Sunday, August 17, 2014

Chennai Kidathon - A well organized show

It is nearly 6 years since I had been to a marathon. Wait ... Wait... I'm not a marathon runner. But, I regularly participated in the marathons as a "walker" ... signing up for 5K walks... whenever it happened in the bay area in USA. Recently, there were several marathons organized in Chennai. But, I didn't register for any of them.

A couple of weeks ago, my daughter had brought a few brochures about Chennai Kidathon from her school. We enrolled her in that marathon, just to give her the "marathon" exposure. When I enrolled her in the marathon, I didn't have high hopes about the quality of the show or the organization of the event. But, I was pleasantly surprised when I started receiving emails from Eventjini.com. The organizers kept us well informed about the following:
  • The specific timings of the event
  • The parking space available (in fact, the organizers had partnered with Uber to provide free rides to/from the venue)
  • Time/Venue to come and collect the bibs (since my daughter enrolled through her school, the bib/T-Shirt etc., was delivered to her in school)
  • Route map to the event 
  • etc.,
I was very impressed by the thoroughness of the organization. I was doubly surprised, when I reached Nandanam Arts College, Annasalai to park my vehicle. They had a great line up of volunteers guiding us to find spaces to park our cars in all the nooks and corners of the college. There were nearly 200+ cars parked in the college and the experience was hassle free. I didn't notice any organizer/volunteer quarelling with the participants. They had arranged shuttle service which moved participants between Nandanam Arts College and YMCA in Anna Salai. Since the parking space was near to the venue, I took a brisk walk. In YMCA, they had clear sign-boards and banners directing the participants to the assembly point. They had arranged a carnival area filled with food / play structures. There were several dust-bins and trash bins to collect water bottles. Despite the fact that they had separate trash bins to collect water bottles... some of the kids had dropped the water bottles on the roads. (Read: Plastic ban in India, gaining momentum)

They conducted a warm-up exercise for the kids and started the program on-time. That was again a surprise to me. Since the program involved kids, I was expecting a 30 minutes delay. But, they started the marathon sharp at 7.45 am (the advertised time). I was so happy to see several 100s of children, wearing yellow T-shirts, enthusiastically participating in the program. I met a few of my ex-Juniper friends and my Toastmasters in the Kidathon.

When the kids finished the marathon, they stood in queues and collected certificates. That was also coordinated well by the volunteers. I'm glad that I made my daughter to participate in the Chennai Kidathon. The quality of the show was really "world class". It was on-par (in fact, above par) when compared to some of the marathons that I participated in USA. Great show Chennai Kidathon organizers !!

Also read:

Srirangam Temple in Trichy - Poor Management
Vandalur Zoo - Infrastructure is world class, but people's behavior is still local class