Lessons from Chennai Marathon 2008.
It was a tension free weekend for Students, Corporates, Sports personalities, Daily joggers, Crowd creators, Crowd watchers.People started assembling from 6 AM, at about 8 am the head count was around 60000 approximately (my assumption of taking 20000 people every 1 km. The participants were gathered from island ground till pallavan house.
As usual I found difficult to find my coordinator from Lok Paritran, the only political party participated in the event. The mobile network was jam, it was a bit difficult to get my group. 7 km event was delayed by 40 minutes due to late arrival of chief guest's. Actor Surya was special guest and Actor Nepolian were chearing the participants.
Surya presence was a boosting climate for young people :), crowd was heavy & most participants were not able to intitate the run, Announcements were just warning tones, rather than chearing the crowed and broadcasting the message "Quality/Education for all ". Creating an inspiration among targeting community was missing.
Before the event began, I have noticed an old aged was men was in sports wear to participate in the event. I felt happy loooking at him for his enthusiasm, atlast the (run)walk began, only few were intiated to run and most enjyoed the weekend walk with friends among.( i am not sure most marathons are the run the same way).
With little enthusiasm in my mind I ran slowly for 3Km continiously and return to the venue(Palm grove ground) via the war memorial.
Exactly at 9.0 there was an another special marathon event was about to begin for Physically challenged and veterens.
Physically challenged participants were waiting for chief guests to whistle, Mrs.Kanimozhi flaged off the event, participants were in real race, most executives from Siram properties were chearing up the crowd, alongwith Mrs.Kanimozhi.
As the run came an end, my intiative of requesting the crowd to give big applause, a synchronised applause was sensed, and the phyisically challenged were happy & Achievment of my first marathon was felt on this initiative, then came the Veteren run, whom most them not knew the exact location of their venue, as they were not announced, though most of media promotion's was metioning Island grounds, the different category run were started from different venue's , on those 7KM run was from Pallavan house, due to which most veterens mingling in between the two ends of venues.
At last the veteren run started, I was returning to my vehicle stand near to pallavan house, while I was returning I saw the same old aged men whom I saw in the beginning, & he came to understand that the veteren run flaged off 15 minutes back & no way he could catch them up. he was upset, his purpose of waking at 5 AM, arriving to the venue at 6 & dream of participating in event did not satisfy his enthusiasm
Here is the old man photo ( I took with his permssion), He missed the veteren run because, no trained volunteers & planned announcements.
I feel organisers should not fail to learn from the lesson's..
1. Announce different venues planned.
2.Pre-plan maps for traffic and parking.
3.Water facilities for the runners.
4.Start the run as early as in the morning before the
sun burns skin.
5.Educate participants with a message influences them the cause of assembling.
6.Avoid too much of crowd.
(Allow only paid entry)
7.Make it simpler but super in delivering the message to target audience. 🙂
Physically challenged Event
Mr.Damodaran.S 78 Years. Otteri, Chennai