Competition heats up on 10th Anniversary of Standard Chartered KL Marathon
The 10th Anniversary of the Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) is expected to be a hotly contested event especially in the Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category. Several Malaysians who have been posting increasingly fast times in the lead up to Malaysia’s premier running event.
SCKLM2018’s Malaysian Men’s Full Marathon category will see an intriguing battle between a few runners in particular, namely Muhaizar Mohamad, Leo Tan, Nik Fakaruddin and Ow Yong Jin Kuang.
Muhaizar, Leo and Nik recently competed in the Tokyo Marathon and finished spectacularly by breaking their own personal bests. Leo Tan, who is an engineer based in Taiwan, was the first to finish and beat his previous personal best of 2:28:19, also posted in Tokyo last year, by recording a blistering 2:25:28, which is unofficially the new national record.
Muhaizar, in his first attempt at an overseas marathon also performed admirably despite not being able to travel early to Tokyo to acclimatise and having to run in close to freezing temperatures for the first time in his life. He finished the Tokyo Marathon in 2:27:21, which was also faster than the previous national record.
The Armed Forces personnel also bettered his own previous best of 2:31:52 which was posted at the KL SEA Games 2017 and which earned him Malaysia’s first medal in the Marathon for over 44 years.
Nik Fakaruddin, Muhaizar’s colleague in the Armed Forces and training partner, also smashed his previous personal best by almost 10 minutes to post 2:31:01 in his first attempt at an overseas marathon. Ow, who finished in third place behind Muhaizar and Leo at SCKLM2017, could also spring a surprise as his preparation for SCKLM2018.
“I’m really happy that the fastest marathon runners in Malaysia all look to participate and perform well in SCKLM to see who is the best in Malaysia.” said Rainer Biemans, Director of Dirigo Events and Project Director of SCKLM 2018.
The Malaysian Women’s Full Marathon category will also see another Malaysian challenger, Annie Yee to perennial champion and national record holder Yuan Yufang. Annie performed well at the Tokyo Marathon by posting a personal best of 3:15:00. Loh Chooi Fern, who finished second behind Yufang in 2017 will also be running this year and hoping to do one better at SCKLM2018.
In the Malaysian Women’s Half Marathon category, where Sheela Samivellu, two- time SCKLM winner and national record holder, will be gunning to see if she can better her own mark of 1:24:44, previously set at SCKLM2016.
The Men’s Full Marathon Open category is also expected to see stiff competition between five-time consecutive SCKLM champion Kennedy Kiproo Lilan and the person who upstaged him last year to win, Cosmas Matolo Muteti. Both will be back this year and Kennedy will be eager to reclaim his title from Cosmas.
“It is heartening to note that these runners want to take part in SCKLM because they want to compete against the best, and on a fully certified course. On our part, we will do our best to create the best conditions possible for such contests to take place,” continued Rainer.
The Standard Chartered KL Marathon has grown to become the premier running event in Malaysia that draws thousands of local and international runners to the country whilst firmly establishing Malaysia in the global running calendar. The 2018 10 th Anniversary edition will be the largest yet with more than 38,000 runners taking part, and will once again see sponsorship from Title Sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, along with Brooks, Lucozade, Seiko and Pacific Regency.
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