Ladies live up to the challenge


Runners making their way to the finish line. On the left is one of the male pacers who were dressed in bright coloured tutus. — Photos: SAM THAM/The Star

MALAYSIA Women Marathon returned with yet another fun-filled event in Shah Alam, recently.

The fifth edition attracted some 3,000 participants. The annual event is held to celebrate and encourage women to pick up running as a sport.

This year, the event held at the Shah Alam Stadium, gave participants a slightly tougher outing with the addition of several hilly spots along the race course.

Full marathon winner Loh Chooi Fern felt the route was definitely harder but her training prior to the race made all the difference.

Ash Be Nimble founder Hui Mathews holding her daughter Asha together with Miss Malaysia Universe 2017 Samantha Katie James (left) and Miss Malaysia Universe 2017 finalist Nicolle Tan.
Ash Be Nimble founder Hui Mathews holding her daughter Asha together with Miss Malaysia Universe 2017 Samantha Katie James (left) and Miss Malaysia Universe 2017 finalist Nicolle Tan.

“It was very hilly compared to last year but I am very happy with my results,” said Loh, who managed to beat her personal best by five minutes.

The 24-year-old tax agent, who was also a podium finisher with a second placing last year, said she did not expect to better her time as she was struggling on the slopes.

Loh was the fastest Malaysian runner, with Michelle Lim Yin Xin and Wong Boon Jen in second and third.

In the half marathon category, former national walker Yuan Yu Fang came in sixth overall but was the first Malaysian to reach the finish line. She was tailed closely by fellow Malaysians Michelle Tan and Chua Khit Yeng in the same category.

The 10km category saw Sheela Samivellu snapping the overall top spot.

This years Malaysia Women Marathon saw male pacers running with colourful balloons  to enable runners to identify them.
This year's Malaysia Women Marathon saw male pacers running with colourful balloons to enable runners to identify them.

“The weather was perfect, it was cool and nice, making the run a little easier for us,” said Sheela, who also felt the organisers made a good decision to start the race 30 minutes earlier than the usual 7am.

Being a regular in road racing, Sheela has also been an avid supporter of the event since it began in 2013.

“It is a great place to meet other women runners and encourage them along the way,” said Sheela, who is currently training for the upcoming Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon in May.

“I am taking it easy now before the big race,” said the 37-year-old.

This year, the organisers also offered more prizes in the Malaysian category as well as a chance to take home complimentary slots to run in the Blackmores Sydney Run Festival and the Medibank Melbourne Marathon.

Full marathon winner Loh (left) and 10km winner Sheela all smiles after the race.
Full marathon winner Loh (left) and 10km winner Sheela all smiles after the race.

Unlike previous years, prizes were also given out to male pacers who signed up to accompany the runners.

There was also a children's run category sponsored by Columbia Asia Hospital Bukit Rimau where the top five winners also took home cash prizes.

The event was graced by Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Nora­shikin and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Tengku Permaisuri Nora­shikin also took part in the 6km fun run with Azmin’s wife, Datin Seri Sham­shida Taharin, state health committee chairman Dr Daroyah Alwi and Tourism Selangor general manager Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din.

RESULTS

Full Marathon

Open

1. Irene Kemunto Mogaka 2’53:53

2. Njihia Ann Mukui 2’59:47

3. Gladys Jepchirchir Cheruiyot 3’10:34

Malaysian

1. Loh Chooi Fern 3’24:02

2. Melissa Lim Yin Xin 3’42:05

3. Wong Boon Jen 3’42:22

Veteran

1. Hayley June 3’23:18

2. Foo Kam Miew 4’07:29

3. Amy Schneider 4’10:14

Half Marathon

Open

1. Cynthia Chelangat Towett 1’18:59

2. Naomi Wambui Muriuki 1’19:04

3. Elizabeth Wanza Maithya 1’20:43

Malaysian

1. Yuan Yu Fang 1’27:12

2. Michelle Tan 1’32:22

3. Chua Khit Yeng 1’37:10

Veteran

1. Yuan Yu Fang 1’27:12

2. Julie Foreman 1’28:11

3. Yasuko Hosotani 1’32:41

10km

1. Sheela Samivellu 41:26

2. S.Sanggeetha 45:01

3. Pavithra Dass 45:55

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