Admittedly, I went there for fun. Running on the Sepang F1 Circuit, how cool is that right? 😀 I wasn’t planning to run the whole 5.5km I signed up for but more so to spend some good time with my husband and my friends. Cut me some slack, I don’t get out much 😛
However, even though I went with the most minimal intention to get serious, I still went home feeling like I had a bone to pick with the organizers. Can you just imagine how those who ran 11km, 21km and 42km felt??
Here’s a relay of my experience:
We arrived at about 7.30pm and traffic didn’t seem to be that bad. There were officials directing traffic towards several parking zones so we headed towards the one nearest to the venue (as advised by a friend). Upon reaching the entrance of parking zone A2, a chinese lady stopped us and asked for a parking fee of RM10. My eyes bulged out a bit but we coughed up the cash and went to look for a parking spot. Mind you, it’s an open field of kelapa sawit that we were parking at, not the proper tarred road area.
We found a spot and since it was already Maghrib, we decided to pull out our prayer mat and just pray next to the car. To look for a surau would take quite an effort, and we were 100% sure that there isn’t one nearby anyway.
After prayers, we followed the crowd and walked on towards the circuit. We passed by a 10 meter line that had formed in front of the public toilet and I thought to myself, okayyy.. I better not need to pee tonight.
Then, after walking on some more, we had to go through a tunnel that led to the circuit area. The race hadn’t begun yet the tunnel was already filled with sweaty people. What would you expect going through a tunnel with almost zero air ventilation. I quietly hoped that there was a different exit for AFTER the race. I just cannot imagine thousands of sweaty, sticky, stinky runners crammed into that tunnel.
We finally got out of the tunnel, passed by a messy pile of empty boxes and spilled out onto the race track. We searched around for where to collect our headlamps but couldn’t seem to the collecting booth. There was no signage whatsoever so we asked a couple of runners who were already wearing their headlamps. According to them, the pile of empty boxes were where they collected their headlamps. So obvious, they were all gone.
My husband was already agitated at this point. It was one of the main reasons we joined the run (yes, us fun runners with no particular run-time to meet or beat). As we were mumbling our frustrations, the husband bumped into his cousin who was happily flashing his lamp at us. He got extras so he gave them to us (such a sweet heart kan?). We asked how did he manage to get more than one. According to him, they were passing out the headlamps at the exit of the tunnel but when the crowd grew, they just left the boxes there for people to help themselves. OBVIOUSLY people grabbed more than one. Sheesh.
So we got ourselves headlamps, yay! Happy bubbles once again, lol! We stood by the side of the tracks waiting for the longer distance runners to start their race.
Got my headlamp, yay!!
I couldn’t see the emcee but it was a lady’s voice with an annoying slang and all she was doing was screaming at the runners. Scream scream scream and honestly, I felt she was really rude. Then some dude took the microphone from her and yelled at the runners even more. I’m like.. are we at school or something? Why are they yelling at us like we’re school kids? “Everyone MOVE BACK!! You’re blocking our VIP’s WAY! MOVE BACK!!”
How the heck are the runners supposed to know who is your freakin’ VIP? Besides, there were THOUSANDS of people on track, you only had several speakers at the front of the line blasting loud music at the same time the emcee was yelling her anak tekak out, and you expect people to move back, where ever back was. Goodness gracious.
Then the race finally kicked off and everyone started running. Us fun-runners moved aside to make way for the serious runners. We jogged a bit, ran a bit, walked a bit and cam-whored most of the way 😀 After walking and photo-shooting for quite a distance, we passed by an empty water stand with several marshalls who were busy cam-whoring as well. No drinks were available for us so we jogged on.
We were already getting real thirsty but still happy and chirpy as we took pictures on the F1 circuit. I mean, how often do you get to be on the very same track the F1 races drive on yo!!! 😀
Finally we reached the Gatorade stand about 2km away and people were clamouring all over the booth grabbing their drinks. Some took tins of Gatorade along with them. The husband grabbed himself a tin and got me one, but since I didn’t want to finish a whole can, I chucked it into my friend’s bag pack (yeah, we fun runners run with a bag-pack, lol). It was kind of disturbing to see people chucking empty cans on to the track itself. I didn’t exactly see proper waste bins but the least they could do was chuck it to the side. Some tired runner could accidentally trip over them.
Apart from Gatorade, there was also mineral water available BUT in the 1.5 litre bottle. Who in their right mind would want to run a marathon carrying a 1.5 litre water bottle?? You tell me who!? *roll eyes*
Dude’s prolly thinking “Mak datok besarnye botol!”
We reached the finish line with much glee and took more photos (click-happy people, what to do).
Then, we looked around. What do we do now? Where do we go? I saw several loooonnnggg lines and assumed they were the lines of people waiting for goody bags. We didn’t feel like standing in queue so we just sat ourselves on the ground near one of the paddocks where they were handing out the bags.
We bumped into a good friend of ours who just finished his 11km run and he was parched to the max. Then only did I realize that there was absolutely no water station at the finishing line. NONE. I gave him my unopened can of Gatorade which he gladly downed. Some minutes later, another long distance runner was walking around looking for water. She was drenched in sweat and obviously very thirsty. I thought to myself how unthoughtful of the organizers. Didn’t they foresee this?
Then suddenly, a mini riot broke. Goody bags were thrown into the crowd, people started pushing to the front. It got a bit crazy. Then, it got worse.
The organizers couldn’t control the crowd, so they just closed the paddock doors to lock people out! No warning at all! Can you imagine what would’ve happened if someone fell and the doors closed in on them? Crazy.
We were already cursing by then. Everyone was hungry and tired. There were definitely no happy campers outside the paddock doors. Everyone wanted their goody bags!
We decided to leave and head home. Going home though, meant that we had to go through.. THE TUNNEL.
Yes, all the sweaty, stinky, sticky runners all crammed through the tiny door, into the tunnel, to get out. It was horrible. I felt claustrophobic and could barely breathe. KEPAM OK!!! To make matters worse, this chick walking next to me took off her shoes and walked in her socks. Hellooo…. your feet don’t smell like roses, y’know?
Several people had kids and babies with them. I pity the little ones, they looked like they were about to pass out. Thankfully though people got out safely but the tunnel was just a disaster waiting to happen. When I got out of the tunnel, fresh air was like air conditioning. I have never been so happy to feel the night breeze.
We walked on towards our car and all the way people left, right and centre were complaining about how awfully unorganized the race was.
We got into our car, drove out and was stopped by this dude who asked for our carpark receipt. Thankfully we had it with us otherwise we had to fork out another RM10. Ridiculous.
As we drove out of the area, we passed by some 42km runners who were still braving their way to the end of the finish line. We gave them honks of moral support and felt real sorry for them. Hopefully they’d get some water at the end of the race!
So that was the end of our Energizer Night Race. Honestly, I had a good time throughout the race. We took loads of pictures and had great laughs. I was, however, extremely disappointed with the organizing company. They messed up real bad and I honestly think they should just pack up and look for another job because they suck at organizing.
Thank god for cam-whoring sessions 😉