🇲🇾Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon 2016 introduced its first ever FRIENDSHIP RUN & PASTA PARTY on 6th August 2016 at Dataran Merdeka as part of their build-up to the actual race on the following day.

I was lucky to be invited as a representative of the SCKLM 2016 Pacer Team, and as a Media Guest or was it, Media Gus?

✍In this short article, I give my interpretation of this new mini gala event, and try to answer some of these questions – What Was It All About? Was It Well Received By The Runners? Will It Be A Permanent Fixture Of SCKLM? Enough with the questions, already!


🇨🇭According to Race Director Rainer Biemans, the idea behind this FRIENDSHIP RUN & PASTA PARTY 2016 is to foster better comradeship among the participating runners.

Rainer beamed, “This concept is commonplace in overseas Marathons, but it is a new practice in Malaysia, and we hope that it will catch on here too.”. 📹WATCH INTERVIEW WITH RAINER.


▶On the morning of SCKLM 2016, a total of 215 Friendship Runners gathered in the Hospitality Tent on the grounds of Dataran Merdeka. The participants consisted of a mix of local and foreign runners from countries such as Hong Kong, Holland and Japan. Some of them were dressed in colourful and cheerful costumes, and the mood was exciting and chirpy. 

A trio of running buddies from Hong Kong told me that they were glad to take part in this Friendship Run because it gave them the chance to find-out how to get to the race venue from their hotel. Plus, these pragmatic runners wanted to adjust their bodies to running in our humid climate before the race itself.


As a symbol of Peace, every runner was given WHITE balloons with which to run.

As a symbol of International Friendship, each balloon had a flag of a different country on it.

The trailing balloons certainly added a fun party tone to the scene. I wondered how long it had taken someone to painstakingly cut-off pictures of all the countries of the world, and then stick it on every single balloon. The stick-on flags were too small to be noticed from 1 metre away. On hindsight, it would have been more practical to just print the universal symbol of peace, a white dove, on all of the balloons, instead of hard-to-spot flags, because it doesn’t matter which country we belong, we are all still citizens of the world!


The Friendship Run was held to coincide with the KL Car Free Morning (KLCFM) event, and so, our band of merry runners started from the usual starting point at DBKL (Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur) Headquarters on Jalan Raja Laut and headed leisurely to Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang. 

With our distinguishing white balloons floating above our heads, we ran happily alongside the KLCFM participants who consisted a mix bunch of cyclists, runners, skateboarders, rollerbladers and strollers of all ages.

🎠Everyone was in a playful mood, relaxing, basking in the Sun, and making the most of the road closures.


After our easy run, we headed back to the Hospitality Tent for some refreshments, and to exchange more running anecdotes. 

INTERVIEWED TV Celebrity Reuben who had trained extensively under Coach Mark Williams for the past 3 months in preparation for his Full Marathon debut. Reuben’s physical transformation had been nothing short of amazing, especially to himself. Furthermore, Reuben could not believe the massive support and encouragement which he had received from his friends and followers throughout his incredible transformation from ZERO TO HERO!

For any new runners like Reuben who have taken the pledge to properly train and face a full marathon, they are already Champions, and to go ahead and actually complete 42km will be the icing on the cake. At the same time, there will be many more virgin marathoners who won’t make it to the Finish Line. For them, they should try harder the next time because the only failure in running is quitting when there is an opportunity for them to learn from their mistakes and GROW STRONGER.


I am not sure who invented carbo-loading, but I know that Malaysian Runners have interpreted this fueling ritual in our own way. Since food is our favourite subject, we even greet our friends with the common phrase, “Sudah makan?” (Have You Eaten?). 

In fact, we don’t really care what we carbo-load on. We ignore the professional advice to load-up with pasta in the right quantities, and instead, we use carbo-loading as an excuse to stuff ourselves silly with the hope that we can run-off the extra calories.

🍝Of course, at this Pasta Party, there was a selection of foods meant for proper carbo-loading. There was a big smorgasbord of Spaghetti, Beef Balls, Baked Fish, Grilled Chicken, Vegetable Soup, Salad Bar, Cheese Board, Yogurt and Fresh Fruits galore.

🇦🇺The Emcee was an accomplished runner himself, and he was doing his best to motivate and inspire us as we ate our last meal.

🇯🇵I met a couple of Japanese Runners who were fans of Standard Chartered Marathons worldwide, and they were happy to share with me their overseas running anecdotes.

The Pasta Party started at 6pm, and by 8pm, most of the guests headed home or to their nearby hotel rooms for a good night’s rest.


For me, the day before a full marathon is usually spent just relaxing and not doing anything too taxing. Normally, I will calm my nerves by doing something unrelated to running because I don’t want to overload my mind nor suffer from paralysis due to over analysis.

It’s natural to feel nervous before a marathon, and having a predictable routine to preoccupy a runner’s mind can help take the steam off some of the inevitable pressure.


💭The mind is probably a runner’s biggest asset during the last few kilometres of a marathon when the body is drained out of all energy and wants to shut down. Having the right motivation, inspiration and mindset can lift a runner’s spirit when the going gets tough and when you would rather take a taxi home.

🌐Even the world’s leading sports brand have acknowledged the importance of mental toughness among sportsmen by using catchy advertising slogans such as “Impossible Is Nothing”, “Find Your Strong”, etc.

So, what has all this got to do with the  Friendship Run & Pasta Party event?

Well, the value of the Friendship Run & Pasta Party is not just in the physical running an eating part, but its NET WORTH is in providing an unique opportunity for passionate runners, from far and near, to support and lift each other’s spirits through the candid exchange of our personal HUMAN STORIES of triumphs and failures.

🌏As I made my way home, I felt newly REJUVENATED & READY for the run of my life, safe in the universal knowledge that we, runners, always have each other’s backs…


Friendship Run By Happy Runner

Happy Finishers

Running With Rastaman

Run Easy

 Group Photo 

 Pasta Party Menu

📷For More Live Photos, Check-Out Friendship Run & Pasta Party 2016 photo album on Happy Runner page.


Congratulations to Rainer, Gloria, Redz, David, Jacqueline, Dirigo Events Crew, AdidasMY, Sponsors and Event Partners on a splendid job🌟


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 is the Founder of Running Toons and a HIIT Fitness Coach. As a freelance 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 for RUNNING UPDATES, Gus Rider for CYCLING NEWS, Gus Ghani for SPORTS INFOTAINMENT and FOLLOW gusghani @IG for LIFESTYLE.

About Gus Ghani

Hi:) My name is Gus and I am a Fitness Coach who enjoys outdoor adventures. In particular, I like to run marathons & ultra marathons, and compete in triathlons and century rides for fitness, fun & friendship. My passion is to motivate my friends to exercise more so that they can live life to the fullest. The purpose of this blog is five-fold:- 1) I find writing very therapeutic & beats paying for a psychiatrist to keep sane 2) I like to share & inspire others into engaging in any healthy pursuits 3) This is a great way to keep track of my progress in all my sporting endeavours 4) This also keeps me honest & spurs me on to do more 5) Even if you are a couch potatoe, I hope you will find my entries entertaining and/or informative. In summary, this blog is helping me help others help myself...get it?
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