Sunday, March 08, 2009
Wild Wild Run 2009
Click here for individual pictures.
This is probably a run that nobody had organized. The Wild Wild Run and the location is running a 10k route (1.85km x 5) inside the zoo. Ideas came out as I was planning for a run in Feb 2009 but due to time constraint have to abandon it. Then came fresh ideas and the suggestion of having it at the zoo came out. What a brilliant idea and work got started.
A few calls were made and I representing the organising team (on behalf of Der Pacemakers Network) went to meet up with the Customer Service Team of Zoo Negara to inform them of our event and get their approval to organise our run there.
Within a few days, I got a call from the Zoo informing me that we can go ahead and hold the event at their facility. Immediately the think tank team got into action. First was to arrange for a day to reckee the place and find out how is the running route and whats the distance. The team comprising of Wong Kei Meng - Race Director, Ronnie See - Race Advisor, Julie - Planner, Pueh Tian - Official Race Videographer and myself went to visit the zoo.
Things fall into places, and registration was open to the public. Within days the places of all categories was filling up quickily. I guessed a lot of runners felt that its a unique event and yet a good idea to kill two birds with one stone. Run in the zoo and visit all the animals after the race.
To cut the story short, things went well as the planning progresses and the team was ready for race day. This time I was part of the event as a sponsor for the race under Saucony and Ccube Sports Hub, and on top of that as a volunteer too.
I reached the zoo entrance very early at about 5.45am as I stay pretty nearby. About 15mins later I was greeted by Gege Tey arriving as our Official Race Photographer. Really kamsiah to him for helping out as he just came back from the Langkawi Ironmen photography session. Then more runners started to arrive and I help divert them to the carpark area and register themselves before entering the zoo.
I was also designated to ferry all the barang barang like tables and foodstuff into the zoo. So have to make frequent trips in and out to ensure all the barang barang arrived and attended to. Moving around the zoo was greeted by pitch dark atmosphere only assisted by the lights from those kerosene cans along the walking path. Cool breeze and sounds of the birds and insects were felt and heard. Occasionally I can hear the roar of the big cats (cant differentiate if its a lion or a tiger) By 7.15am the sky starts to brighten up and it makes moving around easier and we can see almost all the runners have already gathered at the starting point waiting anxiously for the race to begin.
The race started off a tat late as we could not disseminate the checkpoint marshall earlier as the area was really dark then. I was given the privelege to flag off the race as the key sponsor. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and off they go. It was such a pleasure to see the race started of after many weeks of planning. And now its the crunching moments to ensure that all runners are taken care of from a hospitality standpoint. Its down to the team to make sure all nitty gritty things are look into so as to ensure there is very little mistakes and faults.
All male runners have to run 4 x 1.85km loop while the women runners have to run 4 x 1.85km loop. Round and round they ran and the timekeepers were busy calling out the bib numbers and marking down the number of loops each runner completes. The atmosphere was a very happy one with everyone joking especially our MC - Kelvin Ng cracking jokes after jokes and the runners are not spared too. The running environment was definitely special as I believed all runners get to hear the big cats roared, the birds chipping away, stocks flying freely along their running path and the aroma of the waste from the animals within the zoo.
The first runner completed the 5 loops in about 31mins and a very fast time indeed. Then more and more runners started to complete the race. After that they were diverted to the hosting area where the runners get to collect their finisher medal plus breakfast + drinks was on the house. It was really a carnival with the objective of promoting running as a healthy lifestyle. Not too sure how many packets of nasi lemak had those runners eat after the race, hehehe!!!! You called this healthy.....never mind lah. These calories can be burn off in no time.
Group photos of runners were taken after the race and the organising team had a photo taken as well with the Zoo Negara team who supported us in the event. I too had a field day meeting with some runners who needed to purchase some shoes from me and also took the opportunity to distribute my business card for future business with all the runners. Hopefully I can get some impact from this event.
As the race come to an end, the runners bid goodbye and some stayed back to walk around the zoo. We the volunteers team start to do the packup to ensure the rubbish are all collected and disposed to the bins and not left lying around. Packing up of tables, chairs and drinks and ferried all these barabg barang back to respective owners. And finally when it almost come to an end, we found out that we still have some 15-20 entrance tickets not used (there are some no shows)
We decided to get the permission from the zoo to resell the tickets to the visitors at the Main Entrance gate and the approval was given. So before we left home the team of Ronnie, Rachel, Julie, Ryan and myself became ticket touts selling tickets to some zoo visitors. Anyway we are selling it at a discounted price (given by the zoo) and its a no brainer ofnot buying it. And in no time all the tickets were snapped up and we got some money back, else it will go to a waste.
Well that was the finale of the day before the team parted and reach out to their own home. Overall I felt that the event was pretty well organised although we did a quick post mortem that there are some gaps. Need some improvements in these area when we come to organise the next event.
Cheers and hope everyone had an enjoyable and unique race at the Zoo. At the time of writing I have already received some email request of organising it again next year. Der Wild Wild Run 2010.....yet to be seen.