Ballot Winners Selected for Standard Charted KL Marathon 2019

Ballot at Standard Charted KL Marathon

YB Syed Saddiq displays his SCKLM2019 Half Marathon Running Bib, flanked by Rainer Biemans and Abrar A. Anwar

Today, Malaysia’s premier distance running event implements ballot system for public registrations due to tremendous response and the Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman was given the honour to activate the random computerised ballot selection process whereby ballot winners were picked and immediately notified of their selection.

Check your ballot status at https://www.kl-marathon.com/

The Standard Chartered KL Marathon has seen phenomenal growth over the last decade with the 10th Anniversary edition in 2018 seeing the highest attendance to date of over 38,000 participants. Public registrations for the 2018 event were snapped up within 10 hours of opening, leaving a lot of disgruntled runners who didn’t get a chance to register due to a variety of reasons, such as network congestion and poor internet connections.

This year saw a significant increase in loyalty registrations, where returning 2018 runners were given the privilege of signing up and securing their slot before registrations opened to the general public. Almost two thirds of the available slots were snapped up during this period leaving slightly over 12,000 slots across all categories remaining for public registrations. Hence, the ballot system was introduced this year to give everyone an equal opportunity to secure a race slot as potential participants could cast their ballot between 13 to 19 February 2019.

“We introduced loyalty registrations in 2016 as a way of giving back to the running community who have strongly supported us, and continued to implement this in the following years” said Rainer Biemans, Project Director of SCKLM and Director of Dirigo Events, the owners and organisers of the multi-award winning event. “Since then, the take-up during the loyalty registrations consistently yielded about 40-45% of overall slots available. This year we were caught by surprise when the loyalty registration period saw more than 60% of available slots snapped up, which is why we have had to implement balloting for public registrations” added Rainer. “This way, everyone gets an equal chance to secure a race entry and will not be hindered by network or work issues.” Rainer also mentioned that moving forward, the balloting process would most probably be implemented right from the loyalty registration period.

“It’s certainly a privilege to be involved with the premier distance running event in Malaysia. I have truly been inspired by the hard work undertaken by SCKLM to develop the sport of distance running by consistently putting on a world class event that attracts more than 38,000 participants from Malaysia and around the world,” said Syed Saddiq. “While the competitive aspect of SCKLM has provided talented Malaysian runners like Leo Tan and Muhaizar Mohamad with the platform to perform alongside elite international runners and raise their game, the heart-warming aspect of SCKLM is the commitment placed on making a difference through the Run For A Reason charity initiative,” added Syed Saddiq. “In fact I have decided to accept Dirigo Events invitation to participate in the Half Marathon for SCKLM2019 and if my preparations go well, I hope to do something to be able to give back to the running community too.”

The 2019 edition of SCKLM was given a boost late last year when Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia renewed their title sponsorship of the event for a further four (4) years. The Bank has been a steadfast supporter of the event since its inception in 2009 and is a major factor behind its success.

“We are delighted to resume our title sponsorship of the KL Marathon. The past 10 years of our sponsorship has shown us the amazing power this event has to bring people from all walks of life together to do extraordinary things. SCKLM has grown from strength to strength and is now one of the most sought after events in Malaysia and the region,” said Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia. “This year marks yet another milestone with the ballot system introduced for public registrations,” added Abrar.

Charity programme Run For A Reason (RFAR) has been an integral component of SCKLM which has benefited and improved the lives of thousands of Malaysians over the last 10 years. Last year, the programme raised RM500,000, with individual runner raising more than RM17,000 and Rainer hopes the amount increases this year. For 2019, the charity beneficiaries are the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Hospis Malaysia and Dignity For Children Foundation.

 

From Press Release
For more information and updates on SCKLM, please visit:

Facebook       : http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon
Twitter            : www.twitter.com/SCKLmarathon
Instagram       : https://instagram.com/SCKLmarathon
Website          : www.kl-marathon.com

 

 

3 Reasons Why you should Join Spartan and 4 Steps to Train for the race

I first embarked on my Spartan Race in Nov 2015  at its inaugural race in Singapore. I was hooked the first time. I love running but after a few marathons i got a bit bored and was seeking a more challenging race to keep me motivated and on my toes. Spartan Race was a dream come true. I have participated in 12 Spartan races since then, held in Singapore and Malaysia. I hope to be able to take part in more Spartan races overseas to experience the different terrains and weather. I ran alone for all the races except the last Super (Oct 2018) and the latest, first ever Stadion Race in Asia last January 2019. Crossing the finishing line was fulfilling i thought, but crossing the line with 22 others (first time Spartans) brought “fulfilling” to a whole new level. We trained together for about 4 months and they started with much fears and concerns. I met so many others who desired to participated but fear kept them at bay. These 22 faced theirs fears and fought through their personal demons to achieve something they never thought they could.

