FREE Running Clinic – Nashata x SOFEA Run

Dear sisters,

Nashata & SOFEA Run are teaming up in support of the Malaysia Women Marathon Virtual Run. Join Nashata x SOFEA Run FREE Running Clinic led by fitness coach, Intan Suraya and find out about how to run without injuries and improve performance. You get to meet other lady runners and learn from each other. It is limited for 50 ladies only and registration ends Saturday, 16 March 2019 – 3.59PM.

RUNNING CLINIC INFO
• Venue: Taman Rekreasi Bukit Jalil.
• Date & Time: 17 March 2019, 7:30am.

ACTIVITIES
• Sharing session by coach.
• The right food for running.
• Running tips & tricks.
• Simple workout session.
• Stretching session.
• Group run.

WHAT YOU’LL GET
• Drinks & light breakfast.
• Exclusive Nashata vouchers*.

Register NOW by downloading SOFEARUN app.
Android & iPhone

See you there girls!

 

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

 

 

Ballot Entry Info for Standard Charted KL Marathon 2019

Due to overwhelming response by loyal runners from previous Standard Charted KL Marathon (SCKLM), there is a reduced number of slots available for public registration. There are a total of over 10,000 slots available across all categories and in order to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity of getting a race slot, public registrations for the SCKLM 2019 will be in the form of a ballot. This is also to ensure those who are interested to participate are not affected by network congestion or poor internet connections. Therefore, the balloting period will ensure that every applicant has an equal opportunity of earning a race slot.

Runners will be able to cast their ballots from 10.00am, 13 February 2019 to 11.59pm 19 February 2019. Ballot selection will be completely random and computerised, and will be activated by YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Minister of Youth and Sports on 22 February 2019. Successful applicants will then be notified by email and will have until 5 March to complete registration by making payment. Each person is only allowed one ballot entry.

So, runners – you have ample time to register now and do check your emails during this period 22nd – 24th February to get the ballot results. All the best!

To register, visit SCKLM website at https://www.kl-marathon.com/

SCKLM 2019 Ballot

Standard Chartered KL Marathon will be held on 28 and 29 September 2019 at Dataran Merdeka

3 reasons why Bangkok should be your runcation and vacation destination

This episode of runcation: Amazing Thailand Marathon Bangkok 2019!

What is a runcation? Runcation is a combination of the word “vacation” and “running”. It is a term coined by runners who travel to attend a marathon or running event, and have vacation at the same time. Usually, the running event is the highlight for a runcation so your itinerary needs to revolve around the timing and venue of the event. For this runcation, I travelled to Bangkok to attend the Amazing Thailand Marathon 2019 and it was amazing. Here are 3 main reasons why – before, after, and during the run:

  • Before running: Food heaven!

Over the years, I have seen Bangkok developing to be more Muslim-friendly to cater to an increasing number of tourists from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Middle East. This means more halal food outlets and increasing conscious to state the ingredients used. This also means more variety of food for carbo-loading!

Personal recommendations:

  1. MBK Mall (Nearest BTS Station: National Stadium)
    • Clean, comfortable with air-condition facilities.
    • Food selection at restaurants in level 5 and 6 includes:
      • Thai staples like Tom Yum and Green Curry.
      • The foodcourt at level 5 has a wide selection of International flavours too like Chinese, Indonesian, and Arabic food.
      • There is an affordable steak house at level 6
      • Enjoy some dessert and coffee at a halal-friendly (but not halal-certified) café called After You at level 3

Don’t be scared to try the spicy local flavours

  1.  Saman Islam at Chatuchak Market (Nearest BTS Station: Mo Chit)
    • Street food with local ambience.
    • Food selection is mostly Thai staples. There are also some Southern Thai dishes too.
    • Enjoy Thai sweets and desserts that are mostly halal-friendly (but not halal-certified) such as Mango with Sticky Rice, Coconut Ice Cream, and Thai Ice Tea.

I think this dish has some Southern Thai influence, the rice tastes like a briyani rice and hainanese chicken rice at the same time

The nearest landmark to this stall is the Clock Tower

  • After running: Recovery at the spa

time to relax and reward those hardworking legs

Legs are feeling sore after a run? Head to a spa for a massage, aromatherapy, or an herbal compression.  Thailand has a long history of alternative treatments using herbs and natural ingredients, making the treatments more effective.

