Why you should not run the Delhi Mawana Marathon

Written by vik

Topics: Consumer Affairs

Mawana marathon (organised by Mawana Sugars and approved by Athletics Federation of India) would easily be the world’s cheapest marathon both in terms of money (50 Rupees only) and public estimation of it (horrible management). I ran the full marathon in 2013 (17 February) and have been observing it in the past too (without participating).

Mawana marathon and Athletics Federation of India don’t really care about it; from registration to certificate distribution they do it like it is a burden to them (sarkari attitude). Confusion, multiple websites (link 1, link 2, link 3, new year will have new link for sure), total chaos at bib-pick up day (including dejection to out-of-Delhi runners some of whom return without the bib no), rowdy crowd (including that of Delhi Police trainees, see text below), opening of traffic in just over three hours (though rules said it will be for four hours), inadequate water points and glucose or lemons, missing medals, officials celebrating and patting their back before media even before four hours have passed (sit at home if you are in a hurry, Why organise a marathon!): you name any kind of mismanagement and it is there.

So just don’t think of participating in the Mawana marathon. Or if you have to do it then thin of Half Marathon maybe (so that unblocked traffic in Central Delhi does not bother you). And if you are not in Delhi then just don’t even bother to come from outside and waste your time and energy here. It is just not worth it.

Run only if you don’t care about people organizing marathons when they should be selling peanuts (not even sugar) on streets. It is 50 Rupees only and a lot of tension comes free with it. And they are doing it for over twenty years now. And then the officials were lamenting that the media coverage is not enough. This event and those who organise it really need some media attention.

Don’t believe me? Ok, read the following comments taken from their facebook page. I have also attached images of the comments made by participants and observers so that it is permanently there on web. Comments also have how the young members of Delhi Police behaved in the marathon.

Comments by others on Mawana marathon’s Facebook page around 17 Feb 2013(I have saved copies of the fb page if it’s missing there):

1.  The experience of Mawana 2012 and Mawana 2013 were so different. 2012 was a well organised event from registration, to payment to bib collection to the actual race facilities. In 2013 the organisers wanted a BIG event (gunning for 15,000 entants) so they got everybody and their nephews to sign up, then they claim that too many people turned up !! PATHETIC to say the least. ONE thing for sure the LOTS who were CADETS from DELHI POLICE should be banned from this event forever. They have brought more shame and dishonour to the Delhi Police (didn’t think that was possible !!): by Sandeep Srivastava

2. Delhi police guys” running for women safety”…. they hv different definition of women safety by abusing them while running, pass cheap comments. they are not there for running… just only few of them are running the others just busy in eve teasing. I think this is the worst event I ever participted. By Devendar Chauhan

3. While I am proud to have crossed the finish line of this half marathon I will say that (even aside from the poor organisation) I would not recommend this marathon to woman runners – particularly foreign woman such as myself. I entered this race alone, not knowing what to expect, but I nearly did not compete because of the utter discomfort I felt while trying to find the holding pens and then waiting in them thereafter – the unwanted attention was unbelievable. I am used to being stared at in India (by the way Indian men, this makes us really uncomfortable too) but this went way beyond starring. I am only grateful that I did not understand what was being said. During the race I tried to focus on my running, but at times this was extremely difficult due to unwelcomed and uninvited male attention. Perhaps it paints a larger, more disturbing picture of how men in India treat woman. Truly unfortunate as the location was wonderful. By Allison Moore, foreign woman

4. Try and organise a better marathon next year. To pay the Rs 50, I had to endure a queue so long that I would have quit had I not travelled all the way from Mumbai. My friends from Pune and Ahmedabad were not so lucky. They came at 10.30 am and had to strruggle till 1 pm to get their bibs. At least get the basics right. What is the big idea in keeping only Rs 50 as registrations…is it that you wanted the numbers to show? There was no gatorade or any energy drink. How do you expect us (I ran 42.2k) to run the marathon on just water.  The route is fantastic and the weather makes running a pleasure, but please, for heavens sake, don’t open up traffic in just three hours after promising to keep the route traffic free for four hours. My friends in Mumbai will never run such a badly organised race. There are so many races that are better organised. Learn from some of the smaller races. I am not even asking you to try and learn from SCMM, because I know that you will only want to increase the number of participants. Marathon is organised for the pleasure of runners and not for the louts to make life hell for the women who run. If you increase the registration fee, then you can avoid most of the louts who create nusiance. All the best. By Anand Venkatraman.