We are STRONG alone but TOGETHER, we are STRONGER!

Alhamdulillah.. No women left behind. Look at our muddy attire!

WHAT IS SPARTAN RACE? 
(Taken from Spartan Website)

Three Main Race Types

  • Sprint 3 mi / 5 km, 20 Obstacles
    The Spartan Sprint puts endurance aside and tests your quickness through 5 km loaded with 20 Obstacles. A great starter distance for beginners, or a perfect test against time for the more advanced racer.
  • Super 8 mi / 13 km, 25 Obstacles
    The Spartan Super is as much mental as it is physical, spanning over 13 km that are just as unforgiving as the 25 Obstacles that litter the distance.
  • Beast 13 mi / 21 km, 30 Obstacles
    The Spartan Beast is just plain hard. This is the longest and most difficult race out of our three main race types and is aptly named for its brutal 21 km circuit with 30 Obstacles that try to keep you from your finish line.

ENDURANCE EVENTS

Ultra (30 mi / 50 km, 60 Obstacles) – replaced Ultra Beast, Hurricane Heat (3-4 hours of grueling team building), Hurricane Heat 12 Hour (12 hours of physically and mentally draining team and individual challenges), or the Agoge, a 60-hour event that builds physical, tactical, mental, and team-based strength through training, testing and evaluation.

3 Reasons Why You Should Join Spartan Race

  1. Holistic Challenge. As per most OCR (Obstacles Course Races) , the race not only requires one to be able to run. It demands a total full-body commitment, from strength to agility, balance, skills, endurance, ruggedness and mental resilience. The abilities to overcome the obstacles stretches you beyond your comfort zone. One needs to not only run the distance but, climb over walls, crawl through mud and tunnels, swim across waters, beat lateral walls, carry weights over undulating terrains, throw spear, hang, swing, roll, jump… you name it, they have it. What it means is that one has to train nearly every muscle in the body!
  2. Test One’s Limit. The race is a true test of one’s limit. The different obstacles, undulating terrain, surprise elements, the harshness of the outdoors and the weather forces you to perform at your best and then some. Going through the training and completing the race will make one humbled yet confident to be able to overcome any hurdle life may cast upon you in syaa Allah. Like life itself, every obstacle represents the challenges we face in our daily life.We all know how one gets stronger ONLY through difficulty. It’s a test of physical strength, mental resilience and GUTS.
  3. Camaraderie Forged. The race is like a battle and the racers like soldiers. Even when running alone, i never felt lonely. The positive spirit of each Spartan is so infectious, the stranger next to you will not leave you to in the ditch. A hand is always ready to pull you up the wall or through the mud. A battlefield where no one gets left behind. Going through the race as a team, the camaraderie forged as we overcome the obstacles together is beyond words. At the last Spartan ULTRA at Iskandar Putri, i jumped through the fire hand in hand with new found friends from Taiwan, Indonesia and Philippines with our own story to remember for the rest of our lives.

Too difficult? Our 59-year-old Cik Sumarne can do it. What’s your excuse?

Their first Spartan Race! 13km 25 Obstacles. The most senior in our team was Cik Sumarne 59 years old (most right). Check out her smile!

Olympus – The rain poured just as we crossed the Start Line and continued to bless us with coolness and mud! Yeaaay

Spear Throw

Crossing water obstacle at Sentosa Beach.

Final Obstacle – Fire Jump

Dunking Station

Since you have no excuse, cast aside your fears. Bury the worry and  burn away the jitters. Go sign up for a race already. There! First step done… Good job!

4 Steps to Train for Spartan Race

  1. Prepare Well. Plan your training. You don’t want to suffer on course and call it quits. To finish strong, you must plan for every training, endurance, building up strengths and learning skills and techniques to overcome obstacles. You can follow Spartan’s Workout of the Day or subscribe to a training program with them. Read up! there is plenty of resources online to teach and show you how to train up. Look up the different obstacles you need to train for, rope climbing, swing trainer, hurdles, spear throw, etc. Watch the demonstration videos and training tips from the pros. Penalty for every failed obstacle is 30 burpees. The number of burpees you do, depends on your training.
  2. Commit and Be Discipline. Set goals and keep to the plan. Commit yourself to the training and don’t falter. Treat yourself sometimes too after a good workout or once you finish a cycle. Consistency is always best. Push yourself but also rest and recover well.
  3. Make Training fun!Include variety in your training. Train at different places, run a new route, venture new venues. Use different props/equipment while training. Embrace the sweat and soreness and learn to enjoy the training. Remember, its a process, you need to savour the journey to taste the sweetness at the finishing line.
  4. Train Together. Gather your kakis. Having great company while training is always awesome. Join the Spartan Community where they will provide free training or find a community near you who are as enthusiastic as you. Motivate one another during training and help each other to achieve the training goals. Together, you are definitely stronger.

My Spartan Journey – 12 races since 2015

A satisfying finish with the team

The Z Wall

Inverted Wall

Join me at the next race on 02 March 2019 at Semenyih – Spartan Super/Sprint!

Running as a Traveler in Kowloon – Hong Kong

Training for a race or simply to keep up with running when you travel is now a breeze. You need to check the weather condition at destinations, and  find fitness center or running routes close to your accommodation. Sometimes, you may not get much  info about safety of the running routes, so you may want to find out more upon arrival.

Here’s an example of a traveler outfit and running routes in Hong Kong when the weather is misty and cool at a temperature of 17-21 degrees in Celsius.

1. Outfit Ideas for Running Traveler

A. Travel Outfit

I like to travel comfy and light. I do not like to bring too many items as I want to save space and avoid loosing personal belongings. Hence, clothing that is roomy and has secure pockets is my pick!

A couple of ideas:

The top is loose on the head and comfy. Ample pockets on both tops and pants. Always bring an extra light jacket

Two side zipper pockets are useful. One to keep passport & boarding ticket and another for mobile phone.

B. Running Outfit

For climate above 20 ° Celsius  or 68 ° Fahrenheit, you can wear your thin to medium lightweight and breathable sportswear.  They do not need to be thick. For weather below 20 degrees, you need to wear thicker breathable fabric. Do bring a hand towel like the Raazglove to wipe your nose when you run in colder weather.

Above 20°C Running Outfit. Lightweight

2. Running Routes

There are many running and trail routes in Hong Kong.  Here’s a sharing for a 9 km route in Kowloon District.

Exploring Kowloon Park in 2 loops of 2.2 km each

4.5 km running route Tsim Tsa Tsui Promenade

A. Kowloon Park
It is a sanctuary for recreationist  and birds. There are pockets of open spaces, bird sanctuary, water fountains, lookout hill, rose garden, outdoor swimming pool and outdoor gyms in the park, surrounded by approximately 2.5 km walking path. You can take the MRT train to Tsim Sha Tsui and exit to Kowloon Park or Kowloon Mosque. The park is right behind the mosque. You can make two loops around the Kowloon Park exploring different paths and section of it. If you like birds, you can checkout the bird sanctuary and the flamingo pond. What I like about the park is that there are a few elevations, one of which leads to the lookout hill, and the flora and fauna are oh so gorgeous.

  • The view of Kowloon District from Lookout Hill
  • Maze Garden
  • The Bird Sanctuary - Hornbills, Pigeons and many more
  • Among the old trees
  • Kowloon Park Flamingos

B. Tsim Sha Tsui & Hung Hom Promenade
Other than the Kowloon Park, you can run at Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade. From Kowloon Park, you need to go back to the closest MRT entrance and find Exit J. Walk for about 300 meters towards exit J. Upon exiting, you will see Salisbury Garden and you can start running east towards Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade.The 2.3 km stretch will take you through the Hung Hom Promenade till the Hung Hom Ferry Pier. You can enjoy the breeze and lovely view of Hong Kong Island and ferries.

  • Dwarf Hibiscus on Hung Hom Promenade
  • Star Cruise on Victoria Harbour
  • The track along Hung Hom Promenade
  • Salisbury Garden @ Tsim Tsa Tsui
  • Up on the ramp that connects Tsim Tsa Tsui Promenade and Hung Hom Promenade
  • Hung Hom Ferry Pier
  • Hung Hom Promenade

These two routes give you about 9 km mileage. If you want to add more, run further or add another loop. I find running at Kowloon District is safe and convenient. Happy running & traveling!

Standard Chartered Extends KL Marathon Title Sponsorship

Fabulous news for runners! We can look forward to another four years of wonderful racing experience at the KL Marathon. Dirigo Events and Standard Chartered Malaysia announced a four-year extension to their title sponsorship agreement, taking the biggest run in Malaysia with the Standard Chartered KL Marathon through year 2022. The 2019 edition of the highly anticipated event will take place on 28 and 29 September and is expected to draw over 38,000 participants.

