Happy Runner’s Top 10 Hot Picks (2016)
The Year 2016 will offer runners the most and best choices of running events in the history of Malaysia running calendar because so many new and existing event organisers are frantically introducing exciting new format, new additions and new venues to compete with and against each other in order to grab their share of a healthy and growing demand for running events. Nevertheless, with more choices, it can get very confusing for runners to plan their running schedule because many event dates will clash with one another.
To help you cherry pick the best of the best events, I have listed down below my very own TOP 10 HOT PICKS for 2016, and there is something special for virtually every kind of runner. I will update this list periodically as more events are launched throughout 2016 season. In meantime, please note that my choices are based on my own background research and accumulated race experiences, and my personal opinion may differ from yours. In any case, I have compiled my top picks to reflect my training schedule and running preparation, and taken into consideration my work schedule and family commitments at that time.
- Comeback Full Marathon (42km) – NEW ADDITIONS: Malaysia’s highest-rated running event, Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur (SCKLM) was dramatically canceled at the very last minute in October 2015 due to the untimely hazardous haze. This year, Malaysia’s darling running event, SCKLM 2016 is fixed on 7th August 2016, and to make-up for last year’s non-starter, we can expect them to bounce back strongly in time to celebrate their epic 8th anniversary. Unofficially, a little bird has told me of some very interesting NEW ATTRACTIONS, and the official announcements will be made beginning March 2016. So, you will have plenty of time to register for the Early Bird rates, and take part in their comprehensive Training Clinics. For more information, visit http://www.kl-marathon.com .
- Holiday Full Marathon (42km) – NEW EVENT: Set on the beautiful island of Langkawi where eagles soar above in the blue-sky; the ocean is crystal-clear; the sandy beaches are endless; and the friendly charm of the Kampung Life will touch you. Families, couple and avid runners who are looking to combine an idyllic holiday getaway with a picturesque marathon, then the De’Lima Langkawi Marathon on 23rd April 2016 is your BEST DESTINATION. For more information, visit http://www.pelotondecafe.com .
- Enduring Ultra Marathon (100km) – NEW 16oKm Distance: The Eranzi Malaysia Eco 100 on 14th – 15th May 2016 promises a grueling 100km route through the best nature trails in Bukit Mertajam. According to the organiser, Malaysia Ultra Runners Association (MURA), this second year will be even better than last year’s debut in terms of tougher challenges and even more scenic natural trails. For more information, visit http://endurancenature.com.my .
- Series Run (21km) – TRIPLE THE FUN: Catch The Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run (MHWH Night Run) for the very first time in 3 different cities – April 2 2016 on Penang Island, July 30 2016 in Putrajaya and finishing up January 7 2017 in Johor. Buoyed by the success of MHWH 2015 at Putrajaya, the owners of MHWH, Mongoose Publications, has raised the stakes by adding a NEW 21km category, as well as added 2 NEW CITY VENUES to spread the joys of running from the North to the South. For more information, visit http://www.mens-health.com.my/nightrun/ .
- Virtual Run (150km) – RUN ANYWHERE & ANYTIME: I had so much fun running a target distance of 100km for the inaugural Virtual Run Monthly Challenge (Holiday series) in February 2016, I can recommend the next series in March 2016 (150km) – which will be organised by the same IH Events – to any runner, season or novice, who wants to add extra motivation and fun to their daily running schedule. You will be surprise how much harder you will run when there is a reward of a snazzy running T-shirt and cool medal at the end. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/ihevents.my/?fref=photo .
- Night Run (10km) – NEW EVENT: For night owls, be the first batch to run at night in the picturesque town of Kuala Kubu Baru on 19th March 2016. I added this event into my list because Night Running is getting more popular, and I wanted to run at night in a more rural setting for a change. For more information, visit https://www.runningevents.my/form/index/11/3bb1ade0d021c27dc818302d9718c5a8 .
- Trail Run (16km) – BACK TO NATURE: Semenyih Eco Trail Run on 14th August 2016 offers trail runners a delightful route through forests, plantations and river-crossings. Last year, I ran in their inaugural event, and I loved the fresh air, the natural green surroundings, as well as the testy hills. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Semenyih-Eco-Trail-Run-1868377296721430/?fref=ts
- Costume Run (15km) – NEW DISTANCE: Dress-up as your favourite superhero or villain for the Super Heroes Run on 17th April 2016. Last year, I ran 10km in their inaugural event in Bukit Jalil, and I thoroughly enjoyed watching the happy families and children wearing costumes of comic superheroes; and there is plenty of entertainment for the kids after the fun run. For more information, visit http://run.tixtac.com/superheroes-race-2016/ .
- Obstacle Challenge (13km + 30 Obstacles) – CHALLENGE YOURSELF: If you like it rough and tough, then you should not miss the world famous Spartan Race KL (Super Series) on 20th March 2016 when 10,000 gutsy participants will be released on to the specially-built muddy obstacle course in waves to test their physical and mental toughness.. For more information, visit http://spartanrace.my .
- Support Outstation Run (21km) – VISIT KUANTAN: In May 2015, I took part in the first Annual Kuantan Half Marathon (AKHM) which was organised by the local lads at Monkey Theory and supported by Pahang Tourism. I included this relatively new AKHM 2016, scheduled in May 2016, in my list because I feel that it is important to support more local runs outside of Klang Valley, and even in a small way, support the local Kuantan economy which offers visitors splendid beaches and holiday resorts at a reasonable budget. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/thebigbananatree/?fref=ts .
About The Author
Gus is the Chief Entertainment Officer of Running Toons and he is passionate about endurance sports. As a sports writer, he has contributed numerous insightful articles to The Star newspaper, Running Malaysia magazine, Cycling Malaysia magazine, Cycling Evolution magazine, Swim Bike Run magazine and more. LIKE Happy Runner and follow gusghani @Instagram.