TBR RACE REVIEW: BOTAK PAA-TIBAYAN 42K
Overall rating (10 highest): 5
- Nice 10k course. Slightly different from Adidas KOTR and Condura which passed through the Buendia Flyover as we went straight through S&R instead of making a left back to the finish line.
- Several choices for the singlet design. Marathoners could opt to have their names printed on their singlets.
- Gatorade at water stations. Nice to see those green cups and Gatorade coolers along with the water. No sign of baldes anywhere.
- Water from the fire truck at the bottom of Buendia flyover.
- Booths at the assembly area.
BETTER JOB NEXT TIME:
- Lack of marshalls led to a lot of marathoners losing their way on the course. I have a marathoner friend who finished his “marathon” in a 32k course! He probably lost his way in Rockwell.
- 21k/ 10k/ 5k started all at the same time at 6 a.m. With this heat, race should’ve started earlier at 5:30 a.m. and at different schedules for each distance.
- Lack of information on race packet. No course map in the packet, which was intentionally done to prevent cheaters for starting midway through the race. But, my question is: why should all runners be penalized for this? Why can’t they have marshalls to protect the course? And worse, no race start time information for 21k, 10k and 5k on the race pack.
- Ran out of water at some water stations. (I personally did not experience this. It was reported by other runner friends.)
- No directional signs and kilometer markers for 10k and 5k. I heard there were a few kilometer markers for the longer distances.
This was the first marathon set up by the race organizers of Botak Paa-tibayan Road Races. Some experienced runners raised concern—perhaps not publicly but among their inner circles—over the ability of the organizer to put up such a complex race with little experience in other shorter distances. Was this why there was a small turnout—just a little over a thousand runners in my estimate—that showed up for the race?
For the marathon, the race was definitely not in the league of international races, perhaps not even matching up to recently held local races, such as Condura Race. The lack of marshalls at the Rockwell portion was a major oversight that led to runners losing their way. There is room for improvement in other areas as well: more directional signs and kilometer markers, more marshalls, and more water stations.
For shorter distances, the race was satisfactory. The oversights—such as same race starts for all distances, late start time schedule, and lack of water at stations—did not become major issues due to the small number of runners. One can only imagine what could’ve happened had there been over 5,000 runners who joined.
Overall, it was an average race with a lot of room for improvement. The race was well-promoted, but the actual event did not live up to the hype. It was the first time for these race organizers to launch a full-blown marathon, so we hope that they apply their learnings in future races, specifically the upcoming Botak Paa-Tibayan 100k on June 10.
Congratulations is still in order for Botak Paa-bilisan!
To say that I was anxious about this race would be an understatement. The day before the race, I was still wondering why I registered for 10k despite the pain in my foot and whether I should downgrade to 5k. That night, I got a massage and when I stood up, all pain was gone. Okay, 10k it was. Sheesh, my first 10k in training or in a race in months!
Hubby and I arrived at the assembly area with enough time for a warm up and double visits to the restroom. By the time we entered the starting line area, it was only 3 minutes before gun start. The race started at exactly 6 a.m.
For the first time, hubby and I paced each other throughout the race. He has significantly improved the past few months, while I have basically transformed into a turtle. We ran at an easy 6 to 6:30 pace wary of every single tingle in my body, each footstrike I made, and which portion of the cumbered road I was running on. Yes, I was over analyzing but that’s what injuries can do to you.
We ran together through Bonifacio Global City, up the Buendia flyover, down towards Kalayaan, through the turnaround, up Buendia facing the scorching sun (where I think I got sunburned despite sunblock on my face), and straight to the finish side by side. Hubby said I made him dizzy because I would spin around him once in a while in search of the perfect portion of road that was flat so that it wouldn’t hurt the knees. He, on the other hand, was a great running buddy. He would update me of the kilometers, remind me of our pace, and even followed my every whim, including the time I asked if we could outpace a woman who had the same outfit as I did; I just didn’t enjoy running behind someone that reminded me of my lack of uniqueness in the world.
We ended the race holding hands (Kidding! Got you there, didn’t I?) with an unofficial time of 1 hour, 2 minutes for 10.15km. Our average pace was 6:11 min/km.
I’ve had better times, but again, this was a momentous occasion for me. My first 10k since the injury (don’t count the Condura Half Marathon…haha) and with very minimal pain during the race.
We shared a great breakfast with the Solemates Jun and Mariel at Paul Calvin’s Deli with Jay (Prometheus Cometh) dropping by for a quick chat. Among the topics, are we well enough to join TNF 100? Ooooh, give me this week to decide!