Saturday, January 23, 2016

Mumbai Marathon Expo - Time to Grow Bigger

Mumbai Marathon is growing bigger by the year, in terms of stature and size.  But the expo seem to caught on time warp.  It's time for expo to grow to match the stature of the event.  It needs to be move to a bigger place and with more exhibits / stalls.

I ran Mumbai after a gap of six years and was surprised to find Expo in the same place (World Trade Center, Cuffe Parade) as last time.  If it looked small then, looked even smaller this year.  Expo for a marathon of Mumbai stature needs a large open space that can be customized to suit.  But in Mumbai, it was circular and narrow, making it difficult to navigate through or use the space efficiently.

On Saturday, Jan 16, Bib collection was apparently only for outstation runners.  Even then the place was crowded and the lines moved at snails pace.

Met this guy from Japan.  They have a Chennai Marathon Club in Japan!!!!  Got to talking to him and came to know that he knew of Namma Chennai and in fact he is planning run TWCM on Jan 31.

Pacers were around to talk about their bus.  But I was more curious about the belt concoction they were wearing to hold the pacer pole.  Didn't look like a comfortable thing to wear, run and drive the bus.  On the race day, I saw several pacers getting rid of the belt and simply holding the pole in their hands.  In marathons across the world, making the pacer 'visible' is a challenge.  I have seen from balloons to t-shirts to whistles to poles.  Only balloons come close to doing the job while still providing complete mobility to the pacer.  But balloons are fragile and tend to break easily when the 'timing stickers' are pasted or soon thereafter.

 It has become customary in marathon events and runners have come to expect a Tee in their goodie bag.  Mumbai gave an 'almost' empty goodie bag as the contained only a few fliers and Volini sample spray.  But, I got lucky.  Thanks to IBM Runners Clubd, we got an Adidas Tee to boot.

Feeling cramped and not much to do, left the Expo early.  I hope Mumbai Marathon organizers move to a bigger place and give more reasons to spend more time at the Expo.  That will be one more way by which Mumbai Marathon can improve the runner experience and pump them up for the event.  All world marathon major expos do and its about time Mumbai did too.

#Marathon, #SCMM, #Mumbai

More photos -  SCMM Expo

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