Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Report: Shah Alam - Adidas KOTR 2008

By Julie Wong
Mobile no : (6) 016 228 4088


Two months ago, I was looking forwad to my 2nd half marathon - KOTR 2008. My 1st was KLIM 2008 which I clocked 3hr 12mins. I managed to gather almost 20 people to sign up but most of them only wanted to run the 10K but managed to convinced Andrew for the half marathon.

And the much awaited day arrived. On Friday (08-08-08 - what an auspiciuos day!), I took the STAR LRT from Pandan Jaya to Sri Petaling. Joyce was waiting at the station when I arrived. We were 10 minutes early at PKNS. The organiser just arrived and was still busy setting up the counter. A small crowd of not less than 50 people already in waiting!

Wow! What a chaotic morning! The staffs were inexperience and still in a daze. There was only one counter for each category. With more than 20 collection cards, I was lucky that Joyce tagged along. So, we split up to 2 different counters to collect running bibs and vests on behalf of our friends.

NOW, here come the FLIP FLOP and my biggest disappointment!


Only ONE counter for each category
Tho I was 1st in line at counter B, I was not allowed to collect the running bib for category C which is just next to it.
Hence, I was asked to line up at the next counter again. When it was my turn, they couldn't find the name on their list. Again, I was referred to another counter to get confirmation and the whole process started again. The whole process of collecting 20 bibs and vest took us two and a half hours! That was with the help of Joyce. So can you imagine if I was alone doing this task!

POWERBAR Sponsorship
POWERBAR had a small counter beside the collection counter. But there wasn't any signboard around to inform runners that half marathoners are entitle to a piece of POWERBAR. Was later told there was a small note on the table. Many missed this due to ignorance and/or lack of information by the sponsor and organisers. And so, I lost 3pcs of Powerbars!

Different Collection Counter for Students
I really pity those who were given the run around by the organiser. Why can't they coordinate all collection under the same roof?


As many of my friends were in the 10K category, I have no choice but to find my way there. Booked a taxi on Saturday night and stayed over in Subang Jaya (my godson's house) and left at 5.45am with Agatha. I quickly put on my newly collected Adidas running vest while waiting for others to collect their running bibs. Deposited my bag at the Baggage tent, headed towards the washroom which is just behind the tent. I was lucky not many ladies in there. I thought I had 15 minutes so I took my time walking out of the building. Then suddenly, I heard the gun shot. Gosh, where is the entrance to that 'kandang"? I was one of the few at the very far end when I finally 'checked in'.

1st Waterstation was pack with 10k runners and Marathoners
It was cool as we ran the first few kilometres. The 1st water station (I think this have to be the 5th km) only served 100PLUS. Took a cup and quickly continued with the run before the sunrise. Here, the 10K and 7K runners joined us on the same route. So, can you imagine the crowd at the water station!

No officials to direct runners on 3 different routes - 22.7K, 10K & 7K
I wasn't sure how far I ran when I saw some runners in the Veteran Category making a U-TURN, running in the opposite direction. GOSH! They missed the 7K junction! Not surprising because there wasn't any official to direct the runners!

Safety on the Road
I lost count on the number of roundabouts on the entire journey. They should put barrier along some stretches to ensure that vehicles were being kept away from the inner lane for runners. At some of the roundabouts, runners have to be on the lookout for vehicles on the road. Tho' all runners have signed an indemnity against the organisers, does this means the organisers can put the lives of thousands of runners at risk on the road!!

Medical Aids
Many have been said about medical aids during road races. This got to be the worst! What exactly is the role of those Pertahanan Awam officials. They didn't control the traffic nor provide medical aids. There was 2 young students in white uniform in the 1st 10km stretch and the next was at the Permai roundabout. Again, if any runners need any medical help, well you run at your own RISK! Thats how cheap life is, my dear running mates!

Water stations and Sponging stations
When I saw the sign '12km', there was a water station at site but, sorry no more cups! They wanted to close the counter but as one runner insisted, he just gave him a bottle. So, many of us just shared and pour a mouthful before continuing our journey. Later, I was glad that I took the one mouthful from that bottle.

Down the road, probably after 10 or 20 minutes, I saw another signboard '12km' again. Hello, can you make up your mind? And my nightmare begin............. no more water station till the finishing line.

There was another sponging station down the road but I suspected that they may have recycled the sponges as most have sands and dirt on it. Later, I was told by one of the runners that he was so thirsty that he resorted to squeeze from the sponges for drinking water!


The last 2km must be the toughest for those who took more than 2.5 hours to complete the race. Many were dragging themselves to the finishing line. Exactly 3:01:37, I stepped on the finishing line. I was handed a cert and a medal. Finishing at 44th positioning under the Women Veteran category. Was greeted by Joyce with a cup of 100PLUS (I sms-ed her earlier that I'm dying of thirst). That was my most treasured drinks! Thank you, Joyce. She told me that there was a tussle at the drink station due to shortage to drinks (water).

Just wonder why did the officials hold on tights to all those finisher medals instead of giving them away to all marathoners who completed the race tho' they may not finished within the qualifying time. It was just a plain medal with the wording 'Half Marathon Finisher' without any mention on the different categories.

The 2 sisters from the Slowmovers then asked the officer to spare them a medal each as a token for their 'hard work'. At first she was reluctant but after much persuasion, she gave one to each of them. When we asked them for 2 more for our other friends from the Men category, they refused saying that they only have extra for women category. Mind you, they had 3 plastic bags which contained not less than 50 medals in each bag. We stayed on till the very last marathoners reaching the finishing line. So, why are they keeping all the extra medals?

What a Flip Flop event by an International Sport brand and a State Athletics sanctioning body!

I guess GOD must have 'read' my email to bless such a great weather during the race. Thank you GOD for your understanding and kind thought.

The only plus point about KOTR is the running vest. Value for money. But I should have paid rn15 instead of rm25 for the same vest and need not suffer for the extra 12.7km. I am a lousy business woman but will be smarter the next time.

And, I hereby solemnly declare my RETIREMENT from future KOTR Half Marathon.


Anonymous said...

Why you need to collect EXTRA medals for your men friends? When not given, then say the organiser no good.

You running or collecting vests and doing business at the same time? Run for yourself or the vest? Must make then you happy is it? Pay more run more, think about it this way. Not pay less, run less also get same vest. Sigh!!!!

jue said...

dear anonymous,

care to intro yourself?

Q: why need collect extra medals for the men?
i don't need to collect the extra medal. and i don't know where i chuck my medal also). but since i saw them holding so many extra medals, i just asked them why not give away to those who finished the race as a token and encouragement for them. afterall, why keep the medals when they have already allocated for the race. recycle for next year???? hhhhmmmmm .....

Q: collect vests and doing business?
i am a social runner only nia. register and collect running bibs (and t-shirts/vests) for others as a favor and totally at my own expense. i will consider your suggestion to charge for doing this.. good business leh. many of us do this for our running mates but don't know lah if you charge your friends when you do the same!

for your info, i never bother about those running vest or t-shirts. i donated almost all to charity for sale.

please read what i wrote slooooowwwwly and try to digest ler. i complain about the organisational skill and the safety measure of the organiser. if you still fail to understand, i can buy you teh tarik and roti canai and answer your question or elaborate why.

no hard feeling lah brother ..ooppss or sister...

are you part of the organiser ah? heheheheeeeeee