Sunday, October 6, 2013

Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2013 – Ekiden / Team Relay

Date: 29 September 2013

Venue: Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Distance: 3km (Garmin: 3.2km)

Result: 3rd Team (results here and here)

Previous years’ recap here, here, here and here.

Team relay again – not my choice and probably the last time I’ll ever do a team event. It’s just too stressful – I was up all night tossing and turning – this is what happens when you’re in Ronnie’s team! Not much of a recap here since everything in that 15 minutes was a complete blur! This will be a post of what went well and areas for improvement (nice way of saying, the “bad” LOL!).

Swapped legs with Bee Hoon this year coz L2 was the shortest. L2 was from the opposite side of Kuen Cheng High School in Federal Highway/Syed Putra to Loke Yew ie running on the major artillery of KL roads! FTW!

L1: Jason

L2: Sue

L3: Lian

L4: Ronnie

L5: Jothpal

I’m writing this from the perspective of L2 and some of the comments may not be applicable for the event as a whole.


a) From a bird’s eye view, it was a well managed event and on the Ekiden leg, definitely a lot of improvement compared to the previous year.

b) Better assembly of runners for each leg – this year we were to gather at the Dataran Merdeka field with well place signages for each leg and 2-3 officials responsible for each leg and at least 1 official accompanying each bus ferrying the runners to their assembly points.

c) The bus driver knew the route this year! And we had more than sufficient time to warm up and collect our thoughts (that wasn’t possible for me since I was a complete mess! Super duper stressed + sleepy from 2 nights of zilch zzz + running a low grade temp).

d) The final runner was tasked with collecting the goodie bag and finisher’s medal for his respective team, so all you needed to do was key in with your team mates on a meeting point when you’re finally bussed back to Dataran Merdeka.

e) Train services running as early as 3am to enable runners to get to Dataran Merdeka. Fantastic idea to encourage use of public transportation and minimizing traffic and parking congestion.


a) No or partial road closure + poorly managed traffic control + inadequate and poorly trained marshals at intersections + dark roads = one misguided L2 runner (didn’t make it to L3 and the worst bit being that they were in the lead!) and me nearly being rammed twice!

b) Unrelated to the Ekiden and this is purely hearsay – the “quality” and ethics of some of the FM pacers. Stories being circulated include – going out too fast and hence waiting at the km39 for the rest of the pace group to arrive, uneven pacing (related to first point), “missing” pacers etc. Simply put, the organizers really do need to look into this point as this has come out year in, year out. Unfortunately, this not only applies to SCKLM but also PBIM and all Malaysian races (so far). My take

• Just as every runner trains for an event, so do should pacers. Pacer training, not running training as for a FM (of course, that too). Have trainings like how the SCMS do it – they’ve one of the most successful pace groups in the region and they do have weekly trainings for pacers.

• And the organizers should also consider having a few weekends whereby they bring together pacers and pacees for group runs. This allows both sides to meet, discuss race strategy, get comfortable and familiar with each other.

• For those out-of-state, another good idea would be to have pacers available at the expo in order for out-of-state runners to meet the pacers to inquire about race strategy (even splits, negative splits, positive splits, walk through hydration stations? maintain effort on uphills and making up some time on the flats and downhills?).

• Pacers should perhaps sign an undertaking – being responsible, having a code of ethics etc. Again, let me point you to the requirements for those thinking of taking up the role for SCMS – eg things like no races in the weeks leading up to the marathon (to prevent injury, fatigue etc), commitment to attend xxx number of training etc.

• Pacers should also study the route map and elevation and plan out a race strategy. Organizers should put up the route map and elevation on their site early.

And for God's sake...this is your pacee's race, not signing up as a pacer to hit your time goal or PB is ridic!

Photo log:

(Photo credits to Casey and Ronnie)


Team pics

Ronnie's write up here