Friday, 19 August 2016

The Tale Of Twincity Marathon

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, wrote Charles Dickens in the Tale of Two Cities.

For most runners who did the Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon which was held on January 24th, 2016; that was perhaps exactly how they felt as they completed their respective categories. All the hard work they put in during months of training leading to race day, battling fatigue running in the hot and humid course and finally the elation and a sense of accomplishment as they crossed the finish line and handed their hard earned medals.

Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon offered 4 distance categories:
• Full marathon (42km)
• Half marathon (21km)
• 12K
• and 5K fun run.

The generous 8-hours cut-off time for the full marathon category and 4-hours for the half marathon made this event appealing for runners especially those who wanted to do their first full marathon. The route gave runners a chance to explore Cyberjaya and Putrajaya on foot. It was also great that the organisers provided a number of pacers for both the full marathon and half marathon categories to assist runners to run and meet their target finishing time.
Dato' Faris Yahaya (fifth from left), the managing director of Cyberview Sdn Bhd who ensured Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon a successful event since 2014 is also a runner and had participated in a number of international marathons. Faris started running in full marathon in 2009 and he had not looked back since.

It is his intention to turn Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon into a signature event for the country and be known all over the world. He believes that a marathon can put a city’s name on the world map and he not only wants to elevate Cyberjaya as a global tech hub but also as a city that promotes healthy living practices.

Dato' Faris did the half marathon in Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon this year. Now, how many MD of a company that hold a marathon event who also ran in it?

He is also proud of the fact that from only two runners among his old batchmates at Malay College Kuala Kangsar (including himself), there is now a group of twenty who are running and ten of them did their first half marathon at Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon! Equally inspiring to know, two of his friends; Salimin Saidin and Ismadi Ismail managed to lose 20kg and 10kg respectively through an active lifestyle. A great achievement for a batch of 48 year old, old boys from MCKK!
Another running group which Dato' Faris is a member of; the Gaited Community had more than 15 of their members joining the full marathon, 10 members did the half marathon and a few more did the 12K.
The full marathon category was flagged off at 4.00am, followed by half marathon category at 5.30am, 12K category at 6.30am and finally the 5K fun run category at 7.00am.

The early flag-off time spared most runners from running too long under the hot sun. The organiser, mindful of the need for Muslim runners to perform their Subuh prayers in view of the early start, had provided suraus located at water stations (WS) from KM9 onwards. The WS at this marathon event provided something “extra” for full marathon runners, apart from the standard water, isotonic and fruits. There was a WS that provided freshly made roti canai and teh tarik for full marathon runners at KM33.5! Furthermore, we were not only served with water and isotonic, we also enjoyed “air jagung” and “sirap bandung” at the WS. We were also treated with ice cream Malaysia at the last WS, located just 2K away from the finish line and it was heavenly.

A few notable runners during the Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon whom I managed to contact:

Dr Liau Kok Keon, a paediatrician and of the Skyhawk Marathon Club Melaka which had successfully organised the Skyhawk Nature Run in Melaka a week before Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon ran in the full marathon category together with his wife. Both are avid runners and it was Mrs Liau’s (Dr Jess) first full marathon and paced by her husband, she managed to complete her run in 5 hours and 37 minutes!
For G. Suresh Kumar who had competed in several racewalking events both local and overseas such as the 15th Australian Masters Games held in Adelaide in 2015, where he bagged gold medals for 1500m, 3,000m and 5,000m; he was happy to complete his second full marathon after 10 years in 4 hours 31 minutes by racewalking. This was his first attempt at racewalking the marathon distance and he did it faster than most runners who did it by running!

Yahya Iskandar and his wife Nasa Zaidul; who are a fixture in the running events in Malaysia flew all the way from Kuching, Sarawak to participate.

Both are members of the Marathon Maniacs club and had done numerous marathons.

Apart from the full marathon and half marathon categories, there were also the 12K and 5K fun run categories. In the shorter distance categories, a number of runners were seen running in it with their families and having fun together.
Mimi Sadina Abu Samah ran in the half marathon category. Her 12 year old daughter, Ariana Safiyya Azmir joined the 12K and Mimi’s mother did the 5K fun run. Mimi’s mother, Aziah Mohd Sharif caught the running bug first and it was later shared by her daughter and granddaughter. At the moment, Aziah chooses to run in the fun run category that are less than 10K but who knows, perhaps she’ll upgrade to farther distance in the future? At 62, Aziah certainly proved that there is nothing stopping her from being active and leading a healthy lifestyle! This family certainly showed that running is a great way to bond and be healthy together.

The next Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon is planned to be held in January 2017. Dato' Faris wants to have the marathon as the event to kickstart the New Year and new resolution for runners.

See you in 2017.

Footnote :
Perhaps this is a weird time to publish this post about an event held in January.  I stumbled on it again a few days ago. That's why. And seem so sayang never to get it out.

I wrote it after pitching the idea to a newspaper editor before the event itself, got a green light to do it and swiftly went to work by approaching one of the organising team member to have access on race information, invited runners and also official photos.

After much work and hours spent, sadly the article got shelved (I never got a rejection but was told the article I wrote is being put on KIV).

But in writing this, I learn a lot and anyway, another article I wrote titled "Sisters Are Running" did get published later in February.

A heartfelt thank you to Dato' Faris Yahaya for spending time answering my questions for this post in January, shortly after the marathon, despite his busy schedule.
Thank you too to everybody who had helped and participated in the conception of this article and also for their consent to use their photos.

If possible, a humble request to the organiser for the January 2017 Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon – an access for media (not only for the mainstream media but also for us “picisan” bloggers and key opinion leaders) to have information on the run and their invited runners apart from the run itself; other than what little information we could glean from the registration portal and facebook page/website.
p.s. I’m planning to do my full marathon at Cyberjaya Twincity Marathon. Sponsors are greatly appreciated and welcomed! Muahaha


6 comments:

  1. Age is sure not a concern when it comes to exercise, eh?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You have so many friends everywhere you ran! So famous and popular la Mak Glam.. Hihihihi

    ReplyDelete
  3. Saw your article Sister in Running.

    Article got shelved? Maybe will publish when they find right timing.

    Yea..hope organiser will give serious blogger that involve in running like you to cover the event .

    ReplyDelete
  4. See you at the race :)
    I like this event because it's so near to home, hehe.

    ReplyDelete

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