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Macau marathon ?

seems this year a few minor issues with the Macau marathon . The earlier start was no problem but right at the start of the race when we left the stadium I am not sure if we were led the wrong way but we ran staright into a barrier acorss the road . Then the first 1k marker was at least 2k plus. after that all the kilometre markers were inaccurate . the gap between the 37 and 38 was only about 500m.....

i know people will argue different but my garmin put the route at 43.8k .... I was also using a Polar GPS which put the course as 44.1K . I estimate from my pacing the course was about 43K .

Its also a bit annoying to be stopped several times to allow traffic . Either the road is closed or its not.

No big deal unless of course it meant that you failed to get your PB or failed to finish within 5hrs !!

I guess even the organisers knew there was something wrong as they were not very strict at the 35K cut off and allowed many runners to go through beyond the 4hrs 15 cut off .

never mind . I will mark this as an ultra marathon haha

Re: Macau marathon ?

Your garmin was right. The course we ran was wrong. We should have turned right instead of left once we exited the stadium. I believe this error added (by my calculation) over 1km to the route.

keithchan's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

Some of the prize money is given only within certain time limit, which affects quite a few runners. For example, Chan Kit Yee was fifth in half marathon and would get US$500 if she ran within 1:35, and she finished 1:36 considering the additional 1.3k!

Re: Macau marathon ?

I ran the Macau half this morning and knew something was wrong when we passed the 2km marker and my Garmin watch said we already ran over 3km. At the end of the race my Garmin said I covered 22.5km would of been a PB if it wasn't for those extra km at the beginning.

Re: Macau marathon ?

Apart from the error of the extra 1.2km we all had to run; does anyone know why the elite/invited athletes started later than the main field of runners and had to run through the pack to get to the front???

keithchan's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

I heard that when we all ran to Taipa city centre, the leading pack ran straight towards Best Western direction while the rest of us made turn and headed back to the stadium.

Re: Macau marathon ?

Keith , that is probably about right . meant I was almost 10 mins off my running time..... I couldnt understand why I was missing all my pace times and couldnt catch up .
I have written to the organisers even though I know it is a waste of time I think they should be told .

Re: Macau marathon ?

http://new.cyberctm.com/cn/info/tdmnews.php?id=18

Should we write a letter to Macau, ask for refund of entry fee or ask for free entry next year?

keithnoyes's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

I had 22.4 km for the half marathon on my Garmin. Definitely a wrong turn out of the stadium. The organizer's should be held responsible for that. The km markers were also placed at inconsistent distances. Again, this is something the organizer of an AIMS-sanctioned road race should be able to get right. Not impressed!

Re: Macau marathon ?

yes of course write to organisers and complain . I have already written .

Although they can not amend our times ! at least they should know that we are not happy .

Re: Macau marathon ?

Yes, let's bomb their mailbox. I have already written one

Re: Macau marathon ?

Wow I can not believe they messed up my Garmin showed 27.2 miles and thought I was running around finished at 3:51 taking that last 1k off it would have been close to a PB. I understand the challenges of organizing a marathon but its not like they haven't had experience. The collision at the end of the lane we turned down out of the stadium could have been very dangerous I saw one guy on the floor. Organizers should be told.

Re: Macau marathon ?

We should collect a group of ppl's no. Bid and write a letter to the organizer, and also Macau torisum!

Re: Macau marathon ?

agree 100% on the wrong mile marking since my GARMIN read 22.3kms when we crossed the finish line for the half and the volunteers failed to give my friend her FINISHERS medal even though we had reached well ahead of target. Very very upset and annoyed that an AIMS world marathon event had made a mistake like this. I can only feel sorry for the Elites who were looking to PB this race and take home the prize money. If you are lodging a formal complaint and submitting our bibs with names? I am keen to give my bib number and that of my best friends too. Thanks and good day!

Re: Macau marathon ?

Lets see how good Macau is . Whether they try cover up or not .

Beijing marathon a few years ago made a mess at the end but were good to send us all back our medals and souvenirs admitting their mistake.

Macau ?

