Running a Family Affair at the Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Half Marathon

It was my first family run and glad it happened at our ‘kampung’ in Cyberjaya.  My  husband, brother and I went for the 21km, while the kids joined the 5km fun run.

It was the first race for my 12 year old Naqib, and he was all excited about it. The kids were all geared with headlamps and blinkers provided by my brother. Seriously, blinking shades and blinker props are cool safety and mood setters for night fun runs.

A family running affair

A family running affair

We reached the race area a few minutes before 21km flagged off. There were more than 800 runners in orange – all pumped up to run. The run started at 8:02pm, and I kept up with a good pace – running on roads I have never been on and passed by new apartments I was not aware of before.

Fortunately, the road lights along the empty roads were lighted up and there were trucks by the roads torching dark streets. Road marshals and traffic policemen were on their toes and strict throughout the run – keeping runners safe. They pulled aside a couple of non-abiding cars to the side, so drivers – do adhere to them or you may be delayed or fined if unlucky. All in all – it was a quiet run with ample water stations, mobile toilets, paramedic and race signage for a smooth race. It would be nice if the community comes out to cheer the runners by the roads.

I finished within 2hr 35 mins, my new personal best. My heart raced too fast the last 3 km and had to slow down. Out of 877 registered 21km runners only a quarter (25%)  222 were female, and 10% women veteran. There were more female runners at the 10km run, half of the 10km runners were female!

Read my other post on high heart rates while running.

Half Marathon Runners waiting for 8pm Flag Off

The organiser provided ice popsicles, Mighty White mini loaf, nice hot soup, can’t remember if it was pumpkin or carrot as I was just hungry – slurping away. Indocafe coffee truck and MC D booth were next to each other providing drinks. My husband had a cramp upon arrival and was cared well by the paramedics. The doctor gave good advise about eating tips at night to avoid cardiac arrest.

We were honored to give away 20 prizes to winners at the end of the run.

Nuha thought ther 5km run was easy and Naqib wanted to try 10km after this. I am happy the kids left the grounds with new positive goals. Till the family run together again, soon I hope!

Winners at Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Marathon 2017

The running sisters

Finally, the medal &  finisher tee

Know your Heart ❤ when you Run your Heart ❤ Out

Running uses the highest muscle group, and your heart gets to work a lot. Running does change your heart as the heart is a muscular organ. As you exercise, your heart gets stronger – supposedly, but how do you ensure that what you do is not too much for your heart?

Off late, as a leisure runner, I check my  heart rates religiously while running. I would like to run faster, do not want to under-train, do not want to over-train either. Over-training can cause body injuries, and the heart is one of them.

I ran the half marathon at the Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Half Marathon 2017 and learned more about my heart. The first 11km run was good –  I managed to maintain a good speed and the heart rate was under 7mins/km and 150bpm respectively, but after the 12km, my speed slowly dropped and went downhill 19km onwards. I had to take it slow as my heart rate was high – above 170bpm at 19km. Although there are many articles brushing off the Heart Rate Training, I don’t think running in high heart rate is good either.

My Heart Rate Information for 21km . It went high after 19 km and I had to slow down

I finished at 2:34:58 net time, my new personal best, 12th for my category and 32nd overall women 21km. I was happy to finish with no injuries but the high heart rate was a concern to me.

1. So, that brings me to the question on what is a good heart rate while running?

  • First, know your Resting Heart Rate(RHR). The best time to measure is after you get of bed in the morning. The average RHR for an adult is within 60-100 beats per min (bpm). It is said the RHR is lower for athletes ranging from 40-60. bpm. Higher reading just means your heart works harder to circulate blood in your body. So, lower RHR indicates a better health.
  • Second, know your Max Heart Rate (MHR) which is 220 – age. Try not to work out your heart too hard so avoid running beyond your MHR.
  • Third, know the heart rate range for different types of run
    • Easy or Recovery Running – 55%-65% of MHR
    • Aerobic Running (marathon race pace)  – when your body has sufficient oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide and water : 75%-80% of MHR
    • Anaerobic  Running – when your run without enough oxygen. This is when your body produces not only carbon dioxide and water, but also lactate : 80%-87% of MHR
    • There are VO2 Max and Red Zone – I would not cover this as a leisure runner. Dive into this when you want to improve speed or want to be the elite runner or an athlete.
      More info at http://www.meet-your-running-goals.com/heart-rate-training-zone.html

