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Race previews Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon

08 April 2023, 4pm

Iconic cityscapes in one of the most cosmopolitan cities of South East Asia

Cityscapes by night and day

Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon
Sat 30 September 2023

The histooric sultan abdul samad building at independence square

It’s still dark in the wee hours of the morning when Kuala Lumpur’s historic Independence Square starts to come alive as thousands of runners converge for the Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon (KLSCM).

By the time it ends at 11.00 the sun is shining brightly and more than 34,000 runners have crossed the finish line over two days. The event is so popular because it gives participants the unique opportunity of running through the streets and expressways of the city and to experience the spectacular break of dawn over Kuala Lumpur.

Apart from being the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is also its epicentre in terms of people, food, arts, culture and sports. Malaysians from all over the country gravitate towards Kuala Lumpur in search of work and opportunity, and the city basks in this melting pot, which also includes a large number of international expats and migrant workers. The KLSCM is a microcosm of Kuala Lumpur, bringing together citizens from all across Malaysia and from all around the world to take part in a well-organized event and to enjoy all that the city has to offer.

This year’s event takes place over the weekend of 30 September and 1 October and will encompass both Full and Half marathons, 10km and 5km categories, as well as the Kids Dash (1km and 3km). The Full and Half marathon routes are measured and certified and take runners through some iconic cityscapes. The flag-off is at the same place where the first Prime Minister of the country declared independence from British rule and is surrounded by heritage buildings that are remnants of that colonial era.

The Full marathon route then takes runners through a cross section of the city. You get to see the juxtaposition of the traditional with the ultra-modern, where a 120-year old village coexists in the middle of the central district of the city, a stone’s throw away from the tallest twin towers in the world (Petronas Twin Towers). Runners then criss-cross the financial and shopping hub that is Bukit Bintang, going past the headquarters of title sponsor Standard Chartered Bank along the way. The route then gives runners the experience of running on an elevated tolled Expressway before returning to the Finish line.

An integral component of the KLSCM is its Corporate Social Responsibility programme called Run For A Reason (RFAR) where every year four to five charities are selected for which runners can choose to raise funds. Charities like Standard Chartered’s Futuremakers, Hospis Malaysia, the National Cancer Society of Malaysia, Dignity for Children Foundation and Teach for Malaysia have received much needed resources from the funds raised by runners. The programme showcases the power of the marathon to bring about positive social change.

What started with 13,500 participants in 2009 has blossomed into a sold-out, internationally recognized event with 40,000 runners (pre-pandemic numbers) in its recent editions, including close to 2000 international runners. The KLSCM has the distinction of being awarded two Golds in the Asia Sports Industry Awards (SPIA Asia) in 2018 for Best Mass Participation Event and Best Digital. The 2023 edition will also be the event’s first as a World Athletics Label Road Race.

If you’re looking for a warm weather marathon in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in South East Asia the KLSCM ticks all the right boxes: you can indulge yourself in some spectacular cuisine; expose yourself to a melting pot of cultures; or visit the glorious beaches and forests that surround the country.

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