Malaysia Women Marathon 2019 (MWM 2019) Runners Suffer Major Hiccups!
What’s The Problem?
Many frustrated runners complained about MWM 2019 race on social media after Sunday’s race which was held for the first time at Padang Timur, Petaling Jaya instead of the original Shah Alam.
The following are complaints cited by the irate runners :-
- Insufficient Distance & Route Markers along the race route.
- Lacking of road marshals along the race route.
- Road marshals & volunteers gave wrong direction to runners in cases.
- Runners were told to stop for traffic at certain junctions.
- At certain location, runners felt scared because they had to run in the middle lane which was flanked on either side by moving road vehicles.
- 10km Runners were impeded by merging 5km runners.
- Chaos when 42km, 21km, 10km & 5km merged near finish line.
- No guidance by marshals/volunteers and signs to show the right lane for respective runners when approaching finish line which confused runners.
- No guidance and proper signs to show where to queue for 42km, 21km, 10km & 5km medals.
- Chaotic distribution of medals & tees caused 1 hour to 30 minutes waiting time under the hot sun.
- Insufficient number of tables & volunteers to collect Medals & Tees.
- No contingency plan for muddy race venue.
- More long queues to collect goodies and carry with bare hands when goodies should have been distributed during race kit collection.
- No effective control of goodies collection which meant some runners were able to take more giveaway items resulting from shortage for others.
- 42km Runners who opted for 30km chicken loop were not provided e-cert as promised.
- Some 21km Finishers did not received medal and were told that the medals ran out.
- Some 5km Runners were wrongly given 21km medals.
- Some runners did not receive the finisher T-shirt and some were given wrong Tees.
- REPC (Runners Entitlement Pack Collection) were held on weekdays only when some Participants can only collect on weekends. The last minute option to collect on Saturday race eve day is a long & inconvenient process.
- Mobile toilets were too far and few along race route.
- Many frustrated and tired runners left race venue early because they were just fed up by the lack of support from organiser, long queues and muddy shoes.
Recurring Fixable Problems
Every year, there are invariably complaints by MWM runners, and every year, the same old comments appear such as, “I hope the organiser learn from their mistakes, and improve next year”, or, “I’m going to boycott this event!”
Making mistakes is forgivable but repeating the same ones over and over again, especially if you’ve had 7 years experience is downright shameful for the Malaysia Running scene and outright insulting to the paying runners. Surely, being the only marathon for women, much more care and attention is required by the organisers to give deserving women the best running event of which Malaysians can be proud.
Face The Music
It’s ironic that Malaysia Women Marathon claims to champion the empowering of women, when the reality is a huge let down. I am sure that genuine women runners, like their male counterparts, are concerned about joining and supporting a running event which meets their basic demands of effective event and race management for the convenience, enjoyment & safety of all participants. After all, the materialistic value of a fancy medal or even Tees is zero when the basic runners needs are not first meant, and the Participants are left with unsavoury experience in the end.
A failed event let down all parties involved and associated to it, and the Organising Committee must take full responsibility for all the shortcomings for the sake of their current & future supporters.
Now, there must be a process of deep and honest self-analysis and self assessment before a new MWM blueprint is created because the old plan is clearly not working. A complete overhaul of MWM looks necessary in order to salvage and to steer their brand into the future.
Never Give Up
Organising a marathon event with thousands of Participants and co-ordinating with all the relevant authorities, partners, sponsors and suppliers is damn hard.
Organisers must have the acumen, skills, resources and money to stage a good, never mind, fantastic, running experience for the masses.
When MWM is still making basic mistakes after 7 years of race organising experience, this a bad sign that something fundamental is wrong at its organisational core. It’s not so much a case of back to the drawing board, but MWM must return to running event organisation kindergarten to relearn, re-organise and remake if the future of women marathoners is to be saved…
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 explicitly specified otherwise.
About The Author
Gus Ghani is the Founder of Running Toons and Virtual Sports ; a HIIT Fitness Coach, and Magazine Columnist. He has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia Magazine, and Cycling Malaysia Magazine. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE.
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