PETALING JAYA: “One minute I was running, the next I was on the roof of a car,” said Ahmad Hadafi Jus, one of the three runners injured in the Klang City International Marathon 2017.
The 42-year-old said he held on to the sides of the roof as the car kept on going for about a kilometre more after hitting the runners before it crashed into a ditch.
“I have no idea how I ended up on the roof. I kept pounding on the roof and window but I don’t know why the driver didn’t stop,” he told reporters at the Sungai Buloh Hospital yesterday.
Ahmad Hadafi was there to visit fellow participant Evelyn Ang, who suffered serious head injuries.
Ahmad Hadafi said that during the race, the lanes in Jalan Kapar, where the accident happened, were not completely closed to traffic.
Another participant, Barley Wong, said he had serious concerns for his safety as he ran in the marathon.
“This was the first marathon I have been in where I thought I might not get home safely,” said the 38-year-old marketing manager.
Wong said the first thing that struck him was that there were only a few cones separating the runners’ lanes from oncoming traffic.
“And the cones were spaced really far apart,” he said, too far to be seen as a barrier by drivers.
“A driver might think: why is there a cone in the middle of the road? And that’s it,” he added.
Wong also said parts of the route of the early morning run were very dark.
Having run various marathons over the last few years, he found other aspects of the event wanting.
“There was no mobile toilet and some water stations didn’t even have water,” he claimed.
Fellow runner Nurdina Kasim, 25, said she too was almost hit by a car during the run.
“There was an alley near a construction site which I felt was the most dangerous I’ve ever ran in.
“The road was bumpy and it was dark. There were also three men standing beside a van with its engine running watching us run,” she said.
Nurdina said when she quickened her pace to go past the men, a car zoomed so close to her that she was lucky she wasn’t hit.
She said she noticed that cars drove into the runners’ lanes because of the spacing of the cones.
A lack of signage along the route compounded things, she added: “There were no signs as to where one should go; so you just had to trust your gut feeling.”
Participant Noorfaridah Mohd Nor, 34, said the numerous dark stretches made it seem especially dangerous for women runners.
“I wonder if the organiser had properly researched the route,” she said.
The self-employed Noorfaridah also said traffic control was poor.
“Runners had to cross (roads) on their own, and we had to watch out for speeding vehicles,” she added.