Friday, November 8, 2013

Trailseeker Registration 三部曲 (Trilogy)

Being a trail lover, I loved to support local new trail races.  The Green Corridor Run was my first trail race and when I heard about The Trailseeker's 22km trail race, I knew I had to sign up.  So I decided to ask around if there were any other runners interested to do the race to sign up as a group in order to get group discount.  15 other runners expressed their interest and I did the group registration for all on 15 Sep.  :)  During the group registration process, I was surprised that I did not need to input any of the group members details.  But since the registration went through and I received the Group Confirmation Slip after making payment for the whole group through the credit card, I thought our group registration should be fine.

Top Section of Confirmation Page 1

Trilogy Part 1 - Race Pack Collection
How wrong was I!  When I went down to Star Vista for the race pack collection on 25 Oct evening, I was surprised that they were unable to find my registration.  Luckily, I brought along my Group Confirmation Slip.  The OIC made some phone calls, took down my name and contact number and promised to return my call by end of the day as I told him I would be leaving for Philippines on Sat early morning.  When I reached home, I received his call.  :)  He said the problem with our group registration was that after I complete the group registration process, I failed to follow-up with the individual registration process.  "Har?  What individual registration process?" - I asked him.  Apparently, I had to forward the Group Confirmation Slip to all runners for them to register themselves individually, applying the coupon code given in the Group Confirmation Slip, including my own registration.  "Aaaaah.  Now I understand!"  But the email I received after making full payment didn't tell me what I should do!  After I read the Group Confirmation Slip, I found an instructions in small wordings that "As the group in-charge, please pass the coupon code below to your group members. Your group members must complete their registration by applying the coupon code at"  Gulped - I was at fault.  :(  I felt dejected to face with this problem just before leaving for my next overseas race.  :(  "So what could be done now?" I asked him.  He told me to do the registration as soon as I could.  I decided to register for all since I was to blame.  Besides, the runners had given me their details.  Unfortunately, when I clicked on the registration page, it showed that registration for the event was closed!  I called the guy again and he promised to get his colleague open up the registration.  I received a SMS soon after informing me to quickly proceed, which I did successfully for Sofia and Tze Choong.  But when I reached Dora's, I was not successful as she already had an account which I was unable to access due to the confidentiality of her account and password.  I beginning to get frustrated as I had to pack for my trip.  I decided that I had to inform the members of the situation and got them to register themselves in order to meet the deadline of Monday, in order to allow the race organiser enough time to prepare the bibs.  Luckily all the runners were sympathetic and we managed to register by the given deadline despite a few problems in applying the coupon code.  Phew!  :)

Bottom Section of Confirmation Page 1

Trilogy Part 2 - Race Pack and Bib Collection
Someone contacted me about the race pack collection.  I was to collect it on Fri, 8 Nov or Sat, 9 Nov at the Race Start/Finish point.  I told the person that this was not possible as I had to collect all 16 race pack.  If I did that, (and provided all 15 other runners agreed), I would finish distribution probably late when all of us were supposed to rest early for the race.  Okie, I knew it was only a 22km run and not a 220km overnight race.  Still, we would always want to rest early before any race even though we might view it as a leisure run.  The person (let's call him C) allowed me to collect the race pack and bib from him as the event tees were with the race organiser.  I wasn't quite sure why he said that but reckoned that was because his company was only in charge of the registration and distribution of race pack and bibs.  I enquired if I could collect the race pack and bibs from him, and collect the event tees on Fri or Sat.  He agreed and said he would let me know when they were ready for collection.  :)

On 5 Nov (Tues), I received a call from C about the collection of race pack and bibs.  I rushed down in a cab to save time as I still had to go down to CGH to visit my mum as she was hospitalised on Sat evening.  Unfortunately it rained.  C was very kind to meet me at Aljunied MRT with an umbrella.  (Actually, I was wondering why couldn't he bring the 16 race packs and bibs to the MRT.  If the rain didn't stop, he would have to walk me back to the MRT!)  Nevertheless, I didn't want to question C and followed him to his office.  After giving me the 16 race packs, he went to look for the bibs - Diana, Shafiqah, Dora, Chin Foon Shin, and and and oh no!  There were only 4 bibs that he could find!  C quickly made a call to someone and after finishing his conversation, told me that the remaining 12 bibs were still in the factory!  OMG!  Your bibs were not ready and you asked me to come down to collect!  What the fuuuuuccccck!  Somehow, I managed to keep my cool.  C apologized (but not profusely in my opinion) and said he will contact me again when the remaining bibs arrive.  He then sent me back to the MRT.  :(

