As promised, my half-cent comments on the Energizer Night Race 2010.
The Good or positives:
1. A lot of volunteers and crew members stationed at road junctions and strategic locations. These volunteers showed good enthusiasm and cheered the runners on. Not forgetting the volunteers at the start and finish station. E.g. when I got a drink at the drink station, I said to the lady volunteer, "sen fu sai!" (appreciate your hard work in Cantonese). She replied, "mm sen fu, le bao 21km tong sen fu...." (translated literally to: not hard work, you ran 21km is more hard work). The baggage counter was well organised as I waited about 5 minutes in the queue and when it was my turn, I got my bag pretty quickly.
2. Water stations and fluid were enough for everyone.
3. Organiser was willing to take inputs and suggestions from the runners. I actually wrote to the organiser to ask them to:
i) delay the full marathon start time to at least 7:00pm or later. In the end, organiser wrote back to say they were looking into it and later agreed to postponed to 6:00pm. I am not taking any credit for this, as I know many other people requested the same thing. So it is more like a collective requests from the runners.
ii) increase the medical support team. The organiser wrote back to say that they would increase the medical station and personnel. I am not taking credit as well.
iii) issue/publish medical advice to all runners before the run. The organiser actually did this. No credit for the author asked.
4. Good goody bag with water, cakes, sponsors' samples and discount vouchers. Good medal design as well, although the size could be bigger.
5. Easy-to-use disposable timing chip.
6. Quality and personalised running bib.
7. Got dance/performance before the start of race.
8. Got sprinkler shower from firemen/fire engine for the runners.
The Bad (areas to be improved):
1. Running vest size issue. I don't want to elaborate. Onus for the organiser to get this right.
2. Only one check point for 42km and none for 21km. Although many road marshals were stationed to ensure runners follow the right path, but without more check points at strategic locations, it is difficult to ensure all runners ran a fair race. I noticed in the result, there were some discrepancies between the first 21km split and the next 21km for a few runners. Other discrepancies e.g. large gaps between chip time and gun time. I would hope that these discrepancies were due to timing chip system issue.
3. Long queue for 10km runners to collect goody bag. Actually there were different counters for different categories, but I saw men and ladies lining up the same queue. No clear direction?
4. No clear direction/signage on how to get to the designated car park and start/finish station.
5. The finishing line was not cordoned off after the the timing mat. All the runners who were leaving the area were trying walk in reverse direction of the finishing gate/line to go home. It was the same way out of the finish area. This caused the runners who were just finished their race bumping into crowd of people walking towards the finishing line in the opposite direction. The crew members were trying very hard to divert the people to go to the side of the road.
6. Distance markers not accurately placed. Please don't put the markers for the sake of putting up the markers. It really means something to the runners who were looking for these markers.
7. Official photographers I heard were not allowed near the finish gate. I couldn't confirm this. I am happy to remove this point if someone could confirm otherwise.
8. No medical team was stationed at the finish line. A few runners cramped and were helped by the crew members. Later an ambulance was called to be stationed near the finish station.
9. Crowd control still need to be improved as the finish area was quite crowded.