Turning a new Banana Leaf Rice at PJ Old Town

Clean & tidy surroundings

Intro: Every (or almost all) Malaysian(s) will have a craving for a hot & spicy dish of banana leaf rice with all the trimmings from time to time. Today was my turn to satisfy my sudden urge for a good curry!

Kavitha vs Usha: When I want a good dose of Banana Leaf savouries, I normally head to Kavitha’s stall at the hawker centre (Medan Selera) in Petaling Jaya Old Town. However, recently I’ve noticed that Kavitha’s once mouthwatering fish curry poured over steamed white rice, accompanied by a variety of hot & cold condiments, have lost their deliciousness! So, this time, I decided to test-out a different but newer Banana Leaf Rice stall called Usha Restaurant- it was in the same hawker centre and only a few doors away from each other. What initially attracted me to Usha was the wide array of fresh cooked popular Indian dishes, its cleanliness and the owner & staff looked like they were well organised & ready to give their patrons a run for their money! Moreover, I prided myself on my good intuition on finding great food, and I was getting a good vibe off this stall.

Good Feng Shui: Since I was early and had purposely avoided the usual office lunch crowd, I was able to book a seat at an empty table directly under a ceiling fan and next to the food display counter. My hope for good food rose when I saw that Usha had not only more dishes to choose from than Kavitha stall, but Usha’s cooked dishes certainly looked way more appealing and more visually stimulating than Kavitha’s ones. So, just on first impressions alone, the new contender was already ahead on points, but everything will hinge on the taste tests ahead.

Banana Leaf vs Plate: Unexpectedly, I was served my steamed white rice on a real banana leaf which in turn was on top of a plate. At Kavitha, your food would be served on a banana leaf which was directly on the table. Whatever the case, I’ve always regarded the use of banana leaf more of a gimmick and an unnecessary extravagance, and more importantly, the leaf doesn’t really affect the taste of the dishes served upon it! If I was Indian, I suspect my feeling about the use of real banana leaf would be more positive and less dismissive. However, I will accept that eating off banana leaf does make the eating experience more enjoyable.

Eat And Be Merry: By now, I was practically drooling in anticipation for some wholesome Indian food, and my stomach juices had already kicked into gear in preparation for some nourishment. As you can see from the photos enclosed and this short video below, I had ordered my usual dish of steamed white rice, fish curry (without fish) with lady’s fingers, 2 cooked vegetables, tau foo sambal, fish cutlets, spicy mutton, rasam soup, poppadom and hot masala tea. Will these dishes taste as good as they had looked and smelled?

Short video
Visual Treat

For My Tastebuds: The short answer is that the food had tasted delicious without exception. My expectations were well met, and I was waiting for something to go wrong or taste off, but I was not the least bit disappointed. Let me explain how I derived at my assessment. Firstly, it might seem trivial but the white rice was cooked to perfection and it complimented the curry superbly. The fish curry was not too thick and its spices were consistent but not overpowering. The lady’s fingers in the curry were tender which suggested that the ingredients were fresh when cooked. The cabbage and leafy green were tasty and slightly firm which suggested they were not overcooked. The mutton dish was tender and lovely, and the dried chillis in it were hot enough to give a kick but not a knockout punch. The fish cutlets were delicious and not fishy. The rasam soup and poppadoms were delightful. Last but not least, the masala tea had a good mix of tea and spices in it. Impressive performance!

Damn good!

Cooking With Pride: Frankly, many things could have gone wrong in preparing and cooking my meal like in many other over-commercialised Indian eateries. However, Usha Restaurant had passed the all-important taste test with flying colours, and it is because the owners take pride in giving their patrons good food. They are not driven purely by profits which is the reason why many restaurants, not only Indian ones, have lost their followers due to undercutting the quality of their food. Unfortunately, I have eaten at many restaurants where their food quality have deteriorated and their service has sunk so low that I am shocked how these calculator restauranteurs could expect people to pay for their miserable food and non-existent service. Back to Usha, I hope that they never rest on their laurels and continue to dish out exquisite food, or they may end-up becoming stale and stagnant like their poor neighbour, Kavitha.

Global Inflation: My meal cost me rm24 which will seem pricey to some, and the mutton is the most expensive dish at rm6. Nevertheless, the pricing between Kavitha & Usha will be the same because they both see themselves as serving the ‘same’ food, but for my money, I’d rather pay a bit more to ensure that I’ll be eating tasty food, in a clean environment with a pleasant-enough service whenever I get my next craving for curry rice on a real banana leaf!

Disclaimer – These writings are based on my own personal thoughts & experiences which may not be the same as other people’s views..

Posted in 2022, Dining, Eat, Food, restaurant, Review | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Amazing District Race Saved My Running Mojo


SOURED PASSION : For regular participants of running events, like myself, the cancellation of mass-participation sports events in 2020 & 2021 had greatly impacted our lifestyle physically & emotionally because those events were an integral part of our passion for running, and socialising.

WITHDRAWAL SYSMPTOMS : Without exaggeration, it has been difficult to fill-in the void left behind by the absence of all running events. Prior to the Movement Control Order and even before Covid-19 reared its ugly heads, until end 2019, we were FREE to join our favourite races during any given weekend. These events were important for runners to gather, and meet old & new running buddies to SHARE our common passion for running. However, when Covid-19 cases started rising dramatically, our livelihoods, and our economic and social freedom were suddenly being restricted and controlled by the Government under an Emergency Act which had even closed our Parliament House – the nation’s one last bastion and symbol of our democratic freedom.

MASS DEPRESSION : At ground level, runners were forbidden to run in groups and in parks. At best, we were only allowed to run solo and only in our respective neighbourhoods from 8am to 8pm. Running solo without any social interaction, and on the same route can get extremely mundane, and depressing after a while. More seriously, the whole nation was just going stir-crazy being cooped-up in our homes, except to go out to buy food and for some restricted outdoor exercises. It is extremely stressful to see so many people losing their lives, jobs, income, homes and businesses through no fault of their own. We are desperately hanging on to slivers of hope among an unprecedented tsunami of daily bad news. What can we do? When will this nightmare be over, if ever? Sadly, even the experts are uncertain of how a post Covid-19 future will look like.

HUMANITY TRUMPS ALL : Fortunately, as we move swiftly towards herd immunity through a national campaign of mass vaccination, people are starting to look forward to the relaxation of interstate and international travel restrictions. I learnt that during the hardest times, we must look after our poorest and weakest first – just forget about Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest! Our basic humanity will never allow us to have inner peace if we neglect our duty to help the needy, even if the scientists and politicians say and do otherwise.

MAKING NECESSARY ADJUSTMENTS : Nothing is guaranteed in life, EXCEPT for change. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and complaining about things beyond my control, I prefer to use this opportunity to comprehensively assess my personal situation and re-align my goals, ambitions, dreams and desires to fit and be in synch with the current environment and society which means letting-go of some outdated habits of the past, and embracing the uncertainty of a new beginning. If we don’t change and adapt with the times, we will literally and metaphorically become extinct!

Selfie Runner

DISTRICT RACE SAVES MY DAY : After running solo in my neighbourhood for one year under the black cloud of a pandemic, I was greatly relieved to join the District Race Virtual Run which started on 1st March 2021. After slowly losing my running mojo and mind running solely to survive, this virtual run gave me the inspiration and motivation to run HAPPY again. You see, by downloading their dedicated App to my phone, I could once again connect with other runners from anywhere in Malaysia digitally. We were inspiring each other by sharing our running sessions online. Not only were we able to share all our running data with each other, but also our running selfies! District Race gave us added incentive to run further and more often by offering prizes for the top runners and best selfies. Unlike other virtual runs, District Race is not only about how far, we could run, but there was also the added excitement of exploring our cities in search of specific checkpoints to collect more points. On top of everything else, the runners’ collective effort were responsible for raising RM50,000 for charity, thanks to the Main Sponsor, AIA Vitality! So, for 4 months, until the end of the race on 30th June 2021, I was able to re-discover my running mojo. With this renewed vigour, I now will never take the importance of running happy for granted again. Yes, there’s no such thing as a bad run, only unimaginative runners. I have learnt that you never have to run solo again if you have the District Race App on your phone – give it a try!

