A short race review
The weather was cooling on race day, with a slight drizzle. Gun off for the full marathon was exactly at 3.00 at the Padang Merdeka. On the contrary, the route is not as flat as anticipated, but lots of gradual and rolling hills, some hills gradually stretched up to 3-4km in distance! However the obvious climbs are the slopes at the bridges, and there were about 4 of them.
In the city street before the first bridge, most of the roads were closed from traffic. One big plus point here!
After the first bridge, the route lead us to some kind of suburb/rural housing areas, and maybe because it is still dark, but lots of locals came out to cheer the runners, some with their guitars! I have never see anything like that anywhere else in the entire Malaysia. One big star for the Sarawakians.
And then we left the housing areas for the road around the Palace and Cat Museum. Here you get to run on straight beautiful road with beautiful matured trees. In the dark with just the street light, one can imagine how beautiful these roads looks like during the day. And then roundabouts in Kuching. Lots of huge roundabouts. Another big plus point for the scenic route.
Some stretch were just plain lonely and quiet without any houses at all. I remember this gone into extreme from km 20 onwards and you only get to be accompanied by the rolling hills, and on and off you get to have the exitement of overtaking somebody orthe other way round. Otherwise this part is really mind challenging if you are running alone. There is a station at km 20 that gave out Power-Gel! Another plus point!
Km 32 - km 35 is rather scenic because of the brightly lited Sarawak Energy's building following the Business Convention center. Here another round of free energy gels, banana were given.
As we moved into the city towards the finishing line, there were more slopes to conquer. Which will make it a bit challenging especially at the final few kms.
Along the way, the road were nice to run on, without potholes or such, only some speed bumpers around the housing areas. Plenty of marshalls along the way in every roundabout, junctions and directions boards. In the city, plenty of traffic police were present to ensure the roads are remained closed. Drinks and refreshment are served by the volunteers. In terms of the race itself, the Kuching Marathon organisers has raised such a high standard. The prize giving ceremony was rather chaotic and there was a bit of a wait during the race pack collection, but given the fact that this is the first year, these usually will only improve for the better.
But the biggest highlight of the race is that there are actually people that came out to cheer the runners in some morning while it is still dark that makes me thing the all Malaysians should turn to learn something from the Sarawakian. And another thing...Sarawakians from all walks of life and of all races eat together in the coffeeshops. A bigh thumbs up for Kuching Marathon. Should be considered an annual event.
More photos here
National Category Champion - Fabian Osman