I’ve been delaying blogging about the Adidas KOTR (King of the Road) 2011 because I’ve been waiting to find a decent picture of me running…but I didn’t. The one below was the most decent one I could find =/ Eeek.
I signed up for the 16.8km event as part of my marathon training program. Sundays are my LDS days (Long Slow Distance). So this was going to be a leisurely and relaxed long run for me.
October 23, 2011 around 5am – the day started out bad for me. While I was stretching, someone managed to swipe my Skullcandy hot pink chops earphones 😦 I was so angry coz they were my favorite pair of headphones and I also started to panic coz I didn’t know how I was supposed to leisurely run a 16.8km run with no music AND no running partner.
Panic panic panic. I started to hesitate and think twice about running the race. I realized how dependent I had become on music to entertain me during my long runs. I looked around me and probably only half the participants were wearing headphones. If the other half could finish it without headphones…so could I! I decided to go through with it. Track & field athlete style. Headphones are strictly forbidden in track competitions.
Awesome multi-colored singlets. Hydration every 1.5 kilometers. Cold water sponges. Bananas. Medics. Even the UP Pep Squad was present to support the runners. I loved that the route went up the Buendia flyover instead of circling the BGC area or going to the uphill-downhill McKinley area. I kept myself entertained by observing fellow runners and I made it my mission to overtake any woman runner in front of me. I didn’t overtake them all, but I overtook a lot while still maintaining my leisurely pace.
There were a bunch of Kenyans as usual, but what set this race apart from other Kenyan-dominated road runs were the Asian athletes from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. The winners and runners-up of the 16.8km event in the other Asian countries were sent to the Philippines to compete in the finals, all-expenses paid. One even looked like a tanned and muscled Michelle Yeoh!
My new Polaroid anti-glare sports sunglasses worked wonders. I found myself practically able to stare at the sun as I made my way back up the Buendia flyover after the U-turn. And I am absolutely in love with the caffeinated flavors of GU which I got from my supplier (thanks for the tip, Kikay Runner!). If you try to buy GU in sports stores, they always only have pineapple GU Roctane for some reason.
I was basking in the glow of my running high in the last few kilometers of the run. I finished the race in 1hr, 57mins feeling like I could still do more. I survived without my headphones and it felt so good! I’m definitely gonna start doing my LSD’s music-free. Met up with friends after I crossed the finish line and I collected a pretty fine-looking finisher’s medal as well. I can honestly say that this is probably the best race I’ve participated in so far!
(Race Results here)
Next up: Men’s Health Urbanathlon. This time I’ll have running buddies 😉 See you on the road!