02 January 2015, 8am
Penang Bridge International Marathon
Sun 16 November 2014
In the process they became part of the “Largest Marathon in Malaysia”, as accredited by the Malaysia Book of Records for fourth consecutive time since 2011.
It is a unique event: the only run in the world held entirely on a bridge. It is also the only time of the year when the Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah Bridge is entirely closed off to traffic.
ASICS became the title sponsor for the first time in 2014 after being the official apparel sponsor for the previous two years. As a popular brand, ASICS is one of the major attractions to lure runners by providing quality running vests to everyone who took part in the event.
Such is the popularity of the run that it attracted 30,000 ‘early bird’ participants as soon as registration opened on 1 March — eight and a half months before race day. 100 lucky draw prizes were given away to winners including hotel stays, flight tickets and a cruise to Phuket and Krabi.
As a way to maintain runners’ enthuisasm after they enter the race organisers offered running clinics and a medical forum in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor. These workshops helped runners to plan for the run. Subjects that were discussed and demonstrated included different types of running, planning training modules, appropriate attire and dietary planning.
By the time registration closed in September runners from 71 countries had entered. More than 60% of registered runners were from outside of the state of Penang, including from other parts of Malaysia, neighbouring countries, and from all over the world.
First off on race day were the 9000 runners in the full Marathon, at 01.30. The flag off was performed by the Chief Minister of Penang, The Right Honorable Mr Lim Guan Eng, as runners got underway with a spectacular display of fireworks. The 18,000 Half Marathon runners followed at 03.00 and 28,000 10km runners at 06.00. Last to start were participants in the Designer Village 7km Fun Run.
In between race starts, runners were entertained by a concert and fashion show by Titan called “My Time Is Now”. Some of the best local artistes from Kuala Lumpur and Penang entertained the crowd throughout the night and early morning.
The prize giving ceremony was presided over by the Governor of Penang, T.Y.T Tun Dato’ Seri (Dr.) Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Abbas, The Chief Minister of Penang, Penang State Ministers and various Government representatives. Proceedings ended with a lucky draw after which 62-year old foundry worker, Mr Ong Poh Soon, who had participated in the 10km Run, drove away in a brand new Honda City.
Over 500 police personnel took care of the security of the runners and maintained a smooth flow of traffic. Medical officers from Penang Hospital and volunteers from the Red Crescent and the St John’s Ambulance Brigade were stationed along the entire route to ensure that any runners in distress received prompt medical assistance. A total of 15 water stations were set up along the bridge, serving water, isotonic drinks, bananas and bread for the runners. Prayer rooms (Surau) were also available for Muslim runners.
Most runners from outside Penang had planned to spend a few more days in the area to enjoy the beauty of the island’s capital city George Town — a UNESCO Heritage site, along with its vibrant culture and world famous cuisine.
From awe-inspiring architecture, non-stop shopping, and mouth-watering cuisine, Penang is an authentic taste of the real Asia, where laid-back charm is woven into a tapestry of culture, heritage and natural beauty.
The UK newspaper The Guardian named Penang one of the “Top 10 Must-Visit Destinations in 2014”. This accolade was followed by Lonely Planet naming Penang as the “World’s No 1 Destination for Food”.
The Penang State Government has always strongly promoted sporting events as an integral part of their push for a “Safer, Cleaner, Greener and Healthier Penang”.
The Marathon is part of a larger goal to make Penang, through culture and sport, a holistic international and intelligent city.
See you at the Penang Bridge Half Marathon on 14 June 2015 and the next Penang Bridge International Marathon on 22 November 2015.