Yes. And no.
While running the Globe 21k yesterday, I thought my Garmin reading was off when my distance reading was consistently longer by more than 600 meters everytime I’d reach a kilometer marker. I initially thought that I had problems with the GPS satellite signal due to the tall buildings in the Makati CBD and the short tunnel we crossed at the early part of the race. I later learned most people measured the course anywhere between 21.6 to 22 km on their GPS devices.
Upon checking the Globe website, I’ve concluded that the 21k route actually was 21k. However, the route that we were directed to was really longer by close to 700 meters.
Below is the route from km 2 to km 3: coming from Makati Ave. going towards the Kalayaan flyover, runners should have been directed to turn right to Paseo de Roxas then right to Buendia.
Instead, we went straight and turned right to Buendia from Makati Ave. Distance added: 213 meters.
Inside Heritage Park, based on Globe’s route map, we were just supposed to loop around Filipinas Drive.
Instead, runners turned right to Bontoc and doubled back going back to Filipinas Drive. Distance added: 465 meters.
The distance added by the two route deviations totalled 678 meters. I measured the course at 21.73 km. If we deduct the 678 meters, the distance would’ve been 21.05 km, a perfect half marathon distance.
Although the race organizers planned for an exact 21k route, it seems that the marshals that were responsible for directing the runners along those crucial instersections didn’t do their job properly. It didn’t help either that the route was changed at the last minute.
Unfortunately for me, I was trying to meet a certain finish time which I almost hit at the 21km mark, I was just off by less than a minute. With the added distance though, my time was off already by 5 minutes. I still got a PR, but not the time I wanted. I’ll just have to try again in the next half marathon.