The first ever adidas King of the Road (KOTR) Southeast Asia Championship had just concluded in Bonifacio Global City, Metro Manila, Philippines, and I’d say it’s the most “international” race I’ve experienced in the Philippines so far. Here’s my recap on this outstanding race:
This year’s adidas KOTR is one of the biggest races in the country and it brought runners from all throughout the ASEAN for a fierce but friendly competition. Previous international races in the Philippines normally involve elite runners from abroad, but with this year’s KOTR adidas was able to encourage “typical” runners from Southeast Asia to run not just in their own countries but also their neighbors’. It’s really interesting to hear different accents for a change—something we Filipinos only normally encounter abroad.
The race started at 5AM and blessed with a very pleasant weather but because of the huge turnout the first few kilometers were quite a challenge for runners who started anywhere but the front. Surprisingly, even the pack following the elites was huge attesting to one of the most competitive races I’ve ever seen in the Philippines. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 21K sub-two-hour pack that big locally! It’s much harder to say if it’s the same with the event’s flagship event, the 16.8K, as they eventually merged with the trailing pack of the 21K.
Hydration stations, cold water, sponges, bananas, and portable toilets en route, all check! Even the route was practically a perfect 21K, GPS-wise. As far as the race is concerned, it’s flawless from my perspective. If ever there’s one thing I’d love to see it would’ve been the deferred gunstart because of the volume of runners, but then again I’m not really “racing” and is just running for fun so it doesn’t really matter for me.
Overall, adidas KOTR SEAsia Championship is one of the best races of the year in the Philippines and one to watch out for in the region. I’m so glad that the Philippines is the site of its maiden race, and I’m glad to see runners from other countries running on our favorite race routes. It was a great initiative by adidas, one that I hope will continue for years to come. Unfortunately though, we’d have to fly to Singapore next year if we were to join the Championships, but we can of course expect the local KOTR leg to remain.
This year’s adidas KOTR is my reunion with the event after a two-year hiatus due to unforeseen circumstances. This race is very special to me as it was with my first adidas KOTR (my second race ever) when I had my first 10K which ignited my passion for racing. Back then we had no concept of weekday runs—the only runs we had were over the weekends on races.
Lately I’ve been notorious with starting late with races, but not with adidas KOTR—quite surprising indeed. The catch was—I left my wallet at home in the process! I only had my coin purse with me—with just enough coins to bring me to and from Bonifacio Global City. And so after my race I gave myself a challenge: “survive” post-race without spending a dime (until my friends who can lend me money arrive that is). And guess what, it was a success! The post-race activity area was packed with so many booths (a significant number was about food) that runners can “survive” without spending!
I admit it was really fun to “hunt” for all these treats all around the activity area, but as we all know after racing, our stomachs become incinerator-like, almost instantaneously obliterating everything that we eat! But the good part about it is that after a long run, you have a license to eat what you want! (Still, remember to eat in balance and moderation)
I would like to thank Roselle “Running Diva” for lending me some cash to fuel my hunger after all the free foods were annihilated from my tummy!
I also would like to thank adidas for my complimentary kit, the wonderful event, and the enviable finisher’s medal. Thank you as well for bringing our neighbors to our shores!
Thank you for reading my account of the event and for continuously patronizing my blog! I apologize if there was any inconvenience caused by my previous risqué post but rest assured that whenever the official race results come out from the only official and valid source (RunRio), I’d be delighted to share it with everyone. (According to adidas, it should come out tomorrow, two days after the race)
Congratulations adidas for a wonderful event! Congratulations everyone for finishing your races! Congratulations RunRio for yet another world-class race!
To our guests who came from afar, thank you for visiting our country! I hope you enjoyed your stay and I hope to see you again as we have lots of great races coming up all over the country, and we can give you tons of reasons to return.
And of course, to everyone who came from the provinces, maraming salamat sa pagbisita! Likewise, I do hope you enjoyed your visit to Metro Manila. Sa uulitin!