2. What is a good heart rate to run?

Other than the above guidelines based on types of run, you can follow the guideline by heart.org – by age, as copied below :

Age Target HR Zone 50-85% Average Maximum Heart Rate, 100%
20 years 100-170 beats per minute 200 beats per minute
30 years 95-162 beats per minute 190 beats per minute
35 years 93-157 beats per minute 185 beats per minute
40 years 90-153 beats per minute 180 beats per minute
45 years 88-149 beats per minute 175 beats per minute
50 years 85-145 beats per minute 170 beats per minute
55 years 83-140 beats per minute 165 beats per minute
60 years 80-136 beats per minute 160 beats per minute
65 years 78-132 beats per minute 155 beats per minute
70 years 75-128 beats per minute 150 beats per minute

3. What can affect your heart rate while running?

  • lack of sleep
  • stress and fatigue
  • dehyration

Make sure you get enough sleep, rest and hydrate well days before you run.

4. Warning signs you must not ignore while and after a run that can relate to your heart

  • chest pain
  • dizziness

If you experience any of the above, see a doctor. Although there are not many casualties pertaining to heart diseases or heart attacks at running events, but little things that have small effects on the heart like scaring tissue can hurt your heart in long run.

I use the Garmin Forerunner 235 to track my heart rate while running

You can measure your heart rate the conventional way – by counting your pulse on your wrist within 30 secs and multiply by two. Or you can invest and use tools or apps that help you track your heart rate when you run. It can help you improve performance.

There are many mixed opinion about Heart Rate Training and the risks involved, so it is hard to know what is right for yourself. Therefore, listen to your heart when you run.

Run your heart ❤ out but do make your heart ❤ happy! Cheers.

Run Your Heart Out

DPulze Malaysia Day Fun Run 2017

On the 16th Sept is the Malaysia Day (the date when East Malaysia and West Malaysia joined together to form what Malaysia is today), and this year, my husband and I got the opportunity to run the 10km DPulze Malaysia Day Fun Run in Cyberjaya. It was too close to home and the route was new to us, so we thought it would be a good leisure run.

Dpulze Malaysia Day Fun Run

I picked Nashata orange heather ultra top and hot pink hooda racerback to stay visible for a dusk run.

It was the 2nd Malaysia Day fun run organised at DPulze. All in all, it was a good run; well organised, the volunteers, RELA and traffic policemen did a good job managing the traffic and kept runners well informed and safe. It was a bit too hot for me running at 630pm compared to my usual early morning cool runs. There weren’t many runners, so we had the road to ourselves until we reached MDeC. We took a left turn at the junction, running on the bicycle lane towards Lim Kok Wing University, and continued running along the dusty road (due to the MRT construction). We made a U turn at the traffic light by the university and ran towards FTMS College. At 7.5 km, I was running alongside Raja Haji Fisabilillah Mosque and I could hear the call to Maghrib prayers. There were more runners from the 5km group from there onward until the finish line.

Waiting for 10km Fun Run to start

I relied on my Forerunner 235 Garmin watch for distance and timing as there was no timing chip. My watch recorded 1:03:35 for 9.32km. The timing was similar to the displayed clock at the finish line. Quite pleased with the pace 6:50 min/km.

Never realised that the distance from Dpulze Mall to MDeC junction is less than 1km

On the 31th August – Malaysia’s Merdeka (Independence) Day, Malaysia won 145 gold medal at the SEA Games 2017. I promised to run 145km, that being 1km for every gold medal won by the Malaysian team. I was happy that I have ran 111km since the SEA Games KL 2017 (19 August), leaving 34km more to go to complete my pledge.

