Bangkok runners to get shirts for ‘longest-ever’ half-marathon
Bangkok half marathon: — Organisers of the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon have promised to hand finisher jerseys in compensation to participants who were made to run an extra 5.5 kilometres on top of the standard 21.1km in Sunday’s early morning race.
Organisers of the Standard Chartered Bangkok National Jogging Association of Thailand (NJAT) chairman Gen Manus Klaimanee apologised for the error yesterday, stating that his organisation had miscalculated the half-marathon course distance.
“Our staff mistakenly marked a U-turn onto the course, which added around six kilometres to the route,” said Songkram Kraisonthi, a co-organiser.
“We admit our mistake and have apologised. Our staff worked hard but they were confused,” he said.
According to international standards, a half-marathon should be 21.1km but the course for Sunday’s competition, which started and ended in front of the Grand Palace, was longer by 5.5 kilometres. About 7,000 runners gauged the distance via their GPS devices. Many were thoroughly exhausted by the finish and took to the social media to slam the organisers.
British Ambassador Mark Kent tweeted: “Just completed my longest ever half marathon this morning……30% extra.”
On its website, the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon is billed as a “world standard” race in which runners “will forget about the tiredness” as they snake through the city’s historic heart.
“The incident should not have happened. … We will take this mistake as a lesson for the future,” NJAT said in its official apology.
“On behalf of the organising committee we feel terribly sorry,” the statement said.
Organisers added that runners would receive a special limited-edition shirt in recognition of the extra distance travelled. All shirts would be sent via mail within 45 days, the statement said.
However, that offer was not enough to quell the anger of some runners, who pilloried the organisers on NJAT’s official Facebook page.
“Will I recover from my leg ache when I wear the shirt you are sending?” Thai Facebook user Poonwanat Peem sarcastically asked. “Montri”, another runner, described the event as an “embarrassment to the country”.