Posted On 10 Sep 2020
Can BKC accommodate so many runners is a moot point of discussion. Also what are safety precautions to prevent the HM runners doing 02.05 or faster from being elbowed by the 10K back???
I have had an incident & thus this is not a story…
TLDR: Too many variables in the event and hence cannot assure
1. I was sitting in a music program yesterday in an auditorium and saw how my experience in such a controlled environment can also be less than perfect.
– The A/c draft was on my head
– The seat was towards the edges and did not give me a center point of view
– A cameraman plonked his tripod in my line of vision
– My wife had a tall bald head in front of her
– There were too many folks who were walking around. Either late comers or fidgety folks who were going in and out.
2. Take a typical wedding scene.
– There can be a long queue to meet the couple
– All chairs could be taken leaving you with no chairs
– Your dessert item could get over
– The valet could take a long time to get your car
The reason I am giving you these two examples is that even in tightly managed environments, in a MASS participation event, it is very difficult to ensure individual experiences.
Every event organiser/wedding host tries to do the best for his runner/guests. Everyone plans well and takes are that their participants must not have cause for complaint.
3 In the WNC Navy HM
– We have to run in BKC. The city has not other broad roads to offer. This is it..take it or leave it is the choice
– The HM, 10K and 5K have to be run within a small area like a jilebi squiggle. The overall distance as the crow flies is not more than 4 kms. The only advantage is that the ambulance can reach any part of the course faster.
– The HM HAS to be 2 loops. 10K has to run on the same loop. No choice.
– Roads are being dug up and lanes are being closed for Metro work. Again no choice
– In terms of timings, both events have to be run in the dawn hours. Start too early and runners will not get their photos ( which they expect as a matter of right, even when the event did not promise it as a deliverable ) due to darkness. Start too late and everyone will moan of the heat and humidity. Plus the police want you to clear the roads before the city starts its day.
– So, in the planning process we have a geographical and time crunch.
4. The planning improvements
– In the planning of the event we have left no stone unturned to see that the runner has a good experience.
– After the Nov 2018 event, our first meeting for the 2019 event happened in March 2019….yes as early as that.
– In the very first year itself we started the run in the opposite direction. Towards US Consulate as against the usual towards NSE flag off. This lead to de-lumping of the runners since it offered a 4 Km three lane road for the faster runners to push ahead.
– we asked for timings and made corrals to give runners a wave start so that faster runners have an early start.
– We have booked the entire grounds, 5 parking lots to handle the numbers and arrivals.
– We have asked for mode of arrival to incorporate it into the planning process.
– We do a route simulation. Our proprietary software can predict how many runners will be there at each point of the race and judge whether the route can handle that. We do invest a lot.
– We built a foot over bridge ( another first time ) for runners to arrive and leave, unhindered.
In short, we do everything we can. But we cannot assure every individual will have a stellar experience.
The phrase ‘caveat emptor’ is not appropriate here. Rather ‘ individual mileage may vary’