Monday, January 12, 2009

A curious lack of bonhomie

More thoughts on the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon...

About "briefing" the runners 10 seconds before the starter gun? Next time, take the trouble to mark the route efficiently so they can concentrate on the running rather than the navigation. Asking them to work out where to turn right is ridiculous, to say the least.

About the total lack of order and discipline at the starting line, the less said the better.

And should the TV camera have been right on the track as runners were coming in? Some of them had to swerve to avoid crashing into the anchor person.

The much vaunted stalls looked more like a job fair than the other, fun kind. Who wants to buy a mobile connection or magazine subscription an hour before midnight?

The Bengaluru Midnight Marathon was well attended, much publicized and has some history behind it. Yet, the event itself was a bit disconnected and disappointing. There were a million ambulances (ran into the physiotherapist who came with us on the Tour of Nilgiris), fairy lights along the route, TV cameras, spot prizes, live bands, a huge crowd drinking coffee and eating Cafe Coffee Day puff pastries, but there was no sense of "one mind, many bodies" that an event like this should have had.

People cheered loud and long at the start and finish, but the volume was not commensurate with the numbers. But I didn't stay to the end, perhaps the vibe kicked in after two in the morning. It was certainly loud enough for those who were living in the area. Which brings me to - if you're going to have a major event through the night and closing part of the road, have the courtesy to inform the local inhabitants. Just a little article in the newspaper would do. And it's very laudable to run for good causes, but if you have to park haphazardly, block exits and litter residential areas to do it, you're not achieving very much.

To those who've said to me that I should appreciate the scale instead of finding fault, I would like to say - Bangalore Habba, Vasanthhabba, Freedom Jam, every college festival, the state sports meets at Kanteerva stadium, the district sports meets in other places... others have done it and they've all done it better. All you have to do is spend some of the sponsorship money on the best professional help. Everything is not about the prize money; it's also about the experience.

(The only bit of the band I heard was a strange rendition of Roadhouse Blues but that was just as it should be - it was a peaceful, familiar feeling to stroll around my old school grounds with dubious musicians on the microphone.)


Mahesh Shantaram said...

Such a disappointment especially after the mightily successful TFN, isn't it? There's enough material for a case study in the use of sponsorship money.

Hey, I've enjoyed reading your blog so far. Keep it coming!

Anonymous said...

Did you run. I did run 5 km one. Sad we did nt meet.

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