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.

The Sky was Blue as 40,000 Runners Finished the KLSCM2019

It was a perfect day to run in Kuala Lumpur. The sky was blue and the Dataran Merdeka was awash in blue when 40,000 runners took part in the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) 2019 today. The 11th edition of the premier distance running event in Malaysia also saw YB Syed Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sports, make his debut in the event by participating in the Half Marathon category. Also present were YB Khalid Samad, Minister of Federal Territories and YB, Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, who also took part in the Half Marathon.

Clear Blue Skies at the KL Standard Chartered Marathon

 

Contributing to the record participation numbers was one of the largest Full Marathon fields seen in an event in Malaysia when more than 13,000 runners took part in the category. An equally impressive 12,500 runners ran in the Half Marathon, making two of the longer distance categories the most well represented, which is testimony to the growing popularity of distance running in the country.

Victor Kipchirchir, from Kenya, who was making his debut appearance at KLSCM won the Full Marathon Men’s Open category in a time of 2:19:41 to take home USD17,500 while the Full Marathon Women’s Open category was won by Gladys Jepkemoi Chemweno from Kenya in a time of 2:36:45 also earning USD17,500 in the process.

 

Kiprop Tonui from Kenya came in second in the Full Marathon Men’s Open with a time of 2:20:05 while Tallam James Cherutich, also from Kenya finished third in a time of 2:21:04. In the Full Marathon Women’s Open, defending champion Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol from Kenya had to settle for second place in a time of 2:41:48 while Ngigi Pauline from Kenya took third place with a time of 2:45:44.

 

Flag off time for the Full Marathon is 3:45am

The Full Marathon Malaysian Men’s category was a keenly contested affair as Muhaizar bin Mohamad and his compatriot in the Armed Forces Nik Fakaruddin bin Ismail went toe-to-toe for most of the race. KL SEA Games bronze medallist Muhaizar though broke away towards the end, managing to defend his title and in doing so won this category for an astonishing fifth consecutive time, finishing in 2:35:23. Nik Fakaruddin finished second in 2:40:31 while Fabian @ Osmond bin Daimon came in third in a time of 2:45:06. The Full Marathon Malaysian Women’s category saw Loh Chooi Fern defend her maiden win in KLSCM2018 in a time of 3:21:33 while Tho Siaw Khim clocked 3:29:42 to come in second and Yap Yee Ling got third place in a time of 3:30:50.

 

FM Open winner Kipchirchir was delighted with his maiden Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon win. “It was a tough race as I have never run in this type of heat before but my preparation was good,” Kipchirchir said. “I am happy to be able to win in my first race in Kuala Lumpur and I hope to come back next year,” he continued.

 

Muhaizar was also thrilled to have retained his title, especially after the intense competition with training partner Nik Fakaruddin. “I think running and winning in KLSCM before gave me a slight advantage over the other competitors as I know what to expect and so made the right strategy,” he said. “This win will help boost my confidence ahead of the SEA Games in Manila in November and I hope to be able to bring back a medal,” he added.

 

Rainer Biemans, Project Director of KLSCM and Director of Dirigo Events, said “The 11th edition of KLSCM has proven to be an exciting two days that has seen some great competitions in our top categories, which has added to the lustre of our biggest event yet. It has also been and honour and a privilege having both YB Syed Saddiq and YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming participate in our Half Marathon, and my heartfelt thanks go out to them for supporting our event and I hope they enjoyed themselves out there today. We are also grateful for YB Khalid Samad’s presence and for giving out prizes”, he continued.

Syed Saddiq flagged off the Half Marathon category along with Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia before joining in the run.

“For someone who’s more a cyclist than a runner, that was pretty challenging! But crossing that finish line was extremely fulfilling and I’m really happy to have made it within the cut-off time. I can see now how participating in distance running events such as this can be tremendously rewarding so kudos to Dirigo Events, Standard Chartered Bank and to everyone else who had a hand in putting together this fantastic event,” said Syed Saddiq. “My congratulations as well to all the winners and to all who participated and achieved their running goals,” he continued.

Anwar. A. Abrar, MD and CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia, who took part in yesterday’s Friendship Run as well, was delighted with the massive turnout over the two days and hoped the event would continue to attract the running masses for many more years to come.

“Being title sponsor for the last 11 years, Standard Chartered Malaysia is delighted that we’ve once again managed to successfully pull off this event with our biggest numbers to date.

From pioneering the concept of being the first running event to run through iconic landmarks in Kuala Lumpur, KLSCM has never stood still and has set the benchmark and gold standard for running events in Malaysia,” said Abrar.

