Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Comparision of Singapore Marathon v/s Mumbai marathon...

Mumbai Marathon which will be in its fourth year has lots to learn from
the Singapore Marathon organisers. Both have the same sponsor (Standard
Chartered Bank) and its high time that the sponsor decided to assert
themselves and ensure that the organisers ofMumbai Marathon (Procam) did a much better job.

Right from frequency with which the organisers used to send newsletters to
people who had registered on the site (well before the marathon
participation registrations were opened), to their response time for
any email or telephone enquiry, to the promptness with with they
confirmed the registration and provided all the related details, to the
efficiency at the race bib collection center, to the gift pack arranged
by them (including a very usefulAdidas singlet with Standard chartered colours and of course the finishers T-shirt), to providing high carb energy gel packets around the 30km mark & tie-up with a sponsor (100plus) to provide energy drink (Mumbai marathon organisers provide Electoral which is not good enough), nice smooth roads and lotsa greenery (shade) and the list goes on.

Procam, organisers of Mumbai marathon are giving the Half marathon more importance than the full marathon, they are starting the half marathon at 6.40am and the full
one at 7.40am, which does not really make sense which ever way you look
at it. Each marathon in the world try to improve the number of
participants and finishers for the full marathon, as the number of
participants for the full marathon is the true indicator of the success
of the marathon. But if the Mumbai marathon continues to be managed by people who do not even understand this basic simple fact, all the sponsorship money (Asia's
biggest marathon or richest marathon in the world) will have no
meaning. Not sure if its actually the sponsors who are forcing them to
take this step, if they are then we need better sponsors! Hugh Jones who was the race director for the first three marathons (not sure if he still is working with Procam), should definitely have know this, but am not sure why he is not doing anything about it.

the one thing that the Singapore Marathon organisers disappointed was
on their inability to give the race completion cum timing certificate
after the race (both theMumbai and Delhi marathon organiser do this
every efficiently from their inception). The organisers told
participants that they would get their certificates by post, by end of
Jan 2007(this is not really on). In addition the organisers here were
unable to post the race timings till Tuesday evening on their website
(so till that time I actually did not really know how I had done, nor
did I have my official time), which again was very inefficient. The
chip used here and in the Bombay marathon is identical and the data for
the same is available instantly, so I fail to understand what took them
so long!

I am looking forward to a pleasant surprise from the Mumbai
marathon organisers in January 2007, I understand that the money they
can raise from the participants is limited, They charge about Rs.150
per registration, whereas the Singapore marathon guys collect anything
from Rs.1300-Rs.2500 equivalent in local currency. But I am sureMumbai can more than make up for it with sponsorship money.

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