GCE Duathlon 2018 – Review By Gus Ghani
It was a helluva cool running & cycling on the express lanes of GCE (Guthrie Corridor Expressway) Highway without any motor vehicles in sight!
Perhaps spurred on by the patriotic mood of Malaysia Day, 1,000 or so excited participants had safely completed the inaugural GCE Duathlon 2018 which included 3+1 Categories of Full/Dash/Team Relay plus the 37km Fun Ride.
I felt like being part of a historical sports event because it was the first time that a Duathlon event has ever been held on a closed toll highway in Malaysia.
For my readers, I have penned down some of the race eve/day highlights below…hope you enjoy the story and the accompanying visuals!
🚴♂️💨🏃♀️Event | GCE GCE Duathlon
Date | 16 Sept 2018
Venue | Bukit Jelutong Toll Plaza
Co-Organiser | Prolintas & GoSportz
Categories | Full (10k Run +60k Bike +10k Run) / Dash (5k Run +27k Bike +5k Run)/ Full Team Relay (3 members) / Fun Ride (37km Ride)
Total Participants | 1,000 +/-
💥H. I. G. H. L. I. G. H. T. S.
🇲🇾 Malaysia Day Multi Sports Event
🛣️ Full Toll Highway Closure
1️⃣ST GCE Highway Duathlon
👏Well Organised Event
RACE PACK COLLECTION
KL Gateway Mall was the venue for the race pack collection on 15th Sept 2018 from 10am to 6pm.
KL Gateway Mall is highly accessible & convenient location for visitors because it directly connects to the Federal Highway, Kerinchi Link and NPE, and it is linked to RapidKL’s KL Gateway-Universiti LRT Station via a 100 meter link bridge.
There were several sponsor booths offering sports items such as nutrition, gear, shoes, accessories, and even watches for sale.
Videos – Nutrition For Recovery & Complimentary N8 Sports Nutrition Fuel Gel.
Every participant was entitled to a complimentary fuel gel by N8 Sports Nutrition as part of the hoodie bag.
The collection area at KL Gateway Mall was particularly huge, and the collection system was managed efficiently by GoSportz.
Video – Arina’s Race Clarification
All Full/Dash/Team Relay participants had to checked-in their bikes from 4pm to 9pm on 15th Sept 2018 at the Bukit Jelutong Toll Plaza race venue.
On race morning, the riders were allowed into the bike transition area from 4am to 6am for final inspection.
The Transition Area were neatly organised and well managed, which helped the racers make quick transitions.
Technical Briefing Photo
♀️Fastest Full Male Champions
Local Duathlete JASON LOH earned himself top spot for the Full GCE DUATHLON Men (16~29 years old) category with the fastest overall time of 03:01:36.
Video – Jason Led All The Way
Triathlete Veteran & Local Fireman MOHD AMRAN secured 1st position for the Full Men GCE DUATHLON (30~39 years old) category with time of 03:07:51.
TSUYOSHI SAWADA claimed 1st spot for the Full Men GCE DUATHLON (40~49 years old) category in 03:26:28
Video – Spinning Medal
♂️Strongest Full Female Champions
TAILLEFER MARINE finished in 03:43:55 for victory in GCE Full Duathlon – Women (16-29 years old).
MARIANA MOHAMMAD finished with 03:47:26 for victory in GCE Full Duathlon – Women (30-45 years old & above).
For full race results… http://results.checkpointspot.asia/results.aspx?CId=17036&RId=227
Smooth & Rolling
The motorbike lane of GCE Highway is a favourite training ground for cyclists on the weekends, and so, being able to run and cycle on the GCE Highway main express lanes, Car-Free, is even better.
It was not all smooth sailing for the athletes because certain parts of the route had its fair share of rolling hills. Some participants may have cursed the hilly portion, while, others. like myself, prefer to have some rolling hills to break the monotony of the long stretches.
The temperature upto the first hour after the 7:00 am flagoff was comfortably cool. However, after that, the hot conditions made the race more challenging, especially for the 2nd running leg of the Full Duathlon category. Fortunately, adequate water stations were set-up along the way for the runners and riders to keep hydrated with water, isotonic drinks and bananas.
Video – Water Station
Food & Drinks
The Finishers were all treated to a tasty lunchbox, refreshments, drinks, and free flow Milo. Additionally, there was a free massage service for the weary bodies.
Video – Loving Milo Cuppa
Music band and a clown provided an upbeat entertainment at the Finish Area.
Recently, there have been more Duathlon events emerging, and the number of willing participants are rising slowly, but surely. So, this new GCE Duathlon could be a good springboard for our local Duathletes to hone their skills, as well as offer newbies a chance to try a new endurance sports in the safe confinements of a closed highway.
Right now, the participation rate in Duathlon is still relatively small compared to Triathlon, Running or Cycling, but with the emergence of more quality Duathlon events like GCE Duathlon, the numbers should grow in time.
Meanwhile, the Co-Organisers, Prolintas & GoSportz, have produced a respectable event for their first attempt, and if they decide to stage another one, I am sure that it will be even better based on their combined experience drawn and lessons learnt from their first collaborative production.
My two running buddies, Azril & Suparno, were both pleased with their Dash Duathlon results, and they both gave this event two thumbs-up.
This is Azril’s first comeback event since he was involved in a motorbike accident in May 2018!
My wife Maryati was one of only 26 women who braved the Dash Duathlon.
Video – Maryati On The Run
For us, her greatest achievement was solely to have completed the course without injury. In fact, I was extremely proud of her results for her first Duathlon race because when she got off her bike, her legs felt like jelly, but she bit the bullet and still finished the race with a big smile. What an unforgettable way to have spent a truly special Malaysia Day…
Video – What A Finish!
Many thanks to Albertt, Cheah, Kamal, and the GCE Duathlon Crew who put together a spectacular maiden show and who looked after the COMFORT and SAFETY of all the participants so well from start to finish – BRAVO!
Video – Closing Ceremony
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 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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