Re: Macau marathon ?

Good idea to wait and watch what happens? As for me and my friend, not only we are happy we covered the extra distance in that brutal cold and wet weather and survived it together! probably without our knowledge we actually PB'ed too :-). Some surprises are nice and so totally worth the effort!

Re: Macau marathon ?

keithchan's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

And they also made mistake for mini marathon, making them running 6.2k instead of 4.2k. What interesting is that the marshal mistake for mini marathon had nothing to do with that for full and half marathon, but they happened at the same race! Look like the marshals were not properly briefed if any at all.

Re: Macau marathon ?

but cant just blame the marshalls . If there had been some good signboard then the front runners may not have gone that way and the rest would have followed .

The same happened near to the bridge . There was no signboard saying which direction marathon/10k runners should go , left or right .

I had to stop and ask a marshall which way to run .It would have been very simple to put up a basic arrow left/right.....

Re: Macau marathon ?

The Macau marathon rules state quite clearly that any athlete who completes 42.195KM within 5 hours receives a medal and T shirt .

so how will this be arranged ? or doesnt this rule count now ?

I have written to them to ask how they will achieve this . If I get a reply will post here so you can let your friends know .

Re: Macau marathon ?

I was at the stadium and saw they let runners into the arrival lane until about 5 hours and 22 minutes. And each of them got the medal etc. Which looked pretty strange. But now we know why. I expect the organizers at least to tell us how many KM we did run. 43? 44? Please tell us.

Re: Macau marathon ?

My friend finished in 5:05 and did NOT get a finishers medal or t-shirt. He was allowed into the stadium and given the towel when he crossed the line, but not a t-shirt or medal. Also no one who finished over 5 hours is listed in the results so I guess they are still counting all those who finished over 5 hours as a DNF despite running the extra distance.

Re: Macau marathon ?

Michelle , if you are certain about what you saw then please let us know . Most of teh runners finishing after 5hrs , including my 5:01 were refused the medal and T shirt .

If you now say you saw people up to 5 hrs 20 receiving the finishers T and medal then that is odd .

I have written several times to the organisers , so far without any reply - guess they have a lot of emails .

For anyone who was just outside the 5hrs I will continue to pursue for you and let you know results .

The rules are quite clear and also state that if you did not get the finisher T medal at the finish you can still collect later .

I have asked them to tell us where to collect .....

Re: Macau marathon ?

Maybe I am wrong. Because I was sitting there for quite a while. For sure they were handling the towels. I checked a video I took with my cell but cannot see clearly. I remember the last to arrive closed in 5hour 22minutes more or less. Then I also saw 4-5 guys entering the stadium but not allowed to do the lap. Just directed to the changing area.

Re: Macau marathon ?

I am very sure that for the Half marathon my close friend crossed exactly 01 sec after the cut off of 2.30hrs. SHE WAS DENIED THE MEDAL and the volunteers just ran away with all the medals inside so that they are NOT under pressure. I remember pleading and even showing the garmin which showed clearly that we have covered an extra distance of 1.3 kms at finish and that she was well within cut off time. Futile explaining since it really did not matter to them. They gave us towels and chocolates! and yes, there is no mention of anything above 2.29 and some secs on the results page. Very annoying indeed that a world AIMS event like this can make such a big mistake.Hope they rectify and send all of us finishers certificate at least? and do not consider it as DNF by 01 sec.

jaysmith's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

I ran the Half and was shocked as hell when about 30 elite runners went flying by me at 2.5 km. They must have been led nearly 3 km off course right at the start (the rest of us lucky soles only added 1.2 or 1.3 km.) Then I hit the 3 km mark (the first one i saw) at 17:40 despite running close to 4:00 pace after the stadium logjam, and I considered packing it in. When i finally got my "official" time, it was 34 seconds slower than my own watch time, which is about what it took me to cross the start line. I'm new to modern racing, but I thought they automatically adjust your time to a net time based on when your chip crosses the start line. Anyone else notice this?

Re: Macau marathon ?

