Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Malaysia Marathon 2019 Race Review

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

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

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

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

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

Half Marathon Flag Off 5:30am

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

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

    KL Standard Chartered Marathon 2019 Medal Run for a Reason

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

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

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

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

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

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

Farhati Happy with her 1st Full Marathon.

Intan Suraya, Marshita, Fiza – Full Marathon Finishers

Nor Laili after finishing her 1st Full Marathon

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

Full marathon finishers : Syariza, Zamzamiah & friend

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

Half Marathon Finishers – Soy Mokhtar & I

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

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

Review is based on experience by Intan Suraya and I.

SCKLM is Now KLSCM

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

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

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

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

Muhaizar Mohamad and Nik Fakaruddin

Muhaizar Mohamad and Nik Fakaruddin

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

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

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

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

Cosmas Matolo Muteti and Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol

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

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

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

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

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

 

For more information and updates on KLSCM, please visit:

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

Ballot Entry Info for Standard Charted KL Marathon 2019

Due to overwhelming response by loyal runners from previous Standard Charted KL Marathon (SCKLM), there is a reduced number of slots available for public registration. There are a total of over 10,000 slots available across all categories and in order to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity of getting a race slot, public registrations for the SCKLM 2019 will be in the form of a ballot. This is also to ensure those who are interested to participate are not affected by network congestion or poor internet connections. Therefore, the balloting period will ensure that every applicant has an equal opportunity of earning a race slot.

Runners will be able to cast their ballots from 10.00am, 13 February 2019 to 11.59pm 19 February 2019. Ballot selection will be completely random and computerised, and will be activated by YB Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Minister of Youth and Sports on 22 February 2019. Successful applicants will then be notified by email and will have until 5 March to complete registration by making payment. Each person is only allowed one ballot entry.

So, runners – you have ample time to register now and do check your emails during this period 22nd – 24th February to get the ballot results. All the best!

To register, visit SCKLM website at https://www.kl-marathon.com/

SCKLM 2019 Ballot

Standard Chartered KL Marathon will be held on 28 and 29 September 2019 at Dataran Merdeka

6 Reasons Why You Don’t Want To Miss The Next SCKLM

  1. SCKLM is the Premier Running Event in Malaysia 
    More than 38,000 runners descended on Dataran Merdeka to take part in and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) 2018 and its popularity continues to grow, as evidenced by its race slots selling out in a day when public registrations opened.
  2. Lovely routes of Kuala Lumpur
    At the SCKLM’s 10th Anniversary, the organiser incorporated new routes for the Full and Half Marathons which took in more of KL’s iconic landmarks but remained as challenging as usual with its route undulations. The hilly stretch beginning from Km32 was especially grueling for a lot of runners. But worry not, there were supporters along the tough route. For example, there was a group of supporters cheering runners and offering Malaysian popsicles at the first hilly route at Bukit Tunku.
  3. Supportive and Committed Pacers
    Pacers not only brought runners back on time, but they also cheered and supported the runners. They were cheerful and went over and beyond. I saw a few pacers running back to motivate and support runners a few hundred meters before finish line and repeated the process. They were incredible!

    Pacers at SCKLM

    Fazu supporting runners. Whatever it takes to motivate &  cheer runners up!

  4. Various Categories to Suit all Ages and Type of Runners
    SCKLM is for both serious and social runners. Out of 38,000 runners, more than 10,000 took part in the Full Marathon and 11,000 in the Half Marathon categories. The rest were 10km, 5km, friendship run for social runners, as well as 1km and 3km Kids Dash for the first time. There were also several categories like the Corporate Challenge, Media Challenge, Universities Challenge and Ministries Challenge to either raise money for charity or provide friendly competition and confer bragging rights to the eventual winners.

    Runners who raced at all 10 editions of SCKLM get Special honour

    Runners who raced at all 10 editions of SCKLM get special honour

  5. Well Organised & Safe for Runners
    Over 1,600 volunteers, paramedics, supporters and staffs of the organiser making sure the  routes were secured, runners were safe and hydrated throughout the run. You do not have to worry about a moving vehicle coming from your back or heading towards you.

    the full marathon started and ended with confetti blasts

    Essential information about the run was provided and communicated well in the runner’s guide.There were many spots where you can rest and relax and catch up with running friends before & after your run. You could use the SCKLM mobile App to check running buddy updates and cheer for them as they approach the finish line. The app was pretty cool with a feature that adds your pictures  taken by strategic cameras along the routes.

  6. Prayer-Friendly for Muslim Runners
    This year the organiser included location for suraus along the Full and Half Marathon on the runner’s guide. Not only that, signboards of suraus were placed at these areas so that runners know the location while running.

    Signage for Suraus

So, don’t miss the next SCKLM in 2019! You get to meet new runners, make friends and enjoy a good run!

Lastly, here are some happy faces of running ladies at the Standard Charted KL Marathon 2018.

Nashsuhah finished her 14th Full Marathon under 5 hours

#NOEXCUSE because 'Anda Hebat! '

#NOEXCUSE because ‘Anda Hebat! ‘

Intan Siza and the Full Marathon Finisher Tee  #omaksukarunning

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: