Standard Chartered Marathon draws flak over baggage deposit delays, mobile app issues

Runners flagged off at the 2017 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on Sunday (Dec 3).
Runners flagged off at the 2017 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on Sunday (Dec 3).ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The 2017 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) has come in for some flak from participants on social media following the event on Sunday (Dec 3).

Participants were especially unhappy with poor organisation at the baggage deposit and collection areas, while there were also complaints about connection issues with the SCSM's mobile app and runners not getting finisher T-shirts in their preferred size.

Many took to Facebook to vent their frustrations at having to wait up to two hours to deposit their belongings, only to face the same bottleneck after the race when collecting.

Posted Facebook user Naga Sayee on the SCSM's page on Sunday night: "ALMOST Waited 2 hrs and manage [sic] to reach the starting point only at 06:00am . never waited so long in any race before . expect higher standards for SCSM."

Another user Lin Jincong compiled a list of ten complaints from his Ekiden team, stating that they had to wait more than 21/2 hours in total for baggage deposit and collection.

"(We were also) given wrong finisher shirt size and staff was unsure if shirt was unisex... Mobile app tracking did not work at all, timings only showed up half a day after the race," he wrote.

When contacted, SCSM organisers Ironman Asia said in a statement on Monday that the bottleneck was a result of additional security measures deployed this year which required all runners to empty their belongings into transparent carriers before deposits could be made.

"Upon being alerted to the delays, we immediately deployed additional manpower to manage the security processes. All baggage deposits were completed by 5.50am and the last runner crossed the start line at 6am," said the Ironman spokesman.

"To ensure runners were given the full 7 hours and 30 minutes to complete the race, cut-off times were extended across all points throughout the route including the finish line."

The spokesman added that finisher T-shirts were given to all participants who met the cut off time of 7hr 30min on a first-come first-serve basis and expressed apologies to runners who were unable to collect the size of their choice.

Ironman also acknowledged connectivity issues with the SCSM mobile tracking app, but said the issues were rectified before the end of the race.

A post from the organisers was also put up on the SCSM Facebook page on Monday afternoon at about 3pm addressing each of the three areas of complaints.

"Rest assured we have heard your concerns, and we are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience," the post read.

"Thank you for your support and understanding as we work towards providing a better race experience for the upcoming editions."