Safiah Galgo founded the Malaysia Woman Runners Facebook group to get more women into running.

It is always more fun to run together and to be able to discuss women-related running issues – and that is exactly what Safiah Galgo had in mind when she founded the Malaysia Woman Runners group on Facebook.

Since 2019, 1500 like-minded ladies have joined the group, led by the 40-year-old Filipino insurance manager and three other administrators who met one another through a different running group. It is often seen as embarrassing or even taboo to discuss certain topics.

ToughASIA tossed some girlie questions to the inspiring lady who just keeps running, without heels, of course.

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A women-only runners group enables certain taboo topics to be discussed.

ToughASIA: Can you give us examples of taboo questions and women-related running issues?

Safiah: Questions about running while having menses or period. What do women use to resolve the situation for example, tampons, menstrual cups or heavy flow pads? We also share experiences on how to run a half-marathon or a marathon while having menses and the types of prescribed medication to slow down period flow before race day.

ToughASIA: Can you share any women-related running issues which you learned or benefited from in the group that our women readers would find interesting?

Safiah: Women-related issues like dealing with blisters or chaffing or what type of panties are best suited for big size runners. The group also share experiences and ideas as well on how to get running permission from strict husbands.

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A Merdeka day run with the ladies

ToughASIA: Has your group members joined any running events or races together?

Safiah: Birds of a feather often flock together and coincidentally, members often find themselves joining similar running events.

ToughASIA: Have you organised any events or training sessions for the group members?

Safiah: I haven’t organized any training events, and do not have any plans yet in the future.

ToughASIA: We heard that you rallied your group members to join the Restart Malaysia virtual run. Can you elaborate a little on that?

Safiah: My main objective for the Team Malaysia Woman Runners was to motivate the ladies to keep running and be inspired to run, with other runners who are actively running. We gathered 55 women for this virtual run, whom run to better their mental and physical health.

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Come day or night, these ladies said their shoes were made for running.

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ToughASIA: Does your family run with you?

Safiah: Originally from the Philippines, I’ve been in Malaysia since 2001. I am married with 3 children and although I don’t usually run together with my kids, I do make sure they do some mileage per week. I have an obese 18-year-old son, so I am inspiring him to jog 3km daily and hike twice a month to lead a healthier life.

ToughASIA: What’s your proudest achievement/moment as a runner?

Safiah: My proudest moment was when I was able to complete a 42km distance (although I did not finish officially within the cut-off time) after 11 months just training on my own. Furthermore, I am specially proud that I have guided and accompanied a few newbie runners to run long distances, to hike and to pursue trail running.

ToughASIA: What races are you looking forward to next year?

Safiah: I look forward for marathons, or ultra runs within 50km or trail running events within 30km which will be held near the Klang Valley.

Ladies, if you want to start running but do not know how, or just want a running girlie buddy, get in touch with the Malaysia Woman Runners on Facebook here.