On running

I can’t recall why I mentioned “without cream” in my last post. Was it an allusion to my preferred consumption of black tea? Or red, depending on where you come from.

I accomplished my first marathon recently. One thing I realised, it’s all in the mind.

Nevertheless there were runners who were screwed over by the management, especially those who participated in the 21KM.

Management’s letter, along with adidas (the title sponsor) after the break.

Here is a copy of the management’s reply to the public, first published in The Straits Times, June 4 2010.

Context:

  1. People queuing up for shuttle buses in Pasir Ris were late for their 21KM half-marathon due to unforeseen (beautiful word, sums up everything we don’t know, like God) circumstances.
  2. Runners missed race which they paid for and were pissed. Organiser arranged for a shorter race (18KM) but runners were reported saying they did not know about the shortened route.
  3. Runners furious over timings and misrepresentation, demanded explanation.

Marathon organiser sorry, promises improvements

WE THANK Ms Joyce Neo (‘A logistical nightmare’) and Ms Kayleigh Ho (‘Disturbing lessons for enthusiasts’) for their feedback on Wednesday on the adidas Sundown Marathon last Saturday.

As this year’s race was at a new location which many participants were unfamiliar with, we decided to offer shuttle bus services between Changi Exhibition Centre and Pasir Ris MRT station as an added service to assist runners getting to and from the race site.

The closure of Changi Coast Road (between Airline Road and Aviation Park Road) from 8.30pm to 10.30pm was necessary to facilitate the 9pm flag-off of the half-marathon 21km category. All participants were notified through the Athlete’s Guide and sent an SMS reminder the day before the race. Unfortunately, because of unforeseen heavy traffic conditions, participants were delayed and prevented from getting to the start point on time.

We apologise to those who were affected by the traffic conditions, which caused them to miss the flag-off. We felt their disappointment and it was for that reason that we decided to have another flag-off so that latecomers could still run the race.

The shortening of the route was inevitable because we were bound by timing constraints as the roads had to be reopened by 10.30pm. We had two choices – either to go without an additional flag-off or shorten the race distance. We chose the latter because we knew some of our participants still wanted to run, albeit a slightly shorter route. Therefore, we hope all participants will understand and support our decision regarding this.

The results posted on the website are provisional. The final results, to be released in 14 days, will be sorted based on the distances completed.

We take all feedback seriously and any input will certainly assist us in improving the flow of the event. We will review them with the aim of improving next year’s event.

Benjamin Wee
General Manager, HiVelocity

Adidas has conveyed concerns

I REFER to Wednesday’s report, ‘Sundown a ‘letdown”, and the letters from participants in last Saturday’s adidas Sundown Marathon (‘A logistical nightmare’; ‘Disturbing lessons for enthusiasts’).

As the title sponsor for the adidas Sundown Marathon, we are extremely concerned about the reports that many participants missed the start of their runs because of traffic congestion and problems with the shuttle bus service from Pasir Ris to the Changi Exhibition Centre.

We have every sympathy with runners who trained hard for this event and whose experience was spoiled on Saturday evening.

Adidas was not involved in any of the decisions pertaining to the organisation or management of the event, which were the responsibility of the organiser, HiVelocity. We have already raised our concerns with HiVelocity and have sought assurances that these problems will be addressed in the planning for future events.

We are confident that the Sundown Marathon will remain a flagship event on the sporting calendar.

Marcus Chew
Senior Manager,
Brand Communications
South-east Asia, adidas

P.S.: I’ve heard those runners who completed 18km instead of 21km will be compensated with a race slot in the half-marathon next year.

P.P.S: Signed up for Standard Chartered’s Full Marathon. It’s been less than a month since the opening of registration and it’s already full. Methinks there’s a correlation between running and religious/political disillusionment. Mmm.

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