Till we race again next weekend, again in Cyberjaya.

Friendly hills in parks around Selangor/KL

For this week I decided to try something different and hit some elevation instead. This will hopefully make me a stronger runner to hit the hills and add variety to my training plan.

Day 1: Bukit Sapu Tangan, Taman Botani Shah Alam

Total elevation: 230m

Total distance: 6km (Entrance – peak – entrance)

Difficulty level: 2/5 (Very easy)

In a bid to encourage my colleagues to adopt a healthier lifestyle and support my employer’s outdoor event, I found myself back in Taman Botani Shah Alam again for a “hike” at Bukit Sapu Tangan. Disclaimer: “Hike” is a relative term here – If you have been running or a fairly fit person this small hill is very easy.

Riada pants are perfect for leisurely walks like this

Riada pants are perfect for leisurely walks like this

After some quick warm up we proceeded to walk towards Bukit Sapu Tangan. It was still drizzling, and since the route was paved most people walked with their umbrellas too. Some of my colleagues brought their children along too, as the route was kid-friendly.

What I love most about Taman Botani Shah Alam is that you tend to forget that you are still in the city.

After about 1.8km of walking, we reached the peak. It was easy. Unfortunately, there used to be a lookout post at the peak where you can see the whole city of Shah Alam but that facility has fallen into a sad state of disrepair.

No entry to the look out post

Day 2: Gunung Nuang

Total elevation: 1072m (Entrance – Pacat – Entrance), 301m (Entrance – 3km – Entrance)

Total distance: 16.65km + 6km

Difficulty level: 4/5 (Challenging)

Gunung Nuang has always been my favourite place to train for trail runs. Trail runs are never flat and straight, and some routes are technical, and Gunung Nuang provides the perfect terrain and distance to train for trail runs.

Gunung Nuang was challenging, as always. Despite conquering the peak for 3 times, it never gets easier. Mother Nature always throws unexpected challenges along the way, such as rain, fog, and temperature. I have learnt that this is a part of trail runs, which is one of the main reasons why there are loads of mandatory items when entering a trail run event.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the peak as it was slippery and muddy from the rain. After lunch, we descended from Kem Pacat and make our way back to the entrance point. After a quick change of clothes and prayer break, we continued another small 6km loop from the entrance point. So total mileage for that day was around 23km.

A friend we made on our way down

We spotted a bamboo collector. He will sell these to ‘lemang’ stalls for less than RM1 per bamboo

In the spirit of #bangkitbersama

Day 1 of #bangkitbersama

Distance: 15km
Venue: Larian Sukan SEA 2017, Putrajaya

Swept by the enthusiasm and the spirit to support our marathoners, I headed to Putrajaya to witness our very own Muhaizar and Leo Tan against other South East Asian athletes in the SEA Games 2017. At the same venue there was the Larian Sukan Sea all ready to flag off. I did not register for this event but after a lot of thinking, since I was there to support the athletes participating in marathon that day, might as well I run too. I needed the mileage anyways, it was too hard not to say no to 15km. As I did not pay for the run, I shall reserve my comments about the race to those who are entitled to give feedback ie the participants who paid.

I was not in this picture because I was still running nonetheless, it made me feel so proud to be one of the supporters. (Picture courtesy of Running Malaysia Magazine)

First rule of running in an event that you did not register: Bring your own water, or a whole hydration pack like I did. The drinks at the water station are reserved for the participants only. If you don’t pay, you don’t drink.

Before the run I had the opportunity to witness world-class, professional athletes run for at least 10km. Graceful, yet swift and powerful like cheetahs, their beautiful running form made running seemed effortless. All of these take years of practice and coaching. In my eyes, even the last finisher among the countries were already winners for going all out. I may not have the chance to represent Malaysia in the SEA Games, but at least I can learn to improve myself from watching these athletes. I was proud to hear that Malaysia finished 3rd, behind Singapore and Indonesia. Another medal of Malaysia, yeay!

