The Bangalore Marathon and Half Marathon event was held this past Sunday and it did not come close to going without a hitch. It appears that the leaders in the half marathon went off course by over 3 miles due to their pace car missing a turn. Not only that, but drivers along the course got tired of waiting for the roads to open up and crashed through barriers and caused pileups that created huge headaches for the runners.
Now, I have missed a turn once or twice during a trail ultra, but I was certainly not leading the race – and it was my fault! I have also been in races where the leaders did not have proper signs at the finish line and went to the wrong finish line (the half instead of the full).
But, to have the pace car – the one who is in charge of making way for the runners and showing them the way – misses a turn, that is really bad. In fact, it was so bad that they had to borrow money (and get directions) from nearby joggers to take the metro to the finish line area! They said there were not staff members around and not enough marshalers along the way. Apparently the car that was supposed to be leading them was a media car and it kept going, leaving the runners on their own.
In the full marathon, “Some runners complained that the only way they could stay on the course was by following television news crews.” (WSJ) That is just really a fail on the part of organizers. Bad day for the runners for sure. Hopefully, the organizing committee can get it together for the next one and put on a race that the city could be proud of.