Some say running a marathon is difficult, but how does it feel to help someone else complete a marathon?
With thousands running in the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM), many are beginners who are hoping to complete their first marathon (42.2km) distance. KLSCM hopes to make this surmountable task easier for them by having ‘Pacers’ whom run at a particular set pace to complete the run in a certain time.
Along comes KLSCM’s Full Marathon Pacers – Low Chooi Wan, Barkley Wong and Alwin Tan who will be bringing up the rear at the Cut-Off Time of 7 hours and 15 minutes. They are not runners who are by any means ‘slow’, they are very capable runners who choose to run at this pace in service to others to complete the marathon. This Alwin-Barkley-Chooi Wan (A-B-C) team has been serving together the ‘sweeper’ pacers since 2016 at KLSCM.
Low Chooi Wan started running in 1998 with the second Adidas King of the Road as her first foray into racing. Her first experience was at the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2011 as the 6 hour marathon Pacer.
“The satisfaction of bringing runners back to finishing line with their target time keeps me going as a Pacer. Many new runners have no idea how to complete a marathon, so we play an important role to encourage them and bring them to finish line.” said Chooi Wan.
What does it take to become a 7h15m FM pacer for SCKLM?
“Patience. We constantly encourage new runners, especially those on the brink of exhaustion and fatigue.” said the Graphic Designer, 6-time KLSCM Pacer.
Barkley Wong has a long list of running achievements since he started running Track and Field in secondary school. He forayed into long distances, completed his first marathon in 2012 and ventured into ultra distances too.
Currently running with the Key Power Running Club, Barkley jumped at the opportunity to serve as Pacer in 2015 at the 5 hour 30 minute pace, and found that to be his favourite pace time.
“It’s our willingness to go SLOWER than our usual pace which I think make our team a good 7h15m team,” said Alwin of his partnership with Barkley and Chooi Wan as KLSCM 7h 15m pacers.
Why do you enjoy this pacer role?
“Most importantly, we get to cheer, motivate and urge the runners to continue no matter what. We want runners to do their best to finish the run. This will be our goal.” said Barkley, a Senior Marketing Manager by profession.
“I still remember the wonderful moment when I accomplished the mission as a Pacer. The satisfaction and joy that I had were truly greater than running alone,” said Alwin Tan who started running in 1991.
Commitment, responsibility and endurance is what it takes for Alwin to serve as KLSCM’s pacer. The project engineer enjoys helping others to achieve their goals besides contributing to the running community.
“I still can recall the moment where my pace runners said ‘thank you’ to me for the first time, and I know that it was from the bottom of their hearts.”