While KLSCM is a competitive event, it has been built with a community focus at its core and that community element was brought to the fore this year when KLSCM’s Run For A Reason (RFAR) charity initiative raised its highest amount in terms of funds raised compared to previous years. RFAR is an integral component of KLSCM and this year, participating charities the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Dignity for Children Foundation and Hospis Malaysia will benefit from over RM890,000 worth of funds raised by over 1,000 RFAR participants, together with the Corporate Challenge. “We are extremely happy to have raised a record amount under our RFAR charity banner and our sincere thanks go out to all involved who made this possible,” said Biemans.

The record numbers did not end there as the event also saw its largest number of running tourists as well when more than 1,900 from 49 countries arrived in Kuala Lumpur to take part in the iconic event. Add another 10,020 Malaysians who came from outside of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor to make it a particularly busy weekend for the city.

 

One particularly inspiring tourist was Chris Koch, a farmer, athlete, adventurer and motivational speaker who flew in from Canada to participate. Born without limbs, Chris has been travelling the world and participating in marathons to spread his “If I Can” message to as many people as possible in the hopes of motivating them to get the most out of their lives. Using a longboard to traverse the Full Marathon route, Chris took part in his eighth marathon on a third continent when he completed his marathon here. “I was prepared for the heat and humidity because I knew it would be way more than I’m used to, however, starting so early was different. On the course, other marathoners are usually so encouraging and supportive but here, they were even more so. That definitely has me wanting to come back for another,” Koch said.

 

KLSCM2019 began with the Kids Dash categories yesterday morning that saw another record when 1,000 children participated in the 1km and 3km categories. Both categories were expanded this year to encourage more children to participate and also saw speed categories introduced for both distances in a move to separate the competitive children from the fun runners.

 

For the first time, the 5km category was also held yesterday morning to allow for larger participation numbers today and incorporated the Friendship Run, meant to be a warm-up run for those taking part in the Full Marathon, as well as an opportunity for runners from around the world to meet and forge friendships.

 

Towards the end of the event, the KLSCM running community gathered at the Finish Line to cheer and provide moral support to the last runners to finish within the check-out time of 7:15 hours. These runners had given their all to finish the race and were given a rousing end replete with confetti blasts to coax them home within the required time.

Celebrating the last runner!

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon has grown year-on-year to become the most anticipated distance running event in Malaysia, where for the first time this year public registrations had to be balloted.

KLSCM is sanctioned and supported by the Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF), Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur Athletic Federation (FTKLAA), International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Association of International Marathons, Distance Races (AIMS).

 

 

Winners of the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

 

Full Marathon Men’s Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Victor Kipchirchir Kenya 2:19:41
2nd Kiprop Tonui Kenya 2:20:05
3rd Tallam James Cherutich Kenya 2:21:04

 

KLSCM2019 FM Open Men Winners with Khalid Samad (far lef) and Abrar A. Anwar (far right)

Full Marathon Women’s Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Gladys Jepkemoi Chemweno Kenya 2:36:45
2nd Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol Kenya 2:41:48
3rd Ngigi Pauline Wangui Kenya 2:46:44

 

 

Full Marathon Malaysian Men

Position Name Country Time
1st Muhaizar bin Muhamad Malaysia 2:35:23
2nd Nik Fakaruddin bin Ismail Malaysia 2:40:31
3rd Fabian @ Osmond bin Daimon Malaysia 2:45:06

 

Full Marathon Malaysian Women

Position Name Country Time
1st Loh Chooi Fern Malaysia 3:21:33
2nd Tho Siaw Khim Malaysia 3:29:42
3rd Yap Yee Ling Malaysia 3:30:50

 

KLSCM2019 FM Women Malaysian with Abrar and Ong Kian Ming (left) and Khalid Samad and Datuk Wira Mark Ling (right)

Full Marathon Malaysian Veteran Men

Position Name Country Time
1st Muniandy a/l Ramadass Malaysia 2:54:21
2nd Looi Mun Fai Malaysia 2:55:37
3rd Suresh a/l Muniandy Malaysia 3:02:12

 

Full Marathon Malaysian Veteran Women

Position Name Country Time
1st Wong Boon Jien Malaysia 3:46:08
2nd Neoh Hueih Ching Malaysia 3:46:50
3rd Ewe Bee Hong Malaysia 3:50:05

Half Marathon Men Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Kiplagat Philemon Korir Kenya 1:07:15
2nd Mathew Samperu Kenya 1:07:29
3rd Mburu Francis Karau Kenya 1:09:41

 