If you want more information on what transpired during the District Race and its phenomenal success , I recommend that you read the following Press Release…


●        The free-to-participate event returned with AIA Vitality as the presenting sponsor, inspiring Malaysians to stay active while living in the new normal.

●        Malaysians ran together for a mutual cause; raising RM50,000.00 for the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) during the special Get Fit For Charity Campaign in conjunction with Ramadan.

●        Chong Zee Min from Penang was named the lucky winner to take home the grand prize of a brand new Proton X50

Penang’s Zee Min runs-off with a brand new car!

●        Over 40 prizes including Garmin watches and adidas gear was also given away to lucky winners.

Maintaining one’s health during this challenging time has not been easy, especially in the past six months where various movement control orders were put in place due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. It is undeniable that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hold on many things, with mass participation events being one of them.

Adapting to the various challenges caused by the pandemic, District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality rose to the occasion and made a return as an augmented reality event by providing a digitally engaging and fun urban exploration experience. This year’s event was made even more attractive as participation was free and made available nationwide. This gave equal opportunities for runners across Malaysia to participate in the event.

District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality was launched on 1 March 2021, providing users with a fun way to lead an active life to stay happy and healthy during these trying times. The 4-month long event became an instant hit with avid casual runners in Malaysia; including non-runners who just enjoyed casual walks. The event has managed to exceed its initial target of 10,000 sign-ups, with over 11,000 participants registered on the District app, all vying for the opportunity to take home the grand prize, the brand new Proton X50.

One of the contributing factors to the overwhelming response was the flexibility of participation – making it easy for runners to choose the when, where and how of their participation. The District app was enhanced to be even more user-friendly – by simply stepping out of the house, switching on the app, pressing start and navigating their journey towards checkpoints to earn points. With no set route or distance and checkpoints made available everywhere, explorers were able to create their own strategy and choose how they wanted to explore. Whether by walking or running, everyone got to participate at their own pace.

Participants were also able to link their GPS supported wearable devices to the District app and earn points for any walking or running activities. The points collected on the wearable were then credited towards the overall leaderboard. The prizes up for grabs via lucky draw included over 40 items such as Garmin watches and adidas gear, as well as a brand-new Proton X50, which undoubtedly was the main attraction.

Josh Tendler, Head of Marketing, District Technologies said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many planned events worldwide, and mass participation events especially are not excused. The event cancellation is definitely felt by runners everywhere. That is why we decided to do a digital race for this year. What the digital event lacks in the physical interactions, it makes up for in flexibility. Participants get to choose how and when to do the race at their convenience, while collecting points, being healthy, and unlocking Augmented Reality selfie filters. In my opinion, one of the silver linings of the pandemic is we now found new ways to connect with our loved ones, others around the community, either by staying active together or just enjoy their companion through virtual interactions and reaching collective goals together. We would like to thank AIA for helping to make District Race’s vision in providing an engaging and fun urban exploration experience a reality as well as their support for the second year in a row.”

Heng Zee Wang, Chief Marketing Officer, AIA Bhd. said, “I would like to congratulate the winners and the participants of District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality for their amazing achievements despite the current circumstances. We hope that this event has inspired Malaysians from all walks of life to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle during these challenging times. We would like to express our appreciation to District Technologies for successfully executing a digital event that benefitted many Malaysians and we look forward to supporting many more exciting initiatives like this as part of our efforts to help people achieve Healthier, Longer, Better Lives.”

Chong Zee Min emerged as the lucky winner to bring home the most coveted prize; the all-new and free Proton X50. Participants received 1 entry to the lucky draw for every activity of over 2,000+ points in the District app.

Chong was surprised when she learned of the news. “The event itself inspired me most as it turns exercising into a fun and unique experience while exploring many different and interesting areas of my city that I would have otherwise missed out. I am thrilled have won the grand prize, a brand new Proton X50. Such an unexpected sweet surprise! This is a massive bonus coupled with a sense of achievement. I am truly delighted!” said Chong, 31, from Penang.

Amongst the other prizes presented were Garmin watches and adidas merchandise to the Top 3 Overall Male and Female Champions, as well as merchandise packs to the Biggest Team Overall. 

Congratulations to Male Runner-Up, Chew!

For Overall Male, the first place was taken by Jimmy Lim, taking home the Garmin Fenix Watch, followed by Chew Soon Yong in second place and Yew Hoe Liew in third place, winning them the RM 1,000 and RM 500 adidas vouchers respectively.

Lynn out-runs the other female runners

For Overall Female, the Garmin Fenix Watch was won by first placed Lynn Ooi, followed by Ooi Ai Lyn in second place and Teoh Seow Sian in third place, also taking home the RM 1,000 and RM 500 adidas vouchers respectively.

The Biggest Overall Team, AIA District Family, with a total of 40 members, took home free merchandise packs for each member.

District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality also hosted a series of campaigns throughout the 4-month long event to give runners more reasons to participate. In conjunction with Ramadan this year, the Get Fit For Charity campaign was conducted, rallying runners across Malaysia to come together in solidarity for the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM). The challenge was to collectively hit the goal of 5,000,000 points, with AIA committing to donate RM1 for every 100 points scored during the campaign period. While the challenge was set for 12 April – 16 May 2021, the target was met well ahead of time, hitting the overall goal by 4 May 2021. Thanks to the collective efforts of the runners, the charity engagement was an overwhelming success with RM 50,000.00 raised and donated to NCSM.

Besides collecting points for the charity, the Top Average Team Score Challenge was also conducted to incentivize runners to keep their points rolling. Team Sonic took home RM10,000.00 cash after accumulating an average of 289,000+ points per team member.

In June 2021, the Social Media Contest went live, asking users to post a photo, video or story to their Facebook or Instagram taking part in District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality, along with proof of an activity of at least 2,000 points. The lucky winners were chosen based on their creativity and walked away with prizes such as Garmin watches, adidas vouchers, and Garmin merchandise packs.

For more information, follow @DistrictRaceMY on Facebook and Instagram.


About District (exploredistrict.com)

Contact: Chris CableHead of Events, +6017 349 2342, Chris@districtrace.com

District is a ground-breaking technology platform that encourages people to lead active, healthy lifestyles through the District app. With no set route or distance, participants choose how they explore the city, by completing virtual checkpoints and challenges to accumulate the most points within the race time limit. The app makes use of augmented reality, location-based technologies, and gamification to create a unique experiential running experience for participants.


About AIA Vitality

AIA Vitality is Asia’s first and only comprehensive science-backed health programme. It provides members with the knowledge, tools and motivation to bring about long-term positive behavioural changes to lead a healthier life. AIA Vitality members are incentivised to actively engage in health and wellness activities by offering them a range of benefits including extra insurance benefits on selected insurance and Takaful plans as well as savings and discounts from AIA Vitality partners.

About AIA Bhd.

AIA Bhd. is a leading insurer in Malaysia, where we have been privileged to do business since 1948. We offer a suite of financial solutions including Protection, Health, Personal Accident, Employee Benefits, General Insurance, Mortgage, Retirement and Family Takaful products to meet our customers’ protection and financial security needs at every life stage. Through our wide and diverse distribution footprint which comprises of a 19,000 strong Life Planner force, our exclusive bank partner’s branches nationwide as well as corporate sales teams and brokers, we give our customers the choice of deciding how, when and where they connect with us.

Part of the AIA Group, the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group, AIA Bhd. has the financial strength, experience, service centre network and a well-trained team of more than 2,600 employees to serve our 4 million customers nationwide. As at 30 June 2020, AIA Bhd.’s total asset worth was RM57.45 billion, with a paid-up capital of RM810 million.

  • *The End*

*Disclaimer*To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Style Council

July 15 2021 – KUALA LUMPUR] – ASICS today is launching its new CELEBRATION OF SPORT COLLECTION – a cross-category footwear and apparel collection that celebrates the power of sport to uplift the world.

