As Standard Chartered KL Marathon welcomed its last runner across the finish line, many runners were already exchanging tales of strength, perseverance and motivation.
Such was the scene at Dataran Merdeka where 35,000 runners took part across various categories.
The event was flagged off by Tan Sri Datuk Mohd. Sheriff Mohd. Kassim, Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, Ajay Kanwal, Regional CEO ASEAN & South Asia of Standard Chartered Bank, and Mahendra Gursahani, Managing Director & CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, at the break of dawn on Sunday (7th August).
Runners made their way through the city, absorbing the vista of Kuala Lumpur’s iconic landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Parliament of Malaysia, the National Museum, Menara Standard Chartered, and Dataran Merdeka which served as the race village.
The marathon also saw Kennedy Kiproo Lilan from Kenya defending his title for the 5th time in the Standard Chartered KL Marathon, and Hirut Beyene Guangul from Ethiopia crowned champion of the Full-Marathon Women’s Open category with the respective times of 02:18:57 and 02:39:02.
Enjoying the victory, Kennedy said, “I am so happy to win the Standard Chartered KL Marathon again. It was a great race and everything went really well and I am very thankful for that.”
Expressing her joy, Hirut said, “It was a challenge from start to finish, but I enjoyed it a lot. Winning is always special and I am still buzzing from the excitement of crossing the finish line.”
Completing the top 3 in the Full Marathon Men’s Open category are Tonui Kiprop from Kenya with a time of 02:18:59 and Luka Kipkemoi Chelimo from Kenya with 02:19:24.
While in the Full Marathon Women’s Open category are Naomi Jepkogei Maiyo from Kenya with a time of 02:39:14 and Elizabeth Jeruiyot Chemweno from Kenya with 02:41:09.
Malaysian Full Marathoners also put up a brave display with returning champion, Muhaizar Mohamad winning the Full Marathon Malaysian Men’s title with the timing of 02:39:23 and Yuan YuFang taking the Malaysian Women’s category with a time of 03:19:04.
Reuben Kang (of JinnyboyTV) was also spotted pushing forward to the finish line after completing 42km within 5 hours and 25 minutes. He had trained hard prior to running his first full marathon, consistently putting in hours and mileage in preparation, 4 months before Sunday’s run.
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I couldn't control my emotions crossing the finish line, I was overwhelmed. I almost gave up at 36km when my leg cramped up and I could barely walk. But I told myself, I've came this far, trained so hard for 4 months, so I pushed through the pain and kept going. The encouragement from other runners and the 5:30 pacers helped me a lot. I managed to finish in 5 hours and 25 minutes then cried for the next 15 minutes. This was truly one of the most memorable experience in my life. Till the next one! #PursuitOfHappiness #SCKLM2016 #AdidasMY
The day was made even sweeter as Sheela A/P Samivellu set a new national record of 01:24:44, securing the 1st place in the Honda Half-Marathon Malaysian category.
Making the race a true platform for people to do extraordinary things were 60 visually impaired runners with their running buddies taking part in the 5km Fun Run category, 36 runners with autism together with their parents in the 3km Kids Dash and over 300 Standard Chartered Bank staff running in red tutus across different categories.
Their participation in the race was supported by Standard Chartered Bank in their efforts to tackle avoidable blindness, raise awareness and educating the public on autism and HIV.
Under Standard Chartered KL Marathon’s “Run For A Reason” initiative, a total of RM444,848.00 was raised for the beneficiaries Standard Chartered Foundation, Hospis Malaysia, Yayasan Sejahtera and IJN Foundation. The funds were raised collectively by approximately 364 runners and Corporate Challenge participants who also did their part in raising awareness towards the beneficiaries they selected.
Completing the race experience over the weekend, the event organiser and owner, Dirigo Events held a Friendship Run and Pasta Party before race day to foster a sense of camaraderie and fellowship amongst runners from around the world.
This year’s edition of the race also marked the first time Standard Chartered KL Marathon implementing a new checkpoint system commonly practised in international marathons. The purpose behind this was to ensure the safety of the runners and that the roads were handed in a systematic manner. Other changes included an extended 7-hour cut-off time.
Both moves were welcomed by the relevant authorities as Standard Chartered KL Marathon looks to achieving higher international standards from a sporting and organising perspective.
Last but not least, a total of 5,595 runners finished the Full Marathon within 7 hours, 8,160 finished the Honda Half Marathon within 3.5 hours and 12,804 finished the 10km, 2,400 finished the 5km, and 750 kids completed the Kids Dash categories.
The Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2016 is made possible by title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia, along with event owner and organiser, Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd. and co-organiser Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.