Saturday, October 8, 2011

Race Review: AXN Run 2011

Here comes another race review - AXN Runs Philippines 2011

Good Points
- Registration (they've provided strategically placed registration sites)
- Site (dedicated site was available for up-to-date information)
- Singlet (one of the best material i've seen)
- Timing (used organizer's own reusable timing chip)
- Gun Start (both 21k and 10k was released from the coral on time)
- Distance (the 21k route was fairly accurate)
- Portalet (there were 2 portalets along C5)
- Hydration (cold water was served)
- Hydration (stations was properly placed)
- Route (10k runners got a taste of 1 flyover)
- Route (new and challenging route in Ortigas area)
- Route (very straightforward and difficult to get lost)
- Safety Cones (they've placed several safety pylons along C5)
- Timing mat (a timing mat was available to record our time split)
- Marshal (stationed at turnaround points)
- Medic (they were scattered along the route and ever ready to provide assistance)
- Kilometer markers (appreciated a marker every kilometer)
- Directional sign (ample signs was available)
- Photo (ActiveMoments covered the said event)
- Finisher's Medal (a simple and nice token to 21k runners)
- Finisher's Distribution (tents were separated by distances)
- Banana (was provided at the finish line)
- Post-event activity tent (got a mug from ACE Water Spa; Athena milk; P500 off gift voucher)
- Photo Wall (saw huge photo wall placed at the far end of the activity area)
- Photo Booth (saw two event sponsors providing free photos)
- Race results (official results came out in 2 days)

Areas for Improvement
- Registration fee (i find the price point above than normal)
- Baggage Counter (there was a long queue)
- Portalet (there were many portalets but was placed at the far end of the venue)
- Assembly Area (the 2-lane road wasn't sufficient to house the eager runners)
- Coral Management (there were 5k runners in the assembly area during the 10k gun start)
- Stage Area (it ate up a considerable amount of road space which blocked the runners at the start/finish area)
- Gun Start (530am gun start for the 21km runners was rather late)
- Race Route (the 10k route was not followed as published)
- Distance (the 5k was 200m short while the 10k route felt short)
- Cups (they've used plastic cups)
- Hydration (a station was mismanaged thus we had to wait for water to be poured)
- Hydration (there were supposedly four(4) 100Plus stations but I only found two)
- Marshal (no marshal was available along the race course which made it easy to cheat)
- Loop cord (no cords were given at each turnaround points)
- Finisher's Distribution (very very long queue)
- Finisher's shirt (a good amount of runners failed to get theirs due to shortage)
- Race results (results was out early but the database was inaccessible for 2 days)

Couldn't Comment/Other Observations
- Beneficiary (couldn't identify who was the beneficiary)
- Ambulance (didn't notice if there was any)
- Sponge (didn't notice if there was any)
- Banana (didn't notice if there was any)
- Fire Trucks (none was seen though I personally don't like a shower or get my shoes drenched)

My Thoughts
Route. September 18 was a troublesome date for the running community as there were several races to choose from. The next logical thing to consider is its proximity and registration fee but all those was thrown out of the window.  What made this event stood out is its race route. I know, i know.  There were several fun run that has utilized Ortigas area but not the way AXN did it. Usually we are served with the notorious combination of St Martin and St Paul.  However this event gave us something unique, different, and even more challenging.  They gave the running community a combination of C5 and Katipunan Ave.  Who couldn't say no?!?

Fever. Caught a fever accompanied with terrible runny nose that lasted for 4 days.  This has caused me to stop my training program for a week  Even though I was out for a couple of days, I still considered myself lucky because I only signed up for the 10km category. and not the half-marathon distance.  Good thing my good friend persuaded me to go with a shorter distance.  If not, it would've been a terrible run for me and might even cause a relapse which will only cause more downtime.

Parking Lot. Tried to be earlier than usual at the venue since this would only be my 2nd time in the area.  Also as I am not so familiar with the parking areas even though the organizers did a good job of providing a parking advisory.  Plan was to park near El Pueblo but reaching the area forced me to make a u-turn and find another spot since vehicles are already lining up just to get in.  Good thing I saw another parking area which is right beside the assembly area.  A few minutes more then my running buddy arrived

Time Flies. The emcees did a very good job in keeping everyone entertained while waiting for the gun start.  Most important of all, we were released from the assembly area on-time.  Though they could've made the start of the 21km a bit earlier.  However no concerns from the lower distances.  My buddy and I implemented a flexi-galloway approach, we just ran as usual and taking walk breaks when we are running up a ramp (Ortigas flyover and Julia Vargas) as we don't want to tire ourselves too much.  My buddy and I was just chatting the whole time.  The next thing I knew, we were already on our way back to the finish line.  I even thought that the distance was short.  I guess time does fly if you are having fun

Freebies. I don't normally roam around after a race and check out what the event has to offer.  I just go straight to the finisher's kit tent to claim mine and go home.  Most of the time, when I cross the finish line, there's already a long line already for the freebies and photo booth/wall and I guess this is the reason why long distance runners clamors for a separate line.  For me, as long as the line is moving quite fast then that would be enough for me.  After grabbing a couple of giveaways, my friend and I decided to have a heavy breakfast in Eastwood

Book Two. I hope that AXN decides to host another run next year on the same venue and use the same (or similar) quality singlet. If that happens, I will be more than happy to sign up again.  Maybe a half marathon next time


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