Now this is becoming a joke, look what the race director - Chan Pou Si - declared to the Macau Daily Times:

“all the athletes should know the course” because “they have the opportunity to get to know it before the start.”

So now it is our fault!!! Can you believe it?

http://www.macaudailytimes.com.mo/macau/40253-sports-board-explains-mara...

Lucky you Mr. Chan that no one got hurt (I hope) when we found the barrier in the middle of the road just in front of us, and when we had to run around cars!!!

Please Mr. Chou let me know if you are going to direct other races, I will make sure NOT to join.

Michele

Re: Macau marathon ?

HI Jay, you are right there no chip time I'm out by 22sec on my watch. Other races give you two time Official time and Chip time.

Re: Macau marathon ?

Mr Chan can't even get his disinformation correct:

At one point in the route, “it was planned that the athletes should turn left”, competition director Chan Pou Si explained. “Instead, the two leading ones turned right and the other 2,000 runners followed them.”

it was the other way around!!! we turned left instead of right out of the stadium!

Re: Macau marathon ?

Maybe we should lodge a formal complaint to both AIMS and Macau Marathon organisation. This seems like they are putting the ball in our court instead of admitting that they made a major mistake in the mile markers and they did not guide runners appropriately. I have already advised many NOT to participate in Macau for next year! Such a shame, seems like this will be the only way when their number of participants decline surely next year.

Re: Macau marathon ?

I wouldn't worry too much about the difference between your 'chip-time' and 'gun-time'. It is normal across the running world for the 'gun-time' to be treated as your official time. The 'chip-time' is only for your reference and in past years the certificate issued by the Macau Marathon will list both times.

That said I'm not supporting the organisation of Sunday's race in anyway what so ever!

Andrew

Re: Macau marathon ?

Below are my comments in response to the article in the Macau Daily-Times (yet to be moderated and published). What I said below are also many of the key points in my email to the Macau Marathon. Andrew

I'm sorry Mr Chan, but your explanations are as poor as your race organisation.

The mistake that the 2,000 marathon and half marathon runners made was actually to turn left as they exited the stadium, rather than a right turn as you suggest. How can you possibly blame an early start or rain on this mistake? The course is either clearly marked with marshals guiding runners or it isn't. What does rain or an earlier start have to do with your poor organisation?

Apart from blaming the weather (that you knew about), the starting time (that you chose), the marshals (who you trained) you all have the audacity to blame the runners themselves for not knowing the route. Your event is AIMS certified and thus is required to meet specific standards of distance, course design, signage and marshalling; as we all ran at least an extra kilometre your event obviously didn’t live up to the AIMS standards that it claimed to posses. Even if runners do have some sort of responsibility for the race how is it even possible for them “get to know it before the start”? The whole race takes place on roads, some of which don’t have pedestrian access. I’m not sure of the statistics for this year, but in 2011 almost 70% of marathon participants where ‘overseas participants’. How then is it possible for this vast majority of to “explore it before the run”?

What about all those poor runners who missed the cut-off time by only minutes? Runners who ran over an extra kilometre and thus according to your own rules still made the cut-off time of 5 hours for 42.2km. Runners who did not receive a finisher’s medal, runners who did not receive a finisher’s t-shirt, runners that only received a DNF (did not finish) for their trouble. I suppose the only good news is for yourself; the extra distance ran by the elite athletes means that they all ran times well above what they should have and thus weren’t eligible to receive the cash bonuses for finishing under specific times.

I understand that altering times is probably an impossibility, but come on, at least take some responsibility and admit your mistakes and start to address those runners who you claim did not meet the cut-off times, but in reality did.

jaysmith's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

for those who wish to air their grievances formally, i suggest an email to AIMS headquarters:

AIMSHQ@aimsworldrunning.org

or the measurement administrator for AIMS Asia:

cundysm@ozemail.com.au

The general email address for the marathon is:

macaumarathon@sport.gov.mo

The Macau Sports Development Board (organizer):

sport@macau.ctm.net

Buddy Lam, VP, Corporate Relations, Galaxy Entertainment Group (title sponsor):

public_relations@galaxyentertainment.com

Re: Macau marathon ?

