Running In Every State In Malaysia -Mazhairul Did It Within A Year!

I was both impressed and inspired when I learned about Mazhairul Jamaludin’s (or better known as MJ by his friends) feat of running in every state in Malaysia for the year 2018 alone! He had completed the feat and the year isn’t over yet! Crazy!

So of course I wanted to know more about him and what made him tick. Well at least when it comes to running. So here goes.

1.Hi MJ, can you share with us a little bit of yourself?
MJ in his most suave self
I’m a simple runner who like sports and hope to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle.  

2. How long have you been running and what made you start? 

I used to hate running. That changed when my ex-CEO asked me to take part in the 2009 Rat Race. 
Running Alligators
Since then I became interested in running but it was only after an invitation from my ex-colleague to be part of a small running group called “Running Alligators” that my running journey started to take off in 2010.

3. How many races have you joined since you started running?
Group photo after finishing SCKLM 2018
230 races both road and trails:
11 Ultras 
26 FM 
46 HM 
and 147 various other distances.
(Editor: Gulp)

4. Can you share with us how you managed to train despite your busy schedule? What motivates you and kept you going?

On weekdays I try to slot in short runs after work and I do longer runs very early in the morning during the weekend.
Very, very early morning LSD on Merdeka Day
(Editor: By very early, he means at 4am folks. Sometimes even earlier than that, because he has equally crazy friends)
With some of RUNSTA members
The camaraderie among my running friends in Gaited Community (GC) as well as the RUNSTA group are my biggest boost of motivation. I learned a lot from them. They continuously share their vast experience in training, recovery and experiences in races of various distances and locations. All that shaped me into the runner I’m today. 
Post-race makan session
The fun part was all the pictures taking together as well as the “makan” sessions after the race and also they always “racun” me to buy the latest running shoes, gadgets and accessories. But i’m a PAYA (pakai apa yang ada”) person. 
(Editor: We’re waiting for him to transition to be a triathlete soon)
Gaited Community members
Living up to the GC motto - Run Eat Shop Repeat. I’m always reminded of these saying - “biar menyesal membeli, dari menyesal tak membeli” (better be regretful after buying than regret in not buying) and the one I like the most - “kawan-kawan happy, saya happy” (if your friends are happy, you are happy too).

5. With so many races under your belt, including full marathon and ultra-marathon races done both locally and overseas, what made you decide to pursue the challenge of running in every state in Malaysia?

As I started planning to run more overseas, I asked myself whether I had run in every state in Malaysia. When I realised that I hadn’t done so, I knew immediately that I should pursue it soonest possible especially now there are so many good races around the country. 
Reward after the sweat
Moreover, it will also give me the opportunity to visit places that I have never been before such as Taiping and enjoy the good food each place has to offer. 
#makankenatop

In fact if I list all the local delicacies I've tried, it will be much longer than the race list. 
(Editor: We’ve been trying to get him to vlog about his makan experience all over Malaysia, folks)

6. From all the races that you have done in Malaysia this year, which are the memorable ones and why?

Each race has its own memories as they are unique and very memorable. 
At Borneo Marathon 2018
What I want to share is the back-to-back Perlis Marathon (PM) and Borneo International Marathon (BIM) which I did in May. 

As they are both iconic races for Perlis and Sabah respectively, I knew then that I have to join both races but when PM announced their race date it took me awhile to decide whether to join or not, as it will be on the same weekend and a nightmare to manage the logistics.

I was so determined to do both so I managed to sort out the logistics and  registered for both races, but after that I was faced with uncertainty of the races happening as the date of GE14 could possibly be on that same weekend too.

I was so anxious because it could mean that my mission will be totally jeopardised. Alhamdulillah, when the election date was announced, both races decided to proceed as scheduled even though the election was just few days after the BIM.

The journey getting to both events were very memorable as I used almost all the public transport available; ETS train, taxi, commuter train, ferry, budget airline and bus. (Editor: Wow! Who says one can’t depend on public transport in Malaysia, right?)

