Why the Malaysia ? Women ? Marathon is so Special

Whenever MWM is around the corner, I get both excited and agitated; excited to meet the runners and customers, and agitated because I wanted to run but uncertain if I could. I have to balance between spending time with my customers and running, both of which I enjoy.

veteran Runner Intan Suraya finished her 10th full marathon strong

Veteran Runner Intan Suraya finished her 10th full marathon strong. She never fails to run the marathon at MWM

Back to why the MWM is so special. It is beyond running. It is about enriching women to grow. This year, there were a two-day workshop plus a dialogue session on the 3rd and 4th March respectively, followed by the run on the 5th March. Here are the three things that happened at the MWM 2017. Be prepared to view loads of pictures. They tell the stories better  ?

1. The Workshop & Dialogues
Women Empowerment Workshop, supported by Gorgeous Geeks on 3rd March (Friday)
About 50 ladies from Pusat Wanita Berdaya (PWB) Selangor attended the session on online marketing, personal branding and organic and halal cosmetic industry. Pusat Wanita Berdaya is a platform to encourage women of local communities to be actively involved in community works and also business related to empower their family economic background. Julia Koh, Azrina Naimuddin and I got to share our experiences. It was a good session; many took pictures of our sharing. If you are keen to know what I have shared, you can download my deck here. Details of the workshop can be found here.

Gorgeous Geek Speakers

Ladies from Gorgeous Geek ; Alecia Heng, Julia Koh & I

Pusat Budaya Wanita Selangor

Attentive ladies from Pusat Budaya Wanita Selangor

Lyana and Farah - my running adik-adik TKCOGA just know how to have fun!

Lyana and Farah – my running adik-adik TKCOGA just know how to have fun!

Women Dialogue Session on Gender Equality on 4th March (Saturday)
A panel of women and a man shared their thoughts about gender equality, by YB Zuraida Kamaruddin, Pn. Hajjah Noraida Yusof, Anas Alam Faizli and Freda Liu, moderated by Hazleen Aziz. Then many of us wrote & signed our pledges on the Wall of Gender Equality. My other half was supposed to sign with me, but he was away… so I signed for both.

Signing our Pledge on the Wall of Gender Equality

Signing our Pledge on the Wall of Gender Equality

                           “We are equal but not the same” by Ritz & Eliza

To me, we both have equal rights but the rights are not the same. Our abilities are not the same either.

The ladies behind the MWM : YB Dr. Daroyah & Pn Noorul

Among the ever-supportive ladies behind MWM : YB Dr. Daroyah & Pn Noorul

2. The Expo

The expo coincided with the Race Kit collection days. It was where the sponsors like Nashata offer great bargains for runners. I have to applaud the staffs at Accapella Hotel Shah Alam for providing great hospitality. They were helpful and generous – offering good assistance at all times.

We released a few new products at our booth and many cool running items were marked down – so that the runners get value for money. Next time, we will get a bigger booth for a better shopping experience for you ladies. Thank you so much for your patience. ?

Sarah & Nazura from Nashata

The girls who worked worked tirelessly the past 3 days – Sarah & Nazura

3. The Run
I wanted to run but agitated because I knew I would be tired prior to the race. I needed enough sleep, rest and well-hydrated to run. My plan to run from 42km, got knocked down to 21km and after setting up Nashata booth at 545am, I felt like trying my luck to run the 10km. So ask if I could run and got lucky. I was so delighted to get a bib to run.  So off I went running at 630am from Stadium Shah Alam. It was a good day, a hilly route, and I have no complains except Alhamdulillah.

Lydia Hashim & I after 10km Run

Lydia Hasim & I after 10km Run. We were overtaking each other and later finished together. Lydia is one of the first Malaysian duo who cycled Across Sahara last month, recognised by the Malaysia Book of Record


Rezeki on a Sunday Morning

Rezeki on a Sunday morning. My Garmin watch was my timing chip. Finished within 1:07:38 +- 10 secs.

