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Kelana Jaya Running Club Members Improves Timing at Langkawi International Half Marathon

With a mission to set his personal best Half Marathon time, Syed Shahzli took the Kelana Jaya Runners Club  (KJRC) on a running vacation to the inaugural Langkawi International Half Marathon (LIHM) recently.

As an idea materialised into an official race, the Langkawi Runners group organised the race which included the 21.1km, 10km and 5km distance categories. Prabudass Krishnan and Noor Amelia Musa won Best Malaysians in the Half Marathon for men and women respectively.

ToughASIA spoke to Syed Shahzli who captains the Kelana Jaya Runners Club on their running experience at the LIHM.

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ToughASIA: What inspired your club to participate in this LIHM?

Syed:  Shah, the founder of Langkawi Runners kindly took my friends and I for a run around the paddy fields while I was visiting. Runners typically looked forward to this route while travelling in Langkawi. During the run, he had mentioned he was planning to organise a Langkawi running race. So, when they officially announced it, 25 of our KJRC members registered for the race.

ToughASIA: How did you enjoy your race at the LIHM?

Syed:  On race day, I started running at my pre-determined pace with some coaches/pacers. Up till the 15km mark, I asked them for the green light to breakaway from the group pace. (One thing I learned about from my time pacing others, is to show respect and be courteous to the pacers. That is why I asked for their permission). So, off I went at a faster and steady pace for the remaining 6km and managed to cross the finish line at 1hour 55minutes!

The route was extremely flat throughout. We ran pass the airport runway, going through Chenang street and back. Big kudos to Langkawi Runners for being able to close one of Langkawi’s busiest street just for this event.

We had people along the streets cheering for us, that was a nice atmosphere. For those looking to set a personal best time for the half marathon category, this is definitely the place to do it. As this being the first edition of the LIHM, I would say everything went well and things were managed superbly.

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ToughASIA: Did you organise any training sessions for your club members for this, or did your members train on their own?

Syed: We would train together during our Wednesday night sessions and on Sundays we would do LSD (Long Slow Distance) sessions to train for long distance running.

On Saturday mornings, we will attend running clinic by Black Cat RC headed by Coach Faiz of ISN and his crew. He will teach everything from basic running methods up to doing tempo runs, interval runs and Fartlek runs etc. this has been very beneficial to our team members as I could many have improved on their runs.

ToughASIA: Who are your top 3 runners in terms of podium or achievements?

Syed: Marni with much surprise achieved fifth placing for the 10km woman’s senior category. Additionally, Hatib completed below 2 hours after coming back from a slip disc injury. Meanwhile, Lea was happy about slashing half an hour off her Half Marathon finishing time.

ToughASIA: Will your club be participating in any more races together?

Syed: Yes, we will. We have a list of races in our Whatsapp group. But one race we are looking forward to is the Borneo Marathon as it will be another run-cation similar to LIHM.