Standard Chartered has been the title sponsor of the event since 2009 and celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the bank’s involvement at this year’s event in April. The Standard Chartered KL Marathon’s (SCKLM) 10th Anniversary saw its biggest participation yet with 38,000 participants competing in 10km, Half and Full Marathon distances, with a 5km Fun Run and 1km and 3km Kids categories. The 10th Anniversary event also saw SCKLM being held over two days for the first time to cater to the growing number of runners, and this will continue in the next edition of the race.

Rainer Biemans and Abrar. A. Anwar exchanging the sponsorship documents

“We are extremely pleased to be extending our association with this wonderful sporting event and delighted that we will be able to continue inspiring Malaysians to lead healthy, productive lives,” said Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia at a signing ceremony held today. “Over the last 10 years, SCKLM has grown to become the premier running event in Malaysia, bringing together participants from every state within the country and from over 70 countries. This is largely due to Dirigo’s excellent organisation of the event and we are happy to resume this successful partnership to take this event to even greater heights,” added Abrar.

The 2019 edition of SCKLM will also see the inclusion of new, as well as returning sponsors. SCKLM welcomes Under Armour and Banana Boat as first-time sponsors of the event. Seiko resumes its long-standing sponsorship while 100 Plus returns as beverage sponsor for the next 4 years.

“We are really happy to have secured our title and major sponsors for the 2019 edition of SCKLM well ahead of the event, which gives us ample time to plan and maximise the sponsorship agenda of our partners,” said Rainer Biemans, Project Director of SCKLM and Director of Dirigo Events.

So mark your calendar and let’s not miss the run in 2019. Need convincing? Checkout our past experience running the Standard Charted KL Marathon.

 

Get updates on SCKLM at their social sites below:

Facebook       : http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon
 Twitter            : www.twitter.com/SCKLmarathon
 Instagram       : https://instagram.com/SCKLmarathon
 Website          : www.kl-marathon.com

 

 

Kenapa Ramai Kembali Berlari di Pink Ultra

Heiiii ! Saya lari lagi di Pink Ultra edisi ke 4

Larian Ala Trail di Paya Indah Wetland, Dengkil

Tahun ni merupakan edisi ke 4 Pink Ultra dan merupakan kali ke 3 saya menyertai.  Edisi pertama (2015) dan ke-2 (2016) diadakan di Taman Saujana Hijau, Putrajaya. Edisi ke 3 (2017) di Taman Tasik Cyberjaya dan edisi ke 4 (2018) di Paya Indah Wetland, Dengkil.  Semua acara Pink Ultra adalah larian looping, berjarak 50km.

Pink Ultra dianjurkan oleh Team Pacat dan ia adalah untuk wanita saja. Tapi  peserta lelaki boleh jugak sertai dalam kategori duo; iaitu larian bersama peserta wanita dari awal sampai lah tamat larian. Selain itu ada kategori solo dan kategori relay.  Peserta diberi masa selama 10 jam untuk berlari dan perlu  dapatkan 50km untuk dapat medal dan finisher t. Tak habis lari tak dapat hokay !

Acara kali ini diadakan pada 4 Nov lepas. Saya menyertai kategori duo bersama Noi.  Kami di lepaskan pada jam 7.10 pagi.  Laluan kali ini lain dari edisi yang sebelum ini, kali ni 95% larian adalah trail. Kami kena berlari 1.5km ke check point dan pusing semula ke starting line melalui jalan yang sama.  Bermakna 1 loop adalah 3km.  Peserta duo dan solo diwajibkan untuk menghabiskan sebanyak 17 loops (51km) dalam masa 10 jam. Pemandangan di Paya Indah Wetland sangat cantik, dikiri dan kanan ada tasik dan katanya ada buaya juga.  (nasib baik masa hari tu tak ada buaya 😊  Kami tak akan rasa sunyi masa berlari sebab akan bertembung dengan runner lain berlainan arah. Tambahan pula, marshall juga selalu ulang alik untuk menjaga keselamatan peserta.

Noi dan Intan Berlari Kategori Duo di Pink Ultra 2018

Part ni memang best, makanan dan minuman yang banyak dan sedap. Ada nasi lemak, bubur ayam, mee hoon sup, buah-buahan, kek..dan bannyyaaaaakkkk lagi dan pelbagai air yang sentiasa sejuk berais.  Di Pink Ultra jurugambar mengambil gambar peserta-perserta yang kelihatan cantik-cantik belaka, hokay ! Marshall dan sukarelawan pula sangatlah peramah, banyak membantu dan sangat baik. Ini sememangnya tradisi Pink Ultra!