Happy to see Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir

#RunHappy. Vanida Imran, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir & Ivy Josiah ran happy with friends

Fara Fauzana & running fans

Fara Fauzana & running fans

Maslina & friend - 21km finisher

Maslina Muhamad & Azlina Abdullah looking great after their 21km run

Siti all drenched after the run

Siti all drenched after the run

Alecia Heng & family ran the 6km category

The running Gorgeous Geek – Alecia Heng brought her family to run the 6km category

Dr Sarah Shamsuddin the Running Doctor wears Nashata leggings, skirt & sports hijab

Dashing Dr Sarah Shamsuddin, the MWM Running Doctor wears Nashata leggings, skirt & sports hijab

Runners are the MWM 2017

Runners have most creative POSES. This by Maslina Muhamad

Emmy the Active Mom

Emmy is always in Sporting events with her children. Such a sporting supportive  Mom. She wears Nashata Azza Toplectic

Karen Loh - The strong lady behind 5 consecutive years of MWM

Last but not least, Karen Loh – The strong classy lady behind 5 consecutive years of MWM. ??

There were more things to enjoy at the MWM like the flyyoga and children’s run. Check out Aina theweekendrunner’s post for her side of the story. She ran the 21 km half marathon.

If you missed this year’s MWM, try not to miss it in 2018. MWM 2017 is a wrap with Alhamdulillah. See you next year, InsyaAllah.

The Orange Rose at AIAVitality MHWH NightRun Penang

The Queensbay Mall was flooded with runners in orange last night.

Runners in Orange

Runners in Orange

It was a humid night and some runners were already sweaty waiting for respective flag offs at the AIAVitality Men’s Health Women’s Health (MHWH) Night Run Village, located next to the mall.I was there to run my second 21km for this year and support #NashataRunners and friends. We had #NashataRunners : Sarah, Aqila, Lyana, Intan, Nahsuhah & I for 12km and 21km. I was also looking forward to run by the sea and enjoy the night scene of the Second Penang Bridge.

Nashata Runners 21 km

Nashata Runners 21 km

HIJABI 21KM PACER – the Orange Rose

The AIAVitality MHWHNightRun is a pivotal running event for #NashataRunners as one of our runners Nur Nahsuhah was given the opportunity to be the official pacer for 2 hour 21 min, 21km category. We were thrilled and happy for her. We knew she would do great because Nahsuhah has always been a great motivator and full of positivity.  Thank you AIAVitality for giving her the opportunity to pace.  Nahsuhah was the only female pacer among 11 pacers for 21 km. Alhamdullilah, not only she paced in a timely manner, she also enjoyed it that she is happy to do more in the future.

2:20 21 km Pacer

2:20 21 km Pacer

Intan Suraya, Nahsuhah and I were testing a lipcover specially for sports, so you will find our pictures with vibrant-colored lips. What do you girls think?

Intan Suraya & Nahsuhah

Intan Suraya & Nahsuhah 


The flag off for 21km was on time at 9 pm, and the runners were fast.  I was aiming to just finish the run since my right knee has been giving me pain everytime I train. I didn’t train for the past week and was saving the pain for the run.

Waiting for Flag-Off AIAVitality

Waiting for Flag-Off AIAVitality

Intan as usual ran effortlessly, ahead of me – slow and steady, and finished strong below 3 hours. I on the other hand, ran super slow and finished around 3 hour 18 min. It was good enough for me.
Nashata Supporter

Thank you Nashata Supporters for Running & Makan with Us!

Thanks to the well-organised run & super-cool runners – despite the heat, I enjoyed it. We ran down south and passed many factories at industrial zone. Safety was well-managed and many paramedics and ambulances were on standby throughout the route. The roads were closed and cordoned off nicely. Water stations were well managed by friendly volunteers who served us with water and isotonic drink. I wished they provided some salt water though.

Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge

The view of Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge / Second Penang Bridge last 8km of the run

It felt like an El-Nino run as it was hot and humid throughout the night run, until after 11:30 pm we got nice breeze countering us while running back to Queensbay Mall. The heat definitely tires me fast the first 8km.

The 12km run was flagged off earlier at 8:30pm. Sarah and Aqilah had so much fun at their very first 12 km run. Do expect these young girls to run more!

