Having participated in the full marathon and several 10K in previous KLIM events, I decided to signed up for the 21K this year. I was not targeting to break any records as my training was only minimal and I reckon I could complete it within the specified time frame. From the onset, I had already decided to run at an easy pace and enjoy the scenery.
While waiting inside the enclosure for the start of the event, the Powerbar booth caught my attention and I thought that I had better equipped myself with a packet of Powergel for that energy boost to compensate for my inadequate training. I requested the help my friend, Sok Ying who has not yet been confined in the enclosure to get me one.
5K into the race, there was a water station where I consumed the packet of Powergel which I purchased earlier. When I reached the next station probably at the 7.5K mark, I was rather amazed that there was no water served at a sponging station as usually there would be. Some runners were so desperate that they resorted to drinking the water from the sponge and some even drank from what was balance in the discarded bottles on the roadside. It was such a pitiful sight. I just swallowed whatever saliva I could generate to dampen my throat. I consoled myself that there will be water supply in the next station. About 100meters before reaching the 10K water station, some Powerbar staff was handing out packets of Powergel. I was glad yet worried about the water supply as the gel was a thick and sticky substance to swallow. I almost consumed it but my 6th sense told me that I had better wait till I reach the water station before consuming it lest there is no water again. True enough when I reached the 10K water station, the officials said the water supply has finished. I was baffled. Water is such a basic and crucial commodity especially in long distance running. It was disappointing that runners gave their support by participating in the event but get this type of poor treatment. Runners should not have to worry about inadequate water and carry their own supply. That’s not an international event anymore. Furthermore, runners could have ended up sick drinking unboiled water from the sponge or even die from dehydration.
As I reached the last 150 metres towards the end, I noticed a DBKL van cruising alongside the runners. I thought it was not in the good interest of the runners as usually most runners would turbo towards the finishing line.
Walking back to my car, I could hear the wailing sirens of the ambulance and I surmised that some of the casualties are cases of dehydration.
Hopefully in future, the KLIM organizers could improve on the following:
1. Water supply should be abundant at both refreshment and sponging stations
2. Powergel distribution should be made known in the leaflet
3. Finishing area should be restricted from passing vehicles.
4. Distance markers should be put at every 2K.
Brought to you by Leslie