The front pack was too fast for my camera

Day 2 of #bangkitbersama

Distance: 21km
Venue: CICM Responsible Care Run 2017, Shah Alam

I cannot deny that I woke up contemplating if running again was a good idea. Yesterday’s event was not really a hard run however I woke up feeling lethargic, probably from not taking enough protein and water. However, as another ultramarathon looms ahead, every mileage counts. Plus, Taman Botani Shah Alam was a good, hilly training ground so I knew I had to do it.

Total elevation gained was over 400m. To put that elevation into perspective, running from Gombak to Genting Sempah will give over 500m elevation.

The hills are never going to end in this route, aren’t they

Despite the hilly route Taman Botani is secretly one of my favourite places for running events because of the well-maintained roads and lush greenery inside the park. It was not hot despite running at 9am although it was more humid than usual. However, the organizers prepared water station every 3km so it was sufficient. As I was running, I spotted areas inside the park such as the open theatre and a few facilities that were not maintained which is a shame. The park had many visitors who came there for picnics, cycling, or just walking around with their family, hence the facilities should be fully utilized to maximise the visitor’s experience. There was also a clogged drain or blocked irrigation which lead to a mini-flood on the running route, soaking the participant’s pants and shoes.

No where was it stated that there will be a “river crossing” in this event. Did I miss the memo?

You can’t avoid it too because there is a checkpoint at the end of this road

Probably the organizers wanted to have a feel of trail runs but on road conditions?

Other than that, it was a small-scaled, simple, yet good event because it met my expectations. The water station was sufficient, medic and volunteers were helpful, the quality of the medal, event tee, and finisher tee matches the price point, and Taman Botani Shah Alam is a beautiful venue. Taman Botani, I will be back for more!

Views like this serves as an inspiration to just keep going

 

TMMT 2017 Part 2: The Race

 

  1. The Race Kit collection

Like most trail runs that are situated outside KL/Klang Valley, race kit collection venues are usually held at small towns that has a big hall facility. For the remote village of Merapoh, I guess the biggest hall that they have was located at a school SMK Merapoh. Besides as a race kit collection venue, the hall and school is also a venue for:

  • a race expo, selling mostly mandatory items but mostly energy bar/gel/drinks for tomorrow’s event
  • a camp site and an accommodation site. There are no proper hotels in Merapoh village, hence they encourage participants to pitch their own tent or sleep in the school’s student dormitories. However, we stayed at another town called Gua Musang which is about 30 minutes from Merapoh. Just like Merapoh village, there are no reputable hotels in the small town of Gua Musang but we managed to secure a comfortable and clean accommodation through Airbnb called GM Villa.

“Ummm yeah I think I know what I’m doing” #CampsiteVibes

Told ya I knew what I was doing!

Before we could collect our race kits, we had to go through the mandatory item screening to ensure that we bring all the important items just like any other long-distance or ultra trail events. After collecting our race kit, we also stayed for a while to hear the race briefing. It was not compulsory, however the race director will usually leave hints on some dangerous areas to be extra cautious, changes in cut off times, etc.

In front of the school after we have collected our race kits

  1. The Race Day

Distance: 35km

Highest elevation: 271m. The hills weren’t very technical, so they are manageable.

Route profile:

The starting point was not the same as the end point. Even though the flag off time was 7am, but we had to be at the SMK Merapoh school again by 5am to secure a parking spot, walk a few hundred meters to the 100K and 70K starting line, where there was a pick up truck waiting to transport us about 6km to the starting point.

Off to the starting line we go

Do expect everything, even for 35km. For the shortest route available for this event, there was a little bit of every element; the jungle, the plantations, the river-crossing, small hills, and we get a taste of Merapoh’s caves too. Plus, it was raining the night before so it was foggy even after the sun was up.

No that’s not haze. Foggy conditions up to 9am.

My verdict:

Since I had very minimal training for this event, I found the distance daunting. If it wasn’t for the manageable hills that weren’t very technical, I would have found the race to be quite difficult.

