Although historical records track the origin of relay races back to Greek and Roman days, there’s also a fascinating history of aboriginal peoples who developed relay systems to hand off messages from tribe to tribe over great distances.
Down the road, handing off objects from one runner to another became a formal sport that took shape around 1883 in the U.S. when flags were passed between runners as they raced toward finish lines.
Flags proved awkward and cumbersome, so officials came up with the idea of using hollow wood or plastic cylinders to give runners a better grip. Now, an official run category that’s as popular in Asia as it is at Olympic venues, the relay race is a suspenseful activity that sets observers on the edge of their seats because rules and regulations are so precise and opportunities for a bad hand-off always lurk.
If you happen to love this sort of tension and suspense and find any relay race to be your cup of tea, showing up for the dramatic ASICS Relay in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 7th October at Anjung Floria in Putrajaya just makes sense. The race itself is exciting thanks to its “after-dark” vibe, and the after-party gives you a chance to celebrate yours and your team’s efforts in a beautiful area of the world that begs to be visited.
The ASICS Relay KL is so much more than a chance to compete. It’s a test of personal fortitude. A chance to bond with teammates. Even an opportunity for mixed-team runners to show that working together is the best way to score a victory in either the Full or Half categories. Whether you wish to be part of a male, female or mixed gender team, you’ll be responsible for completing 2 legs (Full) or 1 leg (Half) that totals 5.25km. The fun comes within designated transitions zones at baton hand-offs.
Added to the excitement is the fact that teams must report to designated locations by a specific time so while lead runners show up at the start line, the three other team members report to change-over points so they’re in position to pace the “live” runner and grab that baton on the fly. It’s extremely important to keep this in mind: If any member is late, your team could be disqualified, so encourage mates to be prompt!
Worried that distance will keep you from collecting your race pack on designated pick-up dates of 30th September or 1st October? Don’t be. You and your teammates can queue on race day to claim your ASICS branded race tee, personalised bib with timing chip plus a handy logo-embellished bag that’s filled with goodies from race sponsors.
Special arrangements have been made for overseas runners to report for processing two hours early, so the queue you may imagine for retrieving your race pack might not be as long or daunting as you imagine.
Finishers get a medal and a relay token to display as a remembrance of your Kuala Lumpur experience at the post-relay party awash in activities, entertainments, snacks and camaraderie. Since all of this takes place in the wee small hours of the morning, expect revellers to be full of energy—even those who ran the 21km.
10 Great reasons to register the ASICS Relay KL now:
- You’ve always wanted to visit this exotic location and coming with teammates makes it doubly fun.
- Snag accommodations now so you split your costs (waiting could mean you’ll have no place to bunk!)
- It’s early enough to find cheap transport deals to Kuala Lumpur.
- Earn marathon cred via a short sprint rather than tackling a long distance on your own.
- Get lost in the excitement and romance of a night relay that makes hand-offs even more thrilling.
- Collect team prizes for placing 1st, 2nd or 3rd in either Full Marathon or aim for a 1st in the Half.
- Overseas participants get early processing by arriving at 3 p.m. rather than 5 p.m.
- If you’re a night owl, witness the race cut-off at 1 a.m. and race end at 1:30 a.m.
- Don’t miss the over-the-top party once you cross the finish line.
- Use Spacebib to speed through your registration so you and your besties can start working on your hand-off techniques now.
There is another ASICS Relay race in Singapore on 4 November. Why not check it out too!
How many overseas races do you run every year? Do you stick to Southeast Asia events exclusively, go for high-profile destinations like Boston or do you change up your destinations to see more of the world?