Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Malaysia Marathon 2019 Race Review

After three weeks of grey clouds hovering the skies in Klang Valley, on the 29th Sept, Kuala Lumpur greeted the runners at the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon with a clear blue sky. It was a great day to run. Although it was drizzling when the full marathon flagged-off at 3:45am, but it quickly subsided about 20 minutes after.

Blue Sky at Dataran Merdeka. Picture by cheery running friend, Farhani

I joined the Half Marathon together with my husband and like previous years, we took the LRT from Bandar Tasek Selatan to Masjid Jamek to get to Dataran Merdeka. The event organiser – Dirigo, without fail, sponsored the LRT rides in Klang Valley for a certain period of time to facilitate runners’ logistic arrangement.

The start and finish area for all categories are not the same. The 5km and 10 km run were held at Sogo area, while the half and full marathon at Dataran Merdeka.

The arrangement to enter runners’ designated pens were well-organised and strict. Pens were used to segregate runners based on targeted timing – fastest being in the one in front and slowest at the back. The Minister of Youth and Sports of Malaysia, YB Syed Saddiq flagged-off and joined the run. The KL Standard Chartered Run was well organised and I saw a lot of efforts to make the event world-standard. Before the run started, the emcee gave a few safety and running etiquette reminders. For example, he reminded the runners on how to overtake each other by telling the person in front of you that you are over-taking on the right. By virtue of that, if you plan to slow down in the crowd, keep left so that those who wish to go faster than you can do that on the right. He also reminded the runners to run within designated zones to stay safe and smile 😊 for the cameras 📸.

Half Marathon Flag Off 5:30am

Here are our collective reviews from half and full marathon runners about some aspects of the run :

  • Baggage Drop
    👍 – Well-managed
  • Toilets
    👍 – Ample with not many queues. We only saw short queues at early kilometers and after that, hardly any. This was good as runners can achieve better timing.
  • Medical & Paramedics
    👍 Many ambulances were seen patrolling the race routes at the early, middle and later part of the routes. This was really encouraging because I usually see them only at later part of the race.
  • Water Station, Sponges and Muscle Spray
    👍 – Well-organised and well-coordinated by friendly volunteers who understood runners needs.
  • Medal and Finisher Collection Area
    👌 – Fast and well-managed. However, the area where you can enter to collect  the water, 100 plus and medal was lax, loosely-controlled. Anyone can enter the area. Last year, I found the finisher area managed very strictly.  The organiser could consider giving finisher slip or provide medal immediately at the finish line.
  • Road & route management
    👍 Overall, it was good. Most roads were well lighted up except a few areas – dark (at Kampung Baru), wet and needed light before the sun rise. Inevitably, due to the rain earlier, a few corners of the roads were filled with water and runners had to slow down and be extra careful to keep shoes dry. It would be nice if runners get to run more in the city than on the DUKE highway. Or,  get some volunteers to cheer along the long highway. It would also be nice if we run the opposite way of the route, so that runners do not have to go through hills last leg.
  • Surau
    👍  
    Praying areas were well-planned with signage. One water station was used by male runners to pray. I just prayed by the road using raazglove to ‘sujud’ on. I saw a couple of runners praying by the road and the place looked safe and convenient. So, I just followed them.
  • Traffic Control
    👍 Thumbs up for the traffic marshals and volunteers along the race route. They kept the runners on track, friendly and were very strict about the runners path. They were also strict about how you wear the bib – which is in the front!
  • International Participants
    👍 I see more international participation at the KLSCM this year. Running groups and runners from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan were quite visible at the run. Many Indonesian and China supporters were seen cheering at the finish line.
  • Medal & T-shirts
    👍 Medal – Sleek design of medal with difference sizes for different categories. I cannot help but wonder why the Twin Towers on the medal are not the same height? Could it because the perspective or angle of the towers?

    KL Standard Chartered Marathon 2019 Medal Run for a Reason

    The running shirts for the event were by Under Armour and the design was the same as previous years – simple and neat. I love all the colors !
    Running shirt : Electric blue with 2 design options : short sleeves or running vest.
    Extra Shirt for Run for a Reason – Olive color short sleeve shirt
    Full marathon finishers get dark blue finisher short sleeve shirts

    About two weeks before the event, the organiser announced the change of event name to the Kuala Lumpur Standard Charted Marathon (KLSCM) from Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (SCKLM). It was a last minute change. Therefore, there was no surprise that the merchandises retained the old name : SCKLM.

  • Event Village
    👍 What’s new about the event village was the steel-looking over-head walk-way that goes across the start and finish line. Although it couldn’t accommodate many users, it was useful to facilitate runners and supporters to cross the road. There were many activities to do other than cheering for finishing runners. You could catch up with fellow runners, take pictures, rest and recover or get a massage after the race. I wanted to get leg and back massage after the run, but the set-up was too open. It would be great if the event organiser allocate an area for women who wish not to be visible in the open area. The event emcee kept the mood going with upbeat music running on the background the whole time I was at the village.Another nice thing to have at the village is food and more food. Just get the food trucks there and runners would be so happy to fill up their huge appetite after the run while waiting for fellow friends.