Weather can be unpredictable. It was raining the night before so it was cool and foggy. However, it got hot really fast once the sun was up. Always make sure your hydration bottles are filled at water stations. Isotonic drinks with salt will help too. Most importantly, bring a hat if you predict that you will still be running after 11am.

The view and scene were rewarding. Besides Cameron Ultra, it was unlike any other trail runs I have been to. The 4 hour driving journey to get to run in Taman Negara Merapoh was so worth it. My favorite part of the route was definitely the caves, however here are a few highlights of my 35km journey:

Rubber plantations at the fringe of the forest. We saw rubber tappers collecting latex.

The first cave that we entered

What are trail runs without some fun in the river

More caves! But we didn’t enter this one. Limestone caves seemed to be a popular theme in this route

It’s sad to see deforestation through out this forest. But how does one choose between developing the nation and maintaining the natural ecosystem?

There were at least 3 of these signs through out the 35km route. The organizers had some sense of humor!

Conclusion: If you want to try a long-distance trail running event but not ready to take on ultra marathon distances, TMMT is the one that you should enter.

TMMT 2018, maybe?

TMMT 2017 Part 1: The Pre-Race

I am drafting this out just a few hours before we drive towards Pahang for The Magnificent Merapoh Trail (TMMT) 2017. I will be doing the shortest distance available: 35km. My main motivation to enter this race was because I have never ran in that part of Malaysia before. It is also one of the National Parks in Malaysia. Don’t you just love how running takes you to extraordinary places that you could not think of if you’re just a regular traveller?

The pre-race is always the most exciting yet nerve-wrecking part of the race. What if I didn’t train enough? Did I miss something from the mandatory item? Do I have enough equipment? There are many aspects  To make things more manageable, I have prepared a to-do list to ensure that (hopefully) I have covered everything.

  • The training

I admit that this is one of the areas that I lacked the most. I have not been running any longer than 21km for quite some time, although I do run 5-7 km on weekdays and more than 15km on weekends. Due to my busy work schedule, I had the time to attend my CrossFit class for once a week only, and that is insufficient. Therefore, I had to set realistic expectations for this 35km race: Just finish it within the cut off time (COT).

Training also involves route studying. For my ease of reference, I have printed out the elevation profile along with vital information required. I didn’t print the map because I’m going to be really honest here: I don’t understand maps. As long as I keep up with the crowd and don’t steer off course, I shouldn’t get lost.

Why printing out the elevation profile is important, especially for trail running at long distances:

  1. Your GPS watch will be inaccurate. It will not state the actual distance covered.
  2. Since your GPS watch is not accurate, you have to use a different method to gauge your distance – the elevation. For example, the highest elevation point that you will hit first is at roughly KM8-9.
  3. You will know which checkpoints have drinks/food/bag drop/toilet etc. This is also important if you want to quit from the race as not all checkpoints are accessible by car/ 4 wheel drive.
  4. You will know the COT at each check point to ensure you’re not disqualified

The most cost-effective yet crude method to ‘laminate’ your elevation profile. Sloppy workmanship, but oh well, as long as it gets the job done!

  • Equipment

Always always always refer to the mandatory list as a guideline for packing. They are important for a reason. Many participants take the mandatory list too lightly, but most trail run especially long distances will have a mandatory item check-in to ensure participants comply. Usually, at the race site there will also be several booths selling the mandatory items but at a very high price.

Hence, the packing begins. Luckily, I did not have to buy a lot of new stuff as I can still use some of the mandatory items from Cultra 2016 and my previous trail runs. Here is a #flatlay of the items I will be bringing. In the end, I decided not to bring the jacket. I also added some painkiller and socks into my bag later. Not in the flatlay is also my headlamp.

I think that covers pretty much most of my pre-race to-do list. Time to head off to Merapoh, wish me luck!

Just when you think you can’t get enough of hilly routes…

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His & Hers – Me in Ultra Top while our 2:10 pacer is in Luke Top

When Sis Eliza (founder of Nashata.com) asked me if I would like to join Men’s Health Women’s Health (MHWH) Night Run 2017, I said YES in a heartbeat. I joined the 12km category this time, compared to 21km at the Johor edition because I had plans to run PJ Half Marathon the following morning (Kids, don’t try this back-to-back event thingy at home!) but however, that plan did not materialize because I had a family event.

