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Successful FIRST HSL Samarahan Marathon drawing thousands from diverse background

KUCHING: The first HSL Samarahan Marathon concluded with resounding success, as over 2,000 participants from locales as varied as Singapore and Africa joined the two-day fitness festival.

The marathon's top honour in the male category was clinched by Lukas Muteti of Kenya with an impressive time of 02:42:47. Meanwhile, Dorcas Tarus emerged victorious in the female category.

In the half marathon, Muhammad Asyraf claimed the male title with a time of 01:17:19, while Sally Ann Yap Yu Ing triumphed among the female participants with a time of 01:35:25. Similarly, Muhammad Shahir and Hii Win Nie emerged as winners in the male and female categories, respectively, for the 10km mini marathon.

A total prize pool of nearly RM60,000 was distributed across various categories, including male, female, open, and veteran.

The awards ceremony, graced by the presence of Youth, Sports, and Entrepreneur Development Minister Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, took place at HSL’s La Promenade Mall.

The festival kicked off with engaging fun runs of 3km and 6km on Saturday, with special recognition bestowed upon Voon Kim Choon for their imaginative costumes that spread joy among participants.

Among the highlights of the competitive events were numerous participants surpassing their personal bests in the 10km, 21km, and 42km races.

Organisers, including Hock Seng Lee, City Joggers Club, and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), meticulously designed one of Malaysia's flattest running courses.

The course's minimal elevation facilitated swift finishing times for many enthusiasts, while also encouraging amateur runners to push their limits.

Remarkably, the 21km half marathon category sold out first, followed by the 42km and 10km categories.

Simon Lau, Executive Director of HSL, expressed pride in sponsoring such a significant event for the Kuching-Samarahan region. He remarked, "The overwhelming response underscores the potential of Samarahan as a vibrant community hub."

“The long distances outsold the shorter distances. It was a great surprise and a huge encouragement to us,” Lau said.

“It proved to us that our race course is well-liked by both pros and amateurs. Even before the event, so many were excitedly commenting on social media that this could become one of the ‘fastest’ races in Malaysia.

“Of course, so many also took part because there are plenty of youths in Samarahan, where there are two public universities, a teacher’s institute, a golf club, research centres, and a large community of medical professionals from the hospitals.”

Wendel Chan, representing Kuching City Joggers Club, extended gratitude to HSL for their pivotal sponsorship, emphasising their crucial role in bringing the marathon to fruition.

“Without HSL, there would be no Samarahan Marathon. Not only did HSL provide the venue free, but they more-or-less sponsored the entire event. Many runners would have noted, not only the generous prize money, but also the ultra-cheap sign-up rates,” Chan said.

Chan also lauded Unimas for its support.

“About 9km of the full marathon route was inside Unimas, which is the heart and soul of Samarahan.

“The uni also sent over 200 volunteers to our event. It has been such great teamwork to make the HSL Samarahan Marathon a reality.”

Chan commended the collaborative effort that made the HSL Samarahan Marathon a resounding triumph.


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