YOLO Run organisers apologise after criticism over delays, unclear race routes

YOLO Run organisers apologise after criticism over delays, unclear race routes

Participants said bottlenecks formed due to poorly planned race routes. (Photos: Magen Prasad, Gavin Lim) 

SINGAPORE: Organisers of the YOLO Run have apologised after participants took to social media to express their dissatisfaction following the race on Saturday (Nov 11), with many saying this would be their first and last YOLO race. 

Poor organisation of the event at the F1 Pit Building, including delays to gun off, unclear race routes and a lack of coordination during bag collection were among the main complaints of participants. 

A check of the YOLO Run website lists X-change Events as the organiser of the event.

It was the third time the run, whose name stands for "You Only Live Once", was being held in Singapore. It consists of a 21.1km competitive run, a 10km competitive run and a 5km non-competitive run. 

However, the half marathon had a delayed start, due to "unforeseen obstacles along our route this morning", YOLO Run organisers said in a public apology on its Facebook page. 

Runners also complained that the 10km run was cut short by 3km, based on their own tracking devices. 

YOLO Run organisers claimed that an "external consultant" made changes to the course without informing them and "took immediate remedial action on his own" to ensure that the half marathon still could be flagged off. 

"This re-route resulted in the HM (half marathon) and 10km route being affected," organisers said.

A first-time participant, who only identified himself as Ken, said he arrived at 4.30am for the gun-off time at 5am, but due to the delay, he took an extra one-and-a-half hours to complete the race. 

Participants were forced to walk instead of run. (Photo: Gavin Lim)

Other participants also complained that there were multiple bottlenecks during the race, as the routes were not properly planned. 

"It was a horrible run, especially for those who are actually serious runners like myself," said 31-year-old participant Koi Kye Lee.

"Some of us lost time by shuffling and walking. At one point several runners including myself had to jump over the metal barrier and run on the road. Cars honked at us."

Apart from the route, baggage collection points were said to be poorly coordinated, with no one directing the tagging and retrieving of participants' personal belongings. 

Baggage collection coordination was poor, said one participant. (Photo: Gavin Lim)

Mr Gavin Lim, 28, said he waited with his friend for about three hours to retrieve their belongings, as the situation at the collection point was "so messy".

"They just used crossknot and small marking tape to tag the bags, and a lot of them fell off," he said. 

He added that as the organisers distributed uniformed race packs, they had to open each bag to check the contents inside until they found the right one. 

"I will not run in the race again," he said. 

Participants had to end up searching for their own bags. (Photo: Gavin Lim)

"We take responsibility for the issues faced by all runners today and we will seriously take everyone's feedback into consideration to ensure future issues do not occur," the organisers said in their Facebook post. 

"We sincerely apologise for the unpleasant experience and invite runners to please contact us for any outstanding issues."

Source: CNA/kc