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 EXPO, The Race @ Malaysia Women Marathon 2016

The Malaysia Women Marathon is an event all running girls should look forward to because it is full of awesomeness. This year, the 3-day Awesomeness (4-6th March) started with a 2-day expo at Bandar Rimbayu, followed by the race at Dataran Kemerdekaan Shah Alam.

DAY 1 : EXPO

The weather was really hot. You could sweat just sitting doing nothing.

All the vendors were ready setting up their stuffs for sale at 10am. Nashata booth offered the same discounts as available online, except for Raazgloves which were going for RM10 only at MWM!. We were lucky to have a booth next to Marathon Baker, and they were super friendly. We bought a lot of chocolate brownies from them and their drinks were very nice too.

As expected, the crowd wasn’t that many on the first day. Most who came were volunteers and MWM runners who came to pick up their race kits. Many left with many race kits in hands as they picked up race kits for group members and friends.  We received a lot of visits from our beloved customers and friends. Here’s one with Hana who came to purchase from us.

Nashata Customers are Awesome!

The organiser lined up a series of talk covering several topics on fitness and fashion shows. Nashata shared about Fashion Tips for Sports Fashionista on Friday, 5th March 2016 2pm.

 

Fashion Tips for Sports Fashionista

Fashion Tips for Sports Fashionista

Here are a couple of slides among the ones that we shared on what to wear, what color to choose, how to look good while running.

 

Working out fashion tips

Working out fashion tips

Tips to Look Good while running

Tips to Look Good while running

The props at the Expo was vibrant and colorful! This is only one of them.

Quite Retro Huh?

Quite Retro don’t you think?

Hooda Sports Hijab was available for fitting so many came to try it out and place orders.

Hooda Sports Hijab

Hooda Sports Hijab

 

Day 2 : Expo 

On the second day, ie, 6th March, Datuk Marina Chin was among the honorable speakers for the Women Dialogue Session on Empowering Women Through Sports. She is indeed THE lady in sports. She was a national track queen, who later coached young athletes. She ran 100 – 400 meter hurdles and won seven gold medals at the SEA Games in the 1970s. Marathon and tracks are no different. They require running, training, strong legs, determination and good diet. Her passion in sports shines till today as she is now the Chef de Mission to 29th SEA Games Kuala Lumpur 2017 under the Olympic Council of Malaysia. At the Expo, she spoke about her passion in sports and that her career in sports never fade away after winning the SEA Games as she continued to coach athletes after she pursued studies in the US. She also reminded parents to allow children to choose what they want to pursue in life and not push unrealized dreams into children.

 

Freda Lui, Datuk Marina Chin, Stephanie Case & Sue Obrien

from Left : Freda Lui, Datuk Marina Chin, Stephanie Case & Sue Obrien

 

The session was moderated by Freda Lui, the producer at BFM 89.9, also a runner. I left the session feeling blessed. I am blessed because I can exercise my rights to perform fitness activities at peace in Malaysia. In certain country, you can only train by running up and down the stairs. It is unheard off, but it happens. Stephanie Case, the founder of charity FreetoRun is an  ultra runner and she lives in Gaza. She helps girls and women in conflict-affected communities to do sports.  Now – that is passion, empowering & amazing. Hence the reason why – I will not miss sharing sessions at MWM in the future!

I was lucky to be seated next to Datuk Marina Chin at lunch. I missed the memo, busy, was called in later, came in late and Alhamdulillah – sheer luck placed me next to her. Datuk Marina is tall, motherly, gentle and BEAUTIFUL. Just look at her posing with  Dato’ Beatrice Nirmala, Mrs. Malaysia 2007, another beauty who does not age.

Dato Beatrice Nirmala & Datuk Marina Chin

Staying Fit Could be the Secret to stay beautiful like Dato Beatrice Nirmala & Datuk Marina Chin

The Curves sponsored workout session right before the Dialogue Session. Despite the heat and humidity, many joined the workout at the back. The second day was indeed a busy day. We were visited by loyal customers like Roziana Harun and performing runner like Edan Shah. We enjoy having conversations with runners and customers because we learn a lot from each other. Edan is the 3rd fastest marathoner In Malaysia with timing of (2:41:43)  as ranked by the Malaysia Athletics Federation

Roziana Harun, Edan Shah & Friend

Edan Shah & Hijabi Marathon Runners

Day 3 : The Race

I was not able to run due to dehydration and my right knee was still hurting, but the Nashata runners (Intan Suraya, Eda Fatimawati, Nur Nahsuhah, Azlina & Pacer, Efah, Aina) ran their heart out that morning. The girls registered for full marathon (42 km)  and one did half marathon (21 km). Sadly, this year, the girls are not too happy with their run. Reasons aside, one gave the idea about running 5 km fun run at the next MWM. I think it is an awesome idea. Just look at all the happy faces of the runners at the 5 km and 10 km! We should fun run then!