Sarah & Aqilla's 1st 12km Run

Nashata Runners : Sarah & Aqilah’s 1st 12km Run


Talking about goodies, we were pretty joyful receiving lots of stuffs inside the bag. The items received are Lucozade Sport’s drinks, Appeton Vitamins, drinking bottle, few CLEAR shampoos, a car figurine, GRABCAR wrist rubber band, a medal and lots of vouchers. Gosh, it felt like receiving presents from Santa Claus, LOL!


A visit to Penang is not complete without eating Penang local food. We had ikan bakar after the run and the next morning, Lyana took us to a late breakfast at Pasar Taman Tun Sardon Penang. Penang – I shall come, run & eat strong again.

pasar taman tun sardon penang

Too late.. Opps, our plates are all clean.


Virgin Full Marathon for the Wimpy Legs

The wimpy legs finally ran a full marathon. They ran the first half marathon December 21st 2014, at the Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon. The experience running first half marathon was shared separately on another post.

Time flies and 3 months after the first 21km run, the wimpy legs ran their first full marathon at the Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM) 2015.

Why MWM?

MWM has been close to my heart as it was where I met Intan Suraya in March 2013. I still remember waking up early at 3am and driving to I-City Shah Alam where I was introduced to Intan, a hijabist runner. Eda Fatimawati introduced me to Intan as I wanted to find out how running in hijab was like. Intan was wearing a ‘bawal’ hijab back then and was very happy to share her experience briefly right before she ran the full marathon at MWM.

On March 15th, 2014, we launched Nashata at MWM 2014. We were also the title sponsor for the 5km Fun Run.

Later on October 8, 2014, I decided to run Full Marathon at MWM 2015. Although the longest distance I ran at that moment was 10 km, I just signed up for it and worked backwards.


After my first Half Marathon, I was not able to train much as I was busy with work. The longest distance I ran was 17 km on 11th January with Eda and 16 km on the 3rd February. I was supposed to have ran 30 km twice by 15th Feb, but I didn’t. I was far behind with training.

I was added into a running support group managed by MWM and this is what the training plan was like.

Full Marathon Training Plan
Full Marathon Training Plan

I was only able to collect mileage religiously back again after 16th February. At times, I ran alone at 9 pm and 5am even if I needed to.

Even so, the longest distance I ran was 17 km,  which was on the 28th Feb, a week before MWM 2015. I did not collect enough mileage and was aiming to finish my run within 6 hours. Karen Loh, the MWM Race Director was kind to ask about my progress every week. She reminded me to run 30 km before the full marathon.

Note : Please do not follow my training record. It is not recommended at all.


Last Run 28 Feb : 17 km only

What about my diet?

I was told to drink a lot water until my urine is clear at all times. So I did, with a lot of coke light and coke zero in between (that was not part of the dietary plan).The weather was dry and hot a week before the run, so it was super important to keep my body hydrated. I was told to eat healthy and to eat a lot of carbs a few days before the run. I took a lot of rice, bagels and fruits. I bought a few bagels two days before the run and kept eating them. I felt fat but I guess it was necessary.

Before  the run, I had a bagel and a glass of milk and water. I prepared more food with me, which included hard boil eggs, banana, Yes, it was like preparing for a picnic.

Attire & Gears?

I wanted to run light so I wore my favorite Nashata skirt compression pants, blue ultra top and amin hijab. Initially I planned to bring along a visor as I was worried about the morning sun, but left it behind as i didn’t want to run with too many things with me. I didn’t wear hydration belt either as I was hoping to bump into many many water stations along the way. I brought 2 energy gels in my pocket and my phone (which I initially planned to leave).

The Run, the Race

Intan Suraya, Nur Nahsuhah and I arrived Dataran Merdeka, 5 minutes before flag off. Off my wimpy legs, running the first full marathon. My pace was 7.10 min/km for the first 10 km. The pace dropped to 7.45 min/km at 20 km, and continued to drop to 8 min / km at 28.5km. My challenge started after my pelvic stiffed 30 km onwards. My lower body movement was restricted. I was running non-stop most of the time but could not go fast. Throughout the run, I Dhikr. I was scared and needed help. 