 

Half Marathon Women Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Edith Chemjor Kenya 1:25:05
2nd Jepkosgei Naum Kenya 1:32:59
3rd Agnieska Najnigier Pierzynowska Poland 1:35:58

 

Half Marathon Malaysian Men

Position Name Country Time
1st Vimal a/l Govendarajoo Malaysia 1:15:36
2nd Mohd Nor Afifi bin Haron Malaysia 1:16:07
3rd Sivaneshwaran a/l Gunasegaran Malaysia 1:19:25

 

Half Marathon Malaysian Women

Position Name Country Time
1st Sheela a/p Samivellu Malaysia 1:30:08
2nd Chua Kit Yeng Malaysia 1:33:11
3rd Chuah Cheng Ean Malaysia 1:34:21

 

Half Marathon Men Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Jeffrey Ross Great Britain 1:21:25
2nd Cao Yuming China 1:23:57
3rd Chan Shan Ching Hong Kong 1:25:22

 

Half Marathon Women Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Jasmine Goh Mei Ling Singapore 1:31:25
2nd Susan Khoo Great Britain 1:46:38
3rd Wang Sing Yee Singapore 1:50:24

 

Half Marathon Malaysian Men Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Brij Ravinder a/l N Kathiravelu Malaysia 1:21:32
2nd Lim Khon Seng Malaysia 1:23:51
3rd Alex Tiong King Hee Malaysia 1:26:29

 

Half Marathon Malaysian Women Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Looi Mei Yan Malaysia 1:44:18
2nd Joanne Poh Leng Grange Malaysia 1:45:20
3rd Seah Bee Lian Malaysia 1:45:46

 

10km Speed Men Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Soh Wai Ching Malaysia 0:34:02
2nd Azwan bin Bunjing Malaysia 0:36:05
3rd Ku Aliff Aiman bin Ku Zainol Malaysia 0:36:38

 

10km Speed Women Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Eunice Ong Huey Shen Malaysia 0:43:56
2nd Lim Cai Qin Daphne Singapore 0:44:16
3rd Michele Tan Bee Kiang Malaysia 0:44:41

 

10km Speed Men Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Prabakharan a/l Madhavan Malaysia 0:38:43
2nd Dayalan a/l Suppayah Malaysia 0:40:46
3rd See Hock Leong Malaysia 0:41:33

 

 

10km Speed Women Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Yong Chiew Ling Malaysia 0:50:06
2nd Jayce Chua Poh Cheng Singapore 0:50:52
3rd Karen Malaysia 0:52:11

 

 About the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

 

Back for the 11th year, the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon takes place on 28 & 29 September 2019. The marathon, owned and organised by Dirigo Events, will see participation from 40,000 runners, ranging from elite athletes to first-time distance runners. A truly international event, the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon boasts participants from all over Malaysia and over 70 countries. The Kuala Lumpur Marathon Standard Chartered 2019 remains Malaysia’s premier running event with top runners competing for a total of USD 125,000 in prize money.

 

For more information on the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon, visit  http://www.kl-marathon.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon.

 

 

All Smiles at the Score Marathon Run The Day

The Score Marathon has definitely made my running in the city of Kuala Lumpur a marvelous experience. The route for the half marathon, 21 km took me around the heart of KL, starting from the Berjaya Time Square. What I like most about the run is the route – scenic features of the city skyline, parks and undulating hills of the city.  The route is similar to the Standard Charted KL Marathon, but lesser crowd. There were about 3,500 half marathon runners, 2,700 ten KM runners among the 13,000 participants at the Score Marathon.

I was glad the organiser moved the venue from Bukit Jalil to Berjaya Time Square. Running in the city was truly a lovely experience.

Score Marathon

The roads were well-managed and I felt safe running throughout. There were water stations serving 100 plus and water at every 3 km with one serving banana a few kilometers before the finish line. The run started at 5am and the roads were well lighted with many marshals on motorbikes. I felt safe although it was quite dark until the sun rose at about 7am.

Some of the iconic buildings that I passed were National Mosque, Islamic Museum, Merdeka Square, POS Malaysia, Sasana Kijang, PWTC, Pavilion KL, Bursa Malaysia and close enough to see the KL Tower and KLCC Twin Towers. The runners passed the National Mosque at KM 8, and it was well suited for morning prayers. Most muslim runners stopped at the mosque for prayers.

