Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marina21K Sucks Big Time

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Posted on Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marina21K Sucks Big Time
Last Saturday, the first ever Marina21K took place. I was one of the late registrants and I was a bit hesistant to register since it is their first event. The registration fee for Marina21K is $58 and it is one of the highest registration fee.  And I must say that they overcharged for the many failures of the running event.

Let me start with the race pack. Compared to the other race that I have joined, the only thing that they have provided in the race pack is the bib. And the others are just sponsors brochures and vouchers that aren't interesting at all. They didn't even include the running singlet.

Transportation to the venue was okay. They have provided a shuttle bus from Mountabatten MRT to the Bay East at the Gardens by the Bay. I didn't wait that much so that was great. Even their last cut off time for the trip was 11 PM, they still have accommodated a lot of runners.

Now to the baggage deposit and claiming. Just like the other races, they have segregated counters based on running bibs. The problem was the long queue and their faulty system. Depositing my bag was okay even with the long queue. But claiming it back was herendrous. First, I was in a queue but after a while I noticed that people rushed in front while flashing their running bibs. I was on the correct counter but they cannot find my bag. I went on the other side and asked the help of two staffs. They weren't able to find my bag so I had no choice but to eyeball my own bag. I was able to find it and pointed it out to one staff.

Now to the route and the half-marathon. According to the website, I'm on the 4th Wave scheduled at 8 PM. I was near the starting line stretching when the emcee announced the start of Wave 4. It was only 7:40 PM and I thought that it was Wave 3 and the emcee just had a mistake. I went to get water to hydrate myself. While I was drinking, I heard the emcee said that it was the last wave so I rushed myself to the starting line. I was 10 minutes late.

The first kilometer was great. The new Gardens by the Bay is awesome. The view of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer and the new structure near MBS is fantastic. There were even fireworks during the first 2 kilometers of the race. That was so awesome! For the bad part, I really don't like the idea of running on narrow paths and running on uneven soil with grass. They were also areas which smelled heavy urine!  By the way, I also did not notice any markers after the 3 kilometers mark. Very organized indeed! Anyway, what I hated the most is that for the half-marathon, runners have to repeat the same loop.

When I reached the finish line, they gave out the finisher medal. I looked for the goodie bag section and I just followed the people queueing for the finisher shirt. There were queues based on size. When I asked for a small shirt, they told me that they ran out already. I still can recall that when I register, I indicated my finisher shirt size. How can they ran out, right? I had no choice but to get the medium shirt. Every run, they gave out bottled water and a banana but the only thing that I saw was the free water. They ran out of bananas as well! My god! And I paid $58 for the shirt and the cheap looking medal. The medal wasn't even at par with the other medals that I have.

Runners of the Marina21K deserve a refund of at least $30. And I won't run again for them next year if they will have one.

By the way, I was using my Nike+ GPS and Nike+ sensor during the run. My iPhone battery went dead after the 15 kilometers mark. Thankfully, I was able to track my record by the Nike+ sensor. I finished my run by 2 hours 35 minutes based on my Nike+ time. Marina21K hasn't able to post yet the official time of each runner. Aiyo!

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