Before the recent running boom, adidas King of the Road was once one of the few most anticipated races in Manila. It was a must run race because it stood out as one of the bigger, more organized events in Bonifacio Global City unlike the smaller races in Roxas Blvd. at that time.
With bigger, grander races to look forward to last year, I felt that adidas KOTR was losing its touch. Sure it was still a good race, but how could it possibly stand out among other races? Admittedly, I wasn’t that excited about running KOTR in 2010. Actually, I missed it.
For this year, I signed up for the race expecting a typical road race despite the hullaballoo over the new 16.8km distance that I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around. I expected an average race, definitely none of the KOTR magic of the earlier years. Woah boy, was I pleasantly surprised.
I ran the 21k as a training run in preparation for New York City Marathon. I ran with fellow NYC Marathoner and TBR Dream Alumni, Rico Manuel and his friend, Angela, for the first few kilometers. Midway through the race, I bumped into friends, Ton and Angel of Gatorade, and we then spotted Lit. We then saw Joey Torres of Polo Tri who will also run NYCM. Joey and Lit ran at a faster clip, while Ton, Angel and I ran easy for the rest of the race. Throughout the run, I spotted friends along the way, some new acquaintances, others I hadn’t seen for over a year!
Sometimes, a race can be memorable because of our performance. Other times it can stand out because of the features of the event and great execution of its organizers. For this race, I found that it was special because it reminded me of the good ol’ days when running in a road race was such a positive, energizing experience because of the people you spotted along the way. You knew half of the runners on the road and you crossed the finish line welcomed by even more familiar faces. Sure the races were smaller and less extravagant, but hey they were filled with happy memories.
Thanks to adidas KOTR for making me all sentimental and reminding me of those special times in running. (Tissue please!) It’s wonderful to have the old and great adidas King of the Road back!