Saying No to Selfies at the Hong Kong Marathon

A campaign to ban the popular vanity shots next year due to the pile-ups they caused at the 2013 race

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DALE de la REY / AFP / Getty Images

A man and woman (C) kiss as they cross the finish line of the Hong Kong Marathon on February 24, 2013.

Officials for Hong Kong’s Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon are railing against the ever-popular “selfie,” launching a campaign against using cell phones at next year’s February race.

The race saw an influx of injuries this year due to runners stopping to snap self portraits and causing a pile-up that resulted in battered and bruised participants.  The Standard Charter Bank’s chief executive, Benjamin Hung Pi-Cheng is spearheading the proposal, asking organizers to use Facebook, television and other marketing tactics to promote the anti-selfie campaign.

(MORE: Why Selfies Matter)

“We want people to apply a little bit of common sense and discipline,” Hung told the South China Morning Post. “At the end of the day we want this to be run safely.”

William Ko, chairman of the marathon organizing committee, admitted to Agence France-Presse that banning phones outright is near impossible, but that race officials will hold up signs reminding runners to be mindful and refrain from causing pile-ups by stopping for vanity shots.

Registration for next year’s marathon on February 16, 2014, kicks off next month, and  organizers anticipate at least 73,000 participants for the event. Total prize money for full marathoners: $300,000.

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