And I’ve finished the cutest race of the year! 🙂
Last Saturday, October 21, 2017, Mommy, Daddy, and I participated in the much-awaited Hello Kitty Run Manila 2017. Mommy was such an avid fan that she registered the three of us so early! We had several sessions of training for this to prepare me for my first 5k race, and true enough, I was able to survive it!
We claimed our race kits at SM Mall of Asia the week before, and disappointingly, we were reluctantly placed in Wave 4. There was no other options left but this wave. Anyway, we left our home in Marikina around 5:30 a.m. All of us overslept that night!!! We had no choice but to rush our preparations and pray, hopefully, that we arrive in time for our 6:45 a.m. gun start. Which did not happen!! 😀
We arrived at SM MOA parking around 7:00 a.m., and as soon as we were ready to run, it drizzled! 🙁 Mommy and Daddy were more than willing to start running and pushing me in my Safety 1st Compa City stroller. We sheltered under the nearest roofed establishment for a good 10 minutes before the drizzle finally stopped. That’s when we started our Hello Kitty Run!
Since we were in the last wave and we started late as well, it was no surprise that there were only a few runners left. No one was there to take pictures of cute lil me! 🙁 Anyway, lemme share with you some snapshots Mommy and Daddy took themselves:
Even though it was a pabebe run, despite starting late, we actually managed to finish ahead of many others! I guess it really pays to have parents who are runners themselves! 🙂
In bullet points, here is my review of the race:
- Nice medal design. I love my medal! But of course, I could be biased, as it was my first! 🙂
- Nice finisher shirt. I love my new pantulog shirt. Daddy also loves his new pink-themed drifit shirt. And Mommy? Well, she’s biased when it comes to Hello Kitty.
- Good promotion. Constant reminders and upload in the official Hello Kitty Run Manila Facebook Page, coupled with that very big billboard in EDSA, really piqued my curiosity and excitement for this much-awaited run.
Points to improve on
- Disorganized starting line area. Well, what can we expect? We were part of the last wave and we even started late. There were several others who started late like us, and when we got to the starting line, there was no marshal or race volunteer to assist us nor answer our queries. We were wondering if we are still allowed to run or not anymore (as there are runs which do not allow latecomers to start if they arrive after a given grace period). We were wondering where the route was (although we studied the route in advance, there was a lot of people at the starting line area, thus, it was quite confusing at that moment). Furthermore, there were finishers from the previous wave who were taking their selfies and groufies and what-not that moment, making it even more chaotic. It would have been better if finishers were not yet allowed at the starting line since there were still latecomers from Wave 4 who would still like to start running properly.
- Miscommunication between the cut-off times. It said in the brochure that the cut-off time for each wave was two (2) hours after the start. Wave 4 started at 6:45 a.m., thus, our cut-off time should have been 8:45 a.m. If so, then why were marshals all around kept yelling at us around 8:00 a.m. that it was almost cut-off already and that we won’t make it if we keep on stalling and taking pictures?? We had a good 45-minute time frame to spare, and mind you, my parents, being runners themselves, could run a 5k route at 30 minutes tops, so why rush us? I guess they stuck to the idea that everyone’s cut-off was 8:00 a.m.??? Pffftt… 🙁
- Disappointingly sad loot bag contents. Sure, Mommy got Hello Kitty napkins. But what about Daddy? Did the organizers became stereotypical when they assumed only females will join the run? They should have seen Daddy’s surprise to see nothing was useful for him. Oh, yeah, there were Pascual yogurts. But he doesn’t like yogurts. 🙁 Also, the loot bag itself was made of kinda flimsy material. Where did the Php 1850++ go? Daddy and Mommy mentioned that they have joined cheaper runs before by Runrio and other organizers but have better finisher’s kit. So sad. Huhu.
- No more official photographers for Wave 4. Yep, we know that we started late, but that doesn’t mean that the official photographers should already just shrugged us off their shoulders. It was our envy when we saw Daddy and Mommy’s friends posted official pictures of the run from the official photographers. What about us?
- Hydration stations were already packing up despite us still running. We already know that we were part of the latecomers of the last wave, but it was too discouraging and demotivating to see that hydration stations were already closing down when we were still running!
- So much hype before the even but did not live up to what we expected. Mommy was expecting to see Hello Kitty mascots every kilometer marker to motivate the runners. Daddy, despite not being a Hello Kitty fan, was also expecting to see Hello Kitty mascots every kilometer market to motivate the runners. But no, nothing was there, just sad-looking race marshals seem to be itching to go home already as we were the last runners of the run. At the activity area, everything was chaotic. Mommy and Daddy did not bother to claim little prizes we won at the raffle at various points of the race as the lines were very long and disorganized. We did not even bother to stay for the program as the program started just as we were starting to run. They should have started a little later so that the runners at the latter waves could still finish the run and watch it!
- No “Mommy, Daddy, let’s join this run again next year!” feeling in general. When Mommy and Daddy joined the 30km Pilipinas Akyathlon several years ago, despite Daddy finishing as the very last official finisher (8:59 time; cut-off was nine hours) and Mommy DNF-ing, they both still were very much eager to join its next editions. When Mommy and Daddy joined the Pico de Loro 42km trail run a few years ago, despite finishing wasted, exhausted, and tired after running for almost 12 hours, they both had smiles in their faces and their hearts, wanting to join the race again. This time, despite running with me for 5k for just around 40 minutes, none of them mentioned that they are eager to join next year’s edition, if ever there will be. Yep, it’s the first time to have the Hello Kitty Run here in our country, but this was, to be honest, quite lame.
There are always birthing pains for everything new, and Hello Kitty Run Manila had its own share of these (for more reviews, you might want to read these). Hopefully, there will be a second round next year, and hopefully, the organizers will have taken note of the things they might want to reconsider for a more successful one.
PS At least, after the run, Mommy and Daddy started honing me to become a Batang Jollibee like they are!!!
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