Herbs, spices, and plants with medicinal properties to cure that aching muscle

Note: Spa and massage houses have a bad reputation for illegal ‘services’ in Bangkok. How to ensure the spa conducts legal business with no hanky-panky ‘services’? Ask for recommendations from the locals, make it firm that you are strictly looking for a medicinal or aesthetic spa. The proper spas are usually more upscale and expensive too, but they are still cheaper than Malaysia’s rate. Proper spas also clearly display their zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment.

Personal recommendations:

  1. Health Land (Nearest BTS Station: Asok)

Try their body scrub therapy, leaving you smelling heavenly and squeaky clean. Service here is top-notch too, with comfy bathrobes, unlimited ice told mineral water or tea. Protip: do call them in advanced to set for an appointment, as they are always full

  1. Crystal Spa (Nearest BTS Station: Phra Khanong)

Try their foot and head massage, relieving aching muscles and leaving you in total relaxation. Protip: Do not forget to tip the masseuse after your treatment. They do not expect much, 20 to 50 Thai Bhat goes a long way for these local women.

  • During the run: Cross-cultural observations

Do you know that Thailand is also known as “The Land of Smiles”?

Despite having similar roots to Malaysia, there are some notable differences in Thais culture. This might affect how an event is organized. Although it is a well-known international event with participants from various countries, it is still very Thai-centric.

Personal observations:

Thais are very proud of their language and culture. Most signage are still written in Thai, so collecting the race kit and getting to the race site was not very well-organized. Mitigate that by collecting the race kit early, and heading to the race site early too. But don’t worry, Thai are very friendly too. They will be happy to help if you ask nicely.

Get to the race site early

Cheering is not a culture in Thai. There were not many supporters or spectators along the way, and most people weaved between the running event venue like nothing happened. I can’t help but to notice that poverty is also very apparent in Bangkok, as there were beggars eating leftovers from the runners. I feel sad for them.

Are small bottles more practical than disposable cups? At least bottles are reusable and handy

Thais are such hospitable people. They want to make you feel welcomed and comfortable, and nothing is more comfortable than a clean toilet. Their portable toilets were equipped with a bidet, flushing toilet, and even air-condition. It puts Malaysia’s porta-loo to shame.

Check out that 5 star toilet!

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

 

 

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!

3 Highlights from the 7th International Working Group Conference on Women & Sports

Nashata is blessed to participate in the 7th IWG on Women & Sports held on the 17th-20th May in Gaborone, Botswana. Nura Arabi, Nashata Ambassador and I were there for the first time to present a paper and to participate in dialogues pertaining to women in sports. It was a great experience, a good platform not only to share your work, but to  network, have conversations and understand topic of interests in other market.

Nura Arabi presenting her paper at IWG

Nura Arabi presenting her paper at IWG

The conference brought together academicians, media, policy makers from sports federation, United Nations and several countries, as well as private sectors. Finland, being the last IWG host brought most participants after Botswana. Other representatives came from the UAE, Kuwait, Japan, Korea, Bangladesh, Israel, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Namibia, Uganda and South Africa.

1.  Lead the Change
The former President of Finland, HE Tarja Halonen, graced the event with an important reminder about having women leaders in sports. Birgitta Kervinen, the President of European Non-Government Sports Organization (ENGSO) supported the message : Dream, Speak up & Act. Be the leader & lead the change. A few other key speakers echoed the theme with strong emphasis on leading by efficient and effective example and to act with integrity.

Keynote Session 7th INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN AND SPORT

Keynote Session 7th INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP ON WOMEN AND SPORT

The suggestions and sharing covered promoting and grooming female coaches, world class female athletes and sports media – inspire female athletes to progress further in sports. Female athletes should be given equal pay, just as men’s.

Although not highlighted at the conference, I find parents, especially mother play an important role in supporting girls in sports. Active or athletic parents have strong inclination to support children’s interests in sports, and they are good inspiration for children.

2. Safety for Women in Sports

Be it training or competition, it is important to provide adequate equipment, safe environment and space for athletes. In certain societies, due to cultural or religious belief, there could be constrain for a female athlete to travel without a family member or mahram. More conversations and awareness can help parents and organizations to understand safety protocols can be developed to ensure female athletes are safe while travel.

