Organizers for HK Marathon launch anti-’selfie’ effort


Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - Page 6

A campaign against “selfies” is urging runners at the Hong Kong Marathon not to take pictures of themselves with their mobile phones after a pile-up at this year’s event, organizers said yesterday.

The crush was reportedly triggered after a woman stopped to take a picture of herself at the start of her race.

Organizers ruled out a complete ban on mobile phones as impractical, but said they were using Facebook, television and radio to promote the anti-selfie message in the run-up to the next event on Feb. 16.

“It is almost impossible to ban competitors from bringing their mobile phones,” William Ko, chairman of the marathon organizing committee, said yesterday. “What we’ve been trying to do is to get the message across to take care of yourself and to take care of other runners. For the race itself we will have officials to 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.”

The annual marathon event, which started 18 years ago and is sponsored by Standard Chartered bank, includes half-marathon and 10km competitions as well as the full marathon distance.

The pile-up in February happened at the start of the 10km race after a woman dropped her phone as she was trying to take the snap, local media said.

As she bent to pick it up runners behind her tripped over her, the South China Morning Post reported at the time, including triathlete Joyce Cheung Ting-yan (張庭欣), who went on to win the women’s 10k despite her fall.

Standard Chartered boss Benjamin Hung Pi-cheng (洪丕正) has called on organizers to stop runners taking photos of themselves to avoid carnage in the future.