One of the marshals told me to drink salt water. Perhaps my body looked stiff. Indeed I drank a lot of salt water after that. I ran without feeling thirsty throughout the run. There were many water stations with choices of water, salt water and revive at all times. After my 21km, I took Revive and salt water at every stop. I consumed the energy gel provided at the water station and another from my pocket at 30 km.

I had no pacer, so I had to push myself as much as I could. I was right behind MWM’s 4 hr 30 mins pacers, then 5 hr and later 5 hr 30 mins pacers. It was at the last 8 km of the run, I could not cope with the pace and ran slowly. Moreover, it was getting hot. Then came the 6 hr pacers over taking me at 37 km.

Cheeky Pacers

Cheeky Pacers

That was when I tried to push harder. It was hard as my pelvic was ‘locked’. I even felt my hands were swinging faster than my legs. It must have looked really funny. At 39 km was when I saw my husband waiting for me by the road. His presence helped me to move faster.


Dragging wimpy legs at 41 km

I reached the finishing line at 5 hr 49 mins with no injury. I was happy to see my family members waiting for me for many many hours. My legs are no longer wimpy but my pelvic needs some work. I experienced stiffness around my pelvic area both at half and full marathon. Even though the pain came a lot later at full marathon, but it is an area I need to improve. My overall pace was 8.27 mins/km.

wimpy legs


I suffered from zero injury and recovered within a day. It was painless compared to recovery from Mount Kinabalu climb. My legs were a bit sore for a day after the run. I had to stretch out my body for half a day after the run; no twist nor turn as there were also weak. I managed to run 4 km 2 days after MWM and 5 km 4 days after the run, and I was alrite.

International & National Full Marathon Standards

Based on Running USA, the average median finishing time for a full marathon for women is 4 hours 41 minutes, while in Asian countries like Malaysia, the median for women, based on the recent Malaysia Women Marathon is higher; 5 hours 40 minutes. Why the big gap ? We will have to find out. The would-be qualifying time for me at the New York Marathon for example is 3 hour 26 mins. My current timing is for age 70 years old and above.

Summary Full Marathon MWM 2015

Summary Full Marathon MWM 2015

But meanwhile, it was good to see more and more sisters running off late. The recent MWM brought together 298 full marathon runners internationally, mainly from Malaysia. Although there was a drop in terms of participation for full marathon and half marathon this year, we saw new and old faces participating in the run, mostly pushing themselves to tougher categories.

Here’s a picture of very happy runners who completed their full marathon that day. Wimpy legs would definitely run again, but next time around with stronger pelvic and more sisters together! If the wimpy legs can run a full marathon, so can others!
Sisters who ran their first Full Marathon at MWM. (except Intan Suraya)

Sisters who ran their first Full Marathon at MWM. (except Intan Suraya who is an avid marathoner)

Pushing Your Limits on International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day to our readers.

Did you do anything special on Women’s Day? Many sisters spent their day making their marks, pushing themselves to a different level on the 8th March 2015.

Here are 3 highlights of our fit sisters:

1. Two WINNING Full Marathons within a week for Nur Nahsuhah

Nahsuhah, a 22 medical student at UNIMAS Sarawak, completed her virgin Full Marathon (42.195km) on the 1st March 2015 at the X12 Dark Run, Nexus Karambunai Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. She finished top 2 for Women’s Open Category at 4 hour and 54 minutes. Seven days after her first full marathon,  she competed at the Malaysia Women Marathon in Shah Alam, where she finished top 7 for Emerald Category. She improved her performance and finished within 4 hour and 49 minutes.

She flew into Shah Alam to brave through her second full marathons in a week! Isn’t that amazing!

Nur Nasuhah

Nur Nasuhah at X12 Dark Run & MWM 2015

2. Finishers at the Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM)

Full Marathon

10 sisters of Nashata, including Nahsuhah, Intan Suraya, Azlina, Arliza, Masnida and Azyan  ran Full Marathon at MWM. Some of them are amazing women who ran their virgin marathon. It was an amazing experience as the run not only brought them together, but also strengthen the sisterhood among themselves. It takes a strong and determined person to run a marathon.

