Sunday, June 10, 2012

Race Review: Brooks Run Happy 2012

Here comes another race review - Brooks Run Happy 2012

Good Points
- Registration Site (they had several registration centers that covers people from the north and south)
- Registration Fee (price point is quite competitive compared to other race events)
- Site (dedicated site was available for relevant information)
- Singlet (supposedly an original merchandise of brooks)
- Singlet (they have a design separate for male and female runners)
- Distance (was accurate according to a garmin user)
- Energy Gel (they gave each runner prior the run)
- Portalet (there were several portalets in the event area)
- Portalet (there were 4 portalets along the route)
- Hydration (several stations served cold water)
- Hydration (stations was strategically placed along the route)
- Hydration (they offered sports drink)
- Banana (bananas were made available along the route)
- Safety Cones (they've placed several safety pylons)
- Ambulance (i saw at least 4 ambulances along Gil Puyat Avenue)
- Kilometer markers (appreciated the distance markers)
- Directional signage (it was plenty along the road)
- Photo (Team USB covered the said event)
- Race Result (came out early)
- Finisher's Medal (a lot better compared to last year)

Areas for Improvement
- Gun Start (changed the gun start from 430AM to 500AM and gave a lame excuse)
- Timing (would have been nice if it was electronic)
- Hydration (there were at least 2 consecutive stations that didn't have sports drink)
- Loop Cords (none was given along 10th ave and 8th ave which makes cheating easy)
- Hydration (some stations only served lukewarm water)
- Trash bins (several water stations did not have trash bins)
- Safety (enforcers failed to stop a dangerously fast vehicle crossed Makati Ave)
- Route (a nice attempt to include 24th and 25th street but the road is not barefoot runner-friendly)
- Route (11th Ave/Meritt Rd should be avoided especially on rainy days)
- Finishers Shirt (initial PR says a finishers shirt was entitled to 21km runners)
- Finishers Medal (initial PR says a finishers medal will be given to top 300 of 6km and 12km runners)
- Sports Drink (they ran out when I crossed the finish line)

Couldn't Comment/Other Observations
- Route (same old BGC route)
- Baggage Counter (failed to notice if there was a long queue)
- Beneficiary (couldn't identify who was the beneficiary)
- Sponge (didn't notice if there was any)
- Post-Event (was too tired to notice the festivities but there was a lot of booths in the event area)

My Thoughts
I was really expecting for a very early gun start as initially announced. So having a pre-run was already out of the equation and was aiming for a post-run instead. But the organizers burst my bubble. They abruptly changed it and moved 30 minutes later. Only to receive a lame excuse. They had so much time to assess the risk of having an earlier gun start but announced the changes just days prior the event. I am speculating that they might be other reasons for doing so

Arrived at the venue a couple of minutes before the delayed gun start. Met up with Billy, Martin, Nicky, and Jesy in the assembly area. We chatted the time away as we await for our designated gun time. We noticed some of the participants holding an energy gel and it coincided with the hosts talking about it. One of the sponsors decided to give away some samplers for the half-marathon runners. Nice move!

Then we were off. I was running along with Jesy during the first 300 meters. I guess my pace was too slow for him and he immediately joined Noel and Joric as soon as two showed up. I just shrugged it off. Cant blame him as I am still on my mileage buildup phase. I can't run faster as that will ruin my progress. Soon I met up with CJ. He kept me company for the rest of the race. Thanks Ceej!

First turnaround did not have any loop cord and so is the second one. What's going on? I guess I can cheat my way here and beat the Kenyans. But my evil scheme ended when Noel told me they were giving loop cords at the Gil Puyat turnaround. Boo! Weather was still cloudy. It was one of those rare moments that I get to enjoy running along Kalayaan flyover. Still can't get thru with the idea of running 2 kilometers with no water station, under the punishing heat of the sun with no shade in sight, and not to mention the cruelty of the crooked asphalt that brings upon my tired feet

After crossing the finish line, I decided to run some more. Good thing my heart and the weather continued to cooperate. Was pretty happy with the time I've spent on the road. Needed to do more of that. The event was fairly organized with a few kinks here and there. But what made this event a "happy" one was the participants and the volunteers. Will I run this again next year? I they can keep the registration fee at bay then count me in. Jennifer Mercado or no Jennifer Mercado

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