RUNNERS had to face the winds and the rain during the Penang Bridge International Marathon 2018 but undeterred by the bad weather, most of them pressed on.
However, the last category, the 10km run, was cancelled.
The two Kenyan winners of the full 42km marathon had to contend with the rain during the last part of their event.
The Full Marathon Men’s Open saw James Cherutich Tallam, 30, coming up on top, clocking 2:24:23s.
“I am glad to win this year. I will use the RM22,000 prize money for my daughter’s education,” he said after the prize presentation ceremony in Bayan Lepas on Sunday morning.
James said the last leg of the marathon was the toughest as it started to pour.
Fellow Kenyan Peninah Kigen, 29, won the Full Marathon Women’s Open, clocking 2:46:54s.
“I joined the half marathon here in 2015 and came in second.
“This time, I wanted to try the full marathon,” she said.
Marathon ace Loh Chooi Fern, 26, won the Best Malaysian Full Marathon Women’s category, clocking 3:17:30s.
“I won this category in 2015 and 2017 and came in second in 2016.
“The time I recorded, however, is my all- time best as I have never finished 42km this fast,” said the tax accountant from Kuala Lumpur who took home RM5,000 in prize money.
Army corporal Nik Fakaruddin Ismail, 33, topped the Best Malaysian Full Marathon Men’s category for the third year in a row, clocking 2:45:54s.
“I am very proud to have won it again this year.
“The last 4km of the marathon was tough because of the downpour and the winds were strong too,” he said.
There were 5,720 participants in the 42km full marathon category and 8,234 in the 21km half marathon category.
A total of 11,346 participants were supposed to take part in the 10km run but it was cancelled due to thunder and rain.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said he hoped the bad weather did not break the participants’ spirit.
“This is a unique marathon as it takes place on the Penang Bridge,” he said.
A lucky draw was also held and the grand prize of two brand new Perodua Axia cars went to housewife Fairuz Hanim Hasan,31, and teacher Khaw Weng Shi, 24.
Both prize winners were supposed to take part in the 10km run.
“This was the first run I ever signed up for. I was disappointed that I could not run but this car prize is an amazing surprise.
“I do not have a car of my own,” said Fairuz from Kedah.
Khaw said she was also disappointed that she could not run but decided to stick around for the lucky draw.
“I have been using my father’s car to go to work so this will be my first car,” she added.
Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas was the guest of honour at the prize-giving ceremony.
Also present at the event were Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, state Tourism Development, Heritage, Culture and Arts Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin and state Welfare, Caring Society and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh among others.