Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2016: A Celebration of Running and Diversity
35,000 participants from over 48 countries blazed through the historical grounds of Kuala Lumpur at the break of dawn last Sunday.
Touted as one of the leading Standard Chartered marathons around the world, Standard Chartered KL Marathon (SCKLM) returned with its eighth edition last Sunday to the applause of the international running community.
Featuring 35,000 participants from all over Malaysia and over 48 countries, SCKLM 2016 lives up to its prestige as Malaysia’s premier running event with top runners contending for a total of US$125,000 prize money.
Conventionally, participants were treated to a historic route decorated with Kuala Lumpur’s iconic landmarks including the City Centre, Parliament of Malaysia, National Museum and not forgetting Dataran Merdaka (Independence Square), which also served as the race village.
This year’s instalment of SCKLM also saw new race implementations such as the checkpoint system and an extended cut-off time.
Commonly practised in international marathons, the checkpoint system requires runners to reach checkpoints along the route by the designated timings or they will be shuttled back to the race village.
While this could have meant a less pleasant experience for the rookies, the organisers were smart to leverage the adjustment by extending the cut-off time by an hour. This move had allowed for an increased number of finishers, and essentially more satisfied participants feeling a sense of pride in completing a marathon under 7 hours.
Victory Is in Having Done Your Best
Kennedy Kiproo Lilan from Kenya successfully defended his title for the fifth time in the Full Marathon Men’s Open category with a timing of 02:18:57 while Hirut Beyene Guangul from Ethiopia was crowned champion of the Full Marathon Women’s Open category with a timing of 02:39:02.
It was almost a clean sweep for the Kenyans with them claiming the remaining podium finishes in the Full Marathon Men’s and Women’s Open category.
Also, a worthy mention for Sheela A/P Samivellu who successfully set a new national record of 01:24:44, securing first place in the Honda Half-Marathon Women’s Malaysian category.
A total of 5,595 runners finished the Full Marathon, 8,160 finished the Honda Half Marathon and 12,804 finished the 10km, within the respective cut-off times.
It is a vital recognition that winning is not the prime aim of most participants but the rewarding journey of self-accomplishment and the spirit of participation are the most appreciated takeaways.
A Race with a Heart
SCKLM prides itself as a platform that enables people to come together and do extraordinary things. More than just a race, title sponsor - Standard Chartered Bank leverages on the event profile to communicate sustainability messages including their efforts to educate and raise awareness on autism, HIV and avoidable blindness.
SCKLM’s ‘Run for a Reason’ initiative is an integral part of the event each year with more than RM3 million raised for various charities in the past 7 years. This year, a total of RM444,848 was raised collectively by approximately 364 runners and participants from the Corporate Challenge.
A Celebration of Running and Diversity
SCKLM 2016 had witnessed a diverse participation with 60 visually impaired runners taking part in the 5km Fun Run, 36 autistic runners participating in the 3km Kids Dash and over 300 Standard Chartered Bank employees running in red tutus across different categories, among a total of 35,000 runners from over 48 countries.
The inaugural 7km Friendship Run and pasta party held on the evening prior to race day also successfully fostered camaraderie among international runners in the spirit of the renowned Marathon.
Up next, the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2016 will take place on 3 - 4 December 2016.