5. … I was so disgusted with the expo that I did not collect my bib and left for my hometown Baroda on Sat night itself. You could risk injury to your body while attempting long distance running without the correct refuels. And congratulations for completing the full marathon. By Sameer Gaikwad

6.  My first time…and disappointed is very small word for the kind of ‘arrangements’ that were there, if any. Absolute madness, chaos, unruly elements and a hapless organising party. I dread to think what’s gonna happen tomorrow, if the vandals that were there today are participating. Sorry to say but really had high hopes from the event managers, given the credence of organising this marathon for past so many years. By Vipul Jain

7. Mis-management, thy name is “Mawana Sugars Indian Open Marathon”.
Utter chaos and mis-management at the venue.
When there was an option of online registration, more than a month back, why not the payment of fee, online too??
There were more than 10 queues, (a) For correction of name & other inputs, (b) For token for lodging/boarding for outstation runners, (c) For payment of race fee……….. but no clear instructions about which queue was meant for what. Many runners who queued up for more than an hour were told to move to a different one, just because their bib number was not available at that counter.
If there was a forecast for an inclement weather, why all arrangements were put up outdoors?
One guard was posted to manage 4 queues: a crowd comprising of mostly (undisciplined) youth and few elders and females.
People were being shoved around, many were entering and leaving the queues, as per their wish.
I experienced this for more than 2 hours and then the fee collection was paused abruptly and the reason given was that since it was raining, the lists, with names of runners, were getting wet and there was no provision by the race management to provide shelter!! The queues were dispersed just like that.
Still waited at the venue for 1/2 hour, but no signs or hope of any sense to prevail. Came back home, a dejected and disappointed man.
I assume, the same arrangements will be there tomorrow during the run, so my best wishes and sympathies with all the runners. By Sumit Virmani

8. Management was so poor couldn’t get the name of mine on the list and organizers said mine form was rejected i mean what the hell is this same problem happened to many of them and they didn’t do anything seriously about it For me it was wastage of time and money. By Shubhankit Tiwari

9. I have different concern. I did attempt full marathon. It is not possible to do full marathon without any electrolyte or energy intake. There was none available except salt. I fainted at 38 km mark; when I opened eyes about 20 minutes later, I was alone at RML hospital. Important: 1. Energy / electrolytes must be avaiable at least for treating emergency. 2. Bib number should have space for ICE (In Case of Emergency) contact. by Sanjay Jindal

10.  this time we faced such problems that we get chest no which was also alloted to my friend . and when we came to the national stadium to collect our bibs on 16\02\13. both of us have no name as per the chest no but some other person name was alloted to the same no, it was a very hard time for us to rectify it till late hours of afternoon. please make sure this will not happened again. by Sunil Pilani

11. The Mawana Marathon is actually a four stage race – 

1.The Pre-Marathon – collecting bib and chip standing 4 hours in the pouring winter rain amidst rampaging mobs.
2. The actual race (easy by comparison)
3. The post Marathon – collecting medal while trying to survive a stampede risking serious injury to life and limb (a lot of people give up here)
4. Waiting for the timings – This is the toughest and the most painful stage.More mental than physical. Teaches you the virtues of patience. The art of Zen. Yoga.etc.

Only those who successfully negotiate all 4 stages are worthy of being called the Mawana Champions. They are the true survivors. By Kamalpreet Singh.

12. My theory on why the results have not been published – besides the other stuff that I exchanged with Anand yesterday. Like another poster I too feel that there has been a technical issue with the timing. In fact I distinctly remember wondering why the timing mat (which looked like over used shamiana carpets) didn’t beep in either of the loops at the 5k u-turn (on both loops) at the end of Parliament street. Did any one else notice this? I do remember hearing some beep at the start/finish but I maybe mistaken. Also who has 3 u-turns in a race (end of rajpath; end of tolstoy marg and end of parliament street) but has only ONE timing mat to cover them ?! This was an invitation for all the louts to just skip parts of the race. Wonder who the technical director from AFI is for this event !! By Sandeep Srivastava

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