WHAT Garmin Asia Series 2022
WHERE Dataran Kehakiman, Putrajaya
WHEN Sept 11, 2022
DISTANCES 42km, 21km, 10km and 5km
First held in 2019, this is Garmin Malaysia’s second run, which recorded some 10,000 runners across four categories, a 3,000 people increase from the first race.
Garmin Malaysia says the brand wants to encourage runners of different levels and from all walks of life to come together to run and celebrate their journey to better health and fitness.
The event started at 3am on Sunday morning (for 42km) and ended at 11am.
“It shows just how much Malaysians really care about being healthier and leading a better lifestyle; which is in line with our vision to bring people together to improve their overall well-being,” says Garmin Asia assistant general manager Scoppen Lin.
National marathoner Muhaizar Muhammad won second place for the 21km men’s open, in 75 minutes.
“I have added speed work to my training routine and Garmin’s fitness functions have helped me measure its effectiveness,” he says.
This is my first physical run since 2019 and I must say, I enjoyed myself thoroughly. The leg pain at KM17 onwards was due to my lack of mileage, but the organisers have made this run as pleasant as possible.
It took me eight minutes to get to the starting line and for the first time, no one jostled to get to the front. Everyone just walked slowly and only started running when there was space, after the line. Maybe the last two years have made us more relaxed.
After all, for most casual runners, it is the experience, not the timing that matters.
My 21km race started at 4.15am, considered early since the usual half marathon flag-off time is 5am. At 3.50am, when I arrived at the starting line area, thousands of other crazy runners who would have eaten dinner at 5pm the day before, were already there, wide-eyed and ready to run.
And in retrospect, the flag-off time was good, because even if it took you four hours to run the 21km route, it would have been only 9.15am, before the day got hot.
The route was pretty straightforward, without much elevation so that helped. I dislike U-turn during a race but there were two for my route.
There were enough water stations, water supply and banana, even for those at the tail end of the race and this was much appreciated. I saw medical vehicles making their rounds, attending to injured runners and that was a bonus too.
There was a mobile surau for Muslim runners and many flocked there, so perhaps the organiser could prepare for than one for the next edition.
It’s a well-organised race from start to finish. From flag-off punctuality to water stations to toilets to a good finish line crowd movement, everything was smooth.
At one stretch, there were no street lights but the organiser took the trouble to have two spotlights so the stretch wasn’t pitch black.
Some races had clear kilometre marks, but this one had only a few. I joked with my colleague, who also ran the race, that we were supposed to see it on our Garmin sports watches.
But the best thing was the finish line offered a wide area for runners to rest and relax. There was no crowding and everyone just walked around with friends or went booth hopping where there were running shoes and energy drinks on offer.
In short, it’s a race I would run in again, hopefully, next year. And hopefully, with enough mileage that leg pain episode doesn’t return.