Launching alongside a full apparel range, the CELEBRATION OF SPORT COLLECTION sees footwear across ASICS’ Performance Running, Core Performance Sport and Sport Style categories given a striking design revamp. Each piece in the collection features bright, bold confetti-style detailing, taking visual cues from the sense of uplift and celebration that sport will inspire across the world in the summer of 2021.

Just Move

The 46-piece collection encompasses more than five different sports, celebrating the power of all sports to uplift the mind. Runners will be among those invited to experience the uplift, with new iterations of the GEL-KAYANO™ 28, offering excellent stability and cushioning underfoot, and NOVABLAST™ 2, with its advanced energy return technology, among the performance running shoes to feature in the range.

Smashing Time

Tennis and volleyball players will also be able to raise their game and feel the uplift on court with new takes on the supportive, lightweight COURT SPEED™ FF and the responsive NETBURNER BALLISTIC™FF 2. Rounding off the collection meanwhile is an array of re-imagined Sport Style silhouettes, including the GEL-QUANTUM 360™ 6 and GEL-QUANTUM 180™, that celebrate the uplifting power of expression.

Lift Off

So no matter how athletes choose to move their mind, the CELEBRATION OF SPORT COLLECTION has the shoes to get everyone feeling the uplifting effect, all the while enhancing their level of performance so they can experience the positive benefits of uplift more often.

The launch of the CELEBRATION OF SPORT COLLECTION sees ASICS continue its mission to inspire as many as possible to move their mind to experience the uplifting power of sport in 2021.

The CELEBRATION OF SPORT COLLECTION will be available online from now onwards.

Play Ball

– ENDS –

Posted in 2021, Asics, Athlete, Fitness, Footwear, Happy Runner, July, Lifestyle, Media, Merchandise, Official Apparel, Official Launch, press release, Road Running, Runners, Running, Running Shoes, Social Media, Sports, Sports Apparel | Leave a comment

Race To Equality 2021

Event Launch

Editor’s Note : Sorry guys, I uploaded this post very late, and the registration has already closed on 23rd April 2021. Nevertheless, you can become a Volunteer of Pusat KOMAS if you want to help them promote human rights and play a positive role within your community by simply contacting komas.org. Given the challenges that we are all facing to battle against an unprecedented global pandemic, the minorities are suffering the most, and they need any assistance that we can offer them more than ever, under the professional guidance of KOMAS.

Press Statement for Immediate Release

Event Banner

RACE TO EQUALITY: A pledge to stand up against racial discrimination and hate speech, Human Rights NGO Pusat KOMAS launched its maiden virtual run RACE TO EQUALITY in conjunction with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This is a not-for-profit run with a running period from 13 May 2021 to 15 June 2021. Registration for early birds is now open! RACE TO EQUALITY is part of a larger campaign for social cohesion and national unity. Corollary to the campaign for #AkuBangsaMalaysia, this is a call for Malaysians to believe in a Malaysian identity and for the government to realise and legitimize this identity through dismantling discriminatory policies and practices. RACE TO EQUALITY derives its rationale from an initiative to seek greater equality of treatment between Malaysia’s plural ethnicities. ‘Race’ in the slogan signifies the positive movement towards Equality and simultaneously refers to a shift of focus from race (the ethnicity) to the ideal of Equality for all. The objective of this run is to have ordinary citizens to be proponents of the common aspiration of equal treatment for all Malaysians and eliminating racial discrimination and racism in Malaysia. A virtual run is a running event that one could participate at any location, at one’s own pace, outside or on a treadmill, alone or with a group of friends. The participant is required to run (yes, physically) with a running/exercise app e.g. Strava to track their running achievements and progress. To participate in this virtual run, participants may register at Checkpointspot.asia. After running, the participant would be required to submit screenshots of their progress to Checkpointspot.asia. RACE TO EQUALITY encompasses the following distances. 9km, 16km, 31km for the individual category and 57km and 63km for the team category. These symbolic numbers are derived from Malaysia’s formation on 16.9.63 and Malaysia’s independence on 31 August 57. We take these momentous dates to highlight the times in which Malaysia forged sacred bonds of unity and hope we can once again move towards such harmony. The logo for RACE TO EQUALITY was conceptualised by renowned Malaysian artist Yeoh Kean Thai. The ideation highlights Equality in the equality sign icon (two parallel lines in ethnic motifs particular to indigenous Sarawakian communities) and the hands signify the five pillars of humanity (the physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects) coming together in promoting Malaysia’s equality and unity. The colours represent the Malaysian flag. The organizer of this campaign, KOMAS, is a human rights popular communications centre set up in 1993 to empower especially the indigenous peoples, urban poor, workers and civil society organisations to advocate for human rights in Malaysia. In its advocacy work, KOMAS has been actively promoting equality and the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination in Malaysia has been engaging the federal, state and local government and conducts dialogues with the grassroots. Annually, KOMAS produces a report which documents racial discrimination in Malaysia. KOMAS’ Non-Discrimination Programme also researches structural reforms necessary to dismantle institutionalized racial discrimination and to overcome identity politics, politics of supremacy and politics of marginalisation. To find out more about Pusat KOMAS, click here. KOMAS appeals to all persons who believe in a more inclusive and equal Malaysia to sign up for this not-for-profit run as a pledge to stand up against all forms of racial discrimination and hate speech. For further information, please email anusha@komas.org or click here or call 016 228 4088 or 012 391 9028. 

Prepared by Pusat KOMAS24 March 2021

*Disclaimer*To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.

Posted in Event, Fun Run, Happy Runner, NGO, Orang Asli, press release, Running, Running Event, Virtual Run | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

District Race 2021 Press Release

Seek and you will find the checkpoints!

Editor’s Note

Terrific news, Guys! From 12 April – 16 May 2021, District is doing the Get Fit for Charity challenge. Enjoy a team of exploration through the District App by taking part in the challenge while giving back to the community during this special month of Ramadan. The explorers are also encouraged to collectively hit the goal of 5 million points and AIA will pledge RM50,000.00 to the National Cancer Society Malaysia.

If you have been following my blog, you will already know that I have been a fan of District Race since its introduction to Malaysia on 6th October 2019 at Kepong Metropolitan Park where only 100 or so eager participants turned-up, including your truly and my wife. Were you there? If you weren’t, don’t despair because I wrote all about it HERE !

Then, on 3rd Nov 2019, the biggest District Race Explore Kuala Lumpur took place at Dataran Merdeka, and a record 10,000 participants took part in that truly amazing extravaganza. Just imagine these 10,000 participants were thronging the streets, the alleys and parks of KL looking for checkpoints, and quickly dashing back to the Finish Line before their respective cut-off times to be entitled for the chunky Augmented Reality Finisher Medal. It was both fanatic and fun day for all who were present.

If you don’t know why the District Race is so popular among runners, gym enthusiasts and fun-seekers, then you’re in luck because District Race Malaysia and their anchor sponsors, AIA Vitality, have started their latest virtual race edition from March to June 2021. Literally, anyone with a smartphone can join because it is free to register. If you’re worried about running during this pandemic, fear not because it is entirely up to you to decide where and when you want to race. Read on for more details such as how to register, how to score points and win prizes, and how to prepare for a great race – anytime & anywhere! Oh, did I mention that some lucky punter will walk away with a free brand new car as part of the grand finale? It could be you, or it could be me! Do join us for a fun race, and remember to stay safe at all times by social distancing, good sanitation and eat right!…

Running Buddies



The digital world has shown unprecedented growth over the last 12 months, and the fitness industry is no exception.  With mass participation events halted, and gyms closed during Movement Control Order (MCO), people have turned to virtual fitness experiences to stay healthy, both in mind and body.  This has driven rapid innovation in this space with both technology companies and brands delivering new and unique experiences.  

District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality offers just that, a fun and engaging way to encourage Malaysians to get creative with their fitness routine and live healthier, longer, better lives through the District App.

It’s incredibly easy to take part, 100% free, and you stand the chance to win amazing prizes along the way.  The District App is designed for the convenience of Malaysians and it’s as simple as hitting the ‘Start’ button on the App to begin an activity, finding the checkpoint nearest to you and making your way to that location.

