Marathon organizers backtrack on attire rules

Local | Erin Chan 22 Oct 2021

Organizers of Sunday's marathon yesterday strongly condemned intentions to spread political messages at the event, as it advised runners to refrain from using political slogans on their attire.

That was a U-turn from their announcement on Monday, when organizers said no specific restrictions would be imposed on runners' attire, such as the color of their clothes.

Organizers also said runners were allowed to wear the slogan "Hong Kong add oil" - which has fallen into the grey area of the national security law.

But in a statement yesterday, the marathon's organizing committee said there had been a "misunderstanding" about the requirements of runners' attire among the media earlier.

Co-organizer Hong Kong Association of Athletics Affiliates advised runners to respect the marathon's rules, including the ban on political slogans.

The association warned that runners who breached the marathon's rules, as well as the law, would be barred from taking part.

Herbert Chow Siu-lung, chief executive of pro-democracy clothing chain Chickeeduck, said the chain's Tin Hau and Tsuen Wan branches would give away 3,000 free logos containing the "Hong Kong add oil" slogan for clothes.

This came after the marathon's organizing committee chairman William Ko Wai-lam said it was acceptable for runners to wear clothes with the slogan, despite recommending runners reword it to "Runners add oil."

Writing on Facebook on Tuesday, Chow said runners who could present proof that they were joining the marathon could receive the logos for free - on a first come first serve basis.

Non-runners could buy the logos for HK$25 each from the two branches and the online store, Chow added.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan appealed to organizers to ban runners from displaying the slogan "Hong Kong add oil."

Meanwhile, yesterday saw some runners wait for up to 45 minutes at Victoria Park to collect runners' packs and take Covid-19 tests.

The testing was carried out at the park yesterday and today from 11am to 8pm, and tomorrow from 8am to 4pm.

Over 200 people queued at the park for the arrangements as of 11am yesterday.



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