The talked about Energizer Night Run 2011 - 16 April 2011
Well, that's my first run! Only went for the 11km with high hopes and enthusiasm for the event..... but then it ended with a lot of "unhappiness" due to lack of proper planning / organizing skills for the event. Here's some thoughts as I recall.
This event sparked off my interest because it was a run in the circuit itself. I thought it was pretty cool to be on the track where Kimi (my fav driver till now even though he is not driving anymore) flies by with his zooooooooom! But of course I had the encouragement from CK, my dear brother and also managed to ask some friends to join together so we all registered within the early bird period and started training. (Except for CK, the 3 of us have not done any runs before!)
So there we were doing some weekly trainings all in anticipation for the event but we were greeted by surprises of different sorts!
We arrived early for the run... I was at SIC at about 5.15pm and was then told by the RELA people that I had to pay RM 10 for parking! (Surprise # 1)
- I am not saying that I don't want to pay for parking but I believe that we must be informed before hand
- When there is a F1 event, the parking fees are RM 50 and we still pay... why? because we were all informed before hand and its up to you if you want to pay for the parking or take the public transport
- This is what we call consumer rights!!
Well after we arrived, we were busy eating (last minute carbo loading!) to get ready for the event. We started to make our way in at about 6pm and we were led into an underground tunnel (Surprise # 2) to cross over to the pit area
- I thought it was really silly to do that. If a fire breaks out in that area, the participants and spectators would have NO where to run to and the amount of casualties would be beyond anyone's anticipation
- The tunnel was stuffy and there was no proper ventilation at all
- At the end of the tunnel the organisers chose to distribute the headlamps there. (small area and everyone was trying to get out of the tunnel ASAP.......I felt like I was going to get a heat stroke!)
- So the organisers had to take time to distribute the headlamps and let the participants suffer in the tunnel (hmmmmph!)
So after we got our headlamps (our bibs were marked when we took our lamps) we hung out and around... (by the way, by 6.45pm I was told that the headlamps were free for all to take and the late participants did not get any!) There were no proper signage directing where in actual fact is the starting point! (Surprise # 3)
- I would have thought that as proper event organisers, you must inform participants where to go for the starting point (yes, we know the run is on the track but then if you have not been to SIC pit area before, would you know where the track starts?)
- Is this the true spirit of Malaysia where "anything also can?" Consumers / everyone have to accept "everything and anything"?
As we wander around the pit area, more and more people arrive 10,000 people actually registered for the event and we were told that 5,000 was in the 11km category.. wow.... so even if 80% turned up, we are still talking about a crowd of 8,000 people.
Walking around the pit area is also very tiring.... there are so many people walking that your eyes will feel tired after a while. We decided to rest and waited for the announcements. The flag off time were:
7.45pm for 42km
8.00pm for 21km
8.15pm for 11km
8.30pm for 5.5km
We made our way to the starting point by about 7.30pm to witness the first flag offs. After that everything seems to just flow by and before we know it, we are in the queue for the flag off.
We were supposed to do 2 rounds on the circuit.
Surprise # 4 was there was insufficient marshalls on standby and people run on the greens instead of the road for short cuts! Wow.....
Surprise # 5 came when I realised (when I finished the first round) that there was only one medical station and one water station (while the announcement/information on the website says that there is 2 of each) - I thought that these were the things that one cannot "skim"! If you say that you will provide 2, you must provide 2.... the participants will then know how to pace themselves...... but sadly, what can we do as participants? Complain? To who? If there was any form of emergencies, would it not be too late? Or as the true spirit of Malaysia boleh, be prepared only AFTER some disaster happen?
Surprise # 6 came when I finished the race. As I was at the last bend of the circuit I saw a whole LONG queue (whatever for I am not sure) and I was thinking to myself (Oh my!!!! don't tell me that I have to still queue up after the run????) So as I exit on the 11km lane, there were people shouting 11km exit here exit here.... so I just followed. I was well within the qualifying time of 2 hours. I came in at 1hr 35 mins.... (or so) No one was at the exit to clock a proper time..... hmmmmph and I was thinking is this how races are done? Who clocks the timing then? (I have not been on any race before this and hence, I have no basis for any comparisons)
So as I was waiting at the pit which says 11km everyone was chatting around and asking what is this queue for? Some say its for goody bags. Some say got finisher T shirt. Some say to get medals etc...... so I just waited in the area until I see goody bags being thrown from the front to the back! (Surprise # 7) (this was after about 20 mins or more of waiting time) So what do you do? Grab or wait in line? On impulse of course I grabbed but did not manage to get anything from the first few throws! Once I got a bag I left the area but sad to note that there was no finisher T shirt as promised. (Surprise # 8) This was the notice from the website:
So where's the medal, certificate and finisher T Shirt? There was just insufficient manpower of the event organisers to handle the crowd. Are they new? (A check with SSM says that there is no company by the name of Expose Media registered.... hmmmphh!!) So participants who are within the qualifying time try to collect whatever that is due but sadly one can't even get to the front of the queue. Let alone trying to get goody bag, medal, certificate........ later on, I thought I heard an announcement which said that they will send the medal and certificates to participants and in my mind I was thinking.... no one knows who collected and who did not. No one knows if you finished within qualifying time. Is this how the events are managed? What's the use of employing event organisers who cannot do a good job? Many times we pay for things to be done but what do we get? Sub standard work when the people are supposed to be the specialists!
At least there was Gatorade to drink after exit from the pit! I had a few cups! (they were served in little cups...... good for dwarfs?) So as we return to the car, we had to go through the tunnel again!! (some people actually crossed the roads on the circuit to avoid going into the tunnel again)
My car gave me a surprise next! My little baby could not start (Surprise # 9) and I had to call for AAM to come. The battery was weak already and because SIC was faraway, by the time AAM came was after 1am..... by then some of the 42km were out and I sat there talking to one of them and was told this...
The last surprise for the evening, the run was not 42km..... it was only for 39km +++ wow! And by the time they came out, there was nothing left at all to take except trays of Gatorade. There was nothing to grab at all! (we still had the opportunity to grab some thing) They came out, tired, empty handed and full of disappointment.
Anymore Energizer Night Race? Well, its a NO for me.............