Iconic Checkpoint

Here are some important pointers for you to take note as you embark on this new fitness journey:

1)                   Plan your route

Every activity on the District App offers points, so simply moving, be it through walking or running gets you closer to more points. For every kilometre covered, you will receive 200 points. 

If you do not want to run with your phone, just link your GPS-supported wearable device, such as a Garmin, and all activities will sync directly to the District App and points will be credited towards the overall leaderboard.

This ‘workout at your own pace’ regime is ideal given how the fitness industry has evolved as a whole during a challenging past year, where frequenting a gym or fitness centre has been challenging.

2)                   Set a personal goal

It can sometimes be tough to find the right motivation to lead a healthy lifestyle, even if it means a fit body and mind. District Race Malaysia by AIA Vitality is ideal for beginners to begin their fitness journey as there is no set route and no set distance; simply download the app to start walking/jogging/running to a more fit you. If that’s not enough, how about a Grand Prize of a brand new Proton X50 where a completion of an activity worth at least 2000 points will give you an entry into the lucky draw (up to a maximum of 121 entries per person). The second prize offers an adidas voucher worth RM1,000, while the third prize is a RM500 adidas voucher.

3)                   Select various workout spots

Workouts can get mundane if you go to the same location each time. Get rid of that rigidity by choosing different areas to exercise. It can be at a neighbourhood park, or a scenic route that you have always wanted to visit! Working out in different spots also gives you a fresh perspective both physically and mentally, as you experience different journeys on your route. There are checkpoints available everywhere in Malaysia so you can participate in District Race no matter where you are!

4)                   Always remember to hydrate

Drinking enough water is essential for any workout activity, so always carry a bottle of water when you head out. When you do intend to collect checkpoints, it also greatly helps to plan convenient routes where you can run in to get a drink at a convenience store. The body only performs to its best when it’s fuelled up, so always remember to fill up your tank!

5)                   Enjoy your workout

You will only perform at your optimum level if you are enjoying your workout, so when you press Start on your District App, remember that a positive mindset is key to having a productive session. Focus on getting ‘into your zone’ each time you get into your stride, and you will be amazed how much you achieved regardless of the duration of your workout.

6)                   Have a partner

No man is an island rings true in a workout environment too. Getting a companion group to join you on your workouts can bring out the best in everyone, as it helps to push and challenge each other. Sharing your progress can also lead to a healthy competition, which only works out best for all parties. Fret not if you can’t find a physical partner to exercise with, the District App also offers team-mates virtually to keep you engaged. Form a new team or join an existing team to motivate each other. Who knows, your team could be the team with the Highest Average Team Score and walk away with RM10,000 cash!

7)                   Running during Ramadan

Working out during the fasting month may seem daunting, but not if you plan your workout sessions in advance. Either start your walk or run with District app early before sahur in the morning, or go for a late-night stroll after breaking fast in the evening. There are enough hours in a day to find the time for a short workout if you plan right. Having said that, understand your body not too push yourself too hard if you are not at your physical best. What is important is that you allocate some time towards reaching your fitness goal, however short or long the duration. While you stay active and healthy during Ramadan, don’t forget to join District Race’s Get Fit For Charity contest. For every 100 points you score from 12 April to 16 May, AIA Malaysia will pledge RM1 to the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM) to support the great work they do in providing education, care, and support services for those affected by cancer. The goal is to hit a total of 5 million points, so that NCSM will receive RM50,000 in donation. Time to get moving and make a difference!

Social Distance Runner

This race is not designed to be a race per se where you compete with millions to see who comes out on top, rather it is motivation for you to challenge yourself, up your game and get fit for your own good!

District Race Malaysia is currently running until 30th June 2021 with monthly prizes to be won. It is presented by AIA Vitality, AIA’s unique health programme that motivates Malaysians to make healthier choices in their everyday lives. Download the District App here. You may find out more about the ongoing contests and get to know the latest updates on District Race MY Facebook page.

About District (exploredistrict.com)
Chris CableCOO, Chris@districtrace.com

District is a ground-breaking technology platform that encourages people to lead active, healthy lifestyles through the District app. With no set route or distance, participants choose how they explore the city, by completing virtual checkpoints and challenges to accumulate the most points within the race time limit. The app makes use of augmented reality, location-based technologies, and gamification to create a unique experiential running experience for participants.

About AIA Vitality

AIA Vitality is Asia’s first and only comprehensive science-backed health programme. It provides members with the knowledge, tools and motivation to bring about long-term positive behavioural changes to lead a healthier life. AIA Vitality members are incentivised to actively engage in health and wellness activities by offering them a range of benefits including extra insurance benefits on selected insurance and Takaful plans as well as savings and discounts from AIA Vitality partners.

About AIA Bhd.

AIA Bhd. is a leading insurer in Malaysia, where we have been privileged to do business since 1948. We offer a suite of financial solutions including Protection, Health, Personal Accident, Employee Benefits, General Insurance, Mortgage, Retirement and Family Takaful products to meet our customers’ protection and financial security needs at every life stage. Through our wide and diverse distribution footprint which comprises of a 15,000 strong Life Planner force, our exclusive bank partner’s branches nationwide as well as corporate sales teams and brokers, we give our customers the choice of deciding how, when and where they connect with us.

Part of the AIA Group, the largest independent publicly listed pan-Asian life insurance group, AIA Bhd. has the financial strength, experience, service centre network and a well-trained team of more than 2,600 employees to serve our 3.6 million customers nationwide. As at 30 June 2020, AIA Bhd.’s total asset worth was RM57.45 billion, with a paid-up capital of RM810 million.


*Disclaimer*To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.

Posted in Charity, Community, Competitive Run, Concept Run, Contest, District Race, Family, Fitness, Fun Run, Happy Runner, Happy Running, health, June, Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur, Lucky Draw, March, Media, New Event, press release, Registration, Road Running, Runners, Running, Running Community, Safety, Sponsor, Virtual Run | Leave a comment

Runners, Beware

RUNNERS, BEWARE : Many runners run for health reasons, and so, we must avoid running whenever the act of running poses a threat to our life. Running blindly without taking consideration of your safety & that of the others around you, is not only foolish but can be deadly. No matter how experienced Runners are, we must evaluate, treat & plan each Run separately and consider our current situation & the immediate environment on that particular time & day. Such normal safety considerations include, but not limited to the following :-
1) Runner’s Physical & Mental Health Status
2) Safety Gear
3) Route Safety
4) The Weather
5) Related Laws & Regulations

When we have been running so often & over the same route with the same routines, we can act on autopilot, zone-out our immediate surroundings & forget or ignore some important running safety rules. Sometimes our sheer confidence makes us drop our guard & make us run into dangerous situations. So, my advice to Runners during these turbulent times is to re-evaluate your personal safety policy; never take your safety for granted; always err on the side of safety; and don’t feel pressurised by your peers to take uncomfortable risks.. And remember, you can always replace or postpone your run to another time, but you can never replace a life that is lost forever.. Run Safe Always

Video : https://youtu.be/QsSHO3SLmME

📺..YouTube ⤵️ https://www.youtube.com/user/gusghani

BLOG ✍️ :  www.gusghani.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

KLSCM 2019 – Race Day Revisited



Editor’s Note 

To refresh your memory on what happened during Race Day KLSCM 2019, let’s relive those magical moments here… 




40,000 Runners Turn Dataran Into Sea of Blue For KLSCM2019

Debutant Victor Kipchirchir from Kenya clinches maiden KLSCM title

KUALA LUMPUR, Sunday, 29 September 2019: Dataran Merdeka was awash in blue when 40,000 runners took part in the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM) 2019 today.

Syed Saddiq about to finish Half Marathon

The 11th edition of the premier distance running event in Malaysia also saw YB Syed Saddiq, Minister of Youth and Sports, make his debut in the event by participating in the Half Marathon category. Also present were YB Khalid Samad, Minister of Federal Territories and YB, Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industries, who also took part in the Half Marathon.


Contributing to the record participation numbers was one of the largest Full Marathon fields seen in an event in Malaysia when more than 13,000 runners took part in the category.


