Larian Merdeka 2018 (The good, the bad and the ugly)

Every once in a while, I will have a race that doesn’t go as planned. Larian Merdeka, was one of those!

Larian Merdeka was a big disappointment from start to finish. Information provided to the public was inadequate and slow and things got worse on event day!

Last weekend, we packed up the kids and headed off for a family adventure. In order to prepare for the fun, hubby and I registered our three children to run with us, if I am really determined to have fun, trust me, that’s the way to do it! Run with your kids….(oohhhh….and it’s healthy fun too, bonus! Not to forget, in conjunction of Malaysia Day and the feeling of patriotism and love for our New Malaysia.

From the very beginning of this race, it was trouble! Race pack collection was postponed several times and to make matters worst, at the eleventh hour. Reason given was that the flight shipment was delayed. T-shirts designs and sizes were insufficient and sizes were incorrect!

We arrived early on race day, managed to grab a quick bite with the kids and headed to Dataran Merdeka. There was a good amount of people of all ages. I love seeing families running together. The organisers informed that 13 thousand runners signed up for the run.

Legs were bounding, arms were pumping, and of course hearts were racing at the Larian Merdeka this past Saturday, September 15th. Love filled the air and the lungs of runners as they looped around the city of Kuala Lumpur roads in conjunction of Hari Malaysia, filled with pride and joy!

The Good, the bad and the ugly

Alright, let’s begin with a quick rundowns of the PROs:

  1. It was a night run. It had a totally different feel than a morning race would have, which I enjoyed it.
  2. Running in the heart of Kuala Lumpur city was splendid.
  3. Marshals and police were on standby all along the route
  4. Lucky for me, my hubby and kids are fast runners, we completed the run in 30 minutes, rushed to grab our medals and went home. (we were lucky to get our medals)

The bad

  1. I might be acting a little picky with this one, but I thought that it was poor management and crowd control caused frustrating bottlenecks, at 2km where the 10km, 5km and 3 km runners merged into one route. To make matters worst, a cement lorry headed the opposite direction was trying to make way to its destination! Aduhhhh….
  1. Water station was like a war zone. Everyone was pushing and shoving to get water. Runners even spilled water on other runners.
  2. Marshals were shouting at the top of their voices to inform runners which way to go, due to lack of markers and signages.
  3. 10 KM runners, had no timing chips. Many runners did not go through the 2nd loop due to confusions.
  4. As far as logistics goes, it was probably a disorganised race I’ve ever ran for 2018. To my opinion, there were too many runners.

The ugly

  1. The complaints ranged from insufficient medals to participants (a medal means a lot to a participant, a runner as an accomplishment and satisfaction to be a finisher)
  2. Being given unsuitable T-shirt sizes
  3. Flag off was delayed
  4. Program and Itenary was inaccurate
  5. No lucky draw as stated and promised by the organisers

What can I say….We all had them. They are inevitable. A part of life. Sometimes for no reason at all, nothing to point to or everything to point to. THE BAD RUN! We hate it but it’s bound to happen from time to time. Try to remember, you are not alone! Sometimes focus on the end game. Be present. The bad runs build our true strenght . As in life, when we have tough days, tough experiences, learn how to see the big picture. Bottom line?? Learn from the run (organisers as well as runners) Embrace the suck! and kick your next run in the teeth!

Dear organisers, it is all about mistakes, and learning from them. I happen to believe that there is no such thing as a bad run or race, as long as we learn from it. Yes, we all will experience runs and races we’d define as terrible or horrible. Chin up, they happen. But if you learn something- be it the management, the organising, logistics, pacing, mental focus, what to wear, whatever-those lessons prepare you for the better runs and races in the future.


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