Melbourne Marathon “5km” – an apology

The MM organisers have sent an email today. Not sure if it was to all competitors, or just those in the 5k and 10k, but it is a big step forward.

“On behalf of the management of the Melbourne Marathon, we apologise to the sponsor ‘The Coffee Club’ and ‘ASICS’ and to all competitors for the incorrect measurement of the 10km and 5km courses.

We have now re-measured the 10km course using 2 methods, a surveyors wheel and a Garmin GPS. The surveyors wheel, which is regarded as most accurate, confirms the 10km course was short at 9.25km while the Garmin GPS recorded 9.2km. The 5km course was short at 4.5km.

We understand this caused a great inconvenience and disappointment to many competitors as it has to the Management of the Melbourne Marathon. We can assure you this mistake will not happen again and hope you give us the chance to get it right at next year’s event.

Please note the Marathon and Half Marathon courses were measured by internationally accredited Association of International Marathons course measurer and were 100% accurate.”

Admitting they made a mistake, re-measuring and publishing the distances, and assuring us it will not happen again is a fantastic change of attitude. My only issue with it is that they are claiming the “5km” race was 4.5km, when it was clearly very close to 4km. If it was 4.5km, then I ran 4 min/kms and I just ain’t that fast!

I have emailed them again (you knew I would, didn’t you?), here is what I  said;

“Firstly, I congratulate you on admitting your error, and on re-measuring and publishing the course distances, and on committing to getting it right next year.

I would just like to confirm though that your distance below for the 5km race is not a typographical error and maybe is meant to be 4.05km, or possibly an error has been made re-measuring the course, as everyone who ran the course on the day measured it at very close to 4km, not 4.5km.

Please confirm.”

This morning my 8km run with Deb turned into nearly 9km when we had to take a detour through Gowanbrae as the bike path we run on was blocked for some construction work. Tonight a home workout.

The next two days are going to be busy as my new boss is in town (he is based in China). On Friday I’m taking him down to Burnie.

Edit: I’ve just realised that when you read that email carefully, it only says they re-measured the 10k course. I wonder if they did re-measure the 5k?

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4 Responses to “Melbourne Marathon “5km” – an apology”

  1. Em Says:

    Pfffft, it’s the Sorry we got caught apology.

    But it’s better than nothing 🙂

    If I ever need someone to send measured, reasonable yet forthright e-mails of complaint on my behalf you are my man, I tend to go off on one myself 😆

  2. Vanessa Says:

    Hey Andrew – I stumbled upon your blog when I was looking for more information about what had happend at the Melbourne Marathon this year and then I got a bit more curious and started to have a bit of a snoop.

    Couldn’t find an email so I thought I’d just leave a comment here to say that I am truly amazed at what you have achieved. 7.51mins per km to 5.48mins per km in a year is truly impressive and very motivating.

    My partner is an avid runner and I am definately not but your blog has inspired me to perhaps give it another go.

    Excellent work! — Vanessa

  3. morseyruns Says:

    Wow you do write a thorough reasonable email! You are running so well at the moment- any idea what the next goal is?

  4. JH Says:

    You might need to rename this blog: “keeping-the-bastards-honest.wordpress.com”

    Sounds good.

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