KUALA LUMPUR: All registered participants of the Energizer Night Race KL 2011 will receive full refunds on their registration fees following problems faced during the event which took place last Saturday at the Sepang International Circuit.
Energizer Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which was the title sponsor, also apologised to all participants in a press statement. The event, which attracted almost 10,000 runners, had received a lot of flak from many participants who vented their frustrations and anger at various social networks on the Internet.Among the complaints were the shortage of head torches which each contestant were told they would get, lack of drink stations and a lack of directional signs along the route. The participants were also upset that there was no prior notification to inform them that a RM10 parking fee would be imposed.Some of the complainants also posted pictures and videos on the Internet showing the crowd turning rowdy at the goodie bag counter as the queue was too long.A video clip showed goodie bags being thrown to the crowd.There were also claims of poor distribution of medals and certificates to participants who completed the race within the stipulated time. Other complaints include the shortage of marshals along the routes and a lack of medical assistance. Some also claimed that the master of ceremonies was not tactful when trying to disperse the crowd. They said there was also no announcement of the winners and the prize giving ceremony.
On the other hand, there were also posts on various Internet sites which blamed the participants for their unruly behaviour which led to the chaos.
Energizer Malaysia said details of the refund would be announced on Friday through the Energizer Night Race website (http://www.energizernightrace.com.my/) and also via Facebook at (http://www.facebook.com/EnergizerNightRaceMalaysia).The night run was conducted over a distance of 5.5km, 11km, 21km and 42km and participants had to pay registration fees ranging from RM65 to RM75 per person.
G. Rajaseelan, 31, who took part in the 11km run, said the race was poorly managed. He also blamed the participants for misbehaving.
Rajaseelan said he was not notified prior to the run about the RM10 parking fee which he felt was too costly. He said the Rela officers stationed at the car parks were collecting RM10 from motorists and he was not given a receipt for the parking fee.
Rajaseelan received his free head torches from the organisers but many participants did not. He also saw participants taking the head torches in bulk.
"There was only one guy distributing the head torches and I saw participants taking the head torches from him.
"This caused a shortage of head torches for other contestants. The head torches were important because the race routes were dark," he said.
Rajaseelan said the flag off for the 42km race went off smoothly. But contestants for the 21km, 10km and the 5.5km races were confused and lost due to poor directional signs.
He also claimed that there was only one medical booth and this was situated far from the running circuit. Injured participants, he claimed, were sprayed with mosquito repellent instead of anti-cramp spray.
It was also claimed that towards the end of the race, the police had to be called in to disperse the crowd.
Yim Heng Fatt, 41, who took part in the 42km race said the poorly organised run could have posed a danger to the runners.
He said part of the race routes were not lit and runners could have injured themselves due to poor visibility and lack of head torches.
Yim claimed that a friend's husband had collapsed near the finish line but there was no medical team to assist him. He was also upset that there was a lack of drink stations throughout the race and none at the finish line.
"Imagine after completing 42km and you are dehydrated but there are no drinks available at the finish line. Dehydration can cause death," he said.
Yim claimed he only received two check point markers and ran the rest of the routes with no markers provided.
"There were no marshals to give us the markers during the run. Some of the runners lost count of the number of rounds and ended up running either more or fewer rounds," he said.
Runners were also told to walk through a connecting tunnel with poor ventilation to the grandstand area.
"My friends and I were beginning to feel claustrophobic because the crowd was not moving inside the tunnel. The tunnel was stuffy and warm.
"I later found out that the organisers were giving out the head torches at the end of the tunnel. Why pick that spot when there was ample of space at the circuit? It was just bad planning," said Yim.
Jess Ross Francis Xavier posted on the Energizer Night Race Malaysia facebook that she was also frustrated over the run. But it saddened her to see people trying to exploit the matter.
"We were there for the love of the run. I even see a post urging people never to use Energizer batteries again. What has the batteries got to do with the night race?" she said.
Info from:- http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/2enre/Article/