Towards the finish line – Photo by Marlina Ibrahim

I was not certain if the distance was accurate or not as my Garmin watch recorded a distance of 24 km and so did many of the other Garmin users with extra mileage. GPS can be inaccurate in city area with tall buildings. It was a bit tough to do a personal best due to the famous hilly routes. I was accompanying a friend, Farhani who ran her 1st half marathon and our goal was to finish and enjoy the run. Indeed we did. We took many pictures to cherish her 1st half marathon. She trained really hard for this. Ladies who plan to take up long distance running be it half or full marathon can join .Nashata  Weekend Training

It was a thumbs up experience at the Score Marathon 2019 – from registering the run, picking up the race kit, running and finishing run.

Now, some pictures of the runners and the city of Kuala Lumpur!

Our 1st stop – Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Cool and hilly route, well lighted

Run like a tourist

 

The KL Tower on the backdrop as we cruise on Jalan Sultan Ismail

On Jalan Kuching Photo Credit : Score Marathon

At this point, it was about 2 more KM to go with KLCC Tower on the backdrop

The running sisters – Farhani and Farhati ran the half marathon

With brother and cousin who finished their half marathon

 

 

Weekend Training Plan for Marathons

Ladies, here’s Nashata Runners calendar for July, August and September for long distance running! You can join these weekend sessions if you want to train for half and full marathon anytime before October.

This weekend training plan is tailored for those running  half marathon for SCORE RUN 2019, PJ Half Marathon and Standard Charted KL Marathon 2019. You can also join us if you would like to train for full marathon at the Standard Charted KL Marathon.

The distances planned for each weekend is to prepare you for upcoming races and what we do is to train  together with you. This plan does not include plans for weekdays. Do train on weekdays as well to ensure you gain enough mileage prior to races.

There are two main venues for our training: Cyberjaya and Bukit Jalil. The meet points are Perdana Lake Jogging Track for Cyberjaya and Bukit Jalil Recreational Park (Car Park Gate C) for Bukit Jalil.

There is no fees involved, but if you would like to join the sessions, please whatsapp +60123112489  or email active@nashata.com. Just let us know your name, session you wish to join so that we know that you will join our session. Follow Nashata Active instagram account for updates.

Why Join Us?

Nashata runners consist of avid and seasoned marathon runners and we have inspired and supported many female runners to push their limits. If you are a new in embarking into long distance running, you can join us to get tips and support.

If you cannot join us, you can still train on your own, no matter where you are. Do clock in the mileage and keep training.

Weekend Training Plan for Marathons

 

Intan and Apeng running together at the Pink Ultra Run

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!

 

SCKLM: Suraus for Muslim Runners

Standard Chartered KL Marathon is only a few days left and we want you to go through the smoothest experience you’ve ever had. This time round we would like to help all the muslims to feel at ease performing prayers during the running period.

Here are the routes provided by the organizer:

Half Marathon Route Map

For half marathon, the suggested prayer area is located at the side road of the Lebuhraya Duta – Ulu Kelang (DUKE) when you’ve reached 11km, slightly after you pass the water station. Though there is only one surau suggested here, there are also few mosque along the road.

The first mosque you’ll pass through is the Masjid Jamek before you hit 1km running. After 14km running, you’ll meet another mosque Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan. If you can make it on time, at the end of the route, you’ll see the last mosque which is Masjid Negara.

 

Full Marathon Route Map

As for Full Marathon, more suraus are suggested here. The first surau you’re going to pass is at 14km running (close to Tabung Haji & water station). Then, you’ll see a surau by the road side of Jalan Ampang after 15km run. After Kompleks Sukan Datuk Keramat and LRT Jelatek you’ll find another surau located at the road side of Jalan Jelatek. At 19km run, the surau is located close to the checkpoint by the road of Jalan Setiawangsa. The last surau that is suggested for marathoner is close to the checkpoint is at the DUKE road, that is after 26km running.

Just to inform, the mosque available near the route is the same as what the half marathoner will pass: Masjid Jamek, Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan and Masjid Negara.

Few tips on prayer guidance:

  1. Don’t forget your prayers even when you’re running
  2. Jangan lupa solat walaupun bersukan berjam-jam! (in bahasa Malaysia)

Hope this helps! Share it with others so they can also schedule their prayers early before the run! 🙂

Short vs Long Run. Which works for you?

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

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

MY STORY OF LONG RUNS BACK TO BACK

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

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

When I was running fast and injured my knee after

When I was running fast and injured right knee after.

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

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

Elevation Nightmare PJ Half Marathon

My pace & elevation at PJ Half Marathon 2017

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

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

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

MHWH Night Run by AIA Vitality  21km Pacers

Nadia Noi the 21km Pacer

With Nadia Noi the 21km Pacer

After 12km MHWH Night Run 2017

It was Nuha’s first 12km run.