I finished the half in 2:27 and my PB was 2:15, really don't know if I am close to my PB without the extra distance and rain factor. No one show signs of giving me a medal when I cross the finish line but only a towel.
I believe most runners like me know something went wrong when they saw the 1km sign so late but kept on running.
I think I saw a few runners turning to the right direction when they realized it was wrong but most follow the main pack. I joined Macau instead of the UNIEF due to the traffic (in the last few KM for UNIEF)
Now I have to rethink. How can they mess up after 30+ years hosting this event?

Re: Macau marathon ?

Speaking with the Elite runners, the mix up with the course and having to then run through the main pack cost them all a great deal. On Sunday the marathon organisers refused to pay prize money to anyone in the top 10 if they did not finish within their time limit- men: 2:25, women: 2:44.

This meant that only top 4 men were arranged to be given prize money and none of the women.

For all the elite who travel such long distance to get to Macau and to run 45km and not be given their well- earned prize money is a disgrace.
I have since heard that the organisers have agreed to pay the place getters, hopefully that means all those men and women in the top 10, but it is shocking that they would think to withhold it in the first place due to their own error.
Thomas

Re: Macau marathon ?

I have complained to the AIMS email addresses given by JaySmith with the following -

To the Administrator

My name is Priya Vaidyanathan and I ran the Macau Half Marathon under the BIB number B7003 on December 02, 2012.

I wish to complain about the poor organization of the race.
Due to poor organization of the race, I had run a distance of 22.3 kms instead of the required 21.1 kms.

As per my Garmin time, I finished in 2:30:02 (just two seconds after the so-called official cut off time). This two seconds shortfall meant that I was not awarded the finishers medal or the finishers tee shirt - AND I do no feature in the list of people who completed the half marathon on the Results page.

As per their advertisement, the Macau Race officials now are blaming the weather, the early starting time , the marshals AND the runners for not knowing the route.
Since the event is AIMS certified, I wish to complain that it did not live up to the specific AIMS standards of distance, course design, signage and marshalling
Because of this, we all ran at least an extra kilometre.

Can you please take up the matter with the Macau Race Organizers and ensure that my correct HM time is reflected in the Results page, and I am awarded my finishers certificate and medal?

Looking forward to your support and early reply in this matter

Re: Macau marathon ?

i have written several polite emails to the oragiser with no reply so far .

i understand that they may have received many emails and so i will give them a few days to respond before i make any official complaints .

i fully agree with thomas above . a marathon is no light thing . we trsin , travel and run our hearts out .

we dont expect too much from organisers except to arrange a safe well managed course.

macau failed in both areas.

Re: Macau marathon ?

Let us also state the facts:
1) Elite runners were running for about 3km outside the designated route, other marathon/half marathon runners did about 1.3 or 1.5 km.
2) So it means that we were running for several minutes in roads open to normal traffic, cars, buses, motorbikes etc.
3) We had to avoid dangers such as barriers and cars stopped in the middle of our path. All of us can testify this.
4) This happened at the very start of the race so the 3,000 runners were all still running packed in group. It was dark, rainy, streets were very slippery.
5) Luckily no one got hurt (as far as I know).
6) The race director Mr. Chan Pou Si has blamed the weather, the early race start and the runners (for not knowing the route!!!) ... but he failed to blame the real responsible for this, that is himself.

In summary, I believe runners were put into a potentially very dangerous situation. I expect to receive the formal apologies from the organizers, I expect them to give runners the prizes and medals they deserve, but most importantly I expect that a serious inquiry into this incident can clarify the real responsabilities.

(I am sending this out to the emails listed, I encourage you all to do the same)

Re: Macau marathon ?

i sent an email to the race organisers, the govt department responsible and the pr dept of galaxy as mentioned above.

the pr people at galaxy responded very promptly and said they will pass on my comments to the organiser. the pr people also said i would get a response from the organisers.

therefore i suggest that any emails you send should be cc'd to galaxy - i'm sure the organisers will listen to the title sponsor!

jaysmith's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

Bravo to all who have taken action to air our grievances. This should not happen in an AIMS sanctioned race, and the participants should never be blamed for making the course LONGER !

