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!

7 Tips on How to Avoid Sports Bra Chafing

Chafing is not new to active ladies. It is a scratch mark caused by repetitive rubbing, not only between sweaty or salty skin and clothes, but also in between folds or sagging skin. Often times, you only realise when you shower after activities as you scream in pain. They are painful and not pretty.

You can call it warrior scar or sports tattoo, but here are some tips that can save you the pain :

  1. Wear a sports bra with a good fit and provides the right support. Just like your feet swells during a long run, so does other parts of your body. Give some allowances for your chest area for long hour workout.

2. Wear good quality sports bra that is made of sweat-wicking fabric and dries fast. Replenish sports bra when you have to. Sports bra worn out too, just like your shoes.

3. Remove any tags or labels on your sports bra. The more seamless, the better.

Remove tag and labels on bra

4. Apply sports lubricant on sports bra line. This includes underneath your breast, back, and around the arms.

Areas prone to bra chafing

5. Hydrate body well to avoid crystal salt build-up when you sweat. Crystal salt on certain areas can cause chafing too.

6. Get out of soaky sports bra fast.

7. Rinse and clean your body fast during and after workout. When you have too much salt on your body, rinse it off fast to avoid salt rubbing onto skin.

Other than bra area, other areas prone to chafing for women are in between thigh, crotch and armpit. Whether it is in a cold or hot weather, you can apply the same tips as above for those area.

Chafing can be avoided, so when you are planning to sweat a lot and have a long hour workout, be prepared!

 

Sharing is contributed by Nashata Runners

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!

Fun In The Sun: Stop Being Bored

Salam to all my beautiful ladies.
I pray this blog finds you in your best forms of health and wellness.

Many people are trying to live a healthy lifestyle now more than ever before. Many are looking for that circle of friends that will support this healthy lifestyle. As you know, if we want to build a healthy community and have more health aware circles then we should start with raising healthy children.

As a physical education teacher, I have been searching for the right way to approach my students and encourage them into living a healthy lifestyle and learn how to make healthy choices. The best way I have found is to make fun videos for them and it has done wonders in my teaching so far.

Here is a little fun video I made for my students.
Of course, I never do sports without Nashata being involved. The ultimate meaning if comfort.
In this video I wore the following for the two different characters presented.
– Athleisure and Azza topletics Modest Sports Shirts.
– Hooda Ellipse and Raazglove Sports Hijbs

Enjoooooy

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!

 

This Ramadan, Keep Moving

Just about a week to go until Ramadan, in sha Allah!

Every year, the period leading up to Ramadan is flooded with a lot of nervicitement (yes it’s a new word coined for moments of nervous excitement alright!) with discussions ranging from resolution and goal setting to menu planning.

During this time we make a conscious effort in realigning our spiritual well being, spending time in prayer, supplication learning and reciting the Holy Qur’an. While this remains the main focus of the month, we still have  to carry on with our daily chores and activities – and this whether we like it or not – includes maintaining our fitness levels.

In the past, I, like many others, absolved myself of any fitness related activities during Ramadan, simply because of the fears of dehydration, fatigue and hanger, which ultimately would take away from the spirit of the month. However, while making up for some missed fasts this past month, I trained and it dispelled all the notions I had built up in my head. In fact, I felt energized, Alhamdulillah!

I am a moderately active person with average fitness levels. Between work and school runs, I manage to train 3-4 days a week during which I do a mix of weight training and running.  So here I am sharing learnings from my own experience – a beginner’s perspective if you like – to encourage you all to keep moving this Ramadan!

When do I train?

I choose to train 60-90 mins before Iftar for about 30-45 minutes. While many suggest it is better to train after iftar or before suhoor, I go with what works best for my schedule. Since school and work schedules operate on shorter timings here in the Middle East, there should be enough time to prep Iftar and dinner well in advance.

The other recommended times are generally post-iftar or pre-suhoor, times at which our bodies are better hydrated and nourished.

What kind of training?

The training intensity would vary based on when you choose to train. Since this will be the first Ramadan I will be training, I plan to stick to a light schedule, which ensures that I keep my body moving.

Model: Nura Arabi Wearing Nashata Modest Sports Wear

  • Yoga routines: There are many free apps and videos which take you through simple routines that range from 10 minute warm up exercises to 40 minute deep restorative routine which are fantastic in relaxing your muscles and breaking a sweat without tiring you out.
  • Functional Training: This involves compound movements that mimic patterns from daily life. Here again, there are several apps which have routines of varying effort and duration to guide you through a simple routine. If this is the first time you would be training while fasting, I suggest relying purely on your body weight and gradually introducing light weights based on how your body takes to the stress of fasting. Start with 3 sets of approximately 10 reps of each exercise. Some great exercises are:
    • Step Ups
    • Squats
    • Walking lunges
    • Push Ups
  • Brisk Walking / Jogging: Considering the weather in the UAE during this time of the year, I stick to the treadmill. Each day of fasting can feel different, so choose a speed and incline based on how you feel on that particular day. As tempting it is to push yourself to try harder, this is not the time to set new challenges. Start with a 15 minute walk, which you can then increase gradually in duration, speed and effort as you progress.

For the sake of avoiding repetition, I will not delve into the What to Eat during Ramadan spiel. But I will emphasize  this – HYDRATE HYDRATE HYDRATE! And start preparing your body from today. With the time being between iftar and suhoor being so short in the summer months, it may not be possible to maintain fluid intake as you would on regular days. The solution? EAT water! Hydration is aided by the intake of foods rich in water content and potassium rich foods which help maintain the electrolyte balance in our bodies.

As we all know, the key to having a productive and less stressful Ramadan is being organised.  So plan ahead and schedule in your time to train!

Wishing you all a blessed Ramadan. May it be source of nourishment for our minds and bodies!

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