Hong Kong Marathon: Selfies are a Hazard

Runners take part in a 10-kilometer race of the Hong Kong Marathon Selfies

Asians took their love of taking pictures to the next level after thousands of marathon runners taking “selfies” caused a massive pile-up of competitors.

The race, sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, has been held annually since 1981 but last year the organizers ran into a few problems – well, mainly one problem: selfies.

During the marathon last year, some runners were injured because of hundreds of people stopping to take self-photos. One of the injured was the eventual winner of the women’s 10-kilometre race, Hong Kong triathlete Joyce Cheung Ting-yan, who had a rough fall during the selfie induced pandemonium. Many other runners also suffered injuries, often crossing the finish line bloodies and bruised.

Standard Chartered chief executive Benjamin Hung Pi-cheng blamed the selfie trend for the growing number of injured runners.

“The problem was that a number of runners were trying to take self-portrait pictures using their smartphones,” Pi-cheng said. “What we are trying to do is to encourage people not to do that. It not only endangers themselves but endangers a lot of people running behind them.

He added, “We want people to apply a little bit of common sense and discipline. At the end of the day we want this to be run safely.”

Thousands of people crowded into a confined space bumping into each other and taking selfies? Sounds like a regular day in Asia… slash my worst nightmare.

But organizers of the Hong Kong marathon have learned a thing or two from the incident and are now embarking on a campaign to stop runners from taking selfies.

While many are pushing for an outright ban on picture taking for next February’s Hong Kong Marathon, it’s a bit practical to enforce among 73,000 runners, so the organizers are asking participants to cooperate and put down their phones.

“For the race itself we will have officials hold some message boards to remind people not to take photos at the start, on the route or at the finish because it is dangerous,” William Ko, chairman of the marathon’s organizing committee.

Good luck with your anti-selfie campaign Hong Kong! Maybe after you can work on getting people to stop taking pictures of their food before they eat it.

Via: South China Morning Post

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