    On the Runners approaching the finish line as I walked over.

  • KLSCM 2019 App
    👌 On the day of the race, many used the app to follow and track their friends.  I too downloaded and used the app to track others who were running. Unfortunately, the updates for live tracking was slow and at times, the info of the runner I followed disappear. The app gave pop-up updates about the runners you follow until they finish. The updates at one point was an hour delay – I received the update about my friend finishing the run, an hour after she finished. Response time certainly needs improvement.
  • Running Participation
    👍  Based on the unofficial info on KLSCM App, less than 10,000 runners of 13,000 registered full marathon runners, while less than 9,500 runners out of 12,500 registered half marathon runners joined the feat. This was about 73%-76% participation rate.

Congrats to Runners
At KLSCM, you see serious and competitive runners. They push you forward. Whether or not you meet your timing goals, what matter is that you finish strong and ethically.  These are Nashata Runners Full Marathon finishers  that I am so proud of : Farhati, Intan Suraya, Intan Siza, Laili Mardziah, Nur Azyan, Siti Nor Aliza, Syariza and Zamzamiah.

Farhati Happy with her 1st Full Marathon.

Intan Suraya, Marshita, Fiza – Full Marathon Finishers

Nor Laili after finishing her 1st Full Marathon

Syariza & Intan Siza after full marathon. Intan Siza pacing Syariza 1st FM as a birthday gift #sisterhood

Full marathon finishers : Syariza, Zamzamiah & friend

Run for a Reason
I was happy to have a rewarding experience raising funds and awareness for the National Cancer Society of Malaysia together with my husband. We collectively raised RM6,720. Although small, we hope our effort contributes to a greater cause. We hope to continue to do this next year.

Half Marathon Finishers – Soy Mokhtar & I

Special Thanks to Volunteers and Cheerers
Friendly and supportive volunteers and cheerers helped runners keep running mood positive and they pushed us going.

Dirigo keeps improving its standards and I appreciate the efforts.  Keep it up!

Review is based on experience by Intan Suraya and I.

SCKLM is Now KLSCM

The 11th Biggest Marathon in Kuala Lumpur is now called Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) and it brings together top world and local competitive marathon runners.

It will take place at iconic Dataran Merdeka  on 28 and 29 September, bringing together 40,000 runners compete in a variety of distances, with the previous year’s title holders all returning to stake their claim once again.

“The Race weekend will see thrilling contests between the defending champions in various categories and the upstarts who will be pushing the incumbents all the way,” said KLSCM Project Director Rainer Biemans, who is also a Director of Dirigo Events, the owner and organiser of KLSCM. “As an added highlight, making his debut in KLSCM will be YB Syed  Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sports, who will make it the first time a full-fledged Minister has taken part in the Half Marathon category,” added Biemans.

The undisputed “king” in the local marathon scene, Muhaizar Mohamad, will be back to defend his title in the Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category for an astonishing fifth consecutive time. Muhaizar, who won Malaysia’s first S.E.A. Games medal in the event in the last 44 years in the 2017 KL edition, is also representing Malaysia again in the event at this year’s Games in Manila, Philippines. He is currently the second fastest Malaysian marathoner after national record holder Leo Tan Huong Leong. Leo, who came in third at last year’s KLSCM, will unfortunately not be participating this year due to other commitments.

Muhaizar Mohamad and Nik Fakaruddin

Muhaizar Mohamad and Nik Fakaruddin

Due to his participation in the Manila S.E.A. Games in November this year however, Muhaizar is not expected to push himself to glory at KLSCM2019 as both events are just two months apart and his priority is representing Malaysia at the Games.

“KLSCM2019 will be my last marathon outing in my preparations for the S.E.A. Games and I do not want to jeopardise my training for that. I still aim to be competitive and hope to defend my KLSCM title as it is an event that is close to my heart after winning it four times in a row. Dirigo Events, the owner and organiser of KLSCM has also been one of my strongest supporters and I want to repay their faith in me by participating again this year,” said Muhaizar.

The main obstacle in the defence of Muhaizar’s title will come in the form of someone well known to him. Nik Fakaruddin, who came in second last year, is a vastly improved runner and is in fact Muhaizar’s compatriot in the Armed Forces and one of his regular training partners. Nik’s advantage this time around would be knowing that there’s nothing preventing him from going all out to bag his first title especially since Muhaizar would be more concerned with the upcoming S.E.A. Games.

