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At the race start, we, the participants were not briefed on the race route, number of laps to complete for each leg, U-turn points which were very important and other relevant details. This was very crucial to everybody as we participants are usually briefed before the race. At the start point, it was announced that the race will commence in 15 mins. Many competitors made their way out to have a drink or do their active stretching. We did not expect that within a minute, it started to announce "the race is starting in 10,9,8,...." we were all taken aback.
The running route was supposed to be 2 loops of 5km. When I was approaching the esplanade link bridge and was asked to make a turn down, I saw the marshalls not able to control the human traffic. Runners were taking short cut, some were asking the marshalls exactly where is the running route leading to. The first round was completed with not much of obstruction.
The most annoying thing about the whole race which had me disqualified was when we were approaching the "so-called U-turn point" which non of the runners actually had an idea where it was located, we were asked to run straight back into the transition area. The first pack of runners, the leading pack all ran straight in. The U-turn sign was no where to be seen. I followed the leaders right in. As all of us approached the start point, I saw the BIKE OUT sign. That moment, i was totally confused. WE asked the marshall stationed at the BIKE OUT sign for directions, some answered they do not know. Some asked us to go right into the transition area and run out through the "RUN OUT" sign. We head straight in and ran out through the RUN OUT area. However, we were very shocked to see that when we exited the RUN OUT area and ran all the way out, we were already overtaken by the slower runners behind. We were held back much further and at that moment we realised that we had taken a much longer route. It was very much annoying that runners like us had ran out hearts out for the first 5km and had to accept that we were forced to run an extra distance and wasted precious time due to the management's negligance. It is very annoying.
The top leaders were all disqualified as they ran right into the transition area, not knowing that they had passed by the U-turn point. The marshalls said nothing and there was nobody leading the runners to U-turn . I am talking about the front leaders and us runners who were in the front pack and racing for positions on the podium.
While I was running my second 5km loop, I knew that I had already lost out as I could see people who were jogging really slowly, in front of me! this refers that the faster runners had already whisked their way through and are much more in front of me.
At the bike leg, I did not have the mood to bike. The other annoying and frustrating thing was that the bike leg was supposed to be 40km but turned out to be only 22km! All the cyclists on the bike leg were confused on whether to believe the marshalls to cycle only 5 loops or to complete 7-8loops. Scenes of cyclists discussing these things could be seen through the bike leg. You could hear people saying "just loop 5 rounds, and go back.. should be only 22km"... others were saying "maybe we should just loop 8 rounds since each round is only 4 km!"... the situation was very confusing. The route was so packed. There was no room for cyclist to pass one another. The faster cyclists had to constantly shout "coming right!" it was not normal for a cyclist to shout such things every 2-3 seconds!
After finishing the 5 loops of the bike, I headed straight back . I had totally NO mood to complete the last running lap. I stopped at the bike out area and pushed my bike away. It was totally demoralising and I was so frustrated, I just gave up the race and walked off. It was just not the right time to race in such an event.
I got to realised that the team i was representing, BIKE LABZ had 2 teams disqualified. Their relay runners who were the top 2 persons for the 10km first leg run encountered the same as me. They were led the wrong way and ran straight into the bike transition area. And because of this, the 2 teams were disqualified. The other team they sent for the shorter relay also encountered problems. The runner who was supposed to run the first leg of the 2.5km had no idea where the 2.5km U-turn point was! He asked every marshall he saw along the way and non of them knew where it was, in the end he ran all the way to the PADANG! can you imagine how much extra distance he had actually clocked! Lucky for him, he was a faster runner, even with the extra distance, he still came back first.
It was very very very disheartening to see so many people affected by the race. We went there to race, to enjoy as well as to try and win. However, the bulk majority of us who were racing in the leading pack were either disqualified or led the wrong way. The lady who was leading all the way, Dinah, from the National Triathlon Team had to loop 7 rounds of the bike leg instead of 5 laps and in the end, lost her position. All of us who were running and leading in the front pack all dropped behind not because of our lack in strength or fitness, but due to obstacles that occurred during the race.
after the race... and after some time of cooled down... PS took some pictures...
and this was a picture we took before our race at the transition area...