Bagi saya Pink Ultra memberi saya ruang untuk mencuba keupayaan saya berlari jarak jauh dan ianya ibarat training saya untuk acara larian lain yang akan datang.  Pengalaman berlari ditengah panas, mental diuji sebab route looping, sakit cramp, blister sana sini, penat, letih, rasa nak pitam, semua jadi satu kepuasan untuk saya.  Ramai yang memberi kata-kata semangat bersorak bersama, jumpa kawan baru.  Yes, bonding and more time together!

Larian Loop 50 km dalam masa 10 jam

Bagi saya Pink Ultra adalah acara yang sangat bagus untuk wanita yang ingin cuba berlari dengan jarak lebih dari marathon. Sebab semua rasa ada,  manis, masam, pahit dan pedas semua ada disini. Sedapkan? 😊 eh jom lah sertai Pink Ultra tahun depan!

BMW Berlin Marathon 2018

It was sheer luck that I got to ballot as a team with Zamzamiah or better known as Amie for the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018. It was a last minute opportunity and Amie submitted our ballot in November ’17. When I found out about winning the ballot in January, I was shocked. Never had I dream about winning the ballot, what more running at one of the the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

To prepare for the Berlin Marathon, I registered and ran for the Malaysia Women Marathon 2018 in March ’18 and Standard Charted KL Marathon in April ’18.

The Expo

I took a 15 hour flight from Malaysia and arrived Berlin on a Friday, 14th Sept, two days before the race. Amie who was already on a solo backpack travel met up with me that morning and we headed to the Race Expo.

There were many exhibits at the entrance; safety cars, displays of the medals from 6 major marathons, list of runners who have raced in the 6 major marathons and many more. I managed to scribble my name on a small spot.

  • Hijabi Finishers at the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018
  • Malaysian Finishers at the BMW Berlin Marathon 2018
  • Zamzamiah did her personal best!
  • The Race Band, the Medal
  • The cute Adidas cup
  • The entrance of Race Expo
  • BMW Berlin Marathon Expo
  • A drive by Adidas to reduce plastic cup use
  • The medal for abbott world marathon majors six star finishers
  • The medals of the six major Abbot marathons
  • Malaysian runners who are Abbott world marathon majors six star finishers

 

As we walked further, there was a checkpoint for runners. A few volunteers were providing race bands for runners. As we walked in further, we saw many booths of merchandisers and running organisers, mostly from Europe. The booth to pick up the race kit was at the very end but there was no queue. We were given our race number and timing chip swiftly.The queue to pick up pre-order finisher tee was already long and we waited patiently for about 30 minutes.

The Adidas booth was always full. Runners and visitors were busy purchasing the event tee. It was selling like hot cakes for Euro30 each. We came back to get more the day after and they were already gone. So do your shopping early if you see a good bargain. We picked up the adidas drinking cup that we could use for the race – in support of their effort to reduce plastic use.

Outside of the booth area were more car display, BMW hot-air balloons and an old plane.

The Race

On the race day, which was two days after, we took the train to the race area at 7:30am. The crowd started to build up. The flag off was done in 3 waves ; 9:15am, 9:30am and 10am.

 

At the start line, everyone was bumped up by the music. As the minutes get closer to the 10am flag off, some just loose their sweaters on the streets and dash.

It was a perfect day to run. The sun was out and the weather was simply beautiful.

The routes were nice and flat. I loved checking out the city on foot and enjoyed the crowd cheering and playing music along the way. I think there were close to a dozen of performers playing music along the way and outside of cafes. At 1pm we were told about the new world record set by Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge at 2:01:39.

  • Putting on the Race Band at Expo
  • The main Expo Hall
  • The Route
  • All excited to start
  • More Halls
  • Scribble your name on it

There were many volunteers providing peeled and cut bananas & apples at designated water stations and later ultra sports energy gels.  You can choose to fuel up with water, hot tea and energy drink.

I was happy to be able to finish the 42.195km run with more than 40,000 other runners and receive the medal for my son. It was my worst timing, but I was grateful. I wasn’t in my best state of health.

Congrats to finishers & May the Abbot Major Marathons be with you!

Slave Route Challenge 2018 – Cape Town

Rizq is when the city you travel to has a race that co-indices with travel dates. The Slave Route Challenge was held on 13th May, Mother’s Day in Cape Town, and I thought it was a good way to check out the city and get to know the community, so I registered for the 21km run. Cape Town is the oldest town in South Africa, also known as the Mother City

Climbing the Pentz Road, Bo Kaap Area with the city center at the backdrop. Picture courtesy of ABPHOTOZA

The registration was done online and the experience was smooth. I collected the bib and race license at the Castle of Good Hope a day before the run. It was autumn coming to winter in Cape Town and the weather was lovely with blue skies throughout my trip.

