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Give Me One Reason
Tracy Chapman & Eric Clapton

Saint 2.0

Wednesday, June 11, 2008
SAABO! | 3:15 PM

Some of you may have heard of this duathlon that took place in the city last Sunday.

For those of us who are clueless about the different `-thons' races, basically, in a a duathlon, the participant has to run and bike a required distance each to complete the race. Hey, but isn't that also the biathlon?? Triatheletes in a triathlon have to run, bike and swim.

MALU!!! (meaning "so embarrassing!" in Singlish) Some correction to be made to one of the definitions above!! Obviously I'm no hardcore exercise person to reach `thons' status. Haha.

Thanks to Brannigan Ong, here they are :

duathlon - run, bike, run

biathlon - swim and run

Anyway, a student participant (that would be Mr. Ong) first highlighted this issue to me on Monday for whatever purpose which I can only guess. Perhaps he had wanted me to blog about it on Saint 2.0? Haha! Well, the following reader/participant's comment on the STOMP website writeup bascially summed up the boo-boo:

matthewky said on 10 Jun, 2008
Join the race on sunday SAAB duathlon.Eventually its turn out to be a 'SAABO' duathlon.No announcement to the cyclist about the shorter route.Funny thing was that ive asked 4 official how many laps for the 40km ride and all 4 official all 'blurr like sotong'.So many cyclist do from 4-10 laps as they do not have a clue.Really pity those who train hard and kena 'SAABO'.

For readers who are not in tune with the Singlish lingo, you may not catch the sacarsm. Here's how it works. Matthewsky did a wordplay on SAAB's brandname by adding an "O" behind it to make it resemble the Singlish word "sabo" which is a contracted form of the English word "sabotage". He is implying that the organisers' lack of forsight has thwarted the participants' plan to complete or win the race.

Fortunately, the organisers were quick to take ownership of the blunder :

Col Lam Shiu Tong, the race director, has issued an apology on the City Duathlon website. Excerpts from the statement on the website: "In the evaluation of our race management, we would like to apologize and highlight areas where we were deficient: failure to anticipate the route challenges as a result of heavy construction work in the area; failure to anticipate over a hundred construction workers breaching our bike route on their way to work; ineffective marshalling; inadequate route signage.

"As the Race Director, I'm concerned about some of the feedback gathered after the event and regret to learn about the inconvenience or confusion incurred during the race. As such, I'll like to give my unreserved apology and provide you with a review for your understanding."

Given the scale of the race and the major sponsor backing the event, it is not surprising that his comment was extremely politically correct. What does surprise me is that Col Lam is a member of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) which continually pride themselves with their strategic planning and procedures. This oversight certainly does not reflect well of SAF at all. Well, at least Col Lam, given his status, was humble enough to accept the blame. Good on him!


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