I note that Silas Muturi Gichovi ran a 1:02:01 in an AIMS sanctioned race in India earlier this year. I wonder how he feels about his 1:14:08 in Macau.

keithchan's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

And it also caused Taiwan's top marathon runner Chang Chia-che to drop out for the first time in his 15 year and 8 month career at 27km after chasing from behind after running the extra 2.5km!

http://www.cna.com.tw/News/aSaM/201212020149-1.aspx (in Chinese)

For those who can't read Chinese, the Google translation may not be accurate, but you should be able to guess the meaning and feel the frustration:
Click here to read Google translation

jaysmith's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

On Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 5:05 PM, macau marathon wrote:

Dear participant:

Congratulations for winning at our marathon race. Please be informed that all winners should collect the trophy on the race day, otherwise the awarded athletes should contact the Organizer within 1 week after the race for arrangement of collection within one month, after which will be considered as renunciation of collection. Thank you!

Kind regards,
Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon 2012
Organizing Committee

From: Jay Smith
Date: Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 5:49 PM
Subject: Re: Trophy of Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon 2012
To: macau marathon

Dear Dis-Organized committee,

I already informed you of my wishes by email. In case it wasn't clear, I don't give a flying turd about the trophy. I want a refund of my entry fee, and I will take legal action to get it if necessary.

Please don't answer this with another "Dear Participant" letter. My name is James Alexander Smith, and I paid you to receive a certified 21.097 kilometer race, which you did not give to me.

please refund my payment immediately.

Respectfully,

James Alexander Smith

keithchan's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

The organizer has just posted a notice on the website:
http://www.macaumarathon.com/en/

"
NOTICE

The 2012 Macau Galaxy Entertainment International Marathon, jointly organized by the Macau Sport Development Board and the Macau Athletics Association, was held at the Olympic Sport Center Stadium on 2 December.

The Organizing Committee would like to express our regret for the technical error happened in this year’s marathon, and taking this opportunity, we would like to convey our sincere apologies to all athletes affected by this problem.

The Organizing Committee has already conducted a review to all aspects of this year’s event, and promises to take effective measures to make improvements to the event and to provide better racing conditions for all participants. We welcome all valuable comments and suggestions to our event, and we wish for your continuous support to the Macau International Marathon in the future.
"

Technical error?!

keithchan's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

Hi barefootpriya

Your friend now have a strong reason to claim her medal back! The race certificate is now available on www.marathon-photos.com which lists only chip time! :)

jaysmith's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

I have forwarded a link to this thread to Scott Douglas at Runners World and he has replied with a promise to publish a news item on the race and related "issues" today on the RW website. I also sent the link to coolrunning.com's news editor.

Re: Macau marathon ?

Good morning friends. I have had replies to my email from public relations Galaxy and also from Dave Cundy Vice prez AIMS. He is taking up the matter directly with Macau organisers and will reply asap! Thanks Keith for the timing link both me and my close friend are WELL WITHIN 2.30hrs cut off and both of us hopefully will get our medals :-). Cheers and happy feet to all!

jaysmith's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

A big thank you to Scott Douglas at Runners World !

http://www.runnersworld.com/races/macau-marathon-3k-too-long-race-says-r...

Bhoova's picture

Re: Macau marathon ?

My long time ambition of negative split in marathon is now documented 21k at 2:35, and 42k at 4:33

Re: Macau marathon ?

I target to get a qualifying time for Boston marathon.
My 20K time (accoridng to my Garmin) is 1:33 which is still marginally ok. Around 21 to 22K (my Garmin), I decided to slow down significantly as I won't get a good time for running a 43.5K marathon.

Today, I find my 21K time in my certificate (download from marathon-photos.com) is 1:59. Oh ! another bug !!

Re: Macau marathon ?

Just checked my certificate and the split time shows "0" ...

Re: Macau marathon ?

Timing for 21km was recently revised. I am confused with both timing and distance now. What should I expect? :P