The run started sharp at 7am in front of the City Hall with three thousand participants in the half marathon category, followed by 10km and 5km every 15 minutes after. The runners were diverse and many runners in hijab ran along with me. What I like about running in hijab is getting the salams and greetings from other fellow muslims along the way. I look like many of them – the Cape Malays.

The 21km route took me along the beautiful neighborhood in the city of Cape Town with the sunrise shining upon gorgeous Table Mountain on the backdrop, Company Garden with a bit of a incline the first 5km. It was followed by a steep climb on Pentz Road 8km onward up to the top of Bo Kaap neighborhood. The runners were cheered by the residents, volunteers and locals along the way, serving local delicacies till the top of the climb. The run continued on flat roads towards the Stadium, Green Point area along the waterfront and back to the City Hall.

  • Castle of Good Hope
    Castle of Good Hope
    Castle of Good Hope
  • Volunteers at Castle of Good Hope
    Volunteers at Castle of Good Hope
  • Race Kit Collection at Castle of Good Hope
    Race Kit Collection at Castle of Good Hope
  • The start and finish point - The City Hall
    The start and finish point - The City Hall
  • The first mosque I spotted. First 2 km of the run
    The first mosque I spotted. First 2 km of the run
  • Entertainment along the way - this at Company Garden
    Entertainment along the way - this at Company Garden
  • Lovely buildnings at Company Garden
    Lovely buildnings at Company Garden
  • Mini water bags at water stations - Cute!
    Mini water bags at water stations - Cute!
  • Climbing the Bo Kaap area
    Climbing the Bo Kaap area
    Climbing the Bo Kaap area
  • At the top of BoKaap area
    At the top of BoKaap area
  • Table Mountain at the backdrop
    Table Mountain at the backdrop
  • At the top of Pentz Street, Bo Kaap
    At the top of Pentz Street, Bo Kaap
  • Colorful houses at Bo Kaap
    Colorful houses at Bo Kaap
    Colorful houses at Bo Kaap
  • Ran Around the Stadium
    Ran Around the Stadium

What I enjoyed most about the race :

  • Supportive community
    There were volunteers every 100 meters, cheering and managing the traffic throughout the run!  They dressed up in tutus, skirts and other fancy attires. Not only that, the residents at Bo Kaap area came out from their homes and cheer! The runners were close knit and friendly. Alhamdulillah, I felt at home and made new friends at the run.
  • Coke at water stations
    A coke lover like me would just find the drinks super refreshing. They even had coke zero at water stations. There was a water shortage in Cape Town and they provided drinking water packed in small green and blue plastic bags. Only coke was served in cups.

    Coke Lover was happy

  • Opportunity to check out the city on foot
    The route took me along historical and tourist sites on foot.It was a lovely and relaxing morning run. The cut off time was 3 hours 30 minutes and I took my time to finish the race. I stopped many times to capture beautiful moments. I spotted four mosques and suraus along the run. Even the race kit area was held at a historical site – Castle of Good Hope. All runners received free entrance ticket to District Six, also a historical site.

Here are more pictures!

Mosque at Bo Kaap

Mosque at Bo Kaap

Mosque at Bo Kaap

Mosque at Bo Kaap

 

Many pleas to protect Bo Kaap as Heritage Site

The Medal

I would love to run again at Cape Town! It was simply an amazing experience!

 

Tips and Tools: Run Safely at Any Time of Day

Trying to squeeze a run into today’s modern and often busy schedule can be difficult, especially if you are limiting yourself to only daylight hours due to safety concerns. At times I’ve started a run before the sun came up and finished only as it began to rise or started my run after after the kids are tucked in and feel the need for a little “me time”. Both instances require me to be aware of my surroundings and use certain safety precautions to ensure that I come home safe and sound.

pexels-photo-796545.jpeg

Know your route. Running when others are likely still in bed is not the time to be adventurous and try out a new route. Use a well established running route that is both well-lit and well-traveled. Stay to the outside of parks and other locations that can obscure the view of passersby and that could provide cover for those up to no good. When planning a route, try driving it at night or early morning and take note of street lights or the lack of lighting and anything that can obstruct the available lighting.