“Running might not be an enjoyable past time for me if it was not for Nashata running clothes. Comfortable and modest, just what a running muslimah needs.”, Azlina Idris (Along) virgin full marathon runner

MWM Finisher

MWM Finishers

Finishers & Pacers

Whatever the distance and category it may be, 5km, 10km and 21km all finishers and pacers are Winners! There were family members who ran together, friends from old school, university and workplace who decided to catch up and ran together. Eat, Sleep and Exercise – A healthy arrangement for girl get-together. Some paced their family and friends, some ran for the fun, and some cheered for each other till the finishing line.

Whatever the reason may be, it was definitely for the betterment of one’s body and soul!

Run Modestly, Run in Nashata!

3. An upgrade from Full Marathon to Ultra for Eda

What is next for those who have graduated from Full Marathon numerous time?  Eda Fatimawati, Nashata’s Fitness Evangelist, who ran numerous full marathons ran her first ultra on Women’s Day! She ran and finished strong 50km at the TiTi100 Road Ultra Marathon.


Eda the Ultra Marathoner @ TITI100 Road Ultra Marathon

Our sisters have accomplished fitness to the next level on Women’s Day. CONGRATULATIONS!

Lastly, here’s a special pose by Intan Suraya when she ran full marathon at MWM!

intan mwm
Intan Suraya, Running Happy at the Malaysia Women Marathon 2015 #womensday


First Half Marathon – For Wimpy Legs

The first experience is always memorable. So here’s my story running first half marathon.

My wimpy legs

I have always been a swimmer as swimming has low impact on my legs. Running was never my thing due to my weak legs since young. I would fall on my knees when I jumped to catch a ball when I was young. I was neither an athlete, nor a sportswoman, and I was always the first from the back to reach the finishing lines at school runs. I did no proud for my house.

I continued to swimming  and in-line skate when I was out of school, during university days and till today, I enjoy both. However, I got to know the beautiful running community in Malaysia mid 2013, and started running. I thought I should try after without much training, or rather 2 months preparation, my family and I managed to climb Mount Kinabalu in January 2013. We were slow but surely reached Low’s Peak (the highest peak at Mount Kinabalu). It was not easy, but not impossible.

Why Run Now?

I thought of giving it a try since there is no pressure to be super good, now that I am not at school. Although it is still a competitive sports, I could be myself and train at my own pace and improve. I could still try despite my limitations and no one would brush me aside for not being good enough.  So I started running when I have time. From 3 km to 5 km to 10 km and 12 km. I do not join running groups as I don’t have the luxury of time due to many many other commitments in hands. I train when I can steal the time, be it at night or early in the morning. Most of the time, unplanned, hence – alone 3 times on weekdays and every Saturday and Sunday for average of 5 km each run. Reality is – I need to train and collect mileage. There is no short cut for that!

I get a lot of support from friends and family. My daughters and husband run with me. It serves as quality and healthy time for the family. My cousin and friends who are avid marathon runners happily agree to pace me for my first half marathon. I have never ran or train more than 12 km. But due to time constraint, I gave it a try at the Cyberjaya Twin City Marathon on the 21st December 2014. Eda Fatimawati and Intan Suraya gave me loads of encouragement and tips before the run. Karen Loh the founder of Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM) has always been supporting my intent to run a full marathon in 2015 by introducing me to running groups and giving me loads of encouragement. So does Lini Kazim, the iron lady. The undivided support from the running community is simply amazing.

Classy Looking Medal, Nice kan?

Classy Looking Medal, Nice kan?

How did the 1st Run Go?

At 5am, Eda, Intan and I started running from Persiaran Flora, Cyberjaya. The first 5 km was good, and both Eda and Intan said with the pace we were going at 7 min/km, we could finish in 2.5 hour. I was just aiming to finish, but upon hearing that remark, I thought I should finish below 3 hours. The next 6 km was alright despite running uphill twice at Cyberheights and along the Cyberjaya/Putrajaya intersection. After a 5 min subuh prayer at 12 km, my energy level went down. It was close to 7am and I was afraid of the sun. Somehow sunshine and my energy level never correlates. Plus, I have never ran more than 12 km before.

