KUALA LUMPUR: The Adidas King of the Road event makes a return after a one-year lapse and it has been upgraded to a half marathon. It will also have a new route to increase interest among the local runners.
The run will be held at the New Pantai Expressway (NEP) on Aug 5. With the inclusion of a 21km run, the event have 14 categories and it will begin at the Sunway Pyramid.
Adidas managing director Darren Choy said that it would be the first time in Malaysia and also in South-East Asia that a road run would be held on a highway.
“It will be 100% safe for participants to compete in the run because there will be no traffic on the highway. The NEP will be closed to vehicles between 5am and 10am on the day of the event,” he said.
“By having the first run on a highway, we expect a good response from local runners. We have upgraded the run to half marathon to encourage more foreigners to compete.”
Darren added that they expected more than 10,000 entries for the event, which would also have runs over three other distances – 5km, 7km and 10km.
“The MSSM (National Schools Sports Council) have promised to send more than 5,000 schoolchildren from all over the country to compete in the girls’ 5km and boys’ 7km events respectively,” he said.
“To make it more interesting, the top 10 finishes in the men’s and women’s Open will represent Malaysia in the Singapore Marathon on Dec 2.”
The launch of the event was officiated by Deputy Minister of Tourism Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Resort yesterday.
Darren added that a total of more than RM85,000 in prize money would be awarded to the top 10 finishers in the 14 categories of competition.
“The men’s and women’s Open champion will each receive RM3,000 and the first three winners in each category will be awarded with Adidas sunglasses,” he said.
“The first 2,500 participants in the 14 categories who finish within the stipulated time will receive a medal and a certificate of achievement.”
The Education Ministry’s policy and sports development division director, Jalaludin Othman, said that there were very few excellent long distance runners in the country and by having the run it would be an opportunity to scout for new talent.
The closing date for entries is on July 21.