2. PJ Half Marathon : 23rd July 2017

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

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

More than 4000 half marathon runners

More than 4000 half marathon runners waiting for flagoff

Nashata Runners

WIth Intan Siza – the Nashata Runner. Picture by ActionPixMalaysia

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

5 Things You Need To Know If You Swap Bibs

Do you know the ramifications of changing bib ‘illegally’- that is without proper personal data changing? Ever wondered the consequences of joining sporting events using someone else’s personal data ? These are the 5 things that may occur :

1 : Next of kin uncontactable 

When you get injured or faint, the medics on duty will immediately send you to a health centre for further treatment. The contact number stated on the bib will be dialled to inform family members or guardians. Imagine if the contacted person is far from the incident and came all way just to find that the one injured isn’t their relative. Well, that ignites the fire within.

2 : Organizer has no information of you at all

Almost the same situation as Scenario 1. Only the organizer will be interrogating you till you’re bummed out. That is, if you’re still alive. Don’t even mention the word DEATH. How are they going to solve this issue when not a single personal information of yours is stated on the bib?

Muslimah Runners with Bib

Muslimah Runners with Bib.

3 : Wrong medical treatment 

Still the same situation but with a different fallout. What if the medics request for your medical data? For example, getting information on your blood type or allergies or diseases you’re diagnosed with. If the data stated on the bib isn’t yours, they could treat your illness with the wrong remedies. This may lead to instant death.

4 : Recognition not yours

Even if you’re running your best to the point where you’re on the brink of unconsciousness, you don’t get to receive the medal you ran so hard for, nor do you have the chance to bask in glory on the podium. The timing is also not yours but belongs to the ‘official’ racer. Wouldn’t that be a waste of your effort?

5 : Your reputation at stake

Be respectable in the sporting event as equal participants.  What would you say if you were to bump into another runner you know while wearing another person’s bib? People may perceive you as a cheater, and could ruin your reputation. Even if you were to try avoid this by not wearing a bib, the consequences are on you if you faint with no contact number for the medics to call.

So, do you still want to use someone else’s bib? If you are unable to race and would like to transfer to someone else, check with organizer or race director if possible. If it is, make sure all information is updated accordingly.

[Credits to Redz Ismail, a daily marathon runner, for the tips.]

Redz Ismail is as seasoned runner & a friend to Nashata Runners.

Redz Ismail is a seasoned runner & a friend to Nashata Runners.

City Spin & Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2017

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

Before The Big Day

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

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

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

On the Big Day

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

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

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

A familiar face that requires no introduction

A familiar face that requires no introduction

One with my Krew!

One with my Krew!

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

Read about last year’s SCKLM 2016 experience here

Until next week,

The Weekend Runner

The 19.8km “half marathon”

IMG_8107Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM), it feels good to be back! Since this is one of the few women-only running events in Malaysia, I would like to give my full support and hopefully, make a difference in the female community. This year I decided to run in the half marathon category instead (last year I did the full marathon).

Here are 3 highlights of the running event:

1.Race kit collection venue

I loved the venue of the race kit collection (Acapella Hotel) because parking and location was convenient, not to mention it was fully air-conditioned too! Plus there were forums, talks, and discussions on-going at the main stage, which were very informative and educational. Here are some of the pictures out and about the REPC:

Dropped by Nashata's booth to check out the new EZ skirt

REPC will not be complete if I did not drop by Nashata’s booth to check out the new EZ skirt!

A familiar face that requires no introduction

Bumped into familiar face that requires no introduction

Unfortunately, the organizers forgot to print my official pacer’s bib number despite him already registering a few weeks prior to this event.This resulted in a very unprofessional-looking bib number with his details hastily scribbled using a marker pen:IMG_8117

2.Route

IMG_8137Just like last year, the route was ‘hilly’ as ever, but I was prepared for it. With the help of my official pacer, we were on track to break my PB. He helped me keep my focus, and pushed me when necessary.

Unfortunately, the half marathon distance did not even reach 20km. I don’t feel like I deserve this medal. Perhaps the organizers should replace the “21KM” engraving on the back with “19.8KM” instead:IMG_8119

3. Overall vibe and atmosphere of the event

Today, the ladies ran the show while the men took the supporting role as pacers.There was certainly so much love for the ladies. Go get ’em PBs and podiums, girl!

I would like to send some love to the cheer squad for spreading some positive vibes through the posters at KM17 the last few kilometers was certainly the hardest. (All cheer squad photos are courtesy of Kyserun Krew):

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