Friday, July 3, 2009

ATHLETICS: KL Marathon organiser admits to shortcomings

Source : NST
3/7/09
ATHLETICS: KL Marathon organiser admits to shortcomings

DEVINDER SINGH



STANDARD Chartered KL Marathon organiser Octagon Asia has admitted to shortcomings in its handling of the event last Sunday even as more details of the fiasco emerged.
Race director Hemant Dua, Octagon's director for Southeast Asia and India, yesterday apologised for the technical and logistical issues which saw water stations run dry, runners getting lost and the apparent misdirection of the 5km runners to the 3km route.

But it has also emerged that the timing system used to record the times of the runners led to the confusion in declaring the winners of the various categories.

The official results released by the organisers yesterday, four days after the end of the race, omitted the local men's marathon category which became the centre of dispute after second placed Shaharuddin Hashim was declared the winner instead of R. Muniandy, the first Malaysian to cross the finish line.

The women's international category was also not spared with the organiser taking three days to settle the dispute over the third placed finisher, which a source said led to a bust-up between the two Kenyans concerned.
But after a barrage of criticism by runners on the social networking site Facebook, Octagon issued an apology with a pledge to rectify the errors for future races.

"Octagon, as the event organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009, acknowledges that there were technical and logistical issues that affected a number of runners," said Dua in a statement on the event website www.kl-marathon.com.

"As the race director, I would like to apologise to runners who had a bad experience connected to the marathon. It was never our intention to cause any distress.

"We have always aimed to provide a positive and memorable experience for runners in Malaysia.

"We have taken all your feedback and this will go towards improving the standard and experience for all runners next year."

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