Malaysia Women Marathon 2014

Have you ever got dressed up and gone out with friends then, faced with the option of going on to a smoky nightclub to have fun or heading home at a sensible hour, you throw caution and the certainty that you will regret your decision in the morning to the wind, and choose to dance in bad air until the small hours of the morning? Well that’s what the decision to run the Malaysia Women Half Marathon (MWM) was like yesterday morning. Except I didn’t get a hangover. There I was, at 5 AM, having jogged to the start line, … Continue reading Malaysia Women Marathon 2014

Haze Worsens

  I love Malaysia, Love it! I love the diversity, the vibrancy, the sense of possibilities, the people (when they are not on motorbikes or driving cars). I don’t want to leave. So I feel sorry for anyone visiting right now, or newly arrived. Not only do we have the pall of MH370 hanging over the country, and the debacle of the Anwar Ibrahim scandal, many people have no running water and this morning the air is so polluted that driving the kids to school felt like a scene from Armageddon. Yesterday, four times Boston Marathon Champion and former World … Continue reading Haze Worsens

The One Where I Admit That I’ve been Foolish

One of the many things I love about running is how strong and powerful it makes me feel, and the fact that that I always feel better after a run than before one. Or nearly always. Today, for the first time running since my Angkor Wat Half Marathon on Dec 1, I neither felt strong nor powerful, and I finished my run 1km short of my 21 km target feeling sore, worried and annoyed. Annoyed with myself because over the past week I had pushed my pace so hard on three 13, 10 and 10km runs that not only are … Continue reading The One Where I Admit That I’ve been Foolish

MWM Training Session 4

I must be getting used to this early morning running lark. Today, I woke at 4:30AM, twenty minutes before my alarm. Only a special occasion will get me out of bed that insanely early and today’s event was the Malaysia Women Marathon training clinic at Universiti Malaya. The plan was to run and discuss pace management under the guidance of Race Director Karen Loh  and guest speaker, Ironman Richard Tang. The plan was to run two 5 km loops, one as a warm-up and one as a time trial. As often happens, we deviated from the plan. I wasn’t going to … Continue reading MWM Training Session 4

Race Photographers

When I recently asked a friend why he thought the number of women signing up for marathons in Malaysia was so low compared to men, he joked that it was because women didn’t want to mess up their hair and makeup. I’m sure the true reason is far more complex, but he was alluding to a very valid point. In running, certainly in this hot and humid climate, there is little place for vanity. Here there is really only one look irrespective of the season and that’s the wet (and sweaty look). Every day is a bad hair day! How … Continue reading Race Photographers

MWM Training Session 2

As an introvert (who does a good impression of an extrovert), the solitary nature of running appeals to me. But even introverts, and solitary runners, can benefit from company and sometimes they even enjoy it. Such was the case yesterday at the Malaysia Women Marathon training session, the second in a series of running clinics organised by MWM Race Director Karen Loh in the lead-up to the 10km, 21km, and 42km MWM races on March 16th in Shah Alam. The meeting point yesterday was Padang Merbok. This is the start and finish location of a number of popular races including … Continue reading MWM Training Session 2

Dream, Believe, Become

Yesterday I learned something surprising about running in Malaysia – according to Karen Loh, Race Director, for the Malaysia Women Marathon, only 12% of marathon runners in this country are women*. The numbers are around 23% and 45% for the 21km and 10 km distances respectively. These figures go a long way in explaining why a women-only event such as the Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM) is needed to inspire and encourage women to take up this life-affirming activity. As someone who didn’t take up running until the wrong side of 40, and then only did so with encouragement (cajoling more … Continue reading Dream, Believe, Become

Kathrine Switzer is coming back to KL

This year I was bummed to miss the inaugural Malaysia Women Marathon as it clashed with a trip to Vietnam. This event, created to inspire and encourage women in Malaysia to run, was supported by the iconic presence of Kathrine Switzer. If you haven’t heard of her, here is more information on Kathrine Switzer. In a nutshell, Ms Switzer was a trailblazer for women’s running even before I was born (and I’m 42). In 1967, she was the first ever woman to officially register for and run in the Boston Marathon. She went on to win the NYC Marathon in … Continue reading Kathrine Switzer is coming back to KL