Just when you think you're tough enough



The country’s premier distance running event, the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) 2023, kicked off its 15th edition with the 5km, Boost Juice 10km and Kids Dash categories here today. In its present two-day format, the Half and Full Marathons will be contested on the second day in a festive weekend of running that has seen the event earn a coveted Road Race Label from World Athletics, making it the only event in the country with that status.

Dataran Merdeka, the historical home of KLSCM, is expected to receive more than 40,000 runners over the two days, from all parts of Malaysia and around the world. The first day began with the Boost Juice 10km where in the Men’s Open category, KLSCM debutant Elkanah Arusey from Kenya clinched the win in a time of 32:23. “Although I didn’t expect it, I planned my race strategy with the intention of winning and I’m happy with the result and my timing,” said Elkanah. “The route was flat and fast, and well organised so I hope to come back again next year and maybe take part in the Half Marathon, which is my preferred distance,” he added.

Coming in second place was Wong Yize from Malaysia who clocked in at 34:30 and Azwan Bunjing, also from Malaysia, finished third in 35:19. In the Women’s Open category, Njoroge Alice Kabura from Kenya won the event in a time of 40:44, while Chan Ann Sze from Malaysia took second place in 42:44 and Nurul Juliana Shakira Abdul Halim, also from Malaysia, came in third clocking 43:00.

This was followed by the 5km category and ostensibly the highlight of the first day was the return of the Kids Dash categories. “We are delighted to be able to bring back the 1km and 2km Kids Dash categories this year as the event has missed the infectious energy that these kids bring,” said Rainer Biemans, Project Director of KLSCM and director of Dirigo Events, the owner and organiser of KLSCM. “It’s a great day out for the whole family and truly heartwarming to see all these excited children get a taste of racing around the historic Dataran Merdeka,” he added.

The Kids Dash Boy’s 1km category was won by Aydan Haris in a time of 04:25 while Azhaf Nazheef took second place in 04:27 and Wan Rafael Wan Mahazir finished third in 04:32. In the Kids Dash 1km Girl’s category, Nathifa Afina bagged the win in 04:51, Nureen Zahra came in second in 04:52 and Zara Amanda took third place in 04:55. In the Kids Dash 2km category, the Boys title went to Muhammad Hafiy who finished in 07:02, closely beating Wong Jun You in second place in a time of 07:04 while Muhammad Zafry Idraky took the last podium spot in 07:12. In the Kids Dash 2km Girl’s category, Farisya Amani won it in 07:14 while Adeelea Uwaesha Fysarra took second spot in 08:15 and Anissha Veluswami finished third in 08:21.

While no records fell on the first day, a new entry did make it into the Malaysia Book of Records when radio and TV celebrity Ram, formerly a host on THR Raaga, completed the longest distance covered while DJing non-stop when he took part in the Boost Juice 10km. The feat was achieved as part of Ram’s fundraising efforts for Kechara Soup Kitchen (KSK) under KLSCM’s Run For A Reason (RFAR) charity initiative.

“When I signed up to run the Boost Juice 10km in support of KSK, I wanted to try to bring attention to my fundraising by doing something extraordinary”, said Ram. “I’m grateful to Boost Juice for supporting this idea but I started to have doubts once we built the cart for the equipment as it ended up being fairly heavy. I’m thrilled that I managed to complete the run within the cut-off time and set a new entry in the Malaysia Book of Records in the process but more importantly, I hope this effort drives more donations to my fundraising profile to help KSK continue their amazing work in providing aid to marginalised communities,” he added.

Ram was joined by a large group of local celebrities and social media influencers as part of Boost Juice’s initiative to shed more light on his effort. “We are delighted to have played a part in supporting Ram’s fundraising endeavours and we hope his achievement spurs the public to donate generously to KLSCM’s worthwhile RFAR programme,” said Nick Tiernan, CEO and Owner of Boost Juice Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Brunei. “Our smoothies & juices are a fantastic complement for those who need a revitalising boost to power their respective sporting pursuits! We believe in sharing our “Love Life” ethos through our exciting partnership with KLSCM to further unlock the potential of our drinks with runners and athletes alike,” added Nick.

KLSCM has evolved to become the biggest running event in Malaysia that attracts thousands of local and international runners whilst firmly establishing Malaysia in the global running calendar. The 15th edition of the event will once again see sponsorship from Title Sponsor Standard Chartered Malaysia, along with Boost Juice, Pressio, 100 Plus, Brooks, Seiko, TudungPeople and Tiger Balm. This event is supported by venue host DBKL, along with MAF and FTKLAA, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism.