Monday, February 4, 2013

YOMA Yangon Marathon 2013 – 10km

Date: 27 January 2013
Venue: Yangon, Myanmar
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 9.95km)
Timing: 52:49 (Gun); 52:42 (Chip); 52:42 (Garmin)
Pace: 5:17 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 13th (WO); 64th (Overall) (all results here) (results here)

This was an inaugural event and probably the first for the country since it started opening up 2 years ago. The event started from People’s Park and offered 2 categories: 42km and 10km. The turnout was huge (for a first time event) and attracted both locals and foreigners – Malaysia probably had one of the largest contingent thanks to AirAsia.

Both categories were out-and-back routes and took runners into downtown (10km) and a bit further into the fringes of villages (42km).

First half:
Since I’m at the halfway mark on my recovery, I decided early on, “not to push my luck” and ran a conservative race. And especially not getting caught up with the Burmese – the top 5 women finishers did a sub-40! Nothing much of a scenery as we ran along the road downtown – minor elevations here and there, typical of roads, past a few intersections. They had some construction going on in the middle of the road so you can’t really see much of the opposite but hey, this was an out-and-back…you’ll see it on the return journey.

Plenty of folks were out and cheering – guess the timing was spot on – flag off was at 5:30 am and 6:00 am – time for brekkie and people getting up their day. So it was road, shoplots, gates, some buildings on the right.

Oh, the only “irritating” bit about this portion was this Burmese guy who was running alongside of me and sped up when I did, slowed down when I thought I better let him off – so no chance of passing him or letting him go ahead. That was km3-4 but managed to wrangle free (thank goodness!) before the turn around. Saw the race leaders after km4.

Second half:
If km5 was a downward elevation, km6 was the opposite…a long one I might add! And the second half was my nightmare! No, not the elevations per say, more of the road conditions – so there were lots of dodging holes, uneven surfaces etc. Add to that the usual fading and tiredness towards the end of the race but hey, the crowd support helped pulled us together. Uber happy to see the distance markers “km9”, “400m”, “100m” and “50m”.


a) Well organized event by Sporting Republic.

b) Atmosphere at the race site was electric – from both the organizers and sponsors who went out of their way to make this a great success. E.g. lion dances, dance performances, warm ups, handing out coffee, milk, 100Plus etc.

Bevy of beauties in red

and in yellow

and cuties in blue

c) The best bit – crowd support! This was probably the best crowd support I’ve ever seen – all the town people came out and cheered, clapped and there’s really no way you could quit. Definitely A+++.

d) Hydration station every 2-3km and at the finishing point, you get an opened bottle of water and a cold can of 100Plus.

e) Distance markers every km and on the last stretch, countdown markers.

f) Partial to full road closures with well-manned intersections, at least for the 10km route although I heard there was an accident on the 42km stretch. More about that in “Cons”. Since the roads were closed, you had free reign of running the entire width of a 3 lane road. No congestion!

g) Easy race bib pick up at Grand Mee Hta Residence; in-and-out in 5 minutes tops.

Pick up was at the poolside of the swanky Grand Mee

h) Time chipped with results available within 24 hours.

i) Swag! No way you can beat this! Plenty of goodies eg 3 towels, event tee, samples of coffee (at least 10 packs!), sample of milk and at the finishing point, a cool medal and another 2 tees (from 100Plus and Diabetes)


a) Partial road closure and this is probably more applicable for the 42km-ers who had to watch out for traffic. The sad news for the day was a Burmese runner who dislocated his shoulder or something when he was knocked down by a motorist – don’t have details on this and only heard of this from friends.

b) The start heading out from People’s Park was a bit congested, probably around 20-50m. Minor point.

c) Nothing much of a scenery – from the perspective of the 10km; the 42km had a lot more to offer.

Photo log:

Finisher’s Medal

Runners heading to the finishing chute

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