Date: 18 November 2012
Venue: Penang Brige

Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon also known as APBIM, is an annual international sport event that attracts thousands of serious runners as well as amateurs from both local and international grounds each year. Since 1985, sportsmen from all over the world have come to participate in the thrilling run across the third longest bridge in the world, The Penang Bridge that oversees the breathtaking panoramic view of the “Pearl of the Orient”. This year’s APBIM was especially unique as it featured LIVE Race Tracking with Facebook and Twitter and recorded a very high number of registrations – 34,000!! At the same time, Exabees were absolutely excited to be a part of this as the event partner and volunteers at the scene.

In the month of November, 7 is our lucky number. It was also the water station we Exabees were at in last weekend’s Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon 2012! Giving out drinks and cheering for our tireless runners were a much cherished and memorable experience for us, not to mention that this was the last marathon to be held on the The Penang Bridge (next year’s event venue will be the newly built second link). As the partner and volunteers of the event, Exabees arrived at Sunday’s 12.30am midnight to get everything ready including manning the registration booth. We were very glad and grateful that some spouses of Exabees had also volunteered themselves for this endeavor. To our delight, the sky was clear and there wasn’t any sign of raining. Picking up our belongings after a simple group photo taking session, we wanted to be the first few ones to experience the ‘run’ before the runners arrived. However, it was a whopping 2.5km-distance from the place we gathered to water station 7!

Water station 7 was to only serve full marathon runners, who must cover a total of 42kms to finish the race. Our team was given 3000 bottles of 500ml mineral water, 300 bottles of 1500ml 100 Plus and 6000 empty cups to serve over 3000 of them. The task of pouring drinks into cups and arranging them on the tables seemed easy, but it was more daunting than we had thought. Keen believers that one should always incorporate creativity into his job no matter how challenging it is, we had prepared some musical instruments to cheer up our runners and ourselves, including portable speakers, empty 100 plus bottles, whistles, some mini bells, etc. Standing next to us at our station offering assistance were the very helpful scouts. At the same time, to make sure we were energetic throughout the night, we decided to pamper ourselves a little by bringing along a variety of snacks such as McDonald’s, Kit Kat, Snicker, etc.

After tying the huge banners indicating the distance covered at our station, the leader of the mission, Chun Howe waved the flag of Penang to boost up our spirit and show the support to the runners. Sooner than we thought, the first 5 runners appeared and surprised us with their lightning-like running speed. Grabbing their drinks the marathon runner kind of way, they accidentally toppled other cups on the table and caused other drinks to splash all over the place. This prompted us to reconsider the way we arranged our drinks on the table.

Suddenly, the empty Penang Bridge was buzzing with activities. Runners had arrived in batches incessantly. As we were busy pouring the drinks non-stop, our funny bones were tickled by a creative runner who dressed in a banana costume! Some were also seen pouring down their drinks onto their heads to prevent their bodies from overheating.

Stay tuned. More exciting details to come!

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