An equally impressive 12,500 runners ran in the Half Marathon, making two of the longer distance categories the most well represented, which is testimony to the growing popularity of distance running in the country.

KLSCM2019 FM Open Winner - Victor Kipchirchir

Victor Kipchirchir, from Kenya, who was making his debut appearance at KLSCM won the Full Marathon Men’s Open category in a time of 2:19:41 to take home USD17,500 while the Full Marathon Women’s Open category was won by Gladys Jepkemoi Chemweno from Kenya in a time of 2:36:45 also earning USD17,500 in the process.

KLSCM2019 FM Open Men with Khalid Samad (far lef) and Abrar A. Anwar (far right)

Kiprop Tonui from Kenya came in second in the Full Marathon Men’s Open with a time of 2:20:05 while Tallam James Cherutich, also from Kenya finished third in a time of 2:21:04.

KLSCM2019 FM Women Open with Khalid Samad (far left) and Abrar A. Anwar (far right)

In the Full Marathon Women’s Open, defending champion Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol from Kenya had to settle for second place in a time of 2:41:48 while Ngigi Pauline from Kenya took third place with a time of 2:45:44.

KLSCM2019 FM Malaysian Men with Abrar and Ong Kian Ming (left) and Khalid Samad and Datuk Wira Mark Ling (right)

The Full Marathon Malaysian Men’s category was a keenly contested affair as Muhaizar bin Mohamad and his compatriot in the Armed Forces Nik Fakaruddin bin Ismail went toe-to-toe for most of the race. KL SEA Games bronze medallist Muhaizar though broke away towards the end, managing to defend his title and in doing so won this category for an astonishing fifth consecutive time, finishing in 2:35:23. Nik Fakaruddin finished second in 2:40:31 while Fabian @ Osmond bin Daimon came in third in a time of 2:45:06.

KLSCM2019 FM Women Malaysian with Abrar and Ong Kian Ming (left) and Khalid Samad and Datuk Wira Mark Ling (right)

The Full Marathon Malaysian Women’s category saw Loh Chooi Fern defend her maiden win in KLSCM2018 in a time of 3:21:33 while Tho Siaw Khim clocked 3:29:42 to come in second and Yap Yee Ling got third place in a time of 3:30:50.

FM Open winner Kipchirchir was delighted with his maiden Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon win. “It was a tough race as I have never run in this type of heat before but my preparation was good,” Kipchirchir said. “I am happy to be able to win in my first race in Kuala Lumpur and I hope to come back next year,” he continued.

Muhaizar was also thrilled to have retained his title, especially after the intense competition with training partner Nik Fakaruddin. “I think running and winning in KLSCM before gave me a slight advantage over the other competitors as I know what to expect and so made the right strategy,” he said. “This win will help boost my confidence ahead of the SEA Games in Manila in November and I hope to be able to bring back a medal,” he added.

Rainer Biemans before the FM Start

Rainer Biemans, Project Director of KLSCM and Director of Dirigo Events, said “The 11th edition of KLSCM has proven to be an exciting two days that has seen some great competitions in our top categories, which has added to the lustre of our biggest event yet. It has also been and honour and a privilege having both YB Syed Saddiq and YB Dr. Ong Kian Ming participate in our Half Marathon, and my heartfelt thanks go out to them for supporting our event and I hope they enjoyed themselves out there today. We are also grateful for YB Khalid Samad’s presence and for giving out prizes”, he continued.

Syed Saddiq flagged off the Half Marathon category along with Abrar A. Anwar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia before joining in the run. 

“For someone who’s more a cyclist than a runner, that was pretty challenging! But crossing that finish line was extremely fulfilling and I’m really happy to have made it within the cut-off time. I can see now how participating in distance running events such as this can be tremendously rewarding so kudos to Dirigo Events, Standard Chartered Bank and to everyone else who had a hand in putting together this fantastic event,” said Syed Saddiq. “My congratulations as well to all the winners and to all who participated and achieved their running goals,” he continued.

Anwar. A. Abrar, MD and CEO of Standard Chartered Malaysia, who took part in yesterday’s Friendship Run as well, was delighted with the massive turnout over the two days and hoped the event would continue to attract the running masses for many more years to come.

 “Being title sponsor for the last 11 years, Standard Chartered Malaysia is delighted that we’ve once again managed to successfully pull off this event with our biggest numbers to date. 

From pioneering the concept of being the first running event to run through iconic landmarks in Kuala Lumpur, KLSCM has never stood still and has set the benchmark and gold standard for running events in Malaysia,” said Abrar. 

Last runner to finish before the cutoff time

While KLSCM is a competitive event, it has been built with a community focus at its core and that community element was brought to the fore this year when KLSCM’s Run For A Reason (RFAR) charity initiative raised its highest amount in terms of funds raised compared to previous years. RFAR is an integral component of KLSCM and this year, participating charities the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Dignity for Children Foundation and Hospis Malaysia will benefit from over RM890,000 worth of funds raised by over 1,000 RFAR participants, together with the Corporate Challenge. “We are extremely happy to have raised a record amount under our RFAR charity banner and our sincere thanks go out to all involved who made this possible,” said Biemans.

The record numbers did not end there as the event also saw its largest number of running tourists as well when more than 1,900 from 49 countries arrived in Kuala Lumpur to take part in the iconic event. Add another 10,020 Malaysians who came from outside of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor to make it a particularly busy weekend for the city.

Chris Koch

One particularly inspiring tourist was Chris Koch, a farmer, athlete, adventurer and motivational speaker who flew in from Canada to participate. Born without limbs, Chris has been travelling the world and participating in marathons to spread his “If I Can” message to as many people as possible in the hopes of motivating them to get the most out of their lives. Using a longboard to traverse the Full Marathon route, Chris took part in his eighth marathon on a third continent when he completed his marathon here. “I was prepared for the heat and humidity because I knew it would be way more than I’m used to, however, starting so early was different. On the course, other marathoners are usually so encouraging and supportive but here, they were even more so. That definitely has me wanting to come back for another,” Koch said.

KLSCM2019 began with the Kids Dash categories yesterday morning that saw another record when 1,000 children participated in the 1km and 3km categories. Both categories were expanded this year to encourage more children to participate and also saw speed categories introduced for both distances in a move to separate the competitive children from the fun runners. 

For the first time, the 5km category was also held yesterday morning to allow for larger participation numbers today and incorporated the Friendship Run, meant to be a warm-up run for those taking part in the Full Marathon, as well as an opportunity for runners from around the world to meet and forge friendships. 

Runners after the finish line

Towards the end of the event, the KLSCM running community gathered at the Finish Line to cheer and provide moral support to the last runners to finish within the check-out time of 7:15 hours. These runners had given their all to finish the race and were given a rousing end replete with confetti blasts to coax them home within the required time. 

KLSCM2019 FM Start 1

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon has grown year-on-year to become the most anticipated distance running event in Malaysia, where for the first time this year public registrations had to be balloted. The premier running event once again saw Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia returning as title sponsor, along with a host of returning and new sponsors, including Seiko, Under Armour, 100 Plus, Jaybird, TudungPeople, Banana Boat and Pacific Regency. The event is owned and organised by Dirigo Events with venue host Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur.

KLSCM2019 FM Start 2

KLSCM is sanctioned and supported by the Malaysia Athletics Federation (MAF), Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur Athletic Federation (FTKLAA), International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and Association of International Marathons, Distance Races (AIMS).

Runners on the highway

Winners of the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

Full Marathon Men’s Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Victor Kipchirchir Kenya 2:19:41
2nd Kiprop Tonui Kenya 2:20:05
3rd Tallam James Cherutich Kenya 2:21:04

Full Marathon Women’s Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Gladys Jepkemoi Chemweno Kenya 2:36:45
2nd Elizabeth Chepkanan Rumokol Kenya 2:41:48
3rd Ngigi Pauline Wangui Kenya 2:46:44


Full Marathon Malaysian Men

Position Name Country Time
1st Muhaizar bin Muhamad Malaysia 2:35:23
2nd Nik Fakaruddin bin Ismail Malaysia 2:40:31
3rd Fabian @ Osmond bin Daimon Malaysia 2:45:06


Full Marathon Malaysian Women 

Position Name Country Time
1st Loh Chooi Fern Malaysia 3:21:33
2nd Tho Siaw Khim Malaysia 3:29:42
3rd Yap Yee Ling Malaysia 3:30:50


Full Marathon Malaysian Veteran Men

Position Name Country Time
1st Muniandy a/l Ramadass Malaysia 2:54:21
2nd Looi Mun Fai Malaysia 2:55:37
3rd Suresh a/l Muniandy Malaysia 3:02:12


Full Marathon Malaysian Veteran Women

Position Name Country Time
1st Wong Boon Jien Malaysia 3:46:08
2nd Neoh Hueih Ching Malaysia 3:46:50
3rd Ewe Bee Hong Malaysia 3:50:05

Half Marathon Men Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Kiplagat Philemon Korir Kenya 1:07:15
2nd Mathew Samperu Kenya 1:07:29
3rd Mburu Francis Karau Kenya 1:09:41


Half Marathon Women Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Edith Chemjor Kenya 1:25:05
2nd Jepkosgei Naum Kenya 1:32:59
3rd Agnieska Najnigier Pierzynowska Poland 1:35:58


Half Marathon Malaysian Men 

Position Name Country Time
1st Vimal a/l Govendarajoo Malaysia 1:15:36
2nd Mohd Nor Afifi bin Haron Malaysia 1:16:07
3rd Sivaneshwaran a/l Gunasegaran Malaysia 1:19:25


Half Marathon Malaysian Women 

Position Name Country Time
1st Sheela a/p Samivellu Malaysia 1:30:08
2nd Chua Kit Yeng Malaysia 1:33:11
3rd Chuah Cheng Ean Malaysia 1:34:21


Half Marathon Men Veteran 

Position Name Country Time
1st Jeffrey Ross Great Britain 1:21:25
2nd Cao Yuming China 1:23:57
3rd Chan Shan Ching Hong Kong 1:25:22


Half Marathon Women Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Jasmine Goh Mei Ling Singapore 1:31:25
2nd Susan Khoo Great Britain 1:46:38
3rd Wang Sing Yee Singapore 1:50:24


Half Marathon Malaysian Men Veteran 

Position Name Country Time
1st Brij Ravinder a/l N Kathiravelu Malaysia 1:21:32
2nd Lim Khon Seng Malaysia 1:23:51
3rd Alex Tiong King Hee Malaysia 1:26:29


Half Marathon Malaysian Women Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Looi Mei Yan Malaysia 1:44:18
2nd Joanne Poh Leng Grange Malaysia 1:45:20
3rd Seah Bee Lian Malaysia 1:45:46


10km Speed Men Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Soh Wai Ching Malaysia 0:34:02
2nd Azwan bin Bunjing Malaysia 0:36:05
3rd Ku Aliff Aiman bin Ku Zainol Malaysia 0:36:38


10km Speed Women Open

Position Name Country Time
1st Eunice Ong Huey Shen Malaysia 0:43:56
2nd Lim Cai Qin Daphne Singapore 0:44:16
3rd Michele Tan Bee Kiang Malaysia 0:44:41


10km Speed Men Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Prabakharan a/l Madhavan Malaysia 0:38:43
2nd Dayalan a/l Suppayah Malaysia 0:40:46
3rd See Hock Leong Malaysia 0:41:33


10km Speed Women Veteran

Position Name Country Time
1st Yong Chiew Ling Malaysia 0:50:06
2nd Jayce Chua Poh Cheng Singapore 0:50:52
3rd Karen Malaysia 0:52:11


For more information and updates on KLSCM, please visit:

Facebook    : http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon

Twitter    : https://twitter.com/scklmarathon 

Instagram    : https://www.instagram.com/klscmarathon/ 

Website    : www.kl-marathon.com

Costumed Runners 2 (1)

For more information, please contact: 

Suthan Narayanan | 603.7621.7787 | suthan@dirigo.com.my

For more information on Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon:

Gloria Ng | 603.7621.7787 | gloria.ng@dirigo.com.my 

For more information on Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad:

Jennifer Kang | 603. 7682.9779 | jennifer.kang@sc.com 

Geraldine Tan | 603. 7682.9166 | geraldine.tan@sc.com

### End ###

Costumed Runners 1

About the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon 2019

Back for the 11th year, the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon takes place on 28 & 29 September 2019. The marathon, owned and organised by Dirigo Events, will see participation from 40,000 runners, ranging from elite athletes to first-time distance runners. A truly international event, the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon boasts participants from all over Malaysia and over 70 countries. The Kuala Lumpur Marathon Standard Chartered 2019 remains Malaysia’s premier running event with top runners competing for a total of USD 125,000 in prize money.

For more information on the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon, please log onto:  http://www.kl-marathon.com/ and http://www.facebook.com/SCKLmarathon

Standard Chartered Malaysia

Standard Chartered Bank, a member of the Standard Chartered Group was established in Malaysia in 1875. As Malaysia’s first bank, Standard Chartered leads the way through product innovation, consistent and strong growth performance and sustainability initiatives. The Bank provides a comprehensive range of financial solutions to corporates, institutions and individuals through its network of branches across Malaysia. The Bank has an Islamic banking subsidiary, Standard Chartered Saadiq; a global shared services centre, Standard Chartered Global Business Services; a sales arm, Price Solutions and an offshore facility in Labuan. 

Standard Chartered employs over 7,000 employees in all its Malaysian operations.

Standard Chartered

We are a leading international banking group, with a presence in 60 of the world’s most dynamic markets, and serving clients in a further 85. Our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, and our heritage and values are expressed in our brand promise, Here for good.

Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges as well as the Bombay and National Stock Exchanges in India.

For more stories and expert opinions please visit Insights at sc.com. Follow Standard Chartered on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.

About Dirigo Events

The Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon is owned by Dirigo Events Sdn. Bhd, an award-winning event management company founded in 2011 by Rainer Biemans and Gloria Ng. The event not only draws a large number of Malaysian runners, but attracts runners from more than 70 countries around the world. Rainer Biemans and Gloria Ng have a combined experience of over 49 years in executing and creating world-class and impactful events for international clients around the world such as Europe, Brunei, India and Singapore. 

Apart from owning the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon, Dirigo also provides operational services for other mass participation events.

For more information on Dirigo Events, please contact +603 7621 7787 or email dirigo@dirigo.com.my


Syed Saddiq@marathonphotos

Posted in 10km, 2019, 21km, 5km, Dataran Merdeka, Dirigo Events, Event, Event Organiser, Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Happy Runner, KLSCM, Kuala Lumpur, Media, press release, Road Running, Runners, Running, Running Event, Sports Minister | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The North Face – Malaysia Mountain Trail Festival 2019



For more information, please contact : 

INK PR Sdn Bhd 
Ms. Aw Li-Ann | +6012 207 8285 | li-ann@ink.net.my


Bigger turnout for The North Face – Malaysia Mountain Trail Festival 2019 as Taiping gets ready to open its doors for over 1900 runners from 27 countries

  • TNF-MMTF 2019 has been inducted into the Malaysia Ultra League and is the Season Finale Race for the acclaimed 2019 Asia Trail Master Championship Series.
  • The North Face joins TNF-MMTF 2019 as the Title Sponsor, along with Suunto as the Official Timing Partner and Spritzer as Official Venue Sponsor – Official Bottled Water Partner

5) MMTF 2018 - a participant, EB Junaidi, showing his thumbs up for the race

PETALING JAYA / TAIPING, 25 September 2019 : After a successful inauguration in 2018, The North Face Malaysia Mountain Trail Festival 2019 (TNF-MMTF 2019) is back for a second consecutive year (December 13th-15th) as over 1900 runners from 27 countries converge in Taiping, Perak for the competition. 

Co-organised by the MMTF Consultant, Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Perak, Spritzer Berhad and Larut Matang Hash House Harriers & Harriets, TNF-MMTF will offer four routes for trail runners (10KM, 25KM, 55KM and 84KM) to test their physical endurance at the pristine yet challenging trails of Taiping with various elevations of 400m, 1200m, 3100m and 4600m respectively. 