 

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On your mark! Get set! Go!

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Happy with what you wear will make your day no matter how tired you get

It is heart-warming to learn the main sponsor and associates wore Nashata for the fun run. Only at MWM, you get such support & sisterhood. My special thanks goes to Karen Loh who put her heart and soul in making MWM beyond a running event. Only this iron lady & team can pull such a dazzling run! So girls, miss not the MWM next year!

Datin Seri Shamsida Tahari, Puan Noorul & YB Daroyah in Nashata

Datin Seri Shamsida Tahari, Puan Noorul & YB Daroyah

If you want to learn about runners’ experiences at MWM, here’s a list:

 

What’s Cooking at MWM 2016?

The Malaysia Women Marathon is back this March! This year Karen Loh, the Race Director welcomed the guests and media in an apron and long boots. Yes, Karen is full of surprises, so be prepared to get loads of them with classy feminine touches at the run!

Karen Loh in an apron and long boots : MWM 2016

Karen Loh in an apron and long boots : MWM 2016

 

The RUN

There are 4+1 categories at MWM 2016: 5km, 10km, 21km and 42.195 km. The other category is for charity where corporate companies can participate in a 3km race.

The date of the race is 6 March (Sunday) and the flag off venue is the same as previous years; Dataran Kemerdekaan, Shah Alam (GPS Coordinate: 3.07266, 101.515861). Race Kit Collection starts 4th March – 5th March at Bandar Rimbayu IJM Lands (GPS Coordinate : 2.941069, 101.54636). Make sure you use GPS coordinates as I couldn’t find Bandar Rimbayu IJM on Waze nor Google Maps.

Those who are running full marathon would start from Dataran Merdeka to Rimbayu and back to Dataran Merdeka. The roads to Bandar Rimbayu are ushered by lushes trees from rain trees to palm oil trees so do expect a nice cool run. Here are all the routes at a glance.

MWM 2016 Routes ; 5km, 10km, Half Marathon, Full Marathon

MWM 2016 Routes ; 5km, 10km, Half Marathon, Full Marathon

THE TOP

What I like about MWM this year is the long sleeves running tee. Yay, finally, a tee that suits our hot and sunny weather. Assuming you run a full marathon for 5 hours, you would be on the road till 9am. In Malaysia, after 730am, the morning sun can give you a sun burn. Unfortunately the long sleeves was just for press conference. For the run, you would get the running vest.

2016 MWM Event singlet

RUN SISTER RUN is the theme for this year and you get the print together with a gold emblem on the running tee.

MWM Running Shirt

MWM Running Shirt at Press Conference

THE PEOPLE

Not only there was the Queen of Marathon, Anand the Orange Man from Hooha was also at the Press Conference to give support !

I also bumped into Kelvin Ng, one of the male pacers at MWM 2015. I was following him towards the end of my run last year and I am thankful for having a witty pacer like him at MWM. I hope he paces again this March!

Kelvin Ng, the Pacer MWM 2015

Kelvin Ng (on the right in skirt), the Pacer MWM 2015

I did my first full marathon at MWM 2015 and I encourage first timers to take the opportunity to push yourself to the next level at MWM because it is woman-friendly and super fun! You can read my experience at MWM last year here.

 

Karen Loh & Anand (Orange Man)

Karen Loh & Anand (Orange Man)

 

Do expect to see more diverse and fun runners at MWM. At the press conference, I was happy to meet Wen Li and Shirley Chan of Running Toones and 261 fearless group. I hope to connect you ladies with these passionate runners soon.

Shirley started to Draw the Running Toones

Shirley Chan started to Draw the Running Toones, How Cute!

RUN WITH US

Nashata sponsors a few seasoned and new runners for full marathon this year so don’t forget to look out for them. Please run with them too and let’s make the run more exciting for us girls!

Some of the runners are Intan Suraya, Eda Fatimawati, Efah the founder of WOW RUN, Azlina or widely knowns as Along, Aina the WeekendRunner, Mimi Abdul Rashid and Nahsuhah.

We will be at the racekit collection to feature our new innovative sports hijab so do drop by and check out our hot selling items & new collection – to be featured at MWM Expo!

 

Special Thanks to the Sponsors : Etiqa, Tourism Selangor, Rimbayu IJM, Garmin, KT Tape, Columbia & Newton

Special Thanks to the Sponsors : Etiqa, Tourism Selangor, Rimbayu IJM, Garmin, KT Tape, Columbia & Newton

 

Lastly, a very special thanks to the sponsors and organiser for organizing MWM for the 4th time! Registration is still open so hurry and get your friends to run with you at MWM.MY. The early bird prices end 22nd January and they range from RM38 – RM98. Wait no more and register today!

 

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