Let someone know where you are. While most people won’t appreciate you waking them up in the wee hours of the morning to notify them you are going out for a run, there are other ways you can notify loved ones where you are and where your are going. Using the RoadID app (available on iPhone and Android), you can send a customized message to any cellphone you decide (i.e. “going for a quick 4 mile run, should take 45 minutes”) and then the app sends location updates if you should stop moving longer than 10 seconds. 10 seconds of no forward progression will sound a warning alert to you to either click that you are fine within the app or if you do nothing, everyone you’ve determined will receive a message that you have not moved and your last known location. Also, if you go over your predetermined finish time, a warning will sound that you can disable. If you do not let the app know you are okay, your contact/s will be notified and your last known location will be sent as well.

Protect yourself. There are many items on the market that are discrete, easy to carry ways to protect yourself. One of my absolute favorites is a Stun Ring. This small device is a ring that goes around your finger, with a high voltage stunner at the top and the trigger fits nicely in the palm of your hand. In case you are picturing yourself inadvertently stunning yourself and laying seizing on the ground, there is a safety switch that you have to enable before you can even activate the trigger. I keep it switched off most times but when I encounter an uncomfortable situation, an large off-leash dog or even an environment that suddenly makes me on-guard I switch that safety off so that I can act without hesitation. Please note: I consider this a last resort defense tool. It can be used against animals, however many report that the sound of the device without contact is disturbing to most animals and they will likely retreat without harm.

See and be seen. Being visible to others that may be also on foot, on bike or car is so very important. I nearly hit a pedestrian at 10 o’clock at night who was dressed in all black, socks and shoes included. This individual thought it was a great idea to illegally cross the road when I had the right-of-way. What saved him was the small reflected decal on his shoes! I saw these moving decals and at the last moment realized they were attached to a person. Reflective gear is a staple in my wardrobe. Nike makes a highly visible reflective running vest, Aeroloft Flash which has all reflective detailing and there are other reflective wear in the Nike Aeroloft Flash line. Movement also catches driver’s attention, so I use a lithium battery-operated, LED flashing slap-style bracelets on my upper arm and ankle. Seeing is just as important and being seen. I love this awesome headlamp that actually does both. The front of the lamp is adjustable in light positioning as well as brightness. The strap is adjustable to fit many head shapes and sizes or fit over hijabs and hats. As an added safety feature, there is a highly visible red light on the back of the head strap. The best thing about this headlamp is that it is rechargeable so no worries about purchasing batteries.

Keep some form of identification with you. Thankfully, the Nashata brand sportswear that I use has lots of thoughtfully designed, small pockets that can hold identification cards or emergency contact information. However, consider if you are involved in an accident or faint due to exhaustion; you don’t want someone searching all through your small pockets to find an identification card, which in most cases won’t have contact or medical information. Identification bracelets such as RoadID contain identifying information, emergency contact information and important medical information. I don’t use the bracelet (yet) but I do use their phone app which has a wonderful feature. The app displays this very important information on your cellphone lock screen. You can display the contact information for up to three contacts and put certain information such as allergies or medical conditions or instructions. Most emergency personnel look for a phone or wallet when they find a person incapacitated . Providing contact information and medical conditions could actually save your life.

The best way to stay safe is to do as many as these safety tips as possible. Layer your reflective wear, stay alert, travel on visible paths and let your loved ones know where your going and when you are expected back. As wiith every run, the goal is to come home safe and if you feel something is not quite right, err on the side of caution and follow your safety protocols. No run is worth risking your safety.

Sir Bani Yas Challenge (29-30 March 2018)

Marwa Al Wadhahi, a young Omani lady who is enthusiastic about sports and adventure shares her experience at the Sir Bani Yas Challenge 2018. She loves challenges, pushing her limits and experiencing new things. She works in the Oil & Gas industry during the day and passionately practices sports in the evening and holidays. 

Marwa Al Wadhahi

I was very excited when I saw the announcement of Sir Bani Yas Challenge which was originally consisting of 3 km of kayaking, 10 km of trail running and 37 km of cycling. I was excited because I never cycled and kayaked these distances, I’ve never been to Sir Bani Yas and I’ve never done a 50 km challenge in single day. Basically the challenge had a variety of activities and in a unique and exciting venue.

Wildlife at Sir Bani Yas

Sir Bani Yas Island in the Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, was the venue of the challenge. The island was one of the first “Greening of the Desert” projects established by Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971. Over the years it became one of the UAE largest animal reserves and is home to over 15,000 free roaming animals and birds.

Due to circumstances out of control, the cycling was cancelled and the challenge was modified to become a total of +33 km of an amazing hike on & between mountains, fun kayaking and a long trail run.

The challenge was tough, we started at 6.30 am where the weather was foggy and nice then it got hotter as time passed approaching noon. I personally absolutely loved the hike and the kayaking, I found the trail run (which was the majority of the race) fun at the beginning but then it was really torturous due to the heat, strong pulsing cramps and trail that felt like infinity as the long distance was new to me.