FInding Reason to Slow Down, so I took Eda & Intan's pic at km 17

FInding Reason to Slow Down, so I took Eda & Intan’s pic at km 17

My legs were heavier and I was not able to push the same pace as the first 12km. I kept looking at my watch and knew it would be hard to reach soon since my pelvic bone was stiff. I kept telling myself – “I don’t want to get injured”. So I took it slow;  ran and stopped a few times. Having to run with friends was fun. The route was rather plain, so a lil laugh and jokes with girlfriends helped. Eda (Nashata Fitness Evangelist) and Intan (Model of Nashata) ran effortlessly and that motivated me to be effortless too. But of course with much TRY. They were not pushing me rather, going at my pace.

It was a cool day, yet the sunshine tired me further..

When we were about 20 meter away from the finishing line, the timing was 2:57… and I was happy. We reached the finishing line at 2:58:05. We were greeted by my daughters and brother who completed their 5km fun run earlier. Dizzy and dehydrated, I took a sit and had my favourite drink.

Ran as Buddies Ran in a TeamUs – upon reaching finishing line. YAY!

I wouldn’t have made it under 3 hour without Eda and Intan. I was happy to have ran with these fabulous ladies. We made it as a team and no one was injured during and after the run.

My first 21km was a NUDGE to train more and harder. I have less than 3 months to train for my first 42km. It looks like I have to train 3 times harder.

With Max Lim RunwitMe, Intan and Eda

With Max Lim RunwitMe, Intan and Eda

So, What are the Health Benefits?

To me,

  • Running has definitely improved my eating habits. I tend to eat lesser and more fruits. My body naturally wants better food intake
  • I drink more water to stay hydrated
  • I have improved my stamina and strength. My legs are a lot stronger now –  no longer wimpy. So I am happy! I shall #runstrong!
Nashata is one of the sponsors at Cyberjaya Putrajaya Twincity Run

Nashata was one of the sponsors at Cyberjaya Putrajaya Twincity Run



Firefighter Cyberjaya Night Half Marathon – Where we celebrated fast Hijabistas

At the Firefighter Cyberjaya Night Half Marathon, we gave a surprise to the fastest hijabista! Intan Suraya, who is our marathon runner also model presented the small token to the two 10 km winners at the end of the run! Here is Azlina, flanked by the Firefighter mascot and Intan Suraya. We were not able to take the picture of the second winner, Cik Najmi unfortunately.

Intan Suraya

Firefighter Mascot, Azlina the Fastest Hijabista and Intan Suraya

Intan Suraya completed her 21km run swiftly despite unwell the day before. She took it slow, but she made it. We were there to support our sisters and friends who participated in the night run. It was a cool night after a heavy downpour not long before the run flagged off.  This was also the Intan’s first run in a complete Nashata activewear. She wore the Optimal Ultra Set :  Amin Hijab, ultra A-cut top and the skirt compression pants – all specially designed for active muslimah.

INtan in Optimal Ultra Set

Intan Suraya the 21km Night Run Finisher

We supported many sisters along the way and surprised to see Jaslinda Jasmani finishing her run pretty fast and confidently. We saw more sisters finishing pretty early too but they were all too fast to be captured on camera lenses at night. Jaslinda is clearly UNSTOPPABLE. She smiled widely as she leaped with a big smile at the finishing line.

Jaslinda 10km run

The Unstoppable Jaslinda

Many said it was a tough run, especially when they had to climb the hill along the road where the  Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission was. Running along dark roads was quite challenging especially for women.

But all in all, we saw our sisters and friends all smiling ear to ear. Here are some pictures of our happy runner sisters.

bombanightrunHere are the top hijabista runners!

IMG-20140527-WA0000Azleena and her sister

Arliza & Azlina the fast hijabista runners

Arliza & Azlina the TOP hijabista runners

We were delighted to see Karen Loh, the Malaysia Women Marathon founder at the run. She was among the top 4 finisher for the half marathon.

Karen Loh

Karen Loh, the founder of Malaysia Women Marathon & friend

All trucks were shining and were out for participants to look at. Congrats to all who ran and put up a good show that night!


To sisters and hijabistas, well done! Next is how can we help improve running performance among hijabista. Who would be the top hijabista marathon runner in Malaysia? Tell us what you think about it?