@gulf_bank #642marathon review 2016 @extremesportskw @q8sportsevents @gulfbank642

Better late than never!

I was honestly very happy with the run this year, I kept formulating in my mind how I’d say it is good to be heard and that a lot of the pitfalls of the last run were dealt with this time.

However, it seems that there will always be a new pitfall to be highlighted every year, and the organizers could not have selected a worse pitfall than this, for which I and many other participants will certainly take offence.

I am talking specifically about how the race pictures were subcontracted to an external company that hopes to charge runners for their finish line/ race photographs. In all my years in Kuwait, and all the running events I have participated in, never have I seen someone try to monetize the most important aspect of the run for participants. One might argue “well they do it in XYZ country”, I would counter by saying “not everyone” and that “XYZ country probably has a lot more races than Kuwait does during their calendar year”.

Read on:

Starting with the Con’s:

Inflated participation. Organizers claimed that 4,000 people ran that day. According to the results, the following numbers participated in the distances mentioned:

42KM (Marathon) – 147

21KM (Half Marathon) – 429

10KM – 1,060

5KM – 1,532

Grand total: 3,168

Money hungry. if one were to check the 642 Marathon website, one would be confused to find the results of this year with the photographs of last year, an error of Frankenstein-ian proportion (on accounts he was made up of sewn together limbs from various cadavers). It is only when you received an email saying “your race photos are now ready” that you come to the conclusion that the organizers, in their great wisdom, decided to outsource the photography function, thereby requesting participants to pay extra for their race photos! And the prices are in dollars, and the pictures cost almost as much the registration (for a few) and for all it costs more than the registration.

On the other hand, you have the Runq8 10KM run, they posted 6 albums with a total of over 4,000 pictures, for free, on their facebook page.

Problem is, I was looking forward to the finish line photos, as well as the actual run photos, as I was running in costume, alas.

Ungrateful runners. Despite being upset with the organizers, I made a promise to myself during the race that I would berate the participants for not being kind/polite to the volunteers. These people take time out of their lives to stand in the sun to offer you water/ food at refueling stations. The least you can do as a runner is smile and say thank you. Or if that is too taxing for you simply pat your chest like a gorilla.

Delayed start time. Race was 15 minutes late. Even worse, the countdown was extremely anticlimactic. Next time get a blow horn or a starting gun to give flavor.

Short distance. The half marathon was actually 20.83KM. Short by around 300M.

Pro’s:

Cool new medal design to make up for the repetition of the previous year (with difference only in color).

Better finishing line. removal of the sharp left turn at the finish line was a welcome surprise.

Maximized usage of non-essential road. to prevent closure of important roads, the 10, 21 & 42KM runners ran past the National Assembly all the way to KPC building almost to the intersection with route 85, reducing the need to block a major portion of the main road (route 25).

Good weather. Not attributed to the organizers.

Newly paved road. Also not attributed to the organizers.

I am not too ticked off with the event. It showed the resilience of the human spirit. I have not run a half marathon since the Spark Marathon earlier this year in January, I was afraid I’d be slow, however muscle memory kicked in, and I ended up finishing the race in a time similar to January, so I am one happy runner.

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