I pushed myself hard, I felt like crying, I felt like giving up, I thought to myself “What made me do this? What was I thinking” I literally felt physically and mentally exhausted. However, because I signed up for the challenge with a mindset and goal to finish as a minimum and despite all the pain and torture I felt, I was absolutely determined to finish, I limped, I walked, I jogged with pain until the finish line.

Husaak Support Stations

On the other hand, the organisers, Husaak Adventures, and fellow participants along the way were very supportive which injected me with positive energy amid the suffering, I smiled to them, felt positive and said to myself that I can do it and I should not give up even though I felt like it! Giving up was just not an option for me. I had fun chatting with some participants along the way and cheering others to continue as well which really makes a difference and pushes people further. Organizers were at the water/food stations and also driving back and forth with cars cheering, checking on us and supplying water

Hiking Trail Views

With a few hundred people participating, Alhamdulillah I’m proud to finish 4th out of more than a 100 female participants, and 33th Overall out of almost 300 male & female participants 🏁 I really pushed myself that day. I haven’t had specific training for this event, just my regular gym training. So I was basically fit but not really trained for this kind of long distance running.

Trail Run

I believe if I hydrated more in the weeks leading to the event and practiced long runs, it would have went even better. Maybe I wasn’t trained enough or ready to go at the pace I was going at but the experience was definitely enriching. The feeling of true struggle that I haven’t felt in a long time, but pushing hard and fighting pain & fatigue to reach the finish line was priceless.

6 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Miss The Next SCKLM

  1. SCKLM is the Premier Running Event in Malaysia 
    More than 38,000 runners descended on Dataran Merdeka to take part in and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) 2018 and its popularity continues to grow, as evidenced by its race slots selling out in a day when public registrations opened.
  2. Lovely routes of Kuala Lumpur
    At the SCKLM’s 10th Anniversary, the organiser incorporated new routes for the Full and Half Marathons which took in more of KL’s iconic landmarks but remained as challenging as usual with its route undulations. The hilly stretch beginning from Km32 was especially grueling for a lot of runners. But worry not, there were supporters along the tough route. For example, there was a group of supporters cheering runners and offering Malaysian popsicles at the first hilly route at Bukit Tunku.
  3. Supportive and Committed Pacers
    Pacers not only brought runners back on time, but they also cheered and supported the runners. They were cheerful and went over and beyond. I saw a few pacers running back to motivate and support runners a few hundred meters before finish line and repeated the process. They were incredible!

    Pacers at SCKLM

    Fazu supporting runners. Whatever it takes to motivate &  cheer runners up!

  4. Various Categories to Suit all Ages and Type of Runners
    SCKLM is for both serious and social runners. Out of 38,000 runners, more than 10,000 took part in the Full Marathon and 11,000 in the Half Marathon categories. The rest were 10km, 5km, friendship run for social runners, as well as 1km and 3km Kids Dash for the first time. There were also several categories like the Corporate Challenge, Media Challenge, Universities Challenge and Ministries Challenge to either raise money for charity or provide friendly competition and confer bragging rights to the eventual winners.

    Runners who raced at all 10 editions of SCKLM get Special honour

    Runners who raced at all 10 editions of SCKLM get special honour

  5. Well Organised & Safe for Runners
    Over 1,600 volunteers, paramedics, supporters and staffs of the organiser making sure the  routes were secured, runners were safe and hydrated throughout the run. You do not have to worry about a moving vehicle coming from your back or heading towards you.

    the full marathon started and ended with confetti blasts

    Essential information about the run was provided and communicated well in the runner’s guide.There were many spots where you can rest and relax and catch up with running friends before & after your run. You could use the SCKLM mobile App to check running buddy updates and cheer for them as they approach the finish line. The app was pretty cool with a feature that adds your pictures  taken by strategic cameras along the routes.

  6. Prayer-Friendly for Muslim Runners
    This year the organiser included location for suraus along the Full and Half Marathon on the runner’s guide. Not only that, signboards of suraus were placed at these areas so that runners know the location while running.

    Signage for Suraus

So, don’t miss the next SCKLM in 2019! You get to meet new runners, make friends and enjoy a good run!

Lastly, here are some happy faces of running ladies at the Standard Charted KL Marathon 2018.

Nashsuhah finished her 14th Full Marathon under 5 hours

#NOEXCUSE because 'Anda Hebat! '

#NOEXCUSE because ‘Anda Hebat! ‘

Intan Siza and the Full Marathon Finisher Tee  #omaksukarunning