On 6 Nov (Wed), just after I left office I received a text from C saying that the bibs were all ready and if I could pick up them up by 6:30pm.  I told him I tried as it was already 5:45pm.  So I rushed down again in a cab as I was to visit a friend's father's wake that night.  Luckily, my mum was discharged that afternoon, accompanied by my brother so I need not rush to the hospital.  I reached C's office at 6:50pm.  Despite rushing me to reach his office by 6:30pm, he still got the cheek to ask me to wait a while as he was rushing to send an email.  Since I had plenty of time, I waited.  After sending his email, he took out a packet of bibs.  :(  Sigh.  When you rushed people to pick up something, you should ensure that something were ready, instead of waiting for the person to arrive and prepare them.  My head was shaking invisibly and somehow, I still managed to keep my cool.  After collection, I went to bugis to change, and meet up with some of the runners to distribute the bibs.  :)  Happy ending - or so I thought!

On 7 Nov (Thurs), at approximately 8:57am, I received a text from C.  I literally fell off my chair.  And if not for the fact that I was in the office, I would have scream "What the hell are you doing!"  Basically, they had not activated the timing device for the 12 bibs that I collected on Wed.  :(  Worse.  C asked if I could send back the bibs to his office before 2pm!  I almost wanted to tell him that I had a full-time job and my job was not to sit around in the office waiting for things to happen.  Luckily, I had a meeting in Bedok and I could swing by his office to pass him those bibs that were still with me.  As for the rest, C would have to contact the runners himself.  Eventually, 5 of the 6 runners agreed to having no timing for the race.  I passed him the bibs as planned and told him to bring it to Aljunied MRT at the end of the working day.  After finishing the meeting, I went to Aljunied MRT as arranged and he passed me the 12 bibs, plus one more T-Du bib for Sebastian.  I reckoned he didn't dare to contact Sebastian and prepared a activated timing bib so that it became my problem!  Smart ass fucker!  Just before we parted, I decided to go through the bibs to ensure he passed me back all my bibs.  To my astonishment, I found 3 bibs that belonged to other runners among my bibs!  OMG!  If I had not check, I would have to meet him for the 5th time!  C thanked me before I left.

 Whatsapp Conversation with C!!!

Trilogy Part 3 - Collection of Event Tee
This afternoon, I decided to go down to check out the race start/finishing point after work, and also to pick up my race tee just to ensure that they would be ready.  The man at the baggage point was very helpful and friendly and I managed to collect my event tee without any problem.  At the same time, I decided to check out the names of the remaining 15 runners just to assure myself they could collect without problem the next day.  After going through the 5 pages of names I noticed that 4 of the runners' names were not in the list!  These 4 runners were issued the bibs which I collected on Tues.  What could happen was that the list only contained names of runners who had their bibs reprinted by the factory which explained why the names of the 4 runners who could be using the leftover bibs available in their office were not reflected.  I really hoped I was wrong as I only made a very quick glance through the 5 pages of name lists.  Nevertheless, I sent C a text which he did not acknowledge and also the affected 4 runners.  I guess we won't know until tomorrow.

This group registration really sucked up a lot of my time and energy, all because of my oversight.  I only had myself to blame.  I hoped to have a good run tomorrow and that they won't screw things up on race day.  In future, I probably won't try to do a group registration just to save that few dollars.  Then again, I guess I won't mind helping fellow runners as long as they understand that whatever happened was really beyond my control.  All in all, the group registration was probably still a good system (automatic system as compared to manual system) though the company in charge of the registration process should have some foolproof reminders to sound them off if someone registered for group registration failed to complete the process.

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