The A-List of Running Events by Happy Runner
What Is This All About?
With so many new running events and new event organisers appearing in the running scene recently, selecting a running event can be a daunting task, even for a die-hard running fan like me. In fact, I even wrote an article about it in The Star newspaper in which I give some key pointers on how to cherry pick your races and avoid the lemmings – http://www.star2.com/travel/malaysia/2016/04/30/how-choose-a-run-and-avoid-getting-conned/.
Furthermore, there is even an online running group set-up to warn runners against dud and dubious running events. Indeed, sharing our good and bad running experiences on social media, when done right, is one of the best ways in which we, the paying customers, can unite and exercise our collective customer’s rights.
For my part, I will time-to-time update online my newly launched “A-List Of Running Events” in which I provide a list of races and fun runs that meet or exceed MY expectations. The running events that make it on my A-list will have to meet certain key criteria such as, but not necessarily limited to them:
Offer “Fair-Pricing” which means that they charge a fee to runners which accurately reflects the goods and services being offered.
Offer “Best Administrative Practices” which means that they must manage the giving of event information, the handling of public enquiries, the handling of registration & payments, and the organising of race kit collection in a professional and efficient manner.
Offer “Best Technical Practices” which means that the onsite activities before, during, and post-race, such as, but not necessarily limited to runner’s safely, medical & emergency services, flag-off timing, adequate manpower, adequate water & water stations, traffic & course control, prize-giving, post-race refreshments, are handled professionally and efficiently.
As you can see from above, I am not concerned with the brand, design and quality of event T-shirts and medals unless their quality is so poor that it contravenes the above “Fair-Pricing” clause.
I am not concerned about the politics of the events either, such as, if foreign runners are given a raw deal, as long as the event organiser declares clearly their event terms and conditions before hand. I will leave it to other bloggers to take-up this issue on their own blog if they wish to do so.
Before We Start…
If you have been following my blogs and postings, and if you trust my judgement, then I am happy and excited to introduce to you today, for the very first time, the very first inductee to my “A-List’”. Drumroll, please. Although this is a new event and a new company, after conducting my own background research and looking at the pedigree of the team involved, they have satisfied my conditions enough to recommend them to you. However, life is never that simple, so before I proceed, let me qualify my recommendation by stating the following important disclaimers :
All information provided is as true and accurate as what I could personally assess at the time of print.
Unless otherwise specifically stated, all the information provided here are of my own personal views, and it may not necessarily reflect the views of the event company mentioned or any other third party.
Please note that there is no such thing as a “perfect event”, and even the most experienced race organiser can screw things up. Plus, as individuals, we all have our own preferences, likes and dislikes, therefore, what works for me, may be unacceptable for you. So, I recommend that you review recommendations from multiple source, but the final decision will be your doing and no one else. Whenever I have had a bad race experience, I learn from it and move on unless, it’s a matter of life and death. Groaning and moaning for long periods about spilt milk is pointless, and frankly, it’s quite irritating too. If you have a problem, try looking for a practical solution instead.
Feel free to share with me your happy running experiences. However, if, for whatever reason, you have any serious personal bad event experience, please take-up your grievances to the relevant parties, and do not expect me to solve your problems for you. In short, don’t shoot the messenger.
Here, We Go!
I am always on the lookout for new running events with the promise of new experiences. So, after making a few phonecalls and discreet enquiries, I have decided to register my wife and I for the 11km running category of the first-ever NBOS Run & Ride 2016. The race information is given below. More importantly, the reasons why I chose this one is because:
The Race Director, Parimalathevan Paramasivam or Prem has a distinguished working resume, and he is passionate and capable of orchestrating a quality run which will delight runners like my missus & me. More valuable insights, refer below to “Happy Runner Interview With M Sports RD, Prem”.
I am confident that Prem and his team will meet both my previous-mentioned “Best Administrative Practices” and Best Technical Practices” requirements. Furthermore, as you can see from the event information below, the race fee is FAIR.
After giving his best work at 21st Sports Century over 9 years, Prem has decided to step-up to the plate and start his own modest event company called M Sports. I have known Prem since I first started running back in 2011, and not only is Prem a true Gentleman, but his genuine passion of giving runners the best possible running experience over the years uplifts me. The least, I can do for him in return, is to be there at his inaugural event. More valuable insights, refer below to “Happy Runner Interview With M Sports RD, Prem”.
