Bringing back the “FUN” in fun runs is a challenge in most Metro Manila races nowadays as it has become a big business/industry with exorbitant registration fees in the recent years.
Moreover, many runners have become tired of the usual race venues: MOA with the foul-smelling air coming from Manila Bay in some parts and the bottleneck-causing narrow flyovers in Roxas Boulevard, the urban jungle of BGC with lots of traffic intersections and polluted air, and the narrow lanes of West McKinley where racers run alongside jeepneys in some parts.
Run for the Whole Family
Enter Pocari Sweat (Colors and Bubbles) Fun Run 2018, dubbed as a Run for the Whole Family, organized by one of the most popular hydration drinks, Pocari Sweat, WWGBA Sports Event & Management Services (known for its Las Piñas-based badminton academy that has produced national and varsity players), and the multi-sport online group Active Pinas.
Pocari Sweat Colors and Bubbles Fun Run 2018 on August 26th proved to be a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively.
Venue and Route
The streets and interior lanes in the Alabang Town Center area that are usually filled with cars and shoppers were invaded by a tide of white and blue-clad runners like a white foam on the surface of a rippling azure sea. The nice-looking Mexican pueblo-inspired architecture of the Alabang Town Center shopping mall and the various office buildings and high risers donning the race lanes with their beautifully well-manicured landscaped facades is a feast to the eyes. It was like jogging in a very big beautiful park, but together with thousands of fellow enthusiasts. It was like the large scale version of Legazpi Active Park near Greenbelt, Ayala Center, Makati.
Navigating through the various twists and turns of the race lanes, one could feel like a kid running in a maze. The rise and drop of just a few degrees also provided variation and challenge in the course, but still very manageable for kids and elderly alike.
And since this is an Ayala venue, expect the roads to be well maintained and generally even, and in some parts asphalted which is friendlier to the knees.
Moreover, the air in the Alabang area is not “heavy” as this is less polluted than the environs of MOA, BGC, QC areas. It wasn’t hot nor humid. Nowhere did I feel more relaxed and fun in a Metro Manila race.
Pocari Sweat Colors and Bubbles Fun Run 2018, I considered as one of the most “sulit” races of the year. It has satisfied all items in my checklist when joining races.
- Affordable and reasonable registration fees.
- Very “sulit” inclusions.
- Race singlet fabric is the best I’ve seen and felt among the races I’ve joined in the past 5 years. Soooo comfy to the skin. Real drifit quality. So cool to the touch. This is also suitable as a beach wear or even in other sports (e.g., badminton).
- Only 3 distance categories (3K, 5K and 10K), which means manageable number of runners. Not too small nor big. Just right. There was no “runner’s traffic” nor bottlenecks.
- All runners received medals.
- The medal design, size and thickness is leagues better than the dog tag-thin medals in a highly over rated race this year, where the 21K medal even had a typo. Even the medal ribbon/lace is made of high quality thick material.
- Lots of hydration stations, of course, by Pocari Sweat.
- Lots of strategically-placed paper cups trash bins.
- Lots of friendly support staff and a medical ambulance.
- Lots of photographers.
- Nice weather. Not hot. Not humid. Just right.
- The Alabang Town Center area race route is like a breath of fresh air, literally and figuratively. The location is a feast to the eyes.
- Lots of sponsors.
- Loot bag is a real sling bag with goodies, unlike the eco shopping bags in most races. (There was even a MOA race I joined last year where the giveaway bag is empty. It was just literally a sling bag with no goodies or loot.)
- A fun run amidst the color powders and bubbles being sprayed to the runners.
- A run for the whole family. There were lots of kids with their parents/titos/titas. There were also elderly runners.
- Lots of raffle prizes and other prizes.
- Nice 10K finisher shirt. The white rubberized fabric seems like the fabric being used in bikers’ jerseys. (Isn’t this material pricier?) The only negative here is the part where the rubberized white meets the different type drifit quality blue fabric causing a few ripples. Sorry. I am an OC. Hehe. Nevertheless, this finisher shirt is much better than finisher shirts in many runs I’ve joined. In other races, it was like, “Basta masabi lang na may Finisher Shirt.” But the design and fabric quality is so bad.
- The “10K Finisher” print in front is much better than the usual print at the back. People could easily see that you finished 10K, and could even get a smile or two from fellow runners you come across with.
The only negative I see which is very minor, is the absence of RFID or time chip. But most runners have a watch, and the Start/Finish Line, of course, displays the time, so the absence of time chip is no issue to most. But there are people who want to see their record in MyRunTime online.All things considered, Pocari Sweat Fun Run 2018 is one of the most “sulit” and organized races of 2018. This is not the usual “Negosyo Run” by many race organizers. It seems that the focus was really not on profit, but on Fun, Enjoyment and Satisfaction. And the organizers delivered.
Congratulations to all runners and the organizers Pocari Sweat, WWGBA and Active Pinas.