Even a quick snap can cause a massive, dangerous runner pile-up, organizers say.
At this year's Hong Kong Marathon in February, a competitor reportedly dropped her phone as she was trying to snap a selfie. In the process of picking it up, she caused some of the runners behind her to trip and fall.
To prevent this from ever happening again, organizers are taking action well in advance of the next 10K race in February 2014. On Tuesday, marathon organizers announced an anti-selfie campaign, urging runners to leave their mobile phones on the sidelines. Officials originally wanted to ban mobile phones from the race completely, but realized that would be unrealistic (and impossible to enforce).
They will push the anti-selfie message through Facebook, television, and radio.
William Ko, Chairman of the Marathon’s organizational committee, told AFP, "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." With the 2014 race's enrollment quota raised to 73,000 -- 1,000 more than this year's -- one should hope that this bit of seemingly common sense will be well-heeded.