NBOS Run & Ride 2016 is organized by MAKSAK Malaysia on Sunday 14th August 2016 at PICC, Presint 5, Putrajaya. The fun event is supported by Ministry of Youth & Sports, Perbadanan Putrajaya and Persatuan PerkhidmatanTadbir dan Diplomatik.
NBOS Run & Ride 2016 is an outdoor sporting event whereby it offers participants, 11km & 5km run or a 16km cycling option. There are a total of 8 categories which are as below.
There are a total of 8 categories which are as follows :
11km Men Open International (Foreigners Only)
11km Women Open International (Foreigners Only)
11km Men Open Malaysian Only
11km Women Open Malaysian Only
11km Men Veteran Malaysian Only
11km Women Veteran Malaysian Only
16km Fun Ride
5km Fun run
Please note that the eligible age to participate for categories a – g is 16 years and above while participants aged 13 years and above are allowed to participate with the 5km fun fun.
Free admission for children aged 12 & below but they will NOT be entitled to Brooks t-shirt, finisher medal, certificate & snack pack. Parents must take full responsibility and care over their children’s safety.
Each and every participant will receive :
Race pack – participants must collect their race pack from VIVA Home Shopping Mall which will consists of a BROOKS t-shirt, a number bib, safety pins & race guide (in any).
A finisher medal, certificate and a snack pack will be given to the participants upon completion of their run or ride.
It is a fun event with carnival atmosphere. Even the registration fees is fairly priced as we have the participants at heart. A win-win scenario would benefit the participants. The registration will be closed upon reaching 4000 participants or 23rd July 2016.
Interested participant can go to http://www.msports.com.my for more information.
For bloggers info.
NBOS stands for National Blue Ocean Strategy.
What is Blue Ocean Strategy?
Blue Ocean Strategy is all about creating niche markets in any industries for business growth which in turn will boost the nation’s economy.
Happy Runner Interview With M Sports Race Director, Prem :-
Question: What are your most memorable, satisfying and challenging moments as GM of 21st Century Sports?
Prem: Most memorable moments are being team lead for the de-rig team of the routing dept for Le Tour de Langkawi, and being part of an elite team brought in to handle the 1st Xterra Malaysia, Telok Chempedak, Kunatan whereby we only had 4 days to devise, understand, absorb and improvise the execution plan. We did a great job. Obviously, the success of Putrajaya Night Marathon. It was my responsibility to ensure the growth & continuous success of Putrajaya Night Marathon operationally together with Mr.Anand & Mr.Nithi.
Most satisfying moments is to see runners finishing their runs safely at each and every run that I was privileged to oversee and be part of.
Question: What is the company vision/mission for M Sports & future plan?
Prem: M Sports would like to organize running events which creates a win-win scenario for the participants and the organizers.
Question: What Makes A Good Running Event?
Prem: The criteria for a good event are :
1. Race being flagged off on time.
2. The Running route is well marshalled to ensure the runner’s safety. The runners safety is given the utmost priority ahead of everything else.
3. Drink station on the running route as well at the finish area having sufficient water.
4. A proper medical plan to handle emergencies and injuries, if any.
Question: How will M Sports ensure quality events?
Prem: M Sports already has an well experienced race director in me. He he he. Together with my wonderful team who are also well experienced, we would be able to oversee to a smooth execution of the event.
Therefore M Sports will ensure to plan and execute the events based on the criteria mentioned above to ensure the quality of a running event.
We must note that people do not plan to fail but they simply fail to plan. The famous quote by Benjamin franklin – If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail.
Question: What Do You Feel & Hope To Achieve for your first event under M Sports.
Prem: As always, A good event whereby people can get together and share their happiness. A wonderful runner’s experience and also cyclist experience.
Live. Run. Learn.
Running is simple, and yet it offers infinite possibilities. Our running milestones are what keeps us going on this magical journey of self-discovery. Occasionally, we need to stop, and smell the roses dotted along the course. We can choose to see the drinking glass as half-empty or half-full: I choose the latter…
About The Author
Gus is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach. As a sports writer, he has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia magazine, Cycling Malaysia magazine, Cycling Evolution magazine, Swim Bike Run magazine and more. LIKE Happy Runner and follow gusghani @Instagram