This time the event was organised officially by MOTAC (Min of Tourism & Culture, Pahang) & Pahang State Government. Personally I am very happy because the programme is still on for the second year. This time I am not the key person and therefore have less responsibility. I took up registration (with tremendous help from Azam & IIUM team headed by Hasmanizam) and also the design/web. This year we used PayPal as payment portal for better payment option even though by doing so, we were charged 4-5% from the total amount.
The planning stage was OK but for me, this time round I am working with someone else as ‘The Boss’ hence some decisions were delayed. But of course all were for good reasons. We also need to fullfil certain interests that will benefit MOTAC & government e.g. high number of participants to booth popularity. We accepted the challenge with caution because we knew, the more people cycling on open roads, the more dangerous it will be, and therefore the more preparation required.
This year, the challenge started even with online registration. As we were new to the system, I personally configured certain things wrongly. The PayPal system also not as smooth as expected. It blocked many transactions for various security reasons. Now I realized that actually not many people used to online payment.
Asking people to register & later to manage their very own personal info also was a challenge as people used to ask us to do that for them. And Malaysian especially, maybe too used to manual registration & therefore preferred bankin or cash registration.
However the most common problem was people simply NOT READING instructions.
The event went pretty well as far as my personal assessment is concerned, but not perfect.
The most challenging part was the technical aspect of it which was the heart of the event. From planning the route, testing few options, planning water station, changing the places many times, trial rides with various parties, asking help from various agencies, handling bureaucracies and so many tasks. I respect my colleagues who were managing those things.
We got problem with vendors we hired. Those already agreed to send canopies, chairs & tables ontime failed or simply refused to do so for no reason. The factory we booked for thousands bottles of mineral waters also closed on the day we were supposed to collect the water (even when they were the one who scheduled the collection date). All happened within 24-36 hours prior to the event. WOW!
Some marshals we engaged also did not turned up. So we really tahnkful to the remaining marshals who worked extra hard, did extra shifts to ensure the running of this event.
Almost 1900 registered but only about 1200++ started the ride. It puzzled us of the too many DNS. Some riders claimed they did start. But our timing system captured otherwise. We installed intermediate check point even though that caused us so many obstacle. Despite that, some riders still cheated. They just cheated themselves actually.
This year, we gave medal & cert to anyone who passed the designated counter. It was up to them to accept them or not. Some, actually only very few of those failed to complete 160KM ride refused to accept them & we really respect the decision.
All in all, it is one tiring event.
As a non professional event managers, we did OK but if given a choice, we prefer to ride with other people that to manage this event.
We really hope for the third KUANTAN160 on 1st June 2014, we could hire professional event manager with better or world class timing system. However the main issues are, will the riders also come with world class cycling etiquette, not cheating, follow all instruction (if they even read the instruction)…and more importantly willing to pay more for the better service (I hope).