THE 30th edition of the Pune International Marathon on Sunday left many participants upset due to various management issues that had plagued the event.
The participants had come from different cities and states to take part in the marathon, which holds an international reputation. However, many participants complained of poor management — lack of toilets and drinking water facilities to be provided at regular intervals. Some of the regular runners also expressed their anger over the change in route.
Navnath Kamble, 60, a resident of Karjat, had participated in the charity run which was specially organised this year to collect financial aid for the victims of Chennai floods.
“I have been participating in the marathon for a couple of years now. We were hoping that the traffic and other obstacles will be less this year as the route was changed, but it was the same old story. Vehicles made it difficult to run freely. They were honking and asking the participants to move sideways. Incidents like these only distracted the participants from finishing the marathon on time,” said Kamble. Many severely criticised the mismanagement, calling it a big turn-off. One of the participants, Rahul Chawla, said, “There were no water stations at the finishing point and everyone had to run to get the water bottles.”
Some were also seen arguing with the officials who were counting the time as their timings did not match with the timings of the officials.
Responding to the allegations, one of the officials said,”Since the event is conducted on a large scale, such incidents are bound to happen. We tried our level best to run the event smoothly.” There were several complaints about route change too.
“Directions during the run were not properly displayed. I ran in the wrong direction twice,” said Survendu. The organisers had also promised to provide mineral water and arrange for restrooms at an interval of two kilometre each. However, we didn’t find any such facility,” said Prajas, a participant.
While the winners of the main event got felicitated, the others will have to wait for the felicitation. “It is very inconvenient for us to come back to the city only for the felicitation. Who will pay for our accommodation?,” asked Prashant Dadevar, 25, who stood second in the wheelchair race. Many participants were seen complaining about various issues faced by them to the organisers of the event. Some of them did not receive their enrollment numbers and had to run without one. The participants were also promised to be given participation certificates, but could only get them after repeatedly asking for the same.