After the recent fire incident at a concert in Taiwan where 500 over revellers suffered burns as a result of paint sprayed on the crowd catching fire, I shot off an email to the organiser of the Color Run in order to clarify the safety risks of their own usage of powder paint used in their said running event (see Part II below). A couple of days later, I received their official reply (see Part I below). Sadly, I find their respond very vague and it does not come close to addressing directly any of my stated safety concerns relating to their use of powder paint. No doubt that they have a good safety track record but major disasters & tragedies occur most unexpectedly and they need to happen just once to cause maximum damage & injury to the unsuspecting victims. A classic example is the famous sinking of the “unsinkable” ship called The Titanic. Rhetoric alone without the backing of conclusive hard facts as evidence is not enough to convince me that the powder paint used is not flammable or toxic to a certain degree. If the organiser is transparent, they ought to openly publish the chemical composition of the powder paint which will be sprayed on to all of the event participants. Only then, will the public be able to decide for themselves how much risk that they are willing to take in order to participate in this event. More importantly, the parents of the younger participants deserve to know exactly how much health risk will their children be exposed to!
On a personal note, I find the wasteful and frivolous nature of this run is not contributing anything worthwhile to the participants nor to our society in general. When there is so much suffering and hardship in certain quarters of our underprivileged society, I believe that the event sponsor, CIMB, can put their money to better use and invest in a more meaningful CSR project rather than waste money on buying paint powder which will be used only once in an irresponsible way just for a few hours of kicks. I like to have fun just as much as the next guy too, but not at the expense of wasting valuable resources and not by setting a bad example for our younger generation to follow. If the participants were given some paint to colour their running Tee for example, at least this would encourage some creativity rather than senseless spraying of more chemicals into our already fragile environment. If the participants were given a tree sampling to plant at the end of the run, at least this is a worthwhile pursuit with a positive environmental message which many nature-lovers are willing to support.
In closing, I sincerely hope that the decision-makers at CIMB can instruct their planners to scrap this futile Color Run which is a foreign concept that does not fit well with our local cultural & social values. In its place, find another more worthwhile and meaningful concept or project which will reflect the true aspirations of our great people and beautiful nation.
Here is our statement
The Color Run™ has no association with the venue, organizers, or equipment used at the Taiwan incident. However, we take the events that occurred in Taipei very seriously as the health and safety of our participants and our employees has always been at the forefront of our minds and actions.
We have had zero fire-related incidents in five hundred global events with more than four million participants. We are committed to staging safe and secure events.
The safety of our runners and clients is of paramount importance to us.
Gary Double Vice President, Corporate Communications, Europe
T: +44 20 8233 7425 • M: +44 7768 825114 • email@example.com
IMG • One Burlington Lane, Hogarth Business Park, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2TH”
IS COLOR RUN SAFE?
After reading about the terrifying fire incident during a concert in Taiwan when colour sprayed into the crowd somehow ignited, I was very concerned surrounding the safety for the public of the Color Run which will also be spraying colour powder on to the participants. So, without any delay, I wrote an email to the race organiser to seek clarification about my safety concerns for their event as I have included below. Of course, I will share with you what transpires next.., stay tuned!
HOW DOES COLOR RUN WORK?
As cited in the Color Run official website, “How the event works
Less about your 10-minute-mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometer, un-timed race in which thousands of participants, or “Color Runners”, are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. With only two rules, the idea is easy to follow:
Wear white at the starting line
Finish plastered in color!
The fun continues after Color Runners complete the race with an unforgettable Finish Festival. This larger than life party is equipped with music, dancing and massive color throws, which create millions of vivid color combinations. Trust us, this is the best post-5k party on the planet!”
MY EMAIL TODAY TO RACE ORGANISER
I am a sports writer who cover local running events via social media. My articles are usually posted in my Gus Ghani blog https://gusghani.wordpress.com ,
on my Happy Runner page https://m.facebook.com/gusghanisupercoach?ref=bookmarks , and in the local mainstream media.
In light of the recent fire incident in Taiwan relating to the use of colour spray – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3141668/More-200-people-badly-hurt-explosion-Taiwan-amusement-park-coloured-powder-sprayed-crowd-ignites.html?ito=social-facebook -, I seek your clarification on the safety measures which you have planned for this coming Kuala Lumpur edition. In particular, please reply to the following questions as detailed as possible :-
1) What is the material of your colour powder?
2) Is the powder material or substance used hazardous or flammable?
3) What are the effects on children, the elderly or adults of the powder if it is exposed to the eyes or if it is ingested? How will the powder be removed in such emergency cases?
4) What are the safety measures & medical assistance which you will put in place to ensure the safety of the runners, revellers & all participants during the event?
I am sure that as a responsible event organiser, you and your sponsor will want the public to know that you will do everything that is necessary to protect the safety of the paying participants.
I look forward to your reply soon.
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