Saturday, August 29, 2009

Marathon may go hi-tech

RUNNERS taking part in the Penang Bridge International Marathon on Nov 22 may have to use an electronic timing device for the first time to record their running time.

State Tourism Development and Culture Committee chairman Danny Law said there were certain standards and requirements to be followed for the hosting of such international events.

He said the state government which was organising the event need to ensure there were 10,000 of such devices for the runners.

“We are expecting about 22,000 people to take part in the marathon. Of this, some 10,000 will participate in the full, half and quarter run,” he said when contacted recently.

Law said the devices could be bought from Hong Kong at RM15 each.

“We hope companies can sponsor the devices and also sponsor the Adidas brand T-shirts that are part of an international run requirement,” he said.

Law said those interested to take part in the event could also register online, and use their credit cards to pay for their registration fees.

He said an additional RM10 courier fee would be charged for those who register online to enable their goodie bags to be delivered to their doorsteps.

The fees for the full marathon is RM60, half marathon (RM40), quarter marathon (RM20) and the fun run RM10.

“There is an overwhelming response for marathons in countries such as Australia and the United States with the participation of between 50,000 and 100,000 runners.

“But here, we are looking at only 20,000 people for a start and I hope more will join in the years to come,” he added.

Law said they had invited two members from the International Marathons and Distance Races Association last Sunday to measure the marathon running course and to finalise the route.

He said the association’s board member Dave Cundy, who is also an International Measurement Administrator of Asia and Oceania together with Fran Seton participated in a forum, and later measured the running course by cycling on the bridge with a special apparatus from 10pm to 3am.

“This method is also used during the track events at the Olympics Games,” he added.

Law said to date 2,000 runners had registered online for the event, out of which 80% of the runners were from overseas such as Singapore, Kenya and Europe.

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