week-end!
RACE RESULTS HERE: http://race.proactive.ph/Adidas-King-of-the-Road-2013
(Thanks to Photo-Ops, John D. Photography and the Running Photographers for my grabbing some of their pictures!)