The 10km run, known as the “Freshman Run” is suited for beginners, while the new 25KM run is known as the “Ball Breaker Run”. The TNF-MMTF also offers two versions of the Ultra Challenge which are the 55KM and 84KM. 

2) MMTF 2018 - Daved Simpat. It's not an easy feat, and darkness is just one of the challenges faced by ultra trail runners

The 25KM, 55KM and 84KM race courses are certified by the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) and have been added into the list of qualifying races for the world renowned Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB).

Trail running will not be the only agenda on the TNF-MMTF, which aims to congregate the trail running community from around the globe through music and food as well at the official venue, Spritzer Eco Park. 

3) MMTF 2018 - Runners making their way in the forest trail (1)

“We are proud to be having this event for a second consecutive year, and with a bigger turnout this time. It is a testament that more Malaysians are embracing an active lifestyle through events like this. We hope everyone will have great memories to bring back from this year’s event,” said Ewegene Tan, the organizer of TNF-MMTF from MMTF Consultant.

7) MMTF 2018 - completing the gruelling challenge hand in hand

One of the main highlights for TNF-MMTF is the fact it has been penciled in as the Season Finale for the 2019 Asia Trail Master (ATM) Championship. This is to enhance the standard of “ultra-trail” running to a higher level in Malaysia. The new ATM Champions will be crowned in Taiping after what promises to be an exciting race on the 84 km course. There are several title contenders, including a few Malaysian runners, who have been competing for ATM points throughout the year in 14 Asian countries. 

The organizers of the TNF-MMTF are also eager to promote the state of Perak and Taiping, once ranked Top 3 Sustainable Cities in the world, as a thriving social economy.

Yang Berhormat Tan Kar Hing from Perak State Exco of Tourism said: “We are pleased to have the TNF-MMTF back for another year. Last year was a memorable and successful event, and we are confident this event will once again put Perak on the sporting and tourism map.”

Tuan Roslee B. Ahmad Rafie, Manager of the Bukit Larut Tourism Centre under the administration of Majlis Perbandaran Taiping said: “Taiping has always been a unique tourist destination in Malaysia, and with the TNF-MMTF returning again, we can also now call it the home of trail running. We couldn’t be prouder.”

The TNF-MMTF also aims to give back to the society. In 2018, some of the proceeds from the event were channeled towards the “Kids Colouring Competition” and stationeries to the less fortunate students in Taiping. 

4) MMTF 2018 - Runners making their way in the forest trail (2)

Part of the registration fees in 2018 also went towards the Bukit Larut/Maxwell Hill Management for the maintenance of the tourism hotspot. 

This year, the TNF-MMTF has pledged support to the Perdana Global Peace Foundation – an anti-war movement and initiative of global peace – through trail running. 

Tan Sri Norian Mai, The Chairman of Perdana Global Peace Foundation said: “We are delighted to be part of the TNF-MMTF, who in their own way is helping us champion our message of world peace through trail running which brings people and communities together.”

6) MMTF 2018 - Claris Loke still going strong and running towards the finish line

2018 was a smooth sailing event with zero incidents and 2019 is expected to be another successful event with a bigger turnout this time around.    

8) MMTF 2018 - Daved Simpat being cheered as he crosses the finish line, taking first place for the 70km category

For more information about The North Face – Malaysia Mountain Trail Festival 2019, visit https://mmtf.my 

Event Details

Name of Event     : The North Face – Malaysia Mountain Trail Festival 2019 

Date         : 13-15 December 2019

Venue         : Spritzer Eco Park, Taiping, Perak

Co-Organised by     : a) MMTF Consultant

  1. b) Jabatan Perhutanan Negeri Perak
  2. c) Spritzer Berhad
  3. d) Larut Matang Hash House Harriers & Harriets

Supported By    : a) Perak State Government

  1. b) Ministry of Youth & Sports Malaysia
  2. c) Majlis Perbandaran Taiping
  3. d) Polis DiRaja Malaysia
  4. e) Ministry of Health Malaysia
  5. f) Bomba
  6. g) Perdana Global Peace Foundation
  7. h) Persatuan Olahraga Larut Matang & Selama (POLMS)

1) MMTF 2018 - Flag-Off

2018 No. of Participants         : 1430

2019 Estimated No. of Participants    : 1900


Title Sponsor             : The North Face

Official Timing Partner         : Suunto

Official Venue Sponsor        : Spritzer

Official Bottled Water Partner    : Spritzer

Official Nutrition Partner         : Tailwind

Official Homemade Energy Bars     : Marathon Baker

Gold Sponsors        : T8


  Star Wheels Electronic

Silver Sponsor         : Petzl

Bronze Sponsor        : Marmot Gaiters 



  • Kamunting Hash House Harriers and Harriets (Marshalls)
  • Taiping Lake Hash House Harriers and Harriets (Marshalls)
  • Team Running Project (Technical Support Team)
  • Comrades (CP-WS Support)
  • Dot Track Asia (Tracking System)
  • Check Point Spot Asia (CPS) (Timing System)
  • Vines (Lighting and Sound System)
  • 2nd Skin World Domination (Apparels)
  • Asia Trail Master (live coverage)
  • Pelari Denai (On Site Videographer)
  • Pixeo (Official Photographer)
  • AdventureDotMY (Official Photographer)
  • Annmedia (Media Partner)
  • INK PR (PR Partner)

Posted in 2019, 25km, 55km, 84km, December, Endurance Sports, Event Organiser, Happy Runner, Media, Perak, press release, Preview, Running, Sponsors, Sports, Trail Running, ultra trail marathon, Uphill Downhill | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment




Editor’s Note

As the curtain falls on another spectacular edition of Ironman Malaysia 2019 on the idyllic Langkawi Island, courtesy of Ironman Malaysia, we look back at some of the many race highlights for the participating professional, as well as the brave amateur Triathletes. 

Every year, Ironman Malaysia is getting progressively better, and this prestigious international triathlon is making Langkawi even more famous than it already is. However, don’t be surprised if in the near future that Ironman will also be inversely known by their association with Langkawi too! After all, nothing attracts top Triathletes moee than the perfect combination of a tough course set amidst a paradise island backdrop… 


  •       Multi Triathlon World Champion Javier Gomez (ESP) sets a new course record
  •       Age Grouper Maki Nishioka was the fastest female athlete at the event 


  •       Celebrities Alif Satar and Khairy Jamaluddin add glamour to spectacle
  •       15 Malaysians get qualifying slot for 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship

KUALA LUMPUR (6 November 2019):  The 2019 IRONMAN Malaysia shattered records of all sorts in Langkawi, and will long be remembered as one of the most memorable events to take place since its inauguration in 2000.

Spain’s Javier Gomez cemented his status as arguably the best triathlete of all time after shattering the course record to finish in a stunning 8:18:58, taking over the previous record set by Frenchman Romain Guillaume (8:32:54) in 2017.

Philipp Koutny (Switzerland) came in second at 8:24:18, followed by Thiago Vinhal (Brazil) at 8:31:15.

After his win, Gomez said winning in Malaysia sets him up nicely to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. “I raced well in the heat which is important to me. The conditions here is a good learning experience. Now it’s time to take a break and rest for the offseason. I will prepare for Tokyo after that,” he said.

In her first year as a professional athlete, Tessa Kortekaas from the Netherlands clinched the title for the 2019 IRONMAN Malaysia Professional Female category with the timing of 9:43:19. “It’s not easy, not many professionals will reach this goal in the first year. I cannot believe it, I have no words,” said the former age-grouper world champion.

Naomi Washizy (Japan) crossed the finish line second at 9:52.00, followed closely behind by Simona Krovankova (Czech Republic) at 9:59:27.


Gutsy Maki Nishioka is the fastest female athlete on the course

Gomez was not the only record breaker in Langkawi, as Japan’s Maki Nishioka became the fastest female on the course after completing the race in 9:37:46.