In the Full Marathon Open category, two-time consecutive champions Cosmas Matolo Muteti and Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol from Kenya will return to defend their Men’s and Women’s tiles respectively. Their aim to win their third consecutive titles in Kuala Lumpur will be put to the test by elite Ethiopian athletes who will be making their debuts at KLSCM. Cosmas will be tested by Victor Kipchirchir who has a personal best of 2:07:39 while Asnakech Mengistu Egigawehu (2:25:50) and Ticzita Terechu Dida (2:28:00) will both give Elizabeth a run for her money in the Women’s FM Open category.

Cosmas Matolo Muteti and Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol

Cosmas believes his success in the past two KLSCMs is due to the similar climatic conditions between his home base in Machakos County in Kenya and Kuala Lumpur so although Victor’s personal best is a pretty fast time, it was probably achieved in a non-humid and cooler climate. “After developing knee and muscle problems after the Singapore marathon last year, I have not participated in any marathons since and my body has been recovering and responding well to my training. I’m happy with my progress and I’m confident of being competitive enough to try and defend my title,” said Cosmas. “While I appreciate the competition from other strong runners, I’m still someone who runs without apprehension as I’m only concerned with my own race. My motto is ‘train hard and the winning will come automatically’ and I am really looking forward to racing in Kuala Lumpur, which has a special place in my heart,” added the champion.

In the Malaysian Women’s FM category, Loh Chooi Fern will be back to defend the title she won last year in 3:18:44 but is expected to better that time as she recorded a personal best sub 3 hour time in the Gold Coast Marathon earlier this year. Nur Amelia Musa, the wife of Nik Fakaruddin, will be her most serious competition in this year’s KLSCM but Loh is relishing the challenge. “Women are getting stronger in marathons and I expect to be pushed hard this year. This is great for the sport as intense but healthy competition can only serve to help us achieve better times,” said Loh.

The darling of the Malaysian Women’s HM category Sheela Samivellu, will be attempting to make it four in a row and it’s hard to see anyone going toe-to-toe with her in this year’s race. Sheela, who is also the national record holder over the distance and the course record holder, has not set any specific targets for this year’s race and just hopes to finish the race successfully. “When I’m in a competition, I regard everyone as competitors and usually don’t target specific people to beat. My ultimate goal is usually to just to run well and finish strongly,” said the modest Sheela.

Apart from the exciting contests in store in the blue-ribbon categories, SCKLM will again see its fair share of inspirational stories from incredible individuals who use the marathon as a springboard to motivate and challenge others to do more with their lives, none more so than Chris Koch. Born without limbs, Chris is a Canadian farmer, athlete, adventurer and motivational speaker who will be attempting to complete his eighth marathon using a special longboard. “This will be my first time in Malaysia and first time attempting a marathon in this sort of hot and humid climate. I’m grateful to the organisers for allowing me to participate in my eighth marathon in the third continent and am looking forward to this particular challenge,” said Koch.

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon has grown to become the premier distance running event in Malaysia that draws thousands of local and international runners to the country whilst firmly establishing Malaysia in the global running calendar. The 2019 edition will be the largest yet with 40,000 runners taking part, including 1,900 running tourists from 73 countries from around the world, and will once again see sponsorship from Title Sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, along with Under Armour, 100 Plus, Seiko, Jaybird, Pacific Regency, Banana Boat and TudungPeople.

 

For more information and updates on KLSCM, please visit:

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

Meet the Pacers for the 10th Standard Charted KL Marathon

Someone at the media session asked me – What is a pacer? Why pacer is important for a marathon? A pacer at a marathon helps runners to finish within desired times. Typically, there are pacers for the full and half marathon. They not only run together with runners with the timing balloons or identifiers, but also motivate runners throughout these long runs. They bring runners back to finishing line.

The 5 lady pacers

Standard Charted KL Marathon (SCKLM) celebrates its 10th Anniversary with 38,000 runners who filled up the spots within 10 hours after registration opened. Yes the slots sell like hot cakes as SCKLM is the most popular and biggest running event in Malaysia, with 10,000 registered runners for full marathon and 11,000 half marathon.

What is your reason?

SCKLM started having pacers in 2010 with 14 pacers, and some of them continue to pace till today. Two of them are Malcalm Chew and Kelvin Ng, with the later keep coming back to pace as a way to contribute to the development of running in Malaysia.

This year, there are 5 lady pacers among the 29 Official Pacers.  One of them is Tini and she is well-known for her speed and wittiness. Everybody runs for a reason and as for the first time half marathon pacer, Munitaran Sundramtakes, being a pacer is his way to give back to the community.

The seasoned and new Pacers with their coordinator

SCKLM 2018 will be held at the Dataran Merdeka on the 8th April. So runners, have a target, train diligently, know and follow your pacer at the run! The pacers are ready, are you?

Follow the Pacer

The SCKLM is organised by Dirigo Events and SCKLM has not only gather runners from all over Malaysia but also over 70 countries.

Gloria Ng from Dirigo Events has been running SCKLM for many years. Kudos to her and team!