NEW STANDARD CHARTERED KL MARATHON ROUTE CHALLENGING YET SCENIC, SAY SEASONED RUNNERS
- Elevations along the route will test the participants’ skills, they say
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15, 2014: It was 4.00am one breezy morning when eight men – some strangers to each other – gathered at Menara DBKL in Jalan Raja Laut here, on a common mission.
All eight were seasoned runners who were invited to experience the new route for the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014, which will flag off and end at Dataran Merdeka this Oct 12.
Runners were selected based on the criteria of being able to complete the route on or around the 5-hour mark. Armed with determination, the runners took on the route with full excitement and good spirits. Experiencing the Marathon’s new feature and at the same time bonding as fellow runners, they completed the route between 5 hours and 10 minutes to 5 hours and 20 minutes.
Gus Ghani aka Happy Runner, 47, a personal trainer and veteran full marathon runner said the new route is an improvement on the previous one and better than many others as the five lanes at the initial stage would help to avoid congestion.
“The organisers have managed to spread out the route so runners have the benefit of viewing different sceneries as they reached various parts of Kuala Lumpur. In fact, the best view of the city is at the 24.8km water station,” he said.
Freelance tour guide and full marathon pacer, Kelvin Ng, 53, said the new route is wider and brighter at the starting area, and more runners can speed up once flagged off. “It is also safer because runners won’t end up pushing each other at the starting line, thus avoiding a bottleneck.”
Engineer and another full marathon pacer, Kelvin Wan, 27, advised participants to come prepared and take precautions. “Get your power gel and sunblock ready, wear something loose so sweat can seep out easily, and keep hydrated at every water station.
“Also, those who sweat easily should bring ample stocks of salt sticks and above all, listen to your body … runners should drink lots of water to avoid fatigue and cramps,” Wan said, adding, “but don’t worry, the organisers are providing ample water stations and fruit stations along the route too.”
Ng also said the new route which is elevated at some points would not pose a too much of a problem for seasoned runners. “Speaking for myself, I usually train at Sri Hartamas, Lake Gardens and others which some would find much tougher than the new route,” he said.
Gus, however, warned that the new route is not for the faint-hearted. “Beginners will need to really train hard as this route is much tougher and demands a lot from the runners.
Besides stamina and strength, runners also need to strategise their race well, such as to know when to drink and fuel-up, when to speed-up and to conserve energy during race day."
All the runners said the elevations along the route will test the participants’ skills while running on closed-off roads is a great experience, and a unique opportunity which does not come often.
The new route will take runners along the Duta-Ulu Klang Highway and the Ampang Elevated Highway where they get to view scenic landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, KTMB Station Kuala Lumpur, the National Monument and the Kuala Lumpur High Court compared to previous years when they ran mainly on city roads.
Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events, event owner and organiser of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, said he was happy with the feedback from the seasoned runners.
“Reducing hazards for the safety of our runners, having ample drink stations at strategic points, and creating the best experience has been the mainstay of this new route. We are happy the runners concur that we have achieved our mission while ensuring the marathon continued to be challenging,” he said.
For more information on the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2014’s new route, please visit www.kl-marathon.com or call +603 7886 1717.