Asean Unity Run & Ride 2016 (AURR 2016) CANCELLED
This HIGH PROFILE Run & Ride event has come crashing down hard in flames. Spurred on by their success of last year’s inaugural event when a reported 10,000 runners joined-in, the organiser, Amman Malaysia together with Technical Partner, Twenty First Century Sports and Registration Partner, Runners Asia, had high hopes for equal success for this second edition. With prominent local bigwigs and UNICEF involvements, plus the support of Kementerian Belia & Sukan (KBS) and the Sports Minister KJ himself who attended the grand event launching earlier (read my previous coverage), AURR 2016 was looking promising and expectations were justifiably high. Alas, the high-hopes and confident optimism surrounding AURR 2016, has now been replaced by disappointment and damage-minimisation. What’s worse, the improper manner in which this unwanted episode has been handled has set a lousy precedent for future races. Why, so?! Read my personal views on this and see what you think about it…
RED FLAG RAISED
Firstly, I have no problem about event cancellations or postponements if they are conducted in a fair and professional manner.
However, I am not shy to express my personal views if I suspect that something is seriously wrong about certain episodes passed or actions taken which need to be highlighted, improved and/or prevented in the future. Whether my expressed views are right, wrong or uncertain, I leave it up to you, readers, to decide for yourself.
SORRY IS THE HARDEST WORD
Here are the reasons why the AURR 2016 had ruffled my feathers in more ways than one:-
Take a look at the official statement below and tell me if you can see the word “sorry” anywhere. First and foremost, when you DRASTICALLY change the agreed contents of any event, you must APOLOGISE to your paying customer. This is not an exercise in saving your face, but it is about showing respect to the thousands of Runners and Cyclists who have sacrificed their hard-earned money to pay the registration fee, and they have already arranged their busy schedule to attend your event on the promised date. You don’t need to bow deeply like the Japanese do or grovel, just a simple and sincere, “We are deeply sorry to announce…”, will suffice.
Changing an actual run to a virtual run is not “good news” for the participants, far from it because they were all looking forward to be merrily engaged and entertained on race day by the actual activities which were supposed to be arranged painstakingly by AURR 2016. That was the deal-maker.
A Virtual Run & Ride is totally different to Actual Run & Ride. People’s motives and reasons to take partake in Virtual Events are not necessarily the same for their reasons to join Real Events. Furthermore, to even suggest that by switching last-minute from Reality to Virtual is a good or comparable offering is at best INCORRECT and at worst, it’s DEPLORABLE.
However, you can say that switching to a Virtual Run & Ride, rather than an outright event CANCELLATION, is “good news” for the organiser because they can try to convince the participants to take a lesser value deal without losing the entry fees. Plus, the organiser can get rid of the event T-shirts and medals which I have already been manufactured by hocking it to new prospects.
The official statement on event “recalibration” was only sent-out by email and posted on Runners Asia website. While their official FB Page was suddenly deleted without prior notification.
“Unavoidable circumstances” is just not good enough to cancel an event. The organiser owes a better and more transparent explanation to the Public because it involves a money trail. People may not agree with your reasons, but they will respect you for your honesty.
Previously, the media was given full and timely press release of event launching by the organiser. However, no news were fed to me about these latest significant changes! I only found-out about it by accident. I can just imagine the reactions of my friends and readers who registered after reading my event preview, “What lah, you, Gus.. you recommend lousy event to us!”. Yesterday, I have sent an explanation request to AURR, but I am not holding my breath for a reply.
What I would really hate to see is other event organisers following the same unprofessional actions as AURR, “They did it…so, why can’t we?!”. So, let’s put a stop to this unwanted practices before it grows!
ONE SILVER LINING
The one important thing that was done right by AURR was the offer for full refund. If you are seeking a refund, please follow closely the official instructions in the photo attached and YOU MUST SUBMIT FULL REFUND REQUEST BEFORE THE DEADLINE OF 31st October 2016. After that date, nobody can help you!
IS RECALIBRATING THE EVENT INTO A VIRTUAL RUN & RIDE (AVRR 16)!
Good News for all – FREE Delivery for Race Kits!!
ALL REGISTERED RUNNERS are NOT required to come to the Race Kit Collection scheduled on 15th and 16th October.
Your Race-kit will be DELIVERED to your address for FREE!
THERE IS NO EVENT ON THE 6th November 2016.
MESSAGE FROM THE AURR2016 ORGANIZER, AMAN MALAYSIA.
Greetings to all participants,
Due to unavoidable circumstances , Aman Malaysia is recalibrating our AURR16 event scheduled on 6th Nov 2016 at Dataran Putrajaya into a ‘Virtual Run & Ride’.
This is very good news as we received overwhelming requests on ‘Virtual Run & Ride’. Kindly share this news with your family & friends to participate by joining this event – by making it your year-end fitness goal!
Kindly see below to know more!
ASEAN VIRTUAL RUN & RIDE 2016 (AVRR16)
1. Participants can choose to run and ride at anytime and anywhere to your convenience, between 9th to 25th December 2016.
2. All participants are required to wear the Event Tshirt during your AVRR16. This is compulsory.
3. Once your AVRR16 is completed, email the following items to firstname.lastname@example.org
a) A photo proof of your AVRR16
b) A screenshot of the distance from your GPS/Running App (OPTIONAL)
4. All participants are required to submit the above by 29 December 2016. Any late submissions after the stipulated date will strictly NOT be entertained.
5. Finishers will be receiving their Finisher Medals by end January 2017 via postage.
NEVER TOO LATE TO SAY SORRY
Okay, it’s time for me to sign-off. Now that you have the full picture, you can DO THE RIGHT THING which may not necessarily be the best thing…
To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless specified otherwise.
About The Author
Gus Ghani is a HIIT Fitness Coach and Ambassador for Elliptigo Malaysia, N8 Sports Nutrition and AfterShokz Malaysia.
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