Ladies ran in tutus, colorful attires and all sorts of gears. But it’s not just the ladies, the male pacers ran in tutus too at the Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM). That was how supportive the men are! Indeed there were more men at the recent MWM. After all, 18% and 26% of the finishers at the Half Marathon and Full Marathon respectively were men.
The categories at the MWM were the 5 km, 10 km, 21 km and 42 km. Ladies came to the run for fun and sisterhood. Many took advantage of the event to catch up with girl friends the healthy way. That was why, the 5 km category is the most popular, with more than 2,300 registered runners, followed by 1,700 runners for 10 km. I participated in the least famous category – the full marathon with 250 registered runners (including male pacers). 166 ran that morning and only 61 runners finished, and 74% of the finishers were ladies. Many were not able to finish their run, not because they were not able to finish within the cut off time, but was stopped at many points due to safety reasons. I was one of the unfortunate ones.
The route for 10 km, 21 km and 42 km were the same, only that the later two required more rounds. It was a loop of 10 km. Sounds pretty simple, but many didn’t know the 10 km route consisted of many inclines, one after another. That’s quite a challenge to offer to lady runners, but they braved through the ‘obstacles’ anyways.
Since all runners except the 5 km category shared the same route, we bumped into each other a lot. I was tired after 7 am after 3 hours of running and just watched the 10 km runners speeding away. As I went through the hills for the 3rd round, my legs were already in pain and looking at hills ahead was not encouraging. What came through my mind was crazy. I never hated running till that day. I felt my wimpy legs were back and that running was not for me. It was my worst run. I always enjoyed the races I participated in. The pain and hardship were expected, but this time, it was different. Going through hills one after another in 4 loops just killed my motivation. I was determined to finish the run anyways and reserved my energy to go through the hill for the last loop. When I reached the 3rd checkpoint, they stopped me although it was just 4 hr 30 mins only. The volunteers claimed it was not safe to run and that I could run at my own risk as they were not able to control the traffic. True – I saw no traffic policemen at all! I ran back to the finish line feeling devastated.
Moreover, the motorists need to be considerate and thoughtful in having some tolerance in supporting public sports event. We witnessed roudy behaviour of motorists wanting traffic to move at roundabout junction and honked incessantly. When the runners tried to explained, the drivers lashed out with bad words. Some motorists stopped and moved the cones so they could move. This shouldn’t have happened in a civil society.
I arrived at the Race Village looking at happy faces taking loads of pictures at Dataran Kemerdekaan Shah Alam. Everybody loved the medal! Congrats to all running sisters, looking pretty and sweaty always!
I had friends who finished the full marathon at previous MWM and said would run back again, but only for 5 km. Now, I understood why. The marathon was suited for elite runners. Three days after the run, only the 61 finisher names were listed on the race result page. I did not expect an e-cert from this race, but it was as if I didn’t even run.
Faces of Happy Finishers
What I like about this year’s run?
- Plenty safety cones
- Amazingly supportive and cheerful volunteers. They cheered for runners along the way, non-stop.
- Many and supportive pacers. Amazing!
- RELA volunteers worked hard managing the traffic at roundabouts and junctions
- Many water stations
- Route was shady
- Lovely finisher items
- Glamorous and colorful
Some key learning :
- Physically go through the route prior to the race
- Run long distance races at major running events
- More hill training, more training
- It is about the experience. Choose the one that pushes you forward
I ran in Nashata new swimwear design. Yes, a swimwear – i just felt like running in it that day! Till we run again! Woman Up! #pressforprogress
Note : Pictures are from MWM organiser, running sisters and Super Sergio