I attended the Malaysia Women Marathon 2016 press conference at The Arc, Rimbayu, Shah Alam, on January 19th, in my capacity as Chief Cartoonist at Running Toons. I was extremely early – having picked up Running Toons X MWM drawing contest winner Allie and her running partner Nadine early in the morning, I braced for bad traffic for the 35+ kilometres from PJ to Shah Alam, only to find the roads clear! An hour early, we grabbed coffee, took a self-guided tour of the property show gallery’s neat little rooftop garden (the press conference was hosted by IJM Land, the developer of the Bandar Rimbayu township), and eventually found our seats in the press conference room.
The collaborative doodle!
So, what happens when you have doodlers sitting around a table waiting for an event to begin? My iPad was duly passed around amongst the Running Toons X MWM drawing contest winners – Allison (Allie) Yap and Shirley Chan, whose doodles won the ‘Inspiration’ and ‘Humour’ Categories respectively. Nadine took the pen next, followed by Maryati, and then Running Toons co-founder Gus; before I added in the peripheral sketches. The result?
(Scroll further down this page to view Allie’s and Shirley’s respective winning entries!)
What’s special about the MWM?
MWM Race Director Karen Loh took to the stage and promptly donned an apron, indicating that something special was cooking… and the Malaysia Women Marathon is indeed something special – it is currently the only women’s marathon between Southern Asia and New Zealand, and the 4th women’s marathon to have come into existence in the world (the other three being the Osaka Women’s Marathon, Yokohama Women’s Marathon and the Nagoya Women’s Marathon).
The inaugural MWM was held in 2013, with Kathrine Switzer, the world’s first woman marathoner (Boston Marathon, 1967) as its keynote speaker.
The 2016 edition, to be held on 6 March 2016 at the city of Shah Alam, will be the 4th annual running event for ladies in Malaysia.
A 3-day programme celebrating women
The MWM aims to be more than just a race – it is organised as a 3-day programme with events leading up to raceday itself on March 6 – the Race Kit Collection and Race Expo will take place on March 4-5 at The Arc, Rimbayu, and there will be sessions featuring:
- Keynote speaker: Stephanie Case, a human rights lawyer with the United Nations, a top-5 winner of competitive runs, and the founder of ‘Free To Run’, an organization that helps build empowerment through running for women in war-inflicted countries
- Sue O’Brien from the ‘Partnerunning‘ series
- Sarah Joyce from Women Running Magazine
- Jeri Chua, an accomplished ultrarunner from Singapore
- Datuk Marina Chin, former track queen of Malaysia (to be confirmed)
There will also be other interesting programmes lined up, including sports science talks and workshops, dialogue sessions on women in sport, and even fashion shows.
Ah yes, Running Toons, the Official Cartoon Partner, will also be there with some activities in store (at the Expo, AND, Gus and I will be running the Full Marathon distance on raceday!), so DO DROP BY TO SAY HI!
Full information can be found at the MWM website, but here’s a quick rundown:
- Full Marathon (Start time 4am, cut-off time 6 hours 30 minutes) – Open (18-39 years old) and Veteran (40 years old and above)
- Half Marathon (Start time 5.30am) – Open and Veteran categories (ages as above)
- 10km Run (Start time 6.30am) – Open and Veteran categories (ages as above)
- 5km Fun Run (Start time 7.30am) – Non-competitive category. A mother may register for up to 2 children (minimum 7 years old) under her name on the condition that they run together.
This year, there will also be a Corporate Charity Challenge in the form of a 3km relay run for teams of 3 runners. Funds raised will be donated to the Food Aid Foundation of Malaysia.
New routes this year
If you’ve been with MWM over the years, you’ll realise that this year’s edition will sport new routes. Rather than describe them, we’ve attached here images taken from the MWM website (at the time of writing of this post). Click on each thumbnail below to enlarge.
These images are taken from the MWM website at the time of writing this post (20 January 2016). However, as race routes are always subject to change, please always check the MWM website and MWM Facebook page in case of any updates to the route.
The Running Toons winning drawings!
As promised, here they are – the winning entries for the Running Toons X MWM Drawing Contest! Click on each thumbnail to enlarge.
And here we are, deep in thought: