Monday, December 27, 2010

2nd Quezon City International Marathon : Race Review

The 2nd QCIM was the first "international" event that I participated in ever since I started to make running my newly found sport. Much has been said about the commonwealth route, but I was more excited to run it than mind about the pollution. This was my 4th official half marathon this year and yes, I was definitely gunning for a PR. Given the different feedbacks about the event, I am making this review on a 21K runner perspective.

The Route.

Commonwealth is a new route for me. As expected, it was not a flat route as I once predicted. Its a combination of rolling uphills and downhills and a doze of flyover terrain. The road was wide, a much welcome change from running in some narrow streets of Global City. The UP section of the run was the most relaxing part of it all. Despite the challenging route, wide road and refreshing UP route, one can complain about the pollution and the not-so-acceptable odor on some areas. Minus these issues, the 21K route is almost perfect. Almost perfect , except for the distance. Despite the organizers claim that it is PATAFA certified, most runners using GPS watches oddly registered at least 23+ kilometers, 2KM+ from the official half marathon distance. I welcome additional kilometers but on an event marketed as an "international event" , this inconsistency is not acceptable. Thus, I am giving a 3.5 score for this category.

The Run.

The organizers seems to be addicted to giving more than what was expected, this time, it was a very welcome addition on hydration stations.  This is one of the good points about the race. Hydration stations was more than enough and the management on each station is commendable. The water shower is also a good addition. Medical supports seems to be overflowing too. The traffic management was excellent. Imagine the whole Fairview bound road of Commonwealth being closed for us runners. The organizers nailed this category (as far as 21k/10K/5K runners are concerned) except for 1 issue they , again, failed miserably. some kilometers markers are way off their specified distance. Was this to make up for the inaccurate measurement? There were instances where I registered almost 13 minutes just to finish 1 kilometer, I was asking myself "have i been walking?". Hell no, I was working a sweat running. with this I am giving the event a 4.

The Pre/Post Event.

The pre-event program was ok. The little talk and warm up exercise was acceptable. I dont really attend post-event program for any races, unless I'll be receiving an award or perhaps a podium finish (hehehe). But reading reviews from other runners gave me a good view of what it was. A 4 for this category is but deserving.

The Freebies/Kits.

Registration fee was within the budget. Simple freebies was given during the claiming of the race kits. The singlet was indeed a good quality, worth keeping , if I may add. The medal for 21K and 42K is a memorable one. Probably the best medal I have for this year. Thus, I am giving a 4.5 for this category.

The Organizers.

The organizers effort during the registration is worth commending. They were accommodating in answering most of the questions. They even created a fan page at Facebook to reach out to the participants.  The organization of the actual run was good and efficient ( as far as I saw it ). But knowing the concerns that was raised after the event, I think that the organizers should have been brave enough to face them after the event. Sad thing, they seem to failed on this. They even closed down their Facebook fanpage  few days after the event.  with this, I am giving them 3.5 for this category. Oh, and do I have to mention about the advertised "supposed to be fair" during the claiming of race kits.

My Conclusion,

The 2nd QCIM , as far as I saw it, is a mixture of  success and failure. Success in the sense that it was commendable in providing the basic things needed for a safe run. However, the post event issues proved that the event was indeed not perfect. Complaints on the inaccurate distance, the cut-off time for the marathoners not met, complaints on the results and other inefficiencies that may have occurred. More or less, it was a fun run and nobody got hurt. Will I recommend this to a friend next year? Definitely, the QCIM is a race event that is worth looking forward. It's a race that is close to my heart since it is just near my place. We do hope that the organizers have learned a lot from the 2nd QCIM so that they can improve come 2011.

Overall Rating.

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Six:30 with ChiCem runners
Sulyap sa Ulap Moment

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