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.

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

 

 

Running a Family Affair at the Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Half Marathon

It was my first family run and glad it happened at our ‘kampung’ in Cyberjaya.  My  husband, brother and I went for the 21km, while the kids joined the 5km fun run.

It was the first race for my 12 year old Naqib, and he was all excited about it. The kids were all geared with headlamps and blinkers provided by my brother. Seriously, blinking shades and blinker props are cool safety and mood setters for night fun runs.

A family running affair

A family running affair

We reached the race area a few minutes before 21km flagged off. There were more than 800 runners in orange – all pumped up to run. The run started at 8:02pm, and I kept up with a good pace – running on roads I have never been on and passed by new apartments I was not aware of before.

Fortunately, the road lights along the empty roads were lighted up and there were trucks by the roads torching dark streets. Road marshals and traffic policemen were on their toes and strict throughout the run – keeping runners safe. They pulled aside a couple of non-abiding cars to the side, so drivers – do adhere to them or you may be delayed or fined if unlucky. All in all – it was a quiet run with ample water stations, mobile toilets, paramedic and race signage for a smooth race. It would be nice if the community comes out to cheer the runners by the roads.

I finished within 2hr 35 mins, my new personal best. My heart raced too fast the last 3 km and had to slow down. Out of 877 registered 21km runners only a quarter (25%)  222 were female, and 10% women veteran. There were more female runners at the 10km run, half of the 10km runners were female!

Read my other post on high heart rates while running.

Half Marathon Runners waiting for 8pm Flag Off

The organiser provided ice popsicles, Mighty White mini loaf, nice hot soup, can’t remember if it was pumpkin or carrot as I was just hungry – slurping away. Indocafe coffee truck and MC D booth were next to each other providing drinks. My husband had a cramp upon arrival and was cared well by the paramedics. The doctor gave good advise about eating tips at night to avoid cardiac arrest.

We were honored to give away 20 prizes to winners at the end of the run.

Nuha thought ther 5km run was easy and Naqib wanted to try 10km after this. I am happy the kids left the grounds with new positive goals. Till the family run together again, soon I hope!

Winners at Fire Fighter Cyberjaya Night Marathon 2017

The running sisters

Finally, the medal &  finisher tee

Because the struggle is real!

The Standard Charted KL Marathon is the biggest and the most famous running event in Malaysia. It is an event where all running communities gather and meet up. This year, I managed to join. Last year, it was cancelled due to the haze.

My flight from Kuching was at 5.30 pm and I touched down Kuala Lumpur 7 pm. It was 8 hours before the race. And I was nervous! Every Full Marathon always feel like my very first.

As early as 2 am, 2 hours before the race, thousands runners started to gather at Dataran Merdeka. We were all too excited for the race to start.

Let"s take wefie before run! yayy!

Let”s take wefie before run! yayy!

He managed to pace me for the first 21km ;) Thanks Hadi.

He managed to pace me for the first 21km 😉 Thanks Hadi.

Full marathon flagged off at 4am, and it was a long crowded queue at the starting line and the first 2 kilometers,it was just run easy pace since it was too crowded. I started to run at my own pace at kilometers 5 when people start to distance themselves.

I maintained my pace between 6 to 8 min/km until kilometres 21. By the Fajr time, I was already at Kilometres 16. It took 10 minutes to perform solah at the water station since we have to take turn. After the prayer, I continued to run. As I passed by the Duke and Akleh highways, the pace drop to 9 min/km. If you aim to finish sub 5.30, you can maintain this pace towards the end. Always watch out that the pacers for 5h 30 mins do not take over you.

Don't forget to smile at the camera!

Don’t forget to smile at the camera!

The water stations were available at almost every 3 km, provided with cold water and isotonic drink. It was very convenient for the runners because they could choose how frequent they needed to drink. As for me, I would drink although a sip at every water station. Water station is one of my motivations to run faster. I would try to run faster to reach the next water station.

Congrats Kak Eliza for doing PB in HM today! Keep it up!

Congrats Kak Eliza for doing PB in HM today! Keep it up!

Overall, the route was mainly Duke highway, Akleh highway and hilly route at Bukit Tunku at the last 6 km before the finish line. How I wish was wearing a pair of roller blades whenever I was close the finish line. The weather was too hot.

Am wearing Burgandy heather, pink Iman Hijab and Black Riada Pant from Nashata

I was wearing one of my favourite outfits – Burgundy heather, pink Iman Hijab and Black Riada Pant from Nashata

The finishing line is almost there! Never give up!

The finishing line is almost there! Never give up! Pic by : AKU, WONG

I managed to complete my 9th  Full Marathon in 5 hours 16 minutes with no injury. Alhamdullilah!

Yayy I make it!

Yayy I make it!

After the race, I was very pleased to meet some hijabi runners. Most of them just finished their HM. They finished strong too.

They are doing well today ;) Congrats guys!

They did well today 😉 Congrats guys!

Running events are where runners get to meet each other

Running events are where runners get to meet each other

This is my beautiful and strong Iranian friend,..she is doing 4 h 30 min in FM..congrats Reem!

This is my beautiful and strong Iranian friend,..she did 4 h 30 min for FM..congrats Reem!

I was very happy to see people running,..either young or old, skinny or obese,..they choose to run. Lets keep running and be inspired!

I flew back to Kuching at 3:15pm feeling accomplished.

Till we meet again 😉