Nishioka’s time surpassed Female Pro Tessa Kortekaas’ winning time of 9:43:20 in the women’s elite category, and the diminutive age-grouper is now ready to turn professional, after she outdid the pros.

“It was tough, but I just kept pushing through, and I have to thank my friends for their continuous support. After this I want to focus on training to become a professional IRONMAN,” said Nishioka.

Biggest ever IRONMAN Malaysia

The 2019 IRONMAN Malaysia saw the biggest ever participation in the history of the event in Malaysia, with over 2,500 participants registering.

Malaysia recorded the highest number of participants with over 910 triathletes which made up 35.5% of the total entries. Japanese participants were second (11%), followed by Singapore (6.5%) and Indonesia (5.1%).

The 2019 IRONMAN Malaysia and IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi would not have been possible without the help of 1,500 volunteers, who worked tirelessly throughout the course.

There was a total of 135 slots for the 2020 IRONMAN World Championship in Kailua-Kona in Hawaii and the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Taupo, New Zealand, which is the highest number of slots offered in a single venue.

2019 IRONMAN Malaysia offered 50 qualifying slots to top athletes across the age-groupers category which were announced in a roll down ceremony the morning after the race.

Whereas the 2019 IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi event offered 60 qualifying slots, plus an additional 25 slots specially for top finishing female athletes to the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship, as part of Women for Tri, a programme under the IRONMAN Foundation to welcome and empower new female triathletes to be a part of the sport’s continued growth in high-level competition.

A total of 15 Malaysians claimed their spot at the 2020 IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship and will be making their way to Taupo, New Zealand next November. This is a testament to the extraordinary progress made by the local athletes in the sport.

Women for Tri & IRONKIDs hyped up pre-race atmosphere


There was camaraderie and emotions running high at the Women for Tri panel discussion as five strong women shared their personal journey leading up to 2019 IRONMAN Malaysia and IRONMAN 70.3 Langkawi.

Katie Kyme, Amelia Shelton, Nur Zarina, Christine Loh and Cheryl Tay all had endured various challenges – including diagnosed with brain cancer and self-inflicted injury – but overcame them successfully to become women of lionhearts.

They awed the audience with their tales, and their bond only seemed to intensify the atmosphere leading up to race day.

IRONKIDS also proved a successful event, with the participation of 245 kids across two age groups (4-10 & 11-17) in the Aquathlon and Community Run.  The Aquathlon event, which featured the first open water swim event had 4-10 years old participating in the 50m swim followed by 1.8km run, and the 11-17 years old participating in the 100m swim and finishing with a 3.6km run. The Community Run were 1.8km and 3.6km distances for the 4-10 years old and 11-17 years old respectively.

Shahrom & Nursya finish as Best Malaysians

Shahrom Abdullah was Malaysia’s best Finisher with a time of 10:56:06, and the businessman was pleased with his time. “It’s good for my profile for sure, being a bicycle business owner. My aim next will be to compete at more IRONMAN events,” said Shahrom.


Nursya was crowned the best Malaysian female athlete after she finished in 14:02:45.

“I want to continue to chase my target, and at the same time inspire more women to get involved in this extreme sport. The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit. Work hard, be kind and amazing things will happen,” said Nursya.

The Best Langkawian went to Muhd Hafiz Md Yusup, who finished with a time of 11:37:13.

Alif Satar & Khairy Jamaludin proud finishers

There was celebrity presence in Langkawi too, and popular host and singer Alif Satar was one of them. The 29-year-old, who was competing in his first IRONMAN race finished in 15:06:50 with a huge grin on his face.

Former Sports Minister Khairy also did well to finish the 70.3 in 7:00:24, and he was crowned with the Finisher’s medal by his mom.

To the best of my knowledge, all of the information provided herein is accurate at the time of publishing and the views expressed are based on my own personal opinions and findings, and they don’t necessarily reflect the views of the Product Manufacturer, Event Organiser or any Third Party unless explicitly specified otherwise.

About The Author

Gus Ghani is the Founder of Running Toons and Virtual Sports ; a HIIT Fitness Coach, and Magazine Columnist.  He has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia Magazine, and Cycling Malaysia Magazine. LIKE Happy Runner for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE. 

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Posted in 2019, Endurance Sports, Fitness, International, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Kedah, Langkawi, Media, press release, Race Review, Sports, Triathlete, Triathlon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Ironman Malaysia Langkawi Results


Tessa Kortekaas also creates history after winning women’s elite title in her first year as a professional


LANGKAWI (26 OCTOBER 2019): Javier Gomez cemented his status as the greatest triathlete in history after shattering the course record to clinch the 2019 IRONMAN Malaysia title in emphatic fashion.


The Spaniard with nine world titles crossed the finish line in a stunning 8:18:58, to eclipse the course record set by 2017 champion Romain Guillaume (8:32:54) in 2017.

Switzerland’s Philipp Koutny finished behind him in 8:24:18, while Brazil’s Thiago Vinhal took third place with an 8:31:15 finish.

A history-making day also witnessed Netherland’s Tessa Kortekaas winning the women’s elite category in 9:43:20 in her first year as a professional.

The 36-year-old Gomez was delighted to secure his first IRONMAN title under scorching conditions.

“It’s great, it’s my first IRONMAN win! It was a tough race, it was sunny all the time and the temperatures were high,” said Gomez.

“I had to give my best because Philipp (Koutny) did an amazing job on the bike. I had to catch him, and take some risks at the beginning of the run, but luckily I could keep up and take the win.”

Gomez was the marquee name in the 26-man professional field, and he lived up to his reputation with a powerful swim in the waters of Pantai Kok, to emerge the first man out in 47:17s.


Gomez put a 1 min 51 seconds gap between him and defending champion Daniil Sapunov after the completion of swim to bike, with Guillaume closing in.

But Koutny emerged a contender at the 30km mark along with Guillaume to trail Gomez by two minutes, as the race intensified into the rolling hills among the villages around Datai.

The 75km mark signalled the first turning point of the race when Koutny overtook Gomez for the lead.

The Swiss was already showing glimpses of his talent with a big bike performance in Hawaii two weeks ago, seeing him through a Top-10 Finish at the IRONMAN World Championship.


But Gomez upped the ante in the 42-km run, shaving off Koutny’s 5:30 advantage to just 25 seconds after 26 kilometres, and regained his lead through 33km to finish in sensational fashion.

“I set my pace, and I kept my nutrition by eating and drinking. It was difficult because I was struggling in the last six or seven km, but I’m happy to have crossed the finish line.”

The 2012 Olympics silver medallist plans to use this win to prepare for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

“I raced well in the heat which is important to me. Now is time to take a break for the offseason. I will prepare for Tokyo after that.”

Gomez also earned an automatic slot to the 2020 IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii next year.

Kortekaas, meanwhile, was coming to terms to digest a monumental victory in her first year as a professional female athlete.

“It’s not easy, not many professionals will reach this goal in the first year. I cannot believe it, I have no words,” said the former age-grouper world champion.

“I trained super hard for this. I had a great swim, bike was good, but the last 50 km was so hard and I was suffering. It’s going to take a long time before I believe this has happened.”


The 2019 IRONMAN Malaysia started off with an open water swim start from the picturesque white sandy beach of Pantai Kok with a two-loop triangle out and back course. The athletes followed with a two-loop bike course heads out of Pantai Kok on to a clockwise loop from towards the rolling hills of Datai and the fringes of Kuah Town.

Returning from the bike route, athletes made their changeover on to the run course through a unique indoor air-conditioned transition at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Center (next to the airport). The 2.5 lap run course fulfilled the promise of an amazing scenic run beside the Langkawi International Airport towards the finish line at the stunning Cenang beach.

2019 IRONMAN Malaysia Pro Athlete Race Results

1 Javier Gomez Spain 8:18:58 1 Tessa Kortekaas Netherlands 9:43:19
2 Philipp Koutny Switzerland 8:24:18 2 Naomi Washizu Japan 9:52:00
3 Thiago Vinhal Brazil 8:31:15 3 Simona Krivankova Czech Republic 9:59:27

Posted in 2019, Fitness, Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Kedah, Langkawi, October, press release, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment