Monday, October 15, 2012

The Run where (almost) everyone walks

We Run KL 2012 was held last Saturday, 13 October 2012. It recorded as the fastest selling race ever in Malaysia, sold out within 5 hours or something. Although much of it has been grabbed by Uni students during their Road show, the remaining slots were pretty much sought after. And many were left disappointed not being able to take part in this year's run.

i was waaaayyy back! :P 
*photo credit to its rightful owner*

I did manage to get my spot this year after trying for 2 hours for the online registration. Although evening race in the middle of the KL city seems kind a weird, i can imagine motorists were cursing because of the dread lock due to the road closure. morning run is always the best thing to do in this crowded city.

Being a reputable brand organizing a big run, the expectation is already set to the highest. With race clinics and smooth collection of race kit, the last minute change of the finish line and the unpredictable weather is beyond the organizer's control. but what is more frustrating is what i have to share below.

The Run and the Good part first :

Its phenomenal to see runners in the black and yellow colored shirt taking the LRTs and making their way towards the starting line in front of the Zouk in KL. Its good to see runners utilizing the public transport to get to the race venue. Alas, driving there probably not a good idea too :P By the time i reached the gantry, atleast 5k runners were already there, squeezing trying to get to the front of the pack.

The race started 10 minute later from the time its suppose to, or i think it took me 11 minutes to get to the starting line. JJ and Ean of Hitz.FM were seen High Five-ing runners (bye bye medal, i wont get to hold u at this point). From the junction we turn right and run towards the AKLEH, where there's people start walking even from the 1st miler!. its tiring  to run zig zag-ing in the sea of walkers, and i suddenly have to shout here and there for them to make way. i dont care. its a run. u dont get to hold hands and have a time of your life in a run. People running.

I had to run that way until we reached the u-turn right before the 2nd toll. Soon after i get the chance to actually enjoy the run. Crowd getting lesser and more running space from now on. Exchanged claps for volunteers cheering for us along the way. I stop every now and then for few sips at the water station, and we exited the AKLEH towards Maju Junction, into Jalan Sultan Ismail, then Jalan Kuching, making our way towards Padang Merbok. Traffic were busy as usual at Jalan Kuching, and i even shouted to few runners who ran outside the cone, as the speeding motorist is just next to us. This route shouldnt be used for this run.

By the time i reached Padang Merbok, few hundred runners where already queuing for their finisher tee, some were queuing for the 100+ counter on the left and right side near the finish line. so everyone kind a cramping there not knowing where to go really. atleast the queue for L size isnt that long.  I met my buddy Hidayat who volunteering for the run, handing out tshirt as we move. Thank U! Always wanted to try volunteering one day. Once i got my tee, grab some icecream and ChaTime drinks, a cup of cold coffee and heading back towards Masjid Jamek LRT. Yup, with muddy shoes naik LRT. :P

Credits for : 

Fastest selling run in Malaysia's Running event history!

Free race clinics and shoes tryout. But i couldnt join any of them due to work/family commitment.

Friendly reminder/calls about the race kit collection, weather forecast and emails (asking about bib number and race tag, although i dont know for what purpose they are asking for all this).

Smooth collection of  race kit.

Rewards for dedicated runners like High Miler and such. (best tu habis lari dapat makan free kat Nike+ Lounge)

Another tee for finishing the run

The Not so Good : 

Limited spots for public. 

Sending too many friendly reminders actually confusing people. Post them on FB and ask everyone to follow your FB for updates, thats it. im sure all 15k runners has FB account. :) 

Too many Walkers! This is a run, not a walking event. 

Black shirt for evening run? Hot. and cramped in a crowded gantry wearing black shirt? super hot!! 

Narrow route with road markings that could be hazardous.

No one cares about the music, dancers what so ever. Waste of time.  The money spent should have channel towards more medals (for instance)

Chaotic bag service handling.

bad choice of running route? or running time? (morning run is better. if you wanted to do a night run, do someplace else like F1 track or something, seriously, runners would sign up anyway).

UV stamp? for what really? those volunteers should been out there manning the race instead. takde faedah.

Shuttle bus was no where to be seen.

Limited medals! If u wish to give the first 100 runners only, then dont give at all. There's 15k of us, you should have given out atleast 1.5k of medals. Thats something i would run my lungs out for! :)

Overall this run could be more enjoyable like what i had the previous year. By adding the number of runners, they should have anticipated all the possible 'hiccups' and plans to overcome it. Many were pissed, and thats not how you want your potential 'customers' to feel right? 

I dont know whether is it just me or no one cares wearing a tshirt with We Run Tel Aviv on it. Thats supporting Israel indirectly kan? i know its part of the race around the globe, but they can always 'accidentally' forgot to print it on our shirt, considering how sensitive the Israel issue here, right? i could be wrong. someone commented on FB saying, it just a sport, i shouldnt make a big fuss about it.

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