“Adidas King of the Road is more than just a race, it’s a tradition of excellence that has brought the regular dose of adrenalin rush to thousands of runners in a regional setting.”
adidas King of the Road has been a tradition for me having been a part of it for the past four years. It’s a must-not-miss event for me and I guess to thousand of other runners as well. Being a part of the social media people tasked at promoting the event, it was an easy sell for me since I believe on how well organized each KOTR event plus it comes with a quality singlet and medal. The path to this year’s KOTR was a bit different wherein I was able to build up for it only to lose some of my momentum a week before with swelling in my right foot before the event. I took most part of the past week to recover and ensure that I’d be in the starting line on race day and then go on to experience the race. It was a crazy week so I might as well do something crazy by shaking up my race routine. I did away with the hydration belt since I know that the organizers would have sufficient hydration stations and I have full faith and confidence with the Proactive and Without Limits team. Next was to finally debut my Newton Gravity in an actual race. I was also one of the runner judge for the cheering competition to spice up the event so it just gets more interesting for me. I’m not at 100% but this is gonna be fun
The race starts at 9th Avenue near 26th Street and heads to 32nd Street on the way to the International School Area and Triangle Drive. The race heads back to 32nd Street before the climb at Kalayaan flyover midway the 6th Kilometer. After the descent at Kalayaan Flyover, the route goes fast and flat in Buendia Avenue all the way to Osmena Highway for the U-turn slot at around the 10 kilometer mark. The race then heads back to Bonifacio Global City via Buendia and Kalayaan Flyover. The climb back to Kalayaan happens mid 12th and 13th kilometer. After the descent in Kalayaan flyover, the race goes to its final stretch via a climb in Rizal Drive and a descent at 5th Avenue going to the 32nd Street before the final turn in 9th Avenue for the finish line.
I came early for this one as I had to go over the mechanics of the cheering contest with Jham of Sigue Corre Runners. The mood at Bonifacio Global City was festive with over 8,000 runners aching to go the distance in the 16.8 kilometers and 10 kilometers categories. I positioned myself toward the end as there was just too much people in each category plus it would be difficult to start at the pace of the lead pack. I went at a moderate pace but felt a bit rusty with muscle pains as early as the second kilometer but I was still trying to do a decent pace. I was in pain but at the same time I was embracing the pain. By the 5th kilometer after hitting the breaks suddenly, I felt my calves cramped a bit so I had to walk a bit just to stabilize the muscles.
Approaching Kalayaan Flyover, I was feeling a bit better now and went at a steady pace on the climbs and cruised on the descents. By the time, I finished my descent from Kalayaan Flyover, I felt I already wasted a lot of time in the first half of the race so I tried to take advantage of the straight and flat Buendia course by adding speed to the equation. I was able to catch up a bit on my time. I was also taking progressive breaks at the water stations since I didn’t bring my hydration belt for this one which turned out good as I felt lighter running and the 1.5 – 2 kilometers distance per water station was manageable. It felt surreal running in this environment again with a field of 8,000 runners and credit goes to organizers since even with that volume there was a lot of leg room to run.
After the u-turn slot, I felt fatigue setting in. I can now feel the effects of missing a significant portion of my training for the past two weeks. I was still able to churn out a few kilometers by pushing myself before going on energy conservation mode approaching Kalayaan Flyover before the 13th kilometer. I took the slow climb in the incline to recover a bit and tried to do one final push with the flat and descending portions of Kalayaan Flyover. I was able to do a high five with Jollibee along Rizal Drive. Finally, I just went aerobic at the last two kilometers to the finish line to finish this year’s 16.8 kilometers. Far from my fastest times in long distance runs but coming from a short injury, I’m ok with this one.
On the final stretch at 9th Ave, I got to see the cheerers again and knew who my winner was and it was nice that I had the same input with my fellow runner judges. It’s not everyday that you see Elmo from Sesame street in a race. The tradition lives on and another KOTR Medal in my “treasure chest.” One thing I like with KOTR year in and year out is that it’s one of the more festive runs you can join with a lot of people cheering and watching the event and not to mention thousands of runners who share your passion. Congratulations to Proactive and Without Limits for another well-executed King of the Road and Good Luck to those joining future legs of the regional KOTR events.
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