This is not my first MHWH event. I have been a fan of this event since 2015, and it has expanded ever since. Why MHWH Night Run is one of my favourite running event:

  • Generous contests and giveaway. AIA Vitality and MHWH chanelled plenty of free slots through various groups and organizations, and luckily Nashata was one of them.
  • Exhibition seem to be one of the highlight of the event. Plenty of lounging spots for supporters to just chill and enjoy the night. There were plenty of food trucks too
  • I love the fun, party-like vibe to the event. Meriah!
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Pacers need to fuel up too! Image courtesy of Kyserun Krew

I had no ambitions to renew my personal best (PB) once the organizers announced that they changed the venue to MARDI Maeps. I had experiences running there previously, and it is known for the rolling hills compared to their original route at Putrajaya. Hence, my aim was to just keep going and don’t give in the the hills – just run to enjoy the view, and that’s precisely what I did.

For example:

Enjoying the view #1

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I did not detour to see what they had inside, but the cute statues did catch my eyes

Enjoying the view #2

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The half marathoners had to go in a loop twice, hence this screen was very useful to keep count if they have completed the second loop

And the rest was too dark to be captured. I knew MARDI Maeps has some pretty calming countryside views in the day; you can see horses running around and some cows grazing. However since it was night time and insufficient lighting even the roads became hard to see. Oh well, at least I can’t properly see the rolling hills ahead of me until I started to ascend it.

When I reached the finishing line at around 10pm the crowd was still buzzing and there was no signs of slowing down. We tried several food trucks however I was already exhausted from running, I did not walk around the exhibition area. Eventually, it was time to go back. I went home with a full belly and only good memories about this event, and hope to run for another MHWH event again in the future.

Ending the night by bumping into a familiar face

Ending the night by bumping into a familiar face

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An event will be incomplete without a group photo with them

Short vs Long Run. Which works for you?

Ever wonder if short or long run is better for you? After a weekend of long runs, and many months of short runs prior to that, here are my findings:

  1. Short runs are good to improve speed
    Frequent short runs are good. Go intense if you want to be fueled by carbs, but go easy if you want to be fueled by fat. Balance your running schedule between running fast and going easy. Running fast or intensely  puts stress on your muscles, but in a good way as it pushes you to improve. Running at easy pace is relaxing on your muscles – much needed in your routine
  2. Push to your limits at long runs occasionally
    You get to improve endurance at long runs. Try run within good heart rates and balance between improving timing and distance. To me, both short and long runs must go hand in hand.
  3. Let your body recover well
    Short or long, fast or slow, make sure your body recovers well. Your body needs to rest and take time off. Here’s a recovery plan for half and full marathon. Let your muscles heal and energy restored.

MY STORY OF LONG RUNS BACK TO BACK

My week ended with much sore and pain after a 12 km and 21 km run back to back. I am a recreational runner who runs for fitness. I hardly go for competitive races for various reasons, but last weekend I did two long distance runs.

Normally, I would run 5 km on average 5 times a week as my focus the past months was to improve speed. Three days before the back to back long runs, I trained and ran 12 km within 1 hr 17 mins. I was happy with the speed but not happy with the after effect on my knee. I felt acute pain on right knee.

When I was running fast and injured my knee after

When I was running fast and injured right knee after.

I rested for 3 days and went to the 12 km and 21 km weekend runs with least expectations – not being able to run at all.  l didn’t want to miss MHWH Night Run by AIA Vitality 12km run at MAEPS so I tried my luck, joined the crowd and started running slowly.

Surprisingly, there was no pain. So, I kept running and increased speed along the way. I finished with no injury at 01:39:02, and felt I should prepare for the PJ Half Marathon, the morning after. At the PJ Half Marathon, I ran slowly the first 5 km and increased speed as I felt no pain on my knee. But the hills, especially along the last 3 km were killers. My pelvic started to become stiff and I was not able to run faster. I completed 21 km within official time 2:43:50. Not my personal best, but thankful for sure!

