Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why I Disagree

MWM posted this on their FB page yesterday. It’s a difficult decision to make for sure because either of the following options
a)        Go aheadSome will WHINE
b)        PostponeSome will WHINE
c)        CancelSome will WHINE

Doesn’t matter which way you turn, the end result is similar.

My take on this and it’s purely my OWN opinion and I’m open to hear your views.

a)        AQI of 110
Question 1 – why 110? Isn’t the standard measure 100? If the health authorities use 100 as the cutoff, why are they using 110? Perhaps if they could have clarified or supported this with some sort of evidence or study that deems 110 as “safe to proceed with outdoor activities”. Arbitrary number? Probably not and I’m inclined to agree with SW: they’re setting it high enough so they don’t have to cancel the event.

I understand and truly sympathize with the fallouts from calling off the event: monetary, sponsorships, publicity, effort poured in so far, GROUSES from runners etc, which is why I cannot fathom being in the race directors shoes. But using 110 opens up another can of worms.

b)        AQI of 109
Ok, if we all agree that 110 is the standard measure for this event, can you imagine running for 4-5 hours in an environment where the AQI is 109? If you’re good and lucky, 4 hours but I think most of us expect to do more than that. I cannot imagine the toll a 109 for 6 hours would have on my body. Sure you can drop out any time if you’re unwell or if the haze gets to you but what if most runners have the same thoughts or are ill? The emergency response team will be stretched unless of course the organizers are putting in extra teams to cope in anticipation of this.

c)        Leaving things to the last minute
The world watches the AQI in anticipation on Saturday evening. That’s kind of leaving it to the very last minute, eh? Oh but Brooks went further – they will monitor the AQI on the morning of the run and decide. Which means that overseas or outstation runners will still need to make their way to KL and if the run is postponed and they do really want to participate at the future date, re-book and make travel and hotel arrangements again. I like what SCKLM did last year – decide firmly on Wednesday or Thursday if the run was to go ahead and stick by that decision come hell high water. Yes, it was bright and clear skies on the original run date but a decision has been made and no flipping flapping.

d)        Going ahead
Now if the AQI was below that magic 110 at 6pm on Saturday and if it was decided that the run will go ahead… and the AQI breaches 110 on Sunday morning or along the way? The run proceeds? It’ll probably be more costly and operationally difficult to blast out a message to runners if the event is to be called off midway though Sundown attempted this 2 years ago (SMS to runners along the way when Category 3(?) was declared).

The current weather or rather haze pattern is too frenzied to predict any kind of certainty and like how Yim puts it, “Chipsmore” (now you see it, now you don’t). Bright and sunny today and you think we’re on the path to recovery and wham, it hits you like a ton of bricks tomorrow.

So if you’re going to counter the points above with “listen to your own body”,
Now tell me this…how many times has this advice been peddled and you actually followed it to the “T”? Tell me you haven’t seen posts or heard comments like “yes, I’m nursing a bit of a [insert illness eg flu, fever, ache] but I went ran anyway and I finished in ***” and “wow…ill/injury and can still come back in ***” etc. You know what…runners are like that and I’ve ran through some ailment.

You can probably construe where I stand on this and assume I won’t be toeing the line on Sunday. I may not agree with some of the decisions made or how they came about but a decision has been made by the organizers albeit a difficult one. Let’s just hope for the best.

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