Asian Women and Sport Network

The International Olympic Committee has put together a kit on safe sports, available for public at https://www.olympic.org/athlete365/library/safe-sport/. You can find e-learning courses from their site.

3. Sports without Borders

I believe sports is a good way to bring people together. At the conference, a few examples were shared on how private sectors have helped marginalized community to participate in sports. It could be through donation, providing training, equipment and facilities and many more.

It is through programs by Sports  Outreach  and Sports Gift, athletes like Phiona Mutesi get to shine both in sports and academically.

Contact us if you are interested to participate in the next IWG in 2022!

Nashata sponsored a paper, titled The role of physical education in social integration, authored by Nura Arabi, Nashata Ambassador, echoed the spirit of diversity and respect. You can go through her slides here.

The 8th IWG World Conference on Women & Sports in 2022 in New Zealand. So please share the words around so that we have papers and thoughts shared at the conference. For the next IWG World Conference, Nashata is happy to sponsor accepted papers, authored by ASEAN scholars. We need more conversations and awareness so that our concerns and work can be understood and shared.

It’s Not Where I Go, But Who I Meet
Lastly, Gaborone is such a lovely city. The food was good, people are super friendly and hospitable. Every night, the organiser arranged lovely dinner followed by colorful performances. Here are some pictures of the colorful ladies from Africa!

Traditional Custom – Bostwana

Traditional Custome – Zambia

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!

 

How to be an eco-friendly runner

I was inspired by my recent event called National Geographic Earth Day Run to become a more environment-conscious runner. True to its theme, the run has taken efforts to minimize waste, keeping the environment clean, and ensuring the event is as environmentally-friendly as possible.

As a runner, sustainable living is very easy to start. You don’t have to buy expensive organic food, or turn into a vegetarian (although this is highly encouraged!), or give up your current lifestyle that is accustomed to modern amenities.

These 3 simple tips can help you make the Earth a better place while still enjoying your passion for running:

 

  • Bring Your Own Bottle

This is commonly implemented at trail runs, however it is not yet common for road races. This is a great idea because water stations will be clean without cups littering the road. The only trash collected at the water stations will be mostly bananas or energy gel, and this will minimize the volunteers needed to clean up the roads after an event.

During your long run LSD, bringing your own bottle ensures that you remain focused. You can save time by not needing to stop at convenient stores along your training route. You are also free to plan your own routes without worrying if you have enough water to sustain the long run training.

Water station at this event was one of the cleanest that I have ever seen.  There is almost no trash!

Any water bottle will do, however it is advisable to invest in a bottle that has a handle or belt attached. Keeping your hands free will make your runs significantly more comfortable.

  • Buy your supply in bulk

Instead of buying single servings for your energy gels, energy drink, and recovery drink, buy a tub or a bin that will last for several servings. This is a great idea because it will eliminate single-use packaging, such as plastic wrappings. It might be a big amount to spend initially, but the cost per serving will be significantly cheaper.

It is a bit of a hassle since you have to take time to mix your own energy drink/gel. However you will save money in the long run.

Not affiliated with Hammer Gel, but this is an example of how your cost per serving will be cheaper when purchasing in bulk:

  • Carpool to events or training venues

This is a great idea because it cuts down the number of vehicles on the road. Lesser vehicles means decreased harmful gasses emission such as carbon dioxide, which is a significant contributor to global warming. Parking at event venues will be easier too as there were reduced number of cars. Or better yet, take the public transport and you don’t have to worry about parking at all.

Not only is carpooling beneficial to the environment, it is also good for your too. You will save money because you can share the cost of gas and toll. Not to mention, they will have company to ensure that you get to the race venue in time

  • Plus point: Organizers set up recycling bins

Based on my observation, one of the biggest trash sources from an event are the freebies and the refreshment. To tackle that problem, they did not give any bags at the finishing line – just a medal and a fruit. Should participants be interested to collect freebies from the sponsor tents, they can throw the packaging or plastic away inside these recycling bins.

On top of that, this event has carefully selected banana to give away at the finishing line, so they have set up a compost bin (not in this photo) for organic waste.

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.