Sunday, April 17

Energizer NightMARE Race- From The View of A Non-Runner

Have you heard of the most sensational, most-discussed and also most-criticized event in town?

Yups, it's the ENERGIZER NIGHT RACE 2011, held in the Sepang International Circuit yesterday (16 April 2011). You can have a look on some of these prominent blogs for insight view from the runners (participants): TianChad, Places and Foods, and The Backpackr.

You can also view the Energizer Night Race Official Facebook page and look at the never-ending comments.

And also on the BOYCOTT ENERGIZER NIGHT RACE Facebook page.

But I'll try not to focus on their wrath and fury on the event. I'll tell you my story of what happened that night.

About 7pm, we arrived at the Sepang International Circuit. Parking was chaotic despite the police attending the traffic. However, we managed to find a parking at somewhere near the entrance to the carnival. Thankfully, our parking for that night is FREE. (Hundreds others are being charged RM10 for parking yesterday).

Feeling enthusiastic, the two runners who i came to cheer on cant wait to start their race. I brought my parents along because they have never been to Sepang International Circuit before.

Initially, we were surprised to see that there's some stalls. This is good for us non-participants because we can have some snacks and drinks while waiting for the runners to complete their run.

The whole area was packed. I saw people having headlights and asked my sister, "hey, where's your headlights?", she say she didn't have one. We went to search for the directory instead.

The directory was helpless. It doesn't contain any information other than race collection kit. It is also useless as it does not point on where is the start/end point, and which gate the runners should enter.

The agenda is as follows:-

I guess things didn't go as per written in the agenda. I was standing near the stage waiting for warm up, but nothing happened (Maybe i missed it, perhaps i'm late). But then on stage, there's a group of drummers responsible to usher the runners to the starting point. It reminds me of a scenario in "Pied Piper of Hamelin"

After waiting on the grounds for some time, we entered the pitt with other runners. We found a spot to see the starting point from a far, and note how dark it is...

The race started! I took note of the time and found out that the organizers had not followed the time schedule. Different categories of run had been let off with a close time gap. I was wondering how can they coordinate the different categories because runners will be mixed up.

The headlight is the "highlight" of the race. Lightening up the dark area of the surrounding. The headlight is really beautiful.

However, i was curious as well to see that some runners are running without the headlights. Isn't it dark? It is dangerous as well (in case of falling into drains or holes). The lights can serve as an emergency signal in the dark for the runners in case of trouble.

Found my sis and tianchad... Too bad its blurrred..

After the 5.5km runners had left, I brought my parents for a walk, describing about this event and place. However, a rude lady MC's voice bellowed "PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT RELATED PLEASE GET OUT OF THE PIT STOP AREA. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE HERE"

I was curious, is she asking us to get out? Then my dad was frustrated because she keep "yelling" for us to get out of there. There are a few supporters like us in that area, waiting to welcome the runners back. However, i felt that her intonation is really rude.

Before going up, we went in the media room (located on 1st floor). The 1st batch of runners had returned and weird thing is, they exited the running track. (Since 5.5km had just left, i assumed that the runners are from 11km that should go two rounds of the circuit). I saw that none of the officials stopped to ask the runners why they exited the course.

Then we went out for an outdoor movie screening and some snacks.

We watched Transformers 1 finish and the starting of Transformers 2. You can imagine how long we sat there and the runners aren't out yet. My parents are complaining about backache and legache for waiting too long already. Then, 4 police cars entered. My mom overheard some runners conversation that a riot broke out due to the distribution of the goody bags.

While waiting again, a man drenched in sweat came running to us, he was speaking in a disoriented way. We were puzzled. He kept going in rounds and asking the guards where is the direction to complete the 42km race. He says that he is the first runner and could not find any guide to the end point.

After all the hoo haa and ruckus settled, we then thought of the man. He must be a contestant for the 42km race and had lost his way. It's so bad that the race had to be this way. There were not enough guides and markers along the race, causing a confusion. The man looked really wet, and lack of breath! We spotted him running around asking guards but the guards couldn't help him. Imagine how much cash prize he had lost due to this (if he really was the 1st runner).

After waiting 3 hours 30mins, my sis finally emerge with a heavy sigh. The organizers were really horrible for not fulfilling their words.
1. No medals or certs for race finishers
2. No light refreshments as promised.
3. No finishing T Shirt as promised.
4. Not enough headlamps for all the runners
5. Not enough drinking stations and wet sponge station.
6. Not enough medics. Supposingly there's medic station.

The runners left the race with hungry stomach, and feeling bitter. Me and my parents left with an eye-opening experience.

I have been following closely the updates for this event. Waiting for the organizer or Energizer to speak up about this issue. Instead of tackling this issue effectively and voice apology, criticism and comments on their official Facebook page has been deleted. This does NOT solve the problem, but trigger even more fury from the people.

So now, the race has officially started:
So, who do you think will win this race?

Nicole MsXeroZ~! muackz!


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Rileen Chua said...

the race definitely has just started. really want to know how the story will unfold in the end. but one thing for sure is... being more cautious in signing up for races. because never have we heard of a race as bad at this.

thankfully there were no deaths (only injuries). ina way, the organizers really had it lucky.

(and for the tunnel of death, i think its fortunate to say that most people are athletes, thats why most could withstand the bad ventilation)

Reanaclaire said...

Hello..coming by to leave my footmarks here...
this is the 2nd time i came across runs like this which are not organized very well... yesterday i read a post about a Mr. Lim collapsing and died bec there were no proper medic around to help.. he was only in his 20s.. said...

hw cn thy fool around with ppl's lives... ==

Nana Eddy said...

waaahhh! i only found this today!! It has been so many months after. lols. I really fail at keeping up to date. Energizer is quite a big corp. how can they let things be like this? weird~