I made a few new friends too especially during my train rides. The great organisation of both events made my run enjoyable with challenging hilly route of BIM, nice flat route of PM together with great local support from the locals especially in Perlis even though the race took place in the wee hours of the morning.
(Editor: Perlis Marathon was flagged-off at 12am on Saturday, 5 May 2018 and Borneo Marathon flag-off was at 3.00am on Sunday, 6 May 2018. MJ not only had less than 24 hours to rest in between but he also traveled from Perlis to Sabah that weekend!)

7. Do you have any specific target for each of the races that you joined i.e. chasing for PB or do you like to enjoy your run and the surrounding?

Enjoying the run is more important to me as well enjoying the route. What I always look forward are the atmosphere at the beginning, end and during the race. A PB of course is a nice “icing on the cake” and I managed to get that for my final FM race at the Balik Pulau Marathon.
(Editor: Congrats MJ on the PB!)

8. What was the most difficult part of the journey to pursue this challenge of yours?

Doing 15 HMs and FMs in a year would mean the races were just a few weeks apart on average, with some back to back days/weeks. The most challenging part was to keep up with my training while I recover at the same time. On top of that, I had to be disciplined with my food intake. 
(Editor: Aik, kata #makankenatop? Kidding)

9. What have you learned from this journey and what is your advice for anyone who wished to pursue the same challenge as you did?

It can be done and there are many good races around Malaysia. Plan and register early, ensure you train and have enough rest in between races and most importantly, enjoy the journey and not just the race.

10. Do you have anything to comment on the race organization of races in Malaysia and what you wish to see improve in future?

Make the security aspect of the run a key priority and ensure the routes are safe throughout the duration of the race for both fast and slow runners. 

If the race date can also coincide with other non-running event/activities in each location, it can be more attractive for runners to bring along their family and friends. 

11. What’s next for you for 2019?

Initially I find the idea of running in at least one major event in each ASEAN countries appealing but there are also still some other major races in Malaysia that I have not participated in. 

I will decide once I have taken a good rest till end of the year.

12. Can you list out all the races you have done in 2018.

  • Melaka 14 January
     Skyhawk Nature Run, Half Marathon
  • Cyberjaya 21 January
    Twincity Marathon, Full Marathon
  • Pahang 11 March
    Pahang International Marathon, Full Marathon
  • Kuala Lumpur 8 April
    Standard Chartered KL Marathon, Full Marathon
  • Johor 14 April
    Iskandar Puteri Night Marathon, Full Marathon
  • Selangor  22 April
    Subang Jaya Medical Centre SJMC Run, Half Marathon
  • Perlis 5 May
    Perlis International Marathon, Half Marathon
  • Sabah  6 May
    Borneo International Marathon, Full Marathon
  • Negeri Sembilan 8 July
    Seremban Half Marathon, Half Marathon
  • Kedah 21 July
    Alor Setar Half Marathon, Half Marathon
  • Sarawak 12 August
    Kuching Marathon, Full Marathon
  • Terengganu 8 September
    Larian Antarabangsa Jambatan Sultan Mahmud, Half Marathon
  • Penang 7 October
    Balik Pulau Marathon, Full Marathon
  • Perak 21 October
    TRR Brooks Taiping run , 30km
  • Putrajaya 27 October
    Putarjaya Night Marathon, Half Marathon
  • Kelantan
    - no event of HM distance or above in 2018 but I managed to do a run by myself in two parts of a total of 21km in Kota Bharu 
Editor:
Thank you so much for your time and we wish you the best in your future running endeavors.

Comments

  1. Wow. What an accomplishment.

    So, maybe you could make a trip to Kuching next year?? ^^

    ReplyDelete
  2. Penat se pikir kalau every month now. I took a break from running since Sept but tu hati ada gatal, lutut pandai menangis.

    Kudos MJ for running all the states. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘ siuk o. But am probably not crazy enough to do it in a year. Budget and all. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow! in the month of April 2018, he did 2 Full Marathons and 1 Half Marathons! Impressive!

    ReplyDelete

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