Thursday, April 19, 2012

Race Review: Kennon Global Marathon 2012

Here comes another race review - Kennon Global Marathon 2012

Good Points
- Registration (was stretched until the day before the event)
- Registration (offered online registration and leveraged on LBC for delivery)
- Race Kit (was made available at the designated registration site)
- Site (dedicated site which contained about the event)
- FB Page (the administrator of the page was quick to respond to inquiries)
- Online Contest (held at least 2 contests where winner gets bus tickets)
- Hotel Partner (8 hotels with up to 20% discount)
- Restaurant Partner 5 restaurants with up to 10% discount)
- Accident Insurance (participants gets an accident insurance worth PHP20000)
- Shuttle Jeepneys (shuttled the runners to their respective start points)
- Distance (the route was fairly accurate per Deemen)
- Hydration (cold water was served)
- Hydration (stations was strategically placed along the route)
- Hydration (manned by the Boy Scouts of the Philippines)
- Medical Aid (medic was conveniently appointed along the route)
- Route (very challenging as it was mostly uphill)
- Route (fairly straightforward and difficult to get lost)
- Roving Marshal (a single roving marshal was checking the runners every now and then)
- Ambulance (at least saw one roving in the route)
- Prize (huge money went to the top 3 finishers)
- Finishers Medal (was given to all 21km finishers)
- Finishers Shirt (good thing the shirts were smaller compared to the singlet)

Areas for Improvement
- Registration (earlier announcement was not implemented which caused confusion)
- Registration (there's only 1 registration site available for Manila participants)
- Singlet (only M, L, and XL was made available)
- Singlet (i got a M-sized singlet but the sizing/cut was similar to XL)
- Registration Fee (half marathon was P100 more expensive than Baguio21k)
- Bib (no holes for a race belt)
- Race Results (race results did not come out as promised)
- Site (did not contain up-to-date information)
- Timing (no electronic chip here)
- Pickup Point (made changes without appropriate announcement)
- Gun Start (runners were released by 6AM where it could've been earlier)
- Portalet (did not see any on the starting line and along the route)
- Hydration (ONLY cold water was served)
- Medical Aid (some medic stations couldn't care less with the runners)
- Trash Bins (there were only a few water stations that had plastic bags)
- Banana (nonexistent along the route)
- Sponge (nonexistent along the route)
- Marshals (couldn't care less on some key areas and one needed to ask for directions)
- Marshals (none was assigned on critical bends and steep slopes)
- Safety Cones (safety is NOT a priority)
- Road Closure (only at the time of the gun start)
- Safety (almost sideswiped 4 times)
- Loop cords (none was provided along the route so it was easy to cheat)
- Kilometer markers (there were only 2 markers - 10km and 20km)
- Directional Sign (none was seen and we had to rely on the marshals posted)
- Photo (few pictures were taken at the start/finish line)
- Prizes (no monetary reward was allocated for the lower distances)
- Finishers Medal (i've seen better)
- Finishers Loot Bag (only top 10 got one)
- Finishers Shirt (no XS and S was available)

Other Observations
- Host (non-existent at the starting line to keep us entertained)
- Baggage Counter (didn't notice if there was in the area)
- Beneficiary (couldn't identify if there was a bonafide beneficiary)
- Photo Booth/Wall (didn't notice if there was any)
- Post-event Activity Area (did not linger long enough to see what was going on)
- Fire Trucks (none was seen though I personally don't like a shower or get my shoes drenched)
- Coral Management (none was needed since there were few 21km participants)
- Cheaters (a handful of runners took a ride and did not run the whole course)

My Thoughts
Kennon Global Marathon offered a unique route by allowing the runners traverse along Kennon Road. The elevation of the road was intimidating. In addition it proved to be challenging especially on areas where the road needs immediate attention and repair. Most of route had small stones which will make it difficult for any barefoot/minimalist runner to run into

The event started on a bad vibe when the registration details was not up-to-date. A handful kept on asking for any update and the page administrator was quick enough to pacify the disappointed runners. Soon enough the organizers was able to straighten out the kinks and registration was in full swing. Wherein most of the excitement died down already

To be honest I was having second thoughts if the race will push thru. Even locals wasn't aware about the said event. That even made non-Baguio runners more suspicious. Another challenge that I see here that it was sandwiched by other events namely Baguio21K and TNF100. At the same time, Kennon Global coincided with Earth Run which offered a very competitive price point

A perspective that I missed to see was that the organizers was keen on getting sponsorship and focusing its efforts on giving huge prizes for the top 3 winners. I guess that cant be helped especially when the organizer himself was an athlete. I want to believe that he simply wants to give a big reward to those striving Filipino athletes. On a sad note it made the recreational runners (general public) looked like chopped liver

Since the event was being heavily supported by the city government, I was expecting that the road will be partially closed for the safety of the runners. Unfortunately it did not happen. The runners were at risk of being sideswiped by motorists and one has to be in his/her toes. Keeping oneself alert while running at all times was a difficult task. I paid good money here but I found myself doing a weekend long run on my own

In addition, the gun start would've been made earlier. I mean, 6AM? The sun was already greeting us as early as 530AM. The scorching sun was already unbearable when it hit 8AM and I was still several kilometers away from the finish line. There was an announcement that the gun start was adjusted to 530 but then reverted back to 6. Reason? None was given.

Will I join again next year? Probably. Or sign up for a shorter distance next time. I can't imagine myself running for 3 hours and dodging motorists at the same time. It is even unfathomable running a full marathon for 6 to 7 hours with the kind of logistics I've experienced. It is just risky for my taste. I'll probably bring my hard-earned money elsewhere and run a familiar route than risk of getting myself into an accident


Running Fatboy said...

Nice Race Review! :)


deemenrunner said...

may race review ka na pala! ngayon ko lang nabasa! at ako na ang na-quote sa accurate distance. ako na. haha! intay mo ang food blog ko regarding baguio. lol!

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