Elevation Nightmare PJ Half Marathon

My pace & elevation at PJ Half Marathon 2017

The soreness and pain went away quickly and I now realised I should have a better training plan that combines short and long runs to avoid injuries and to improve performance and endurance. No last minute long distance training after this.

All well and done, my knees are fine. Now, here are some captured moment!

  1. MHWH Night Run by AIA Vitality  : 22nd July 2017
MHWH Night Run by AIA Vitality Pacers

MHWH Night Run by AIA Vitality  21km Pacers

Nadia Noi the 21km Pacer

With Nadia Noi the 21km Pacer

After 12km MHWH Night Run 2017

It was Nuha’s first 12km run.

2. PJ Half Marathon : 23rd July 2017

Intan Suraya after a back to back 21km, 12km and 21km runs

Amazing Intan Suraya ran 21km, 12km and 21km runs over the weekend!

More than 4000 half marathon runners

More than 4000 half marathon runners waiting for flagoff

Nashata Runners

WIth Intan Siza – the Nashata Runner. Picture by ActionPixMalaysia

Looking forward to improve training and run better at my next half marathon! A mix of both short and long runs that is!

City Spin & Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2017

Diversity is beautiful – everyone is unique, yet we should celebrate the difference. Due to it’s immense popularity, history, and significance, SCKLM 2017 is one of the highlights for most runners. Never have I ever seen a running event which brings thousands of people from various background, fitness level, and goals! The beauty of diversity among runners was highlighted and deeply appreciated both before and during the event.

Before The Big Day

My running group, Kyserun Krew, organized a friendly, fun run called City Spin 2017. It was a short 4.5K run around KLCC and Jalan Ampang, giving runners a quick tour of KL and what to anticipate for tomorrow’s event. Everyone had a good time, taking photos of the iconic buildings and landmarks in the city. Thankfully, the morning rain was starting to subside so the weather was good too!

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Besides shaking out the butterflies in your stomach before the big day and to stretch out those legs, the main aim of this event was to gather various running crews through out Malaysia, as well as welcome those who came from abroad such as Indonesia, Korea, and other countries. After all, what better way to break the ice among runners other than to run? Every running crew might have different principles and culture, yet united by the same, common love for running.

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All photo credit belongs to Syahiran of Kyserun Krew. Thank you!

On the Big Day

At 4 in the morning, I found myself catching the train among a sea of blue sleeveless tops. I was glad that I will be able to arrive early and not worry about parking at the event venue. On the train, I can hear different conversations; some were really serious yet confident, discussing about their strategies and training for the past few months, while others were nervous, excited, or sleepy. Yet, everyone had a single goal in mind: To complete SCKLM, in whatever distance that they chose.

Never have I ever seen so many runners congregate in a single location, except at SCKLM events! Besides runners, the crowd was overwhelming; the streets were packed with not only runners, but supporters, curious on-lookers, and security enforcers too. SCKLM has turned into an event that should be celebrated and inclusive to everyone. To overcome the massive crowd, take advantage of the facilities that the organizer have provided for this event, such as the free train service (my favorite part of the event), bag drop (pack everything that you need, it’s going to be a loooong day), and freebies from the sponsors. Most importantly, come early and prepared, at least 45 mins before your starting to time so you are not rushed to go to the bag drop counter, do your pre-race rituals, and get into the correct starting pen.

Year after year, SCKLM has been a good and memorable experience for me. What I love most about it was not the route or the medal, but the high spirit and energy through out the event. Every runner will feel like a winner! Without a doubt, I will definitely be back again for more next year.

A familiar face that requires no introduction

A familiar face that requires no introduction

One with my Krew!

One with my Krew!

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Thanks to Nashata’s Iman Hijab range, you can now match your hijab with